Web-based undergraduate chemistry problem-solving: The interplay of task performance, domain knowledge and web-searching strategies
Hsiao-Ching She, Meng-Tzu Cheng, Ta-Wei Li, Chia-Yu Wang, Hsin-Tien Chiu, Pei-Zon Lee, Wen-Chi Chou, Ming-Hua Chuang
Computers & Education Volume 59, Number 2, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
This study investigates the effect of Web-based Chemistry Problem-Solving, with the attributes of Web-searching and problem-solving scaffolds, on undergraduate students' problem-solving task performance. In addition, the nature and extent of Web-searching strategies students used and its correlation with task performance and domain knowledge also were examined. We recruited a total of 183 undergraduate students, all of whom are taking the freshman chemistry course, to participate in the study to solve three chemistry tasks across a semester. Mandated screen-capture software captured participants' on-screen Web-searching processes were recorded every five seconds. Results demonstrated that students' problem-solving performance was significantly improved from task 1 to 3, and students with more domain knowledge outperformed students with less domain knowledge. Students with higher problem-solving performance employed more existing knowledge and metacognitive Web-searching strategies; and students with lower problem-solving performance employed more cognitive Web-searching strategies. In addition, students' problem-solving performance was correlated with their domain knowledge, use of existing knowledge, and metacognitive Web-searching strategies. Moreover, students' use of existing knowledge was the major factor for predicting their problem-solving performance according to the regression model.
She, H.C., Cheng, M.T., Li, T.W., Wang, C.Y., Chiu, H.T., Lee, P.Z., Chou, W.C. & Chuang, M.H. (2012). Web-based undergraduate chemistry problem-solving: The interplay of task performance, domain knowledge and web-searching strategies. Computers & Education, 59(2), 750-761. Elsevier Ltd.