“This is Really Frying My Brain!”: How Affect Supports Inquiry in an Online Learning Environment

  • Lama Z. JaberEmail author
  • Elizabeth Hufnagel
  • Jennifer Radoff


There is increased attention in science education worldwide on engaging learners not only in learning content but also in doing science in ways that align with scientists’ experiences (e.g. Berland et al. 2015; Ford 2015; Manz 2012; National Research Council (NRC) 2011, OECD 2016; Office of the Chief Scientist 2014). The aim is for learners to experience and view science as an opportunity to make sense of natural phenomena (Ford 2005; Kapon 2017; Passmore 2014; Scardamalia and Bereiter 2006) and to understand how various scientific practices function as part of an overarching pursuit of understanding (Driver et al. 2000; Hammer et al. 2008; Manz 2015; Tang et al. 2010).

This shift towards learning science by doing science has motivated researchers to examine what gets learners engaged and invested in scientific inquiry in order to better support their learning. Emerging research highlights the salience of affect, such as excitement, frustration, and puzzlement, in...


Science inquiry Affect Online learning Disciplinary engagement Epistemic practices Discourse Emotions Science teachers 



This work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DRL 1119321, “InterLACE: Interactive Learning and Collaboration Environment.” The views expressed here are those of the authors and are not necessarily endorsed by the foundation. The authors would like to thank David Hammer and Vesal Dini who were instrumental in conceptualizing, designing, and implementing the online science program that made this research possible. We are also grateful to the editor and anonymous reviewers from Research in Science Education for their valuable feedback on this manuscript. Most importantly, we deeply thank the teachers who participated in this project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lama Z. Jaber
    • 1
    Email author
  • Elizabeth Hufnagel
    • 2
  • Jennifer Radoff
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Teacher EducationFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  2. 2.School of Learning and TeachingUniversity of MaineOronoUSA
  3. 3.Department of PhysicsUniversity of Maryland, College ParkCollege ParkUSA

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