Learning Science: Students Generating Representations in a Blended Classroom

Author: Connie Cirkony

My research is part of an ARC- linkage grant investigating how Year 9 students are learning about energy transfer and sustainable housing in a blended learning environment where they actively construct, coordinate, and evaluate representations as a process of understanding scientific concepts.

With a worldwide decline in student participation in STEM taking place at a time when increasingly complex global issues demand a scientifically literate citizenry, transforming how we teach science is becoming more urgent. Contemporary research in science education calls for inquiry-based teaching, engaging students in scientific thinking and problem solving, with more meaningful integration of technologies, and a stronger focus on real-world issues – all of which constitute my research setting.

Over one school trimester, I undertook a video-based ethnography incorporating multiple data generation methods to better understand how students integrated digital and non-digital technologies in this dynamic group-based learning environment. Analysis is underway to determine if this approach supported quality learning through student-generated representation construction. 

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