Research in Science Education

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 489–510

Students' Perceptions of the Effectiveness of the World Wide Web as a Research and Teaching Tool in Science Learning

  • Wan Ng
  • Richard Gunstone

DOI: 10.1023/A:1022429900836

Cite this article as:
Ng, W. & Gunstone, R. Research in Science Education (2002) 32: 489. doi:10.1023/A:1022429900836


Students often make little linkage from lesson to lesson on what they learn in the regular classroom. Having them take responsibility for what they are learning is one way of having them think and connect these thoughts together. This qualitative study looks at the use of the World Wide Web (WWW) as a research and teaching tool in promoting self-directed learning in a group of 15 year old students. The perceptions of students on the effectiveness of the World Wide Web in assisting them with the construction of knowledge on Photosynthesis and Respiration are reported and discussed in this paper. The study showed that the students found that the WWW had a number of positive effects on their learning including motivation for independent learning. However, the unedited and unstructured nature of the WWW meant that many of the sites they visited had information that was too difficult to understand and that time was required to improve technical and critical thinking skills to search effectively. The teacher's role as facilitator and guide was crucial to the success of their learning.

multimediascience learningscience teachingWWW

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wan Ng
    • 1
  • Richard Gunstone
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for EducationLa Trobe UniversityAustralia
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationMonash UniversityAustralia