Proposing an evaluation framework for interventions: focusing on students’ behaviours in interactive science exhibitions

Nils Petter Hauan, Jennifer DeWitt, Stein Dankert Kolstø

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
88 Downloads (Pure)


Materials designed for self-guided experiences such as worksheets and digital applications are widely used as tools to enable interactive science exhibitions to support students' progress towards conceptual understanding. However, there is a need to find expedient ways to evaluate the quality of educational experiences resulting from the use of such tools. Towards this end, the approach of this study is to focus on students' behaviours and relate identified behaviour categories to learning theory. An intervention developed as case for this study is presented. The intervention design aimed at setting up a learning environment where bodily, text-based, verbal and social experiences are embedded to facilitate progress towards conceptual understanding via the use of group assignments where students experience phenomena that correspond to focal concepts. To this end, six tasks were designed, five customised for energy-related exhibits and one which gave teachers a role to support students in pulling together the concepts they had encountered. Video recordings were transcribed and analysis investigated the quality of the intervention based on both verbal and non-verbal behaviours during the six tasks. Two overarching learning-related behavioural categories are identified: one reflecting general overall engagement in the learning environment, and a second designated as multi-modal discussions which is indicative of deeper engagement and, in turn, possibility of conceptual learning outcomes. More broadly, this research implies that frameworks based on students' behaviours can contribute to the design of valuable learning experiences and evaluation focusing on relevance for concept learning.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Science Education, Part B
Early online date26 Oct 2015
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Oct 2015


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