Students' Learning Activities While Studying Biological Process DiagramsStudents' Learning Activities While Studying Biological Process Diagrams
Faculty of Applied Economics
International journal of science education. - London, 1987, currens
37(2015):12, p. 1915-1937
University of Antwerp
Process diagrams describe how a system functions (e.g. photosynthesis) and are an important type of representation in Biology education. In the present study, we examined students' learning activities while studying process diagrams, related to their resulting comprehension of these diagrams. Each student completed three learning tasks. Verbal data and eye-tracking data were collected as indications of students' learning activities. For the verbal data, we applied a fine-grained coding scheme to optimally describe students' learning activities. For the eye-tracking data, we used fixation time and transitions between areas of interest in the process diagrams as indices of learning activities. Various learning activities while studying process diagrams were found that distinguished between more and less successful students. Results showed that between-student variance in comprehension score was highly predicted by meaning making of the process arrows (80%) and fixation time in the main area (65%). Students employed successful learning activities consistently across learning tasks. Furthermore, compared to unsuccessful students, successful students used a more coherent approach of interrelated learning activities for comprehending process diagrams.