Investigating 6th Graders' Use of a Tablet-Based App Supporting Synchronous Use of Multiple Tools Designed to Promote Collaborative Knowledge Building in Science.
modeling and explaining phenomena
Full recordShow full item record
AbstractAt this pivotal moment in time, when the proliferation of mobile technologies in our daily lives is influencing the relatively fast integration of these technologies into classrooms, there is little known about the process of student learning, and the role of collaboration, with app-based learning environments on mobile devices. To address this gap, this dissertation, comprised of three manuscripts, investigated three pairs of sixth grade students??? synchronous collaborative use of a tablet-based science app called WeInvestigate. The first paper illustrated the methodological decisions necessary to conduct the study of student synchronous and face-to-face collaboration and knowledge building within the complex WeInvestigate and classroom learning environments. The second paper provided the theory of collaboration that guided the design of supports in WeInvestigate, and described its subsequent development. The third paper detailed the interactions between pairs of students as they engaged collaboratively in model construction and explanation tasks using WeInvestigate, hypothesizing connections between these interactions and the designed supports for collaboration. Together, these manuscripts provide encouraging evidence regarding the potential of teaching and learning with WeInvestigate. Findings demonstrated that the students in this study learned science through WeInvestigate, and were supported by the app - particularly the collabrification - to engage in collaborative modeling of phenomena. The findings also highlight the potential of the multiple methods used in this study to understand students??? face-to-face and technology-based interactions within the ???messy??? context of an app-based learning environment and a traditional K-12 classroom. However, as the third manuscript most clearly illustrates, there are still a number of modifications to be made to the WeInvestigate technology before it can be optimally used in classrooms to support students??? collaborative science endeavors. The findings presented in this dissertation contribute in theoretical, methodological, and applied ways to the fields of science education, educational technology, and the learning sciences, and point to exciting possibilities for future research on students??? collaborations using future iterations of WeInvestigate with more embedded supports; comparative studies of students??? use of synchronous collaboration; and studies focused on elucidating the role of the teacher using WeInvestigate - and similar mobile platforms - for teaching and learning.