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The interflow of two rivers: An inter-school CSCL project on improving water quality by using videoconferencing

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Author(s): Leo Sun-wai FUNG | Yu-nang CHAN

Journal: Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching
ISSN 1609-4913

Volume: 10;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 15;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Keywords: Videoconference | Computer Supported Collaborative Learning | Distance learning | Water quality testing.

ABSTRACT
The aim of this research is to study the effectiveness of using videoconferencing as a tool for collaborative learning on water pollution among students from two secondary schools located in different districts. The poor water quality of the nullahs in urban areas aroused the interest of students from two secondary schools in Tin Shui Wai and Wong Tai Sin who had experienced the nasty smell of the water from Tin Shui Wai Nullah and Kai Tak River respectively. Students of both schools were quickly aware of the need to improve the environment around their schools. Through the use of internet-based videoconferencing, the students shared and learned from each other’s experiences in analysing pollutants in their own water channel. With the help of governmental and non-governmental organisations involved in environmental protection, the students also exchanged ideas on how water quality can be improved. They conducted three video conferences thus far. These involved lectures, data exchanges and information sharing. After these conferences, the data taken from the school-based curriculum design, the students’ worksheets, their reflections and the video-clips of lesson observation were analysed. This paper discusses the data collected, and the results show that students’ interest was aroused and their learning outcomes in knowledge, skills and attitude were recognised. Teachers involved also considered the project to be an opportunity for teacher development and to enhance their own learning.
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