Date of Award

1-1-1999

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Education

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Mark Hackling

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate a scaffolding guide to help lower secondary students use the internet to search for and organise information for the construction of personal text. An intact Year 10 science class participated in the study. Data were collected using the scaffolding guide completed by students, work samples, a questionnaire designed to elicit from students their perceptions about the research guide, observational notes made by the researcher and debriefing interviews conducted with the teacher and with a group of students. The study identified the skills needed by students to search for and select useful information from the Internet und construct a personal text from that information. The study found that scaffolding the skills of analysing the topic, searching and reading, selecting, summarising and writing, in the form of a research guide supported quality learning. Students were able to search in a logical way select references that were relevant and credible, and present an outline of the text reflecting an ability to analyse and comprehend the content. Using the Internet research guide enabled students to take on as personal knowledge what they had read as reflected in the construction of a concise set of notes on which a coherent oral presentation was based. The research guide was perceived as useful by students and the class teacher. Data collected in the study have been used to revise the guide and make improvements to it.

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