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Research in Science Education

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 20–29 | Cite as

A system to exploit the spreadsheet ‘excel’ for enhancing learning in science

  • Richard Beare
Article
  • 44 Downloads

Abstract

A spreadsheet system is briefly described, that enables students, teachers and curriculum developers to rapidly and easily make use of Microsoft Excel's unique database and graphics capabilities in the Science classroom. This system (known as the Warwick Spreadsheet System) uses Excel's inbuilt macro language to provide a range of facilities that are tailor-made for science applications (rather than the business applications for which Excel was originally designed). These include the automatic drawing of graphs of various sorts and the ability to rapidly write mathematical models of scientific phenomena, using (if desired) ordinary words rather than algebraic symbols. Examples of applications in physics, biology meteorology and astronomy are given. These examples are chosen to illustrate different types of application (e.g. data exploration, simulation, modelling, interactive diagrams). Educational advantages of the system are discussed, particularly as they relate to the possibilities of more open-ended investigations, more problem-oriented activities and a more active learning situation.

Keywords

Active Learning Science Classroom Data Exploration Learning Situation Science Application 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

  1. Beare, R.A. (1983)Warwick Science Simulations, Physics Pack 1. York, Longman Micro Software. See the booklet entitled Orbits and Alpha Scattering.Google Scholar
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  3. Hewitson, J.F. (1984)Warwick Science Simulations, Biology Pack 3. York, Longman Micro Software. See the booklet entitled Predator-Prey.Google Scholar
  4. Ogborn, J. (1987) Computational modelling in science. In R. Lewis, & E. D. Tagg, (eds.).Trends in computer assisted education, Oxford, Blackwell Scientific Publications.Google Scholar
  5. Schecker, H.P. (1991) The didactic potential of computer aided modelling for physics education. In D. L. Ferguson, (ed.),Advanced technologies in the teaching of mathematics and science, London, Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Australasian Science Research Association 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Beare
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WarwickCoventryEngland

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