Design matters: The impact of technology design on students’ inquiry behaviors

Engin Bumbacher, Zahid Hossain, Ingmar Riedel-Kruse, Paulo Blikstein

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Recent curricular frameworks consider science inquiry as an intertwined set of practices revolving around data, models and theory. This poses major challenges on the design of tools to support science inquiry. We developed a novel hybrid technology for biology classrooms that combines remote laboratories with modeling tools. How to design such systems is of fundamental importance because the design influences students’ learning processes (deJong, Linn & Zacharia, 2013). We examined the impact of the design of the modeling interface on learning, using two designs that differ in the type of visual feedback and the degrees of freedom for exploration. We found that neither of the designs was categorically better; rather, they were conducive to different forms of engagement in the inquiry activity, each offering distinct affordances for learning. This suggests that designers of technology for science inquiry need to be explicit about desired learning goals and forms of engagement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)839-846
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of International Conference of the Learning Sciences, ICLS
Issue number2018-June
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event13th International Conference of the Learning Sciences, ICLS 2018: Rethinking Learning in the Digital Age: Making the Learning Sciences Count - London, United Kingdom
Duration: Jun 23 2018Jun 27 2018


  • Inquiry strategy
  • Interactive biology
  • Modeling
  • Remote laboratories
  • Science inquiry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Education


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