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Project Vertical Linkage (Continuation)
Vertical linkage and cumulative learning in the science classroom  
Applicants for grant: Prof. Dr. Hans E. Fischer, Prof. Dr. Elke Sumfleth    
Assistant in Project: Dr. Knut Neumann, Anna Lau  
Project periode: 10.2006-9.2009      

The results provided by the first period of the project lead to the assumption that, additionally to the teacher’s performance of linkage, the fit between the linkage level of the teacher’s offer and the linkage level of the following student’s output is a deciding criterion for cumulative learning.   A special function inhere the tasks as main component of the instruction in the science classroom.   A reanalysis of the existing video data is targeted on exploring the fit between the level of linkage of the posed tasks and the level of linkage achieved from the students with the solution of the task and the fit between the linkage levels of subsequent tasks.   According to the results of the project’s first period a difference between various scientific subjects is expected.

Publications of the Project
Project Learning Processes (Continuation)
Diagnosing and promoting learning process in science instruction    
Applicants for grant: Dr. Joachim Wirth, Prof. Dr. Detlev Leutner, Prof. Dr. Hans E. Fischer    
Assistants in Project: Jill Gößling, Jessica Marschner    
Project periode: 01.2007 - 01.2010      

The aim of this project is to improve diagnosing and promoting of the regulation of learning processes in science instruction. Therefore, an already existing computer-based learning environment on “buoyancy in fluids” is to be used to investigate the regulation of learning processes in which declarative and procedural scientific knowledge is applied to acquire knowledge about a specific content domain. In addition, a further computer-based learning environment on “acids and bases” will be developed and evaluated. To foster strategy use and the regulation of learning processes micro-adaptive online-aids will be developed and implemented into the computer-based learning environments. Two different types of adaptive online-aids will be distinguished: (1) aids which foster the appropriate strategy use and (2) aids which foster identification and avoidance of mistakes. On the one hand, the inevitable online-acquisition of these online-aids will be accomplished with the help of already existing computer-based measures of strategy use and regulation. On the other hand, new computer-based measures for diagnosing mistakes will be developed and evaluated.

Publications of the Project
Project Visualisation (Continuation)
Visualization of science text contents    
Applicants for grant: Prof. Dr. Detlev Leutner, Prof. Dr. Elke Sumfleth      
Assistant in Project: Dr. Hubertina Thillmann, Claudia Leopold, Annett Schwamborn    
Project periode: 10.2007 - 09.2010    

The purpose of the visualization project is aimed at developing a theoretical basis for a computer-based visualization tool for fostering learning processes in science text comprehension. The visualization tool helps students to construct external visual representations of text paragraphs. The main advantage of such a tool is that it provides specific support during the visualization process and thus reduces time and effort while constructing external representations.  
Publications of the Project

Project Small Group Learning (Continuation)
Small Group Learning    
Applicant for grant: Prof. Dr. Elke Sumfleth  
Assistant in Project: Isabel Wahser    
Project periode: 10.2006-9.2009  

Structuringtraining to deal with mistakes in process orientated learning in cooperative small groups in chemistry education    
Within this project the optimisation of learning processes during experiment based phases in small group work and the enhancement of efficiency of theses phases are explored. It is monitored whether the use of given structuring aids change the quality and the character of mistakes – manual, in respect of content or structural- and support scientific inquiry during small group working.

Publications of the Project
Project Diagnosis of Competence
Diagnosis of competence in physics education in grade 5 to 10    
Applicants for grant: Prof. Dr. Hans E. Fischer, Dr. Knut Neumann    
Assistants in Project: Dr. Alexander Kauertz, Hendrik Härtig, Irene Neumann  
Project periode: 01.2007 - 01.2010      

Klieme et al. (2003) identify the operationalization of national education standards as main goal in development of our educational system. In science education national education standards for the secondary level were published in 2005. The operationalisation, that is description and empirical testing of a respective competence model within these standards, poses a challenge for research in science education.Aim of this project therefore is the development and empirical prove of a model for structure of competence and respective paper and pencil test. The study will embrace two steps: 1. Testing the competence structure described by the model as an internal aspect of construct validity and 2. investigating external aspects of construct validity.

Publications of the Project
Project Final High School Examination
Conditions and effects of central and local final examinations in science education    
Applicants for grant: Prof. Dr. Klaus Klemm, Dr. Isabell van Ackeren    
Assistant in Project: Dr. Rainer Block    
Project periode: 01.2007 - 01.201004.2007-12.2009  

After many heated discussions about education policy, Germans have become aware of the urgent necessity of modifying their academic control system methodically. The implementation of central secondary-school final examinations is a fairly distinctive example of the many reforms that are put into practice in Germany at the present time. The central secondary-school final examination   represents an important summative evaluation method, in which all pupils in one federal state finally have to work on the same assignment of tasks in certain subjects at exactly the same time.    
Although final examinations in secondary schools that are centralized by the state are implemented in (nearly) all states by now, neither the forms nor the effects of the examination modalities on academic working processes and learning results have been duly investigated so far. The project ‘conditions and effects of central and local final examinations in science education’ under the direction of PROF. EM. DR. KLAUS KLEMM and PROF. DR. ISABELL VAN ACKEREN picks up this exploratory-desideratum as a case study in the frame of explorative, quantitatively oriented empirical educational research.    
It is first essential to take an inventory of the secondary-school final examination procedures in all states of Germany and furthermore the project points out international comparisons.    
Secondly the project scrutinizes different theses concerning the effects of the examination-modalities, that are namely verbalized in the scientific literature but that are extensive unevaluated. The interest is directed towards the following research question: Which effects do the different examination-modalities have for (a) every single school, (b) the class and (c) the individuals (e. g. the pupils, the teachers)? The main focus is on the analysis of the practices and effects in science subjects; moreover, comparisons to other subject groups shall help to be able to interpret the particular results in science subjects more accurately by using comparative values.

Publications of the Project
Project PLUS-Study
Changes of Teachers’ professional knowledge, teaching strategies and students’ motivation from primary to secondary school    
Applicants for grant: Prof. Dr. Kornelia Möller, Prof. Dr. Hans E. Fischer      
Assistant in Project: Katharina Fricke, Dr. Alexander Kauertz, Thilo Kleickmann, Kim Lange    
Project periode: 10.2006-9.2009  

International studies show differences in achieving most important aims of teaching, motivation and skills, depending on school level. A significant difference -especially concerning physics- is expected between primary and secondary school affecting students’ transition from primary to secondary level. Since there is a lack of systematic comparative studies investigating this transition this project analyses differences in teachers’ orientation to students’ interests, abilities and comprehension in science lessons focusing physics content. Additionally, differences in teachers’ professional knowledge and effects of teachers’ orientation and professional knowledge on students’ motivation and skills will be investigated.    
Publications of the Project

Project Quality of Instruction in Biology
The quality of instruction and the inherent structure of biological knowledge in relation to students’ achievement    
Applicants for grant: Dr. Birgit J. Neuhaus, Prof. Dr. Angela Sandmann  
Assistant in Project: Stefanie Wüsten    
Project periode:10.2006-9.2009  

Research on instructional quality identified a multitude of isolated factors influencing students’ achievement. Whereas most studies focus on general aspects of teaching, the present study intends to extend those aspects to subject-specific aspects and to examine the interaction of both.    
The aim of the present study is:    
- to analyze the significance of already known general aspects of instructional quality for biology classes,    
- to identify subject-specific aspects of instructional quality, and    
- to examine the interaction of general and subject-specific aspects.    
In a quasi-experimental design, 49 biology lessons from different teachers are videotaped. Furthermore, the students’ achievement is measured in a pre-post test design. Videos are analyzed regarding the quality of instruction. Measures of instructional quality are correlated with students’ achievement. In a second step, the results of the video study are tested for validity in an intervention study.    
Publications of the Project

Project Context and Concept-Mapping in Biology and Chemistry
Influence of context and concept maps on success in learning and motivation in Biology and Chemistry  
Applicants for grant: Prof. Dr. Angela Sandmann, Prof. Dr. Elke Sumfleth      
Assistant in Project: Sabine Fechner, Marion Haugwitz    
Project periode: 10.2006-9.2009  

This study investigates whether concept mapping as a learning strategy is able to support the integration of new conceptual knowledge into prior knowledge in a cooperative and context-oriented learning environment. It also considers whether context-oriented instruction has a positive effect on learning outcomes with situational interest as a mediating variable. The experimental study takes into account the two variables context and concept mapping and assesses their effects on students’ achievement by means of a two-factorial control-group design.

Publications of the Project
Project Homework
Practice of homework in the Chemistry classroom    
Applicants for grant: Prof. Dr. Elke Sumfleth, Dr. Isabell von Ackeren    
Assistant in Project: Corinna Kieren    
Project periode: 10.2006-9.2009  

Under certain conditions homework studies show positive effects on students’ cognitive achievement. With respect to chemistry education, different types of homework like, for example, experimental tasks or laboratory reports can be introduced apart from regular homework practice. The goal of this research project is to collect and analyse data on current homework practice in German chemistry education. Therefore teachers of 10th-grade students in German secondary schools are questioned. The data collection takes place in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Schleswig-Holstein - both with PISA peak values - and North Rhine-Westphalia, for which the PISA data points out significant differences with regard to the duration of homework. With reference to the standards of optimal homework which have been worked out in research so far actual homework practice will be categorised (e.g. regarding the frequency, the length, the kind of setting, the complexity of tasks and the form of checking of chemistry homework). Through the formation of extreme groups (optimal homework versus dysfunctional and no homework) an intervention study is planned in order to make predictions whether modifying the 'homework design' results in higher learning outcomes in chemistry education. Furthermore, possibilities of improvement are offered.

Publications of the Project
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