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Instructional Design Using the Virtual Ecological Pond for Science Education in Elementary Schools

Authors: Wernhuar Tarng, Wen-Shin Tsai, Yu-Si Lin, Chen-Kai Shiu

Abstract:

Ecological ponds can be a good teaching tool for science teachers, but they must be built and maintained properly to provide students with a safe and suitable learning environment. Hence, many schools do not have the ability to build an ecological pond. This study used virtual reality technology to develop a webbased virtual ecological pond. Supported by situated learning theory and the instructional design of “Aquatic Life" learning unit, elementary school students can actively explore in the virtual ecological pond to observe aquatic animals and plants and learn about the concept of ecological conservation. A teaching experiment was conducted to investigate the learning effectiveness and practicability of this instructional design, and the results showed that students improved a great deal in learning about aquatic life. They found the virtual ecological pond interesting, easy to operate and helpful to understanding the aquatic ecological system. Therefore, it is useful in elementary science education.

Keywords: Virtual reality, virtual ecological ponds, situated learning, instructional design, science education.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1076544

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