Elaborating the Context Calculator: A Design Experiment in Geothermy

  • Claire AnjouEmail author
  • Thomas Forissier
  • Jacqueline Bourdeau
  • Yves Mazabraud
  • Roger Nkambou
  • Frédéric Fournier
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10257)


This paper presents a research project in science education that is positioned at the intersection of computer science and context in learning. The main objective is to improve learning process by creating a software tool that participates, from the inception to the achievement, in the design of leaning scenarios, based on context effects, and, to show that context effects’ learning is an efficient method in the development of student’s knowledge regarding a concept. The software will compute differences between two – or more – external contexts based on specific parameters, related to the phenomenon or object that students are expected to study. The elaboration of the calculator (“the MazCalc”) is conducted using the design based research theory, meaning that several iterations of learning field experiments are conducted in order to collect relevant data which are used for the tool creation. In this paper, the design of the scenario involves students from North America and from the French West Indies and the concept studied is about geothermal energy. The instantiation of the context calculator is made with the geothermal object of study, and the differences are computed in the calculator between the two contexts mentioned. This example makes possible to validate the link between context effects predicted and observed, and also to study the impact of external context on the learning process. This study has been conducted thanks to the GEOTREF project support.


Modelling Context Science education Learning Context effects Geothermy 


  1. 1.
    Schwartz, R.S., Lederman, N.G., Crawford, B.A.: Developing views of nature of science in an authentic context: an explicit approach to bridging the gap between nature of science and scientific inquiry. Sci. Educ. 88, 610–645 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Abowd, G.D., Dey, A.K., Brown, P.J., Davies, N., Smith, M., Steggles, P.: Towards a better understanding of context and context-awareness. In: Gellersen, Hans-W. (ed.) HUC 1999. LNCS, vol. 1707, pp. 304–307. Springer, Heidelberg (1999). doi: 10.1007/3-540-48157-5_29 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Forissier, T., Bourdeau, J., Mazabraud, Y., Nkambou, R.: Computing the context effect for science learning. In: Brézillon, P., Gonzalez, Avelino J. (eds.) Context in Computing, pp. 255–269. Springer, New York (2014). doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-1887-4_17 Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Van Eijck, M., Roth, W.M.: Towards a chronotopic theory of place in place-based education. Cult. Stud. Sci. Educ. 5(4), 869–898 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Van Wissen, A., Kamphorst, B., Van Eijk, R.: A constraint-based approach to context. In: Brézillon, P., Blackburn, P., Dapoigny, R. (eds.) CONTEXT 2013. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 8175, pp. 171–184. Springer, Heidelberg (2013). doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-40972-1_13 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Sandoval, W., Bell, P.: Design-based research methods for studying learning in context: introduction. Educ. Psychol. 39(4), 199–201 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Leurette, S., Forissier, T.: La, Contextualisation dans l’Enseignement des Sciences et Techniques en Guadeloupe. Grand N 83, 19–26 (2009)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bazire, M., Brézillon, P.: Understanding context before using it. In: Dey, A., Kokinov, B., Leake, D., Turner, R. (eds.) CONTEXT 2005. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 3554, pp. 29–40. Springer, Heidelberg (2005). doi: 10.1007/11508373_3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Delcroix, A., Forissier, T., Anciaux, F.: Vers un Cadre d’Analyse Opérationnel des Phénomènes de Contextualisation Didactique. In: Anciaux, F., Forissier T., Prudent, L.F. (eds) Contextualisations Didactiques. Approches théoriques, pp. 141–185. L’Harmattancollection Cognition et Formation, Paris (2013)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Duru-Bellat, M., Mingat, A.: Le Déroulement de la Scolarité au Collège: le Contexte “Fait des Différences”. Rev. Fr. Sociol. 29(4), 649–666 (1988)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Sauvage Luntadi, L., Tupin, F.: La Compétence de Contextualisation au Cœur de la situation d’Enseignement-Apprentissage. Phronesis 1(1), 102–117 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Blanchet, P., Moore, D., Asselah Rahal, S.: Perspectives pour une Didactique des Langues Contextualisée., Editions des archives contemporaines et en partenariat avec l’Agence universitaire de la Francophonie (2009)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    King, D.: New perspectives on context-based chemistry education: using a dialectical sociocultural approach to view teaching and learning. Stud. Sci. Educ. 48(1), 51–87 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Giordan, A., De Vecchi, G.: Les Origines du savoir. Delachaux & Niestlé, Neuchâtel/Paris (1987)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Clément, P.: Situated conceptions and obstacles. The example of digestion/excretion. In: Psilos, D., et al. (eds.) Science Education Research in the Knowledge-Based Society, pp. 89–97. Springer, Heidelberg (2003). doi: 10.1007/978-94-017-0165-5_10 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Tourangeau, R., Rasinski, K.A.: Cognitive processes underlying context effects in attitude measurement. Psychol. Bull. 103(3), 299–314 (1988)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Forissier, T.: Eléments de Conceptions des Etudiants de Première Année Scientifique de Guadeloupe sur les Saisons Climatiques et l’Orientation de la Lune. In: A. Delcroix, J.Y. Cariou, H. Ferrière et B. Jeannot-Fourcaud (eds.), Apprentissage, éducation, socialisation et contextualisation didactique: Approches Plurielles. Paris: L’Harmattan, collection «Logiques Sociales» (2015)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Forissier, T., Bourdeau, J., Mazabraud, Y., Nkambou, R.: Modeling context effects in science learning: the CLASH model. In: Brézillon, P., Blackburn, P., Dapoigny, R. (eds.) CONTEXT 2013. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 8175, pp. 330–335. Springer, Heidelberg (2013). doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-40972-1_25 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Barrab, S., Kurt, S.: Design-based research: putting stake in the ground. J. Learn. Sci. 13(1), 1–14 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Bourdeau, J.: The DBR methodology for the study of context in learning. In: Brézillon, P., et al. (eds.) CONTEXT 2017. LNCS (LNAI), vol. 10257, pp. 541–553. Springer, Cham (2017)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Fecil, S.: Construire un Enseignement en tenant compte des Effets de Contexte, Mémoire de master, UA, ESPE (2014)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Aronson, E.: The Jigsaw Classroom.
  23. 23.
    Plantin, C.: Essais sur l’Argumentation. Kimé, Paris (1990)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Baker, M., Andriessen, J., Lund, K., Van Amelsvoort, M., Quignard, M.: Rainbow: a framework for analysing computer-mediated pedagogical debates. I J. CSCL 2(2), 315–357 (2007)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claire Anjou
    • 1
    Email author
  • Thomas Forissier
    • 1
  • Jacqueline Bourdeau
    • 2
  • Yves Mazabraud
    • 1
  • Roger Nkambou
    • 3
  • Frédéric Fournier
    • 3
  1. 1.Université des AntillesGuadeloupeFrance
  2. 2.Télé-Université du QuébecMontrealCanada
  3. 3.UQAMMontrealCanada

Personalised recommendations