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  1. Abstract Background

    With the increasing popularity of distance education, how to engage students in online inquiry‐based laboratories remains challenging for science teachers. Current remote labs mostly adopt a centralized model with limited flexibility left for teachers' just‐in‐time instruction based on students' real‐time science practices.

    Objectives

    The goal of this research is to investigate the impact of a non‐centralized remote lab on students' cognitive and behavioural engagement.

    Methods

    A mixed‐methods design was adopted. Participants were the high school students enrolled in two virtual chemistry classes. Remote labs 2.0, branded as Telelab, supports a non‐centralized model of remote inquiry that can enact more interactive hands‐on labs anywhere, anytime. Teleinquiry Instructional Model was used to guide the curriculum design. Students' clickstreams logs and instruction timestamps were analysed and visualized. Multiple regression analysis was used to determine whether engagement levels influence their conceptual learning. Behavioural engagement patterns were corroborated with survey responses.

    Results and Conclusions

    We found approximate synchronizations between student–teacher–lab interactions in the heatmap. The guided inquiry enabled by Telelab facilitates real‐time communications between instructors and students. Students' conceptual learning is found to be impacted by varying engagement levels. Students' behavioural engagement patterns can be visualized and fed to instructors to inform learning progress and enact just‐in‐time instruction.

    Implications

    Telelab offers a model of remote labs 2.0 that can be easily customized to live stream hands‐on teleinquiry. It enhances engagement and gives participants a sense of telepresence. Providing a customizable teleinquiry curriculum for practitioners may better prepare them to teach inquiry‐based laboratories online.

     
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  2. Video analysis tools such as Tracker are used to study mechanical motion captured by photography. One can also imagine a similar tool for tracking thermal motion captured by thermography. Since its introduction to physics education, thermal imaging has been used to visualize phenomena that are invisible to the naked eye and teach a variety of physics concepts across different educational settings. But thermal cameras are still scarce in schools. Hence, videos recorded using thermal cameras such as those featured in “YouTube Physics” are suggested as alternatives. The downside is that students do not have interaction opportunities beyond playing those videos. 
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  3. Learning analytics, referring to the measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting of data about learners and their contexts in order to optimize learning and the environments in which it occurs, is proving to be a powerful approach for understanding and improving science learning. However, few studies focused on leveraging learning analytics to assess hands-on laboratory skills in K-12 science classrooms. This study demonstrated the feasibility of gauging laboratory skills based on students’ process data logged by a mobile augmented reality (AR) application for conducting science experiments. Students can use the mobile AR technology to investigate a variety of science phenomena that involve concepts central to physics understanding. Seventy-two students from a suburban middle school in the Northeastern United States participated in this study. They conducted experiments in pairs. Mining process data using Bayesian networks showed that most students who participated in this study demonstrated some degree of proficiency in laboratory skills. Also, findings indicated a positive correlation between laboratory skills and conceptual learning. The results suggested that learning analytics provides a possible solution to measure hands-on laboratory learning in real-time and at scale. 
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  4. https://www.nsta.org/connected-science-learning/connected-science-learning-march-april-2022/data-driven-science-vlogging 
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  5. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many students lost opportunities to explore science in labs due to school closures. Remote labs provide a possible solution to mitigate this loss. However, most remote labs to date are based on a somehow centralized model in which experts design and conduct certain types of experiments in well-equipped facilities, with a few options of manipulation provided to remote users. In this paper, we propose a distributed framework, dubbed remote labs 2.0, that offers the flexibility needed to build an open platform to support educators to create, operate, and share their own remote labs. Similar to the transformation of the Web from 1.0 to 2.0, remote labs 2.0 can greatly enrich experimental science on the Internet by allowing users to choose and contribute their subjects and topics. As a reference implementation, we developed a platform branded as Telelab. In collaboration with a high school chemistry teacher, we conducted remote chemical reaction experiments on the Telelab platform with two online classes. Pre/post-test results showed that these high school students attained significant gains (t(26)=8.76, p<0.00001) in evidence-based reasoning abilities. Student surveys revealed three key affordances of Telelab: live experiments, scientific instruments, and social interactions. All 31 respondents were engaged by one or more of these affordances. Students behaviors were characterized by analyzing their interaction data logged by the platform. These findings suggest that appropriate applications of remote labs 2.0 in distance education can, to some extent, reproduce critical effects of their local counterparts on promoting science learning. 
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  6. null (Ed.)
    Digital sensors allow people to collect a large quantity of data in chemistry experiments. Using infrared thermography as an example, we show that this kind of data, in conjunction with videos that stream the chemical phenomena under observation from a vantage point, can be used to construct digital twins of experiments to support science education on the cloud in a visual and interactive fashion. Through digital twins, a significant part of laboratory experiences such as observation, analysis, and discussion can be delivered on a large scale. Thus, the technology can potentially broaden participation in experimental chemistry, especially for students and teachers in underserved communities who may lack the expertise, equipment, and supplies needed to conduct certain experiments. With a cloud platform that enables anyone to store, process, and disseminate experimental data via digital twins, our work also serves as an example to illuminate how the movement of open science, which is largely driven by data sharing, may be powered by technology to amplify its impacts on chemistry education. 
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  7. null (Ed.)
    Augmented reality (AR) has the potential to fundamentally transform science education by making learning of abstract science ideas tangible and engaging. However, little is known about how students interacted with AR technologies and how these interactions may affect learning performance in science laboratories. This study examined high school students’ navigation patterns and science learning with a mobile AR technology, developed by the research team, in laboratory settings. The AR technology allows students to conduct hands-on laboratory experiments and interactively explore various science phenomena covering biology, chemistry, and physics concepts. In this study, seventy ninth-grade students carried out science laboratory experiments in pairs to learn thermodynamics. Our cluster analysis identified two groups of students, which differed significantly in navigation length and breadth. The two groups demonstrated unique navigation patterns that revealed students’ various ways of observing, describing, exploring, and evaluating science phenomena. These navigation patterns were associated with learning performance as measured by scores on lab reports. The results suggested the need for providing access to multiple representations and different types of interactions with these representations to support effective science learning as well as designing representations and connections between representations to cultivate scientific reasoning skills and nuanced understanding of scientific processes. 
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  8. null (Ed.)
    Laboratory experiences are a staple of science education (National Research Council 2006): Not only do they provide students with an avenue to acquire authentic skills needed for scientific research, referred to as science and engineering practices by NGSS, but they also allow students to go beyond rote memorization of facts to deepen their understanding of science through inquiry. 
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