Bridging the Gap between the Science Curriculum and Students’ Questions: Comparing Linear vs. Hypermedia Online Learning Environments

Hani Swirski, Ayelet Baram-Tsabari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

While interest is central to learning, considerable disparities have been reported between students' science interests and the science curriculum. This study explores how 5th grade students' (n = 72) competence, relatedness and interest levels changed as a consequence of using two online learning environments, which bridged the students' anonymous curiosity questions and the required science curriculum on the topic of "Natural Resources." One environment provided answers to the students' questions (a "linear" environment), whereas the other provided relevant links and sent the students to find the answer by themselves (a "hypermedia" environment). Each student experienced both of the environments, and their competence, relatedness and interest levels were examined using a closed pre/posttest questionnaire. Interest level increased only after experiencing learning with the linear environment, whereas competence level increased only after using the hypermedia environment. These findings point to the potential of using online learning environments to narrow the gap between the curriculum and students' interests, while emphasizing the pedagogical need for diverse online environments for different learners and learning goals.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)153-175
Number of pages23
JournalInterdisciplinary Journal of e-Skills and Lifelong Learning
Volume10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

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