How do different laboratory environments influence students’ attitudes towards science courses and laboratories?

Kapıcı H. Ö. , Akçay H. , De Jong T.

JOURNAL OF RESEARCH ON TECHNOLOGY IN EDUCATION, cilt.52, ss.1-17, 2020 (SSCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi)

  • Cilt numarası: 52 Konu: 3
  • Basım Tarihi: 2020
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1080/15391523.2020.1750075
  • Sayfa Sayısı: ss.1-17


The science learning environment is an important factor in students’ attitudes towards their science experiences in school, as well as towards science courses. This study compares how learning in different laboratory environments (hands-on or virtual) influences these attitudes for middle school (7th grade) students. Participants were 143 seventh-grade students from a public school. They were enrolled in four different seventh-grade science classes, all taught by a single teacher. Pre-test and post-test responses were compared to investigate participants’ attitudes towards different forms of laboratories and towards science courses. Data were gathered by giving students an attitude questionnaire (pre-test and post-test) and by conducting interviews (post-test). Findings revealed that laboratory experiences have a strong impact on middle school students' attitudes towards science; after working with the laboratory environment (either hands-on, virtual, or in a combination) students had a more positive attitude towards science. Data based on the questionnaire revealed no differences in attitudinal improvement between hands-on, virtual, or combinations of these labs, although descriptive data suggested that virtual labs are more effective for attitude change than hands-on labs. This may be linked to students' overall, but slight, preference for virtual laboratories over hands-on laboratories, as became apparent from the interviews