Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32726
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


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):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 2009


[1] Ministry of Education, "General Guidelines of Grade 1-9 Science and Technology Curriculum," Taipei: Ministry of Education, 2001.
[2] S. Wang, Environmental education and sustainable development education, Environmental Education Quarterly, 37, 87-103, 1999.
[3] C. J. Luo, A discussion of planning and designing educational gardens in elementary and junior high schools. Gardening Quarterly, 7, 17-21, 1987.
[4] P. L. Wang, A study on ecological teaching resources of Taiwan-s elementary schools. Journal of Taipei Municipal Teachers College, 30, 311-346, 1999.
[5] W. D. Fong, Planning an eco-education garden in school. Inservice Education Bulletin, 15(3), 27-30, 1998.
[6] P. S. Yang & H. Y. Li, "Touring nature-user manual for an ecoeducation garden in school," Taipei: Executive Yuan Environmental Protection Administration, 1998.
[7] Y. P. Jhan, "Teaching garden observation," Taichung: Dongsin Elementary School, 1999.
[8] J. F. Dong, "Research of eco-education garden management and teaching in elementary schools," National Chiayi University, Graduate Institute of Elementary and Secondary Education, Masters Thesis, 2001.
[9] S. S. Tsai, "Preface to user manual for campus eco-education Gardens," Executive Yuan Environmental Protection Administration, 1998.
[10] J. M. Chu, Research on effectiveness of students with learning disabilities, Hearing Disabilities, and Autism in Learning 3D Computer Animation, Scrapbooking and Sign Language Songs. Special Education Collection. 15-26, 1997.
[11] J. T. Chao & J. C. Cheng, Evaluation and design of virtual learning environments, Instructional Technology and Media, 4, 2-11, 1999.
[12] T. L. Sun, J. W. Wang, Y. S. Shieh & J. Y. Ren, Application of 3D virtual interactive visuals in client communication: long distance product service communication, CA Designer, 187, 40-47, 2003.
[13] S. Y. Li, "Developing interactive computer models shifting attributes in virtual reality," Chaoyang University of Technology, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, unpublished Master-s Thesis, Taichung County, 2003.
[14] G. L. Taylor & J. F. Disinger, The potential role of virtual reality in environmental education, Journal of Environmental Education, 28, 38- 43, 1997.
[15] J. Burner, "Actual minds, possible world," Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986.
[16] J. S. Brown, A. Collins & P. Duguid, Situated cognition and the culture of learning, Educational Researcher, 18(1), 32-42, 1989.
[17] S. M. Wu, "A study of 3D virtual reality teaching using IT integrated with science and technology: electricity and magnetic curriculum," National Taichung University Graduate Department of Natural Science Education. Masters Thesis, Tainan City, 2004
[18] G. F. Chiou, "Situated learning theories and computer assisted learning: learning concepts," Taipei: Shih Da Bookstore, 1996.
[19] J. C. Jhen, Computer assisted teaching and new teaching views: cognitive apprenticeship, Journal of Educational Media & Library Sciences, 31(1), 55-66, 1993.
[20] B. J. Tsai & J. C. Lee, Using situated learning to improve scientific knowledge of the public, Science Museum Education. Museology Quarterly, 18(2), 129-140, 2004.