|M.Sc Student||Magid Stella|
|Subject||How to Make the Topic of Inheritance More Relevant to|
Students? The Effect of a Web-based Module
|Department||Department of Education in Science and Technology||Supervisors||Professor Tali Tal|
|Professor Yael Kali|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
With the aim of increasing interest in genetics by investigating issues that gain the public’s interest, we used the Web-based-Inquiry-Science Environment module on Simple-Inheritance that was adapted to an Israeli context. We increased the relevancy of the module through an anchoring story of real fundraising for cystic-fibrosis (CF) patients and by adding interactions with CF patients. There were two types of interactions: (1) a field-trip to a CF hospital unit; (2 ) on-line interaction with a patient.
The research goal was to scrutinize the learning characteristics of the students who used the module and determine how the hospital-visit and the online-interaction with a patient contributed to the students’ interest and understanding of genetics. The research questions pursued were:
(1) What were the learning characteristics of the students who learned simple inheritance using the adapted Simple Inheritance module?
(2) How did the two enhancements (the hospital visit and the online interaction with a patient) contribute to: (a) the students’ interest in genetics? (b) the understanding of scientific ideas in genetics?
(3) Is there is a difference between the two enhancements’ (the hospital visit and the online interaction with a patient) contribution in increasing the relevancy of the web-based module?
The main study included two stages: (a) enactment of the revised Simple Inheritance module with one class of 28 students to answer research question 1, and (b) enactment of the two additional versions of the module (basic hospital visit and basic online interaction), with two classes of about 30 students each to answer research question 2 and 3. One 10th grade class visited the hospital and another communicated with a patient. By using pre/post Knowledge-Integration tests, a feedback questionnaire, observations in class and the students’ recorded work in the web-based module, we found that: (a) the adapted module, even without the additions, created interest and motivation among students to learn about genetics, (b) the field-trip addition was more productive than the online interaction addition in enhancing student interest and self-viewed learning, and (c) no differences were found in students’ knowledge acquisition as measured by the test and the module tasks when learning with the modules with each of the two additions.