Title: A mobile learning environment for supporting inquiry-based experimental activities in elementary school

Authors: Jie Chi Yang; Chih Hung Chen

Addresses: Graduate Institute of Network Learning Technology, National Central University, No. 300, Jungda Road, Jhongli City, Taoyuan, Taiwan. ' Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Central University, No. 300, Jungda Road, Jhongli City, Taoyuan, Taiwan

Abstract: This study aims to design and develop an inquiry-based learning environment by integrating wireless and mobile technologies with handheld devices for supporting science experimental activities in elementary schools. The learning environment can facilitate students' involvement in experimental design, data collection, data analysis and discussion inside and outside classroom. The main study was conducted to examine the effectiveness of using the learning environment for an inquiry-based experimental activity. Two sixth-grade classes of 68 students participated in the study for two weeks. The Science Learning Attitude Scale and Scientific Explanation Ability Test were applied for pre-test and post-test evaluation and a single group, paired sample t-test was used for analysis. The results demonstrated that the emphasis on explanation driven inquiry-based experimental activities had positive effect on students' science attitude and scientific explanation ability in science learning with the support of the mobile learning environment.

Keywords: inquiry-based learning; experimental activities; elementary schools; wireless technologies; mobile technologies; handheld devices; science experiments; learning environments; student involvement; experimental design; data collection; data analysis; discussions; classrooms; sixth-grade students; science learning; attitude scales; scientific explanations; ability tests; pre-test evaluation; post-test evaluation; single group t-tests; paired sample t-tests; explanation driven activities; student attitudes; Taiwan; elementary education; mobile learning; m-learning; online learning; e-learning; electronic learning; online learning; internet; world wide web.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMLO.2012.046879

International Journal of Mobile Learning and Organisation, 2012 Vol.6 No.1, pp.8 - 24

Published online: 14 May 2012 *

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