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Project Experimentation
TP1: Enhancing experimental methods in the science classroom

This project combines results from small group research and learning process research in order to enhance experimental methods as a crucial element of the science classroom.  
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Project Visualisation
TP 2: Visualisation in science classroom - Evaluation on the basis of biological issues

The learner-generated drawing strategy requires learners to actively self-construct pictorial representations from text. Re-sults from the first and second project phases revealed several impact factors on the effectiveness of the learner-generated drawing strategy:  
(a) Quality of the learner-generated drawing  
(b) Type of instructional support  
(c) Presentation mode (paper- vs. computer-based)  
(d) Cognitive load  
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Project Competence in Physics
TP 4: Competence in Physics in upper Secondary School  
The development and the evaluation of subject-specific competencies is an essential requirement in determining the structure of pupils’ competencies. At the moment, there is no empirically secured model of physics competence for upper secondary education. The DFG-Project „Physics Competencies in Upper Secondary Education“ aims to develop a model of competence for secondary education. Starting point are national and international curricula and the norms and A-level tasks that are agreed between the German federal states (EPA).  
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Project Central Final High School Examination
TP 5: Conditions and tasks for local and central final examination in science classroom  
Assuming that highly standardized exit examinations can cut the room for manoeuvre of school actors and thus better direct their work, the project takes a comparative look at the effects of the highly standardized state-wide exit examinations at the end of upper secondary schooling in Finland, Ireland and the Netherlands.  
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Project Longitudinal Analysis PLUS
TP 6: Pupils’ perception of science education and development of motivational and self-centred variables in the transition from primary to  
secondary school (longitudinal study PLUS)

At the end of their primary school education, pupils still show a high interest for physics-related issues, as well as positive self concepts in this regard. However, a considerable decline in their interest in physics and affected self-concept are well established for secondary school pupils.    
In addition, evidence suggests that the physics-related teaching in primary- and secondary school differ with regard to their focus on comprehension and student autonomy.  
Up to now, it is unclear how such changes in the physics-related teaching are perceived by pupils and how these perceptions impact the development of motivational- and self-related variables.  
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Project Effects of Context
TP 7: Systematically changed contexts and their influence on the learning of biological and chemical concepts  
Please see German page for more information
Project Homework in the Chemistry classroom
TP 8: Practice of homework in the Chemistry classroom    
Students tend to make a minor effort doing their homework, probably considering  
homework a waste of time. However, various studies have shown a positive effect of homework effort on achievement. As a result, the question arises what role motivation plays with regard to homework effort and achievement and how the latter can be affected by the nature of homework assignments.  
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Project Contexts and Competence in Physics
TP 9: Contexts and Competence in Physics  
Context is part of the new approach of tasks’ development and part of physics competence. A systematic consideration in competency models has not been possible, yet, because of the rather vague definition of context.  
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Project Instructional prompts
TP 11: Content based and strategic prompts at cooperative learning with biological tasks

Worked-out examples enable the learning of scientific concepts. Furthermore, they foster problem solving skills (Pirolli & Recker, 1995; Renkl, 2002; Mackensen-Friedrichs, 2004). The learning outcomes are mainly affected by the instructional design (Atkinson et al., 2000; Renkl, 2005) and the students’ self-explanations (Chi et al., 1989; Renkl, 1999; Lind, Friege, & Sandmann, 2005). Self-explanations differ in intensity and quality depending on the extent of prior content knowledge, i.e. students with high prior content knowledge (experts) vs. students with low prior content knowledge (novices) (Kroß & Lind, 2001; Lind, Friege & Sandmann, 2005).  
The goal of the project is the research of how biological worked-out examples with prior content knowledge adjusted and non-adjusted prompts influence the learning outcomes.  
The project is subdivided into two project parts. The first part deals with the impact of worked-out examples on individual learning outcomes. The second part focuses on their impact on dyad learning outcomes. Both project parts are based on the extent of prior content knowledge. Additionally, the communication will be investigated in order to clarify any possible correlation.  
In this study students will be subdivided into experts and novices on the basis of a pre-test. After learning from biological worked-out examples the learning outcomes will be measured by means of a post-test. To analyse the communication the learning sessions will be audio- and videotaped.  
Findings on the influence of prior content knowledge adjusted and non-adjusted prompts in biological worked-out examples in dependency of the prior content knowledge and social forms on the learning outcomes and the communication related to a specific field and issue are expected. In addition, findings on the quality of the communication related to a specific field and issue and its influence on the learning outcomes shall be existent at the end of the project. The study will yield recommendations on the design of prompts in learning exercises and field-tested worked-out examples for the individual advancement.  

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Project Biological Test Questions
TP 12: Concrete biological examples and their influence on tasks' difficulty  
The difficulty of test items seems to be influenced by the biological example in the item. Items containing plants as an example are more difficult than those containing animals or humans.  
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Project Processes of Regulation
TP 13: Metacognitive and motivational processes of regulation at self-regulated learning while experimentation

Self-regulation of learning occurs on a metacognitive as well as on a motivational level (cf. Boekaerts, 1997; Zimmerman, 2000). The role of metacognition and motivation during learning has already been comprehensively investigated (i.a. Thillmann, 2008). In contrast, research on the regulation of motivation is still restricted to its assessment and the support of motivational regulation received almost no research attention so far (cf. Wolters, 1998, 2003). Thus, the purpose of this project is to experimentally investigate the effect of motivational regulation prompts in comparison to metacognitive regulation prompts in order to support the self-regulation of learning in a computer-based learning environment on experimentation. Metacognitive regulation prompts are expected to support the use of experimentation strategies (Thillmann, 2008), while motivational regulation prompts are expected to support the use of adequate motivational strategies. Dependent variables are knowledge about and use of cognitive experimentation strategies, as well as motivational strategies and acquired knowledge about the content of the learning environment. From a theoretical point of view, new insights into the role of motivational regulation in the learning process are expected. From a practical point of view, we expect a contribution to the evaluation of alternative approaches for the support of self-regulated learning in learning by experimenting.

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Project PLUS-C
TP 14: Teachers' professional knowledge and action and students achievement-A comparative study of Physics and Chemistry classrooms within the subject area of physical condition of water

Please see German page for more information

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