Epistemic Network Analysis of Students’ Drawings to Investigate Their Conceptions of Science Learning with Technology
Hsin-Yi Chang, Chin-Chung Tsai
Journal of Science Education and Technology
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The study employed epistemic network analysis (ENA) to investigate students’ conceptions of science learning with technology. One-hundred and eleven tenth-grade students were asked to express via drawings their conceptions of experienced and ideal learning of science with technology. Their drawings were coded into 20 elements in seven categories. ENA was then employed to generate and compare network models that show structures of the students’ conceptions. The results suggest that the students’ conceptions are diverse and connected. It was found that (1) the students’ conceptions of experienced and ideal learning of science with technology were significantly different, (2) the students who emphasized understanding as the main goal of science learning were better able to envision ideal learning of science with technology in light of how innovative technology can be used to enhance learning experiences, (3) the students who emphasized testing showed conceptions of science learning with technology limited to inside classrooms, and (4) the students who emphasized both understanding and testing demonstrated a pragmatic view of science learning and paid more attention to the affordances and effects of technology. Implications include that the potential of technology has yet to be fully taken advantage of to support science learning and that specific learning experiences may be tailored for students to address or broaden their conceptions of learning. The study may contribute to research by introducing new analysis methods of combining ENA with drawings and to theory and practice by revisiting theoretical frameworks of learning environments based on understanding of students’ conceptions.