Title: Extending a virtual chemistry laboratory with a collaboration script to promote conceptual learning

Authors: Dimitra Tsovaltzi, Nikol Rummel, Bruce M. McLaren, Niels Pinkwart, Oliver Scheuer, Andreas Harrer, Isabel Braun

Addresses: Deutsches Forschungszentrum fur Kunstliche Intelligenz (DFKI), GmbH, University of Saarland, Stuhlsatzenhausweg 3, D-66123 Saarbrucken, Germany. ' Institute of Psychology, University of Freiburg, Germany; Human-Computer Interaction Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA; Institute of Psychology, University of Freiburg, Engelbergerstr. 41, D-79085 Freiburg, Germany. ' Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA; Deutsches Forschungszentrum fur Kunstliche Intelligenz (DFKI), GmbH, Stuhlsatzenhausweg 3, D-66123 Saarbrucken, Saarbrucken, Germany. ' Department of Informatics, Clausthal University of Technology, Julius-Albert-Str. 4, Room 208, 38678 Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany. ' Deutsches Forschungszentrum fur Kunstliche Intelligenz (DFKI) GmbH, Stuhlsatzenhausweg 3, D-66123 Saarbrücken, Germany. ' Catholic University Eichstatt-Ingolstadt, Ostenstr. 14, 85072 Eichstatt, Germany. ' Institute of Psychology, University of Freiburg, Engelbergerstr. 41, D-79085 Freiburg, Germany

Abstract: We developed collaborative extensions to |Vlab|, a web-based laboratory that supports students in conducting virtual chemistry experiments. While results from a recent study indicated that VLab promotes chemistry learning, they also revealed that there is room for improvement. We embedded VLab into a collaborative environment that implements a computer-supported collaboration script for guiding students through the stages of scientific experimentation. We describe our pedagogical approach, our collaboration script, and the collaborative learning environment which implements it. We present results from two small-scale studies and a contrasting-case analysis of how adaptive prompts, in addition to the fixed script, affected student behaviour.

Keywords: computer-mediated collaboration; collaboration scripts; adaptive scripting; scaffolding; conceptual learning; experimentation phases; inquiry learning; chemistry education; virtual laboratories; chemistry laboratory; automatic feedback; chemistry learning chemistry education.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTEL.2010.031262

International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, 2010 Vol.2 No.1/2, pp.91 - 110

Available online: 27 Jan 2010 *

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