Journal of Science Education and Technology

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 21–27

Using computer simulations to assesss hands-on science learning

  • Gail P. Baxter

DOI: 10.1007/BF02211578

Cite this article as:
Baxter, G.P. J Sci Educ Technol (1995) 4: 21. doi:10.1007/BF02211578


Two methods of assessing student learning of a hands-on instructional unit are compared. One method involves manipulation of concrete materials, and the other method involves manipulation of icons on a computer to solve an electric circuits problem. Sixth-grade students in an inquiry-based science program completed both assessments separated by three weeks. Results indicated that although mean performance was the same for each method, individual student performance varied considerably. Implications for use of computer simulations as an alternative to hands-on assessment are discussed.

Key words

Science assessmentperformance assessmentcomputer assessment

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gail P. Baxter
    • 1
  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of MichiganAnn Arbor