Developing Scientific Inquiry in Technology-Enhanced Learning Environments

  • Carol K. K. ChanEmail author
  • Yuqin Yang
Reference work entry
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)


This chapter discusses theory, pedagogy, and design of technology-enhanced learning environments in promoting inquiry in science classrooms. Inquiry refers to both the diverse ways in which scientists study the natural world and the means of engaging students actively in developing an understanding about science content, science process, and how science develops. Supported by technology, students can be scaffolded to engage in inquiry practices, like those used by scientists, to help them deepen their understanding of science and to develop twenty-first-century educational competencies.

This chapter employs the Learning Sciences research paradigm that emphasizes social-constructivist frameworks and design-based research methodology. We first outline changing theories and frameworks of learning, pedagogy, and assessment, and discuss how they influence the design of technology-based learning environments. We then examine several major research programs, including Knowledge Integration, Project-Based Science, Virtual Environments, and Knowledge Building, all of which focus on the alignment of technology, theory, and pedagogy, and emphasize iterative implementation and design principles. Analysis and comparison of these different programs help illuminate theoretical issues and educational implications and identify challenges to designing technology-enhanced inquiry-based environments. We conclude that theory, pedagogy, and technology need to be integrated, and design-based research can illuminate and support learner processes synergizing theory and practice in real-world classrooms.


Technology-enhanced learning environments Inquiry Collaboration Knowledge creation Design-based research 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of Hong KongHong KongChina
  2. 2.Central China Normal UniversityWuhanChina

Section editors and affiliations

  • Kwok-Wing Lai
    • 1
  • Keryn Pratt
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Otago College of EducationDunedinNew Zealand
  2. 2.University of Otago College of EducationNorth DunedinNew Zealand

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