Research in Science Education

, Volume 46, Issue 5, pp 667–684 | Cite as

Investigating and Promoting Trainee Science Teachers’ Conceptual Change of the Nature of Science with Digital Dialogue Games ‘InterLoc’

  • Nasser Mansour
  • Rupert Wegerif
  • Nigel Skinner
  • Keith Postlethwaite
  • Lindsay Hetherington


The purpose of this study is to explore how an online-structured dialogue environment supported (OSDE) collaborative learning about the nature of science among a group of trainee science teachers in the UK. The software used (InterLoc) is a linear text-based tool, designed to support structured argumentation with openers and ‘dialogue moves’. A design-based research approach was used to investigate multiple sessions using InterLoc with 65 trainee science teachers. Five participants who showed differential conceptual change in terms of their Nature of Science (NOS) views were purposively selected and closely followed throughout the study by using key event recall interviews. Initially, the majority of participants held naïve views of NOS. Substantial and favourable changes in these views were evident as a result of the OSDE. An examination of the development of the five participants’ NOS views indicated that the effectiveness of the InterLoc discussions was mediated by cultural, cognitive, and experiential factors. The findings suggest that InterLoc can be effective in promoting reflection and conceptual change.


Online discussion Nature of science Constructive knowledge Online-structured dialogue environment Digital games Dialogue games InterLoc 



InterLoc was developed by a team led by Andrew Ravenscroft with funding from the UK JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) ‘e-learning tools’ programme, and from the JISC Capital Programme.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nasser Mansour
    • 1
  • Rupert Wegerif
    • 1
  • Nigel Skinner
    • 1
  • Keith Postlethwaite
    • 1
  • Lindsay Hetherington
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of EducationUniversity of Exeter, St. Luke’s CampusExeterUK

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