Students’ Perceptions of a 3D Virtual Environment Designed for Metacognitive and Self-Regulated Learning in Science

Students’ Perceptions of a 3D Virtual Environment Designed for Metacognitive and Self-Regulated Learning in Science

Jody Clarke-Midura (Harvard University, USA) and Eugenia Garduño (Harvard University, USA)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2815-1.ch001

Abstract

Immersive and 3D virtual environments have the potential to offer more authentic science inquiry learning that allows for metacognitive and self-regulated learning strategies. While metacognition and self-regulated learning are important for science inquiry learning, little research exists on linking these skills with students’ experience in a 3D immersive environment designed to teach science inquiry. The authors conducted two studies to explore how curricula delivered via immersive technologies have the potential to create learning experiences that allow for authentic inquiry learning and enable metacognitive processes and self-regulated learning. In the first study, they examined the relationship between students’ metacognition and their self-identified experience with the curriculum. The authors found a relationship between students’ metacognition and feeling like a scientist and like they were participating in authentic science (conducting an experiment). These findings influenced the design of a treatment that contains embedded metacognitive and self-regulated learning scaffolds. In their second study, the authors examined the causal effect of the treatment on students’ self-identified experience with the curriculum. They found that students who participated in the treatment identified with the role of a scientist and felt like they were doing authentic science.
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Theoretical Framework

Numerous researchers have emphasized the role of metacognitive processes and self-regulated learning in inquiry learning (White & Frederiksen, 1998, 2005; Kuhn, Black, Keselman, & Kaplan, 2000; Kempler, 2006; Kuhn & Pease, 2008). As an example, White et al. offer a framework for inquiry learning, the meta-knowledge framework, which contains four primary processes: theorizing, questioning and hypothesizing, investigating, analyzing and synthesizing (White & Frederiksen, 1998; White, Frederiksen, & Collins, 2010). As part of this framework, they claim there is a meta-processing level where one evaluates not only what process should be carried out but also how well it is being carried out. Similarly, research on 3D virtual environments suggest curricula delivered via these technologies have the potential to offer more authentic science inquiry learning that reflect the processes in White et als framework (Gee, 2003; Dede, 2009; Clarke & Dede, 2007, 2009; Clark, et al., 2009).

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