LEARNING SCIENCE ONLINE: A DESCRIPTIVE STUDY OF ONLINE SCIENCE COURSES FOR TEACHERS

Jodi Asbell-Clarke, Elizabeth Rowe

Abstract


Online education is a rapidly growing phenomenon for science teachers. Using a sample of 40 online science courses for teachers offered during the 2004–2005 academic year, the Learning Science Online (LSO) study examines the nature and variety of instructional methods and activities as well as communication, and students’ perceptions of supports within the course. This research is unique in that it is the first aggregate study of online science courses offered by a wide variety of educational programs. Descriptive analyses suggest the instructional methods employed in online science courses for teachers
include frequent use of online discussions and students participated in minds-on activities, including articulation and reflection on their scientific ideas, posing questions, analyzing data, and drawing conclusions from evidence. Hands-on instructional activities were rarely used, and pen-and-paper and collaborative instructional activities were occasionally used. Technology was used primarily for communications such as discussion boards, email, and chat, but there were very few other computerbased
tools used within the courses. Students felt supported by instructors, other students, and the course design.


Keywords


Science Education,Online Learning,Asynchronous Learning,Teacher Professional Development

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24059/olj.v11i3.1722



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