International Conference on Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology, İzmir, Turkey, 28 April - 01 May 2019, pp.1
Laboratories are indispensible parts of science teaching. It is difficult to actualize meaningful science learning without practical applications. Although hands-on laboratories are commonly used in schools, virtual laboratories have entered to schools with respect to the developments in educational technology. The main goal of the current study is to investigate the effects of different laboratory environments (hands-on and virtual laboratories) on pre-service science teachers’ inquiry skills. Quasi-experimental research design was used in the study. Participants of the study were 42 pre-service science teachers from a public university. Twenty one of the participants were in the control group and the other 21 ones were in the experimental group. Whereas the pre-service science teachers did their investigations in hands-on laboratory, the ones in the experimental group used virtual laboratories via the computers. The study lasted for eight weeks. The inquiry skills test developed by Celik (2013) was used as pretest and posttest. Due to the limited number of participant nonparametric version of paired sample t-test, which is Wilcoxon-signed-rank test and similarly, nonparametric version of independent samples t-test, which is Mann-Whitney U test were used to analyze the data. The findings revealed that the pre-service science teachers from both groups developed their inquiry skills significantly. Yet, there was no significant difference between the control and the experimental groups. This finding shows that virtual laboratories can be replaced by hands-on laboratories to enhance inquiry skills of pre-service science teachers.