Doctoral Position

Analysis of individual task processing (text and drawing) to prepare a collaborative work phase for developing conceptual understanding

Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Sascha Schanze, Prof. Dr. Gunnar Friege and Prof. Dr. Ralph Ewerth

Collaborative learning formats are promising if each learner is given the chance to externalise his or her individual knowledge on the task topic before the group phase (Schanze & Busse, 2015). Alternative conceptions become explicit if they are present in a variety in the group. The IDN has developed tasks in which learners externalise their understanding on fundamental chemical concepts in different forms of coding. It is known from research on learners’ conceptual understanding that information from communication partners are usually interpreted on the basis of their own reference system, which can cause misunderstandings. Even when creating drawings there is a need to use symbols that are as unambiguous as possible. A first study in real classroom setting gives indications that the success of group work can be increased by a targeted group composition based on the individual solutions. This assignment requires a quick analysis of the solutions. While tasks in a multiple select format are easy to interpret, free text formats and also drawings are challenging because of syntax and semantics. E.g. for drawings, in addition to the use of symbols as a structural element (syntax), meaning can change simply by a different arrangement of the symbols (semantics). Own studies (Schanze 2014) have shown that student drawings are closely linked to the quality of instruction. Just paying attention to the concrete reference, e.g. to the proportions of the atoms in the representation of molecules or to their molecular geometry, leads to increasingly adequate representations exactly in these areas and thus to a data situation of increased objectivity. In this PhD project, conditions for an automated analysis of the individuals’ task processing and the allocation to adequate groups are investigated. 


Schanze, S. (2014). Learning by drawing – Durch eigene Zeichnungen das Verständnis chemischer Konzepte fördern. In S. Bernholt (Hrsg.), Naturwissenschaftliche Bildung zwischen Science- und Fachunterricht. Gesellschaft für Didaktik der Chemie und Physik, Jahrestagung in München 2013 (S. 327 – 329). Kiel: IPN.

Schanze, S. & Busse, M. (2015): Peer-Interaction. Förderung des Konzeptverständnisses durch ein kollaboratives Aufgabenformat. NiU-Chemie, Heft 149, S. 26-34

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