Using Hands-On and Virtual Laboratories Alone or Together―Which Works Better for Acquiring Knowledge and Skills?

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Kapıcı H. Ö., Akçay H., De Jong T.

Journal of Science Education and Technology, vol.28, pp.231-250, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 28
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10956-018-9762-0
  • Journal Name: Journal of Science Education and Technology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.231-250
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Although hands-on laboratory experiments are traditionally used in schools, virtual laboratories have entered today’s classrooms,

due to their specific affordances. In this study, we compared the effect of using hands-on and virtual laboratories in isolation to

two different combinations on middle school (7th grade) students’ acquisition of conceptual knowledge and inquiry skills. Our

findings indicate that using hands-on and virtual laboratories sequentially instead of in isolation gives better results for students’

acquisition of knowledge and inquiry skills. This result, together with similar findings from other studies, suggests that virtual

and hands-on laboratories may have complementary affordances. In the current study, no advantage was seen for either of the two

different combinations used.