Online laboratories for science education: a summary of evidence
Keywords:science education; online laboratory; systematic-reviews; meta-analysis; evidence based education.
In this study, the results of a second-order systematic review concerning the impact of online (virtual and remote) laboratories on learning in STEM education for secondary school students are discussed. After the selection phase, based on eligibility criteria, ten systematic reviews and meta-analyses were included. The comparative analysis of data provides useful information for the instructional design of laboratory activities mediated by technologies and for the future research. In particular, results showed that online laboratories generally support learning outcomes comparable to those in traditional laboratories; and they suggest that some factors (e.g. teacher training; coherence of goals, laboratory activities, assessment; teacher feedback; integration of online-traditional laboratory activities) can maximize their efficacy. In addition, methodological limitations of current literature suggest the need for further primary studies with a more rigorous design.
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