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Motivation and beliefs about the nature of scientific knowledge within an immersive virtual ecosystems environment

Published on Apr 1, 2014in Contemporary Educational Psychology2.48
· DOI :10.1016/j.cedpsych.2014.02.004
Jason A. Chen11
Estimated H-index: 11
(W&M: College of William & Mary),
Shari Metcalf10
Estimated H-index: 10
(Harvard University),
M. Shane Tutwiler8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Harvard University)
Abstract
We explored Grade 6 students’ (n = 202) self-efficacy, epistemic beliefs, and science interest over a 10-day virtual ecology curriculum. Pre- and post-surveys were administered, and analyses revealed that (1) students became more self-efficacious about inquiring scientifically after participating in the activity; (2) students on average evinced a shift toward more constructivist views about the role of authority in justifying scientific claims; (3) students who identified more strongly with being a science person evinced greater gains in self-efficacy, developed a less constructivist view about the role of authority in justifying claims, and became more interested in science overall; and (4) students who held an incremental theory of ability evinced greater gains in self-efficacy. We discuss the implications of these findings for science educators and instructional designers in the design and use of immersive virtual worlds for middle school science students.
  • References (99)
  • Citations (21)
References99
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