PhD Defence Siswa van Riesen

inquiring the effect of the experiment design tool: whose boat does it float?

Siswa van Riesen is a PhD student in the department of Instructional Technology. Het supervisor is prof.dr. A.J.M. de Jong from the faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social sciences (BMS).  

Inquiry learning can be an effective learning method, provided that students receive the right amount and type of support. For this dissertation the Experiment Design Tool was developed to support students with one of the main activities of inquiry learning; designing and conducting useful experiments that allow them to draw conclusions to their research questions.

The effects of distinct versions of the Experiment Design Tool on students’ learning gains about buoyancy and Archimedes’ principle was assessed in the studies reported in this dissertation. Special attention was paid to the influence of students’ prior knowledge about the topics, in order to study whether and how prior knowledge influences the effects of different amounts and types of support.

Results from the studies in this dissertation indicated that support that is offered to students should match their level of prior knowledge. They provide a basis for the design of guidance that aligns with students’ prior knowledge.