Analysis of learners’ fieldtrip talk during a collaborative inquiry task

Blake, Canan; Scanlon, Eileen; Twiner, Alison; Collins, Trevor; Jones, Ann and Kerawalla, Lucinda (2013). Analysis of learners’ fieldtrip talk during a collaborative inquiry task. In: EC-TEL 2013 Eighth European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning, 17-21 Sep 2013, Paphos (Cyprus), pp. 32–42.


In this paper we analyse children’s talk with a view to understand how a technology enhanced inquiry learning toolkit played a part in enriching collaboration during a fieldtrip and facilitating social interaction. The participants in the study were 15 year-old students carrying out their geography GCSE (General Certificate in Secondary Education) work in a secondary school in the UK. During the fieldtrip, we provided students with nQuire, an inquiry learning toolkit to orchestrate their learning, on an ultra-mobile Asus Eee PC with a wireless connection to the coursework web site. Students collected data from twelve points in two towns with very different layout and land use. The learning environment created with the nQuire toolkit, ultra mobile PCs, personalised inquiry task and the use of scientific sensors to collect data offers possibilities for collaboration and effective interaction. In this study we analyse to what extent this environment supported learning collaboratively and to what extent students interacted with each other and with the technology to construct knowledge during the fieldtrip.

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