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Effects of web-based learning tool on student learning in science education: a case study

Şengel, Erhan
This exploratory study provides a qualitative and quantitative report on the integration of a specific online information system into the science curriculum using authentic tasks in a class setting. It investigates how they use an online information database and tools to create meaning. An in-depth analysis was done to understand students̕ perceptions about the usability of a web-based learning tool used in science course, properties of a web-based learning tool, the quality of the content, and the structure of web-based instruction. It also aimed to explore the effects of the Web-based learning in a science course on students̕ achievement and attitudes toward science learning. The subjects of this study were 51 Özel Bilim Okulları students in secondary school (6th, 7th and 8th grades) classes. It was conducted throughout the academic year of 2004-2005. The Science Achievement Test and attitude scales for science learning were given as pre-tests at the begging of academic year. They were given as post-tests and the students were interviewed in groups of five at the end of the academic year. The total time of using the web site of the course was kept by Web log-system. The quantitative findings of the study indicated that there were significant differences between the pre-tests and post-tests of the science achievement test and attitude scale. In addition, there were a positive relationship between the site usage time and achievement and attitude of the students towards science learning. The qualitative findings of this study showed that the amount of information supplied in the web site of the course, access to the Internet, doing assignments and taking online exams played important roles in students̕ science learning. However, the students did not prefer to use e-mails and chat rooms to collaborate with their fiends. They preferred to communicate face to face with