When inquiry-based learning is designed for a collaborative context, the interactions that arise in the learning environment can become fairly complex. While the learning effectiveness of such learning environments has been reported in the literature, there have been fewer studies on the students’ learning processes. To address this, the article presents a study of science learning in a computer-supported learning environment called Collaborative Science Inquiry (CSI), which integrates guided inquiry principles for activity design, employs modelling and visualisation tools for promoting conceptual understanding and incorporates key computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) elements for enabling students’ collaboration. With the aim of understanding the process of students’ conceptual changes supported by the CSI learning environment as used in a secondary school, data on students’ test achievements, responses to learning tasks and peer discussions in collaboration were collected, analysed and discussed. The results of the qualitative and quantitative data analysis indicated that guided inquiry coupled with CSCL elements facilitated by the CSI system can engage students in inquiry activities and promote their conceptual understanding in a progressive way. Copyright © 2016 Association for Information Technology in Teacher Education.
CitationSun, D., Looi, C.-K., & Xie, W. (2017). Learning with collaborative inquiry: A science learning environment for secondary students. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 26(3), 241-263.
- CSI system
- Science learning
- Collaborative inquiry
- Conceptual understanding