Inquiry-based learning in Science Education. Why e-learning can make a difference
Inquiry-based learning in Science Education is based on the belief that it is crucial to ensure that students deeply understand what they are learning, and not simply repeat contents and information. To this extent, IBSE is not only a way to teach Science effectively, but more importantly it can be a way to teach how to learn in a broader sense, developing problem solving comprehension and critical thinking skills, using properly prior knowledge and rejecting naïve conceptions. It implies a cooperative endeavour, soliciting communicative skills to share with others observations and research questions, and it requires specific skills to work successfully as a part of a team. However, it is arguably that nowadays IBSE is a widespread teaching and learning practice, mainly because it involves more complex pedagogical skills than those needed for traditional face-to-face classes (e.g. organizing stimuli and experimental settings, managing the observational process and holding group discussion on formulating questions and ideas, guiding students in recording and reporting their experiences). But most of all, this happens because its development is multifaceted, highly personalized for each student, and based on a variety of sources and stimuli. In this frame of reference, several hints can be envisaged for designing e-learning solutions specifically devoted to strengthen a wider cultural perspective in Science Education, thanks to personalized and automated solutions for learning which includes: interactivity, multimedia educational materials, social networking, virtual environments for learning.
Journal of e-Learning and Knowledge Society