Computer-based collaborative concept mapping : motivating Indian secondary students to learn science : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Education at Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand
This is a study of the design, development, implementation and evaluation of a teaching and learning intervention. The overarching aim of the study was to investigate the effectiveness of the intervention ‘Computer-based Collaborative Concept Mapping’ (CCCM) on Indian secondary students’ conceptual learning and motivation towards science learning. CCCM was designed based on constructivist and cognitive theories of learning and reinforced by recent motivation theories. The study followed a Design-based research (DBR) methodology. CCCM was implemented in two selected Indian secondary grade 9 classrooms. A quasi-experimental Solomon Four-Group research design was adopted to carry out the teaching experiment and mixed methods of data collection were used to generate and collect data from 241 secondary students and the two science teachers. The intervention was designed and piloted to check the feasibility for further implementation. The actual implementation of CCCM followed the pilot testing for 10 weeks. Students studied science concepts in small groups using the computer software Inspiration. Students constructed concept maps on various topics after discussing the concepts in their groups. The achievement test ATS9 was designed and administered as a pre-post-test to examine the conceptual learning and science achievement. Students’ responses were analysed to examine their individual conceptual learning whereas group concept maps were analysed to assess group learning. The motivation questionnaire SMTSL was also administered as a pre-post-test to investigate students’ initial and final motivation to learn science. At the end of the teaching experiment, the science teachers and two groups of students were interviewed. Analyses of the quantitative data suggested a statistically significant enhancement of science achievement, conceptual learning and motivation towards science learning. The
qualitative data findings revealed positive attitudes of students and teachers towards the CCCM use. Students and teachers believed that CCCM use could promote conceptual learning and motivate students to learn science. Both students and teachers preferred CCCM over on-going traditional didactic methods of teaching-learning. Some enablers and barriers identified by teachers and students in the Indian science classroom context are also explored and discussed. A framework for enhancing secondary school students’ motivation towards science learning and conceptual learning is proposed based on the findings. The findings of the study also contribute to addressing the prevailing learning crisis in Indian secondary school science classrooms by offering CCCM an active and participatory instructional strategy as envisioned by the Indian National Curriculum Framework 2005.