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Sue Doubler and Wynne Harlen

International Journal of Science Education 26 (1) (2004) pp. 1-21.


The paper reports findings from research into the extent to which an on-line course, "Try Science", achieved its objectives compared with a face-to-face course with the same content and objectives. "Try Science" has the dual aims of developing participants' understanding of science content and of teaching science through enquiry. Whilst the research involved collection of information about the learning processes and products of the 15 teachers studying on-line and the 18 studying on-campus, this paper focuses on the experience of the course participants and course leaders. A summary of other findings is provided. On-line postings were summarised using categories relating to the course objectives and compared with data from observing and video-recording the on-campus course sessions. In both courses teachers were regularly using science enquiry skills during their science investigations. On-line participants reflected on their learning and on the process of enquiry to a greater extent than the on-campus participants.