Effects of project-based inquiry lessons integrated with technology on understanding eighth-grade physics concepts
Bernard, Mariann Ambrose
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this project was to identify any effects Project-Based Learning (PBL) that incorporated technology had on student understanding, motivation, and long-term memory in an eighth-grade physical science course. The project was implemented over an eight week period. The first intervention phase was a teacher-oriented lecture-based environment on the topic of motion. No technology was accessible during the first phase. The second phase introduced the students to the PBL model and engaged them in the process of understanding speed through questioning, research and collaboration using Web 2.0 tools. The second phase, also referred to as intervention one, lasted 12 school days. Students had full access to computers and were directed through the stages of inquiry. This intervention phase was both teacher and student-directed with the teacher acting as facilitator for the latter portion of the lessons. The final intervention lasted 14 school days with full use of technology for all aspects of the class. Students studied Newton's laws, completed research, and collaborated on the development of a moving car that modeled Newton's Third Law. Following the PBL model students led the discussions, freely engaged in the learning, openly discussed and argued the points of their project research as well as the models that they created. Students showed improvement in assessments without any negative performance impact and in general responded positively on the Likert surveys that they wanted to continue to help with the project research, continue learning in the PBL inquiry model, and continue to have access to technology as a tool for learning.