Research News And Comment: The WWW and Classroom Research: What Path Should We Take?

Educators have developed many special classroom activities and collaborative projects based on the use of the World Wide Web

Mark Windschitl

2008

Scholarcy highlights

  • Educators have developed many special classroom activities and collaborative projects based on the use of the World Wide Web
  • Critical attention to these initiatives is merited given the limited amount of substantive classroom research on learning derived from these projects
  • The vast majority of published work is descriptive of technology implementation in classrooms or tends to be intuitive analyses of what works and what doesn't work with students
  • The literature stops short of asking critical questions such as, “Are these practices helping students, and, if so, how?” or, “How is the introduction of this technology changing pedagogical practices?” I argue for a stronger research focus on aspects of learning and teaching as influenced by the use of the WWW and begin by describing salient characteristics of the Web regarding these issues
  • I discuss three topics that can support a number of meaningful research questions about Web-supported learning: using the Web for student inquiry, student communication via the Web, and the potential for qualitative research perspectives to elucidate issues of Web-based learning

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