MICROCOMPUTER-BASED LABORATORIES

The microcomputer-based laboratory (MBL) is a tool for collecting, analyzing, and displaying data from science experiments. It is commonly used in instructional laboratories, and less used in interactive demonstrations. Commercial MBL probes have been commonplace since 1985, but there has been relatively few research studies on the effects of student and teacher use of this tool on learning and experimenting.


The research questions in which we are interested include the following:
1. What is the effect of MBL on how students experiment?

2. Under what conditions is MBL effective in an interactive demonstration lesson?

3. How does the use of MBL influence the ideas of relationships and graphing for early elementary students?

Although many members of the SERVIT group are interested in the use of this tool, John C. Park, Todd Boyette, and Ron Kirkley are actively doing research on the effects of its use.