Boğaziçi Üniversitesi


Öğrenme Bilimleri

Doktora Programı

Ongoing PhD theses in the learning sciences program*

The Role of An Inquiry-Based Interactive Video Learning Environment on Developing Conceptual Progression of Energy
Advisor: Diler ÖNER; Co-advisor: Emine ADADAN
Along with the dramatic spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), most of the students find themselves confronted with the reality of a new school place, their own homes. To manage to learn from home, a well-designed and theory-informed multimedia learning environment can provide students opportunities to continue their education and learning from their own homes. In the design of effective learning environments, learning science is a promising discipline which focuses on the cognitive and social processes enabling students to develop deep understanding in both online and offline learning environments (Rieser & Tabak, 2014). Along with the technological advancements within the last two decades, the instructional tools that are used in learning environments and students’ learning experiences have changed dramatically in a way that multimedia resources have been started to be used in the learning environment designs and also in the classrooms of today (Sloan & Lewis, 2014). With the requirement for the students to reach instructional tools from their homes throughout any epidemic similar to the coronavirus pandemic and the need for a learning environment that fosters learning energy the current study will focus on the design of a multimedia instruction that supports the energy learning for Grade-7 students.

Designing Inquiry Laboratories with Distributed Metacognitive Scaffolds to Progressively Improve Participation in Scientific Practices in Introductory Physics
Advisor: Devrim Güven
Introductory physics courses in many institutions include lecture sessions and complementary laboratory sessions (Holmes and Wieman, 2018). These introductory physics’ laboratory tasks result in neither the improvement of students' science learning nor the students' use of scientific practices (Holmes and Wieman, 2018; Etkina et al., 2006; 2010). Metacognition is one of the important key points in active construction of meaning (Nathan and Sawyer, 2014). Quintana et al. (2004, p.338) stated that, when the learning tasks become more challenging, authentic and open-ended, students need important metacognitive skills. Furthermore, Steiner (2006; p.271) stated that “Success in college requires the development of self-regulated learning strategies that move beyond high school skills”. It has been repeatedly suggested in the literature of learning in science laboratories that improving metacognitive skills with a carefully designed inquiry-type laboratory can enable the students’ usage of scientific practices (Schraw, 1998; Edelson and Resier,2006; Linn, 2014) and improve student’s conceptual learning (NRC, 2000; Flavell, 1979; Gutwill and Allen, 2012; Schraw et al, 2006; Linn, 2014). In this study, scaffolding tools for metacognition used in science learning are refined, and integrated into laboratory sessions by considering distributed scaffolding strategies to facilitate introductory physics students’ engagement to the scientific practices.

Design of an Online Teacher Professional Development Program for Early Literacy with Problem-based Learning Principles
Nıvart Karin ATAOĞLU
Advisor: Nalan BABÜR; Co-advisor: Belma HAZNEDAR
Teacher professional development (PD) is one of the key components of educational improvement. Effective teacher PD programs are found to be closely connected to classroom practices and involve the teacher communities of learners collaborating to develop professional knowledge (Borko et al., 2010; Chan & van Aalst, 2006). Problem-based learning (PBL) is a learner-centered approach compatible with the effective PD features. During PBL experiences knowledge is constructed in collaboration while working as a community of learners in searching solutions to authentic, ill-structured problems (Lu et al., 2014; Savery & Duffy, 1995). Research show that teachers lack some of the essential knowledge to assess and teach reading to struggling readers (Baydık, 2012; Doğan, 2013; Washburn et al., 2011) and PD programs can be effective in improving teacher knowledge to differentiate reading instruction for students with reading difficulties (Al Otaiba et al., 2016; Aydın & Kartal, 2017; Podhajski et al., 2009; Valiandes & Neophytou, 2018). In this study (1) an online teacher PD program for early literacy instruction and (2) an online learning environment embedding this teacher PD will be designed. The problem-based learning approach and principles will be used in the design of the PD. Design-based research will be used to conduct the research because the purpose is to design and test the efficiency of the PD program in a naturalistic context and refine it through iterations. The participants will be kindergarten, first and second grade teachers.

Designing A Teacher Learning Community For Early Childhood Teachers To Support Their Self-Awareness And Self-Management Skills
Fetiye ERBİL
Advisor: Mine GÖL-GÜVEN
This research aims to design a solution to a relevant educational problem; teachers lacking sustainable and context-specific professional development programs or learning environments to support their own social emotional skills (SEL) so that they can model these competencies for children and create warm and supportive classrooms for them to thrive. For this aim, a teacher learning community will be designed for early childhood education teachers to enhance their self-awareness and self-management SEL skills. The study adopts a design-based research approach in which a teacher professional development program will be built and implemented in three separate modules focusing on teachers’ emotion knowledge, self-efficacy, and self and co-regulation of emotions. The learning environment will be built based on the principles of adult and teacher learning; so it will be collaborative, situated, reflective. The participants of the study will be early childhood teachers in a municipality-based early childhood education center in Istanbul. There will be 2 iterations over 2-years with phases of analysis and exploration, design and construction, and evaluation and reflection. By participating in the creation and implementation of the program and the learning environment, it is aimed that teachers will have developed their collaboration, self and co-reflection skills for own and colleagues’ learning along with their SEL skills. Activities, tasks, curriculum of the teacher professional development program and design principles will be developed, implemented, refined and rebuilt as outcomes of the study.

Enhancing Children’s Executive Functions through Dialogic Reading Experiences at Home
Advisor: Ayşegül METİNDOĞAN
This study is proposed as a design-based research including multiple phases. The aim is to support children’s executive function skills, through the design of a home-based dialogic reading program, because dialogic reading experiences provide an authentic and meaningful context for children’s learning and development. The program would lead to positive change in children’s executive functions, by supporting the underlying mechanisms of these skills. Within this regard, it is also expected that the program will increase the quality of parent-child relationships and support children’s language competence. These outcomes, when considered jointly, are expected to increase the self-regulation skills of children. The first phase is an exploratory study is to get in-depth information about the context and learners. Within this phase, the researcher will conduct non-participant observations to get initial data on parents’ book reading practices with their children. Also, the researcher will take participating parents’ and children’s opinions about their book reading practices at home. This phase will inform the second phase of the study. Based on data from the first phase, related literature, and theories, the program will be designed with the collaboration of the researcher, the thesis advisor, and the participating parents in the second phase. Then participating parents will attend parent training program. Parents, who attended the training program will implement dialogic reading activities with their children at home. The program implementation process of parents and children’s learning processes will be assessed by both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods. The researcher and the participating parents will share responsibility in implementing learning activities of the program. Because this is a collaborative design and implementation process. Lastly, in the third phase, the researcher will conduct post field research to see the effects of the designed program and to make revisions on it.

Developing Proof-Based Geometry Lessons for Middle School Students
Advisor: Emine ERKTİN
Even though proof is regarded as the core of mathematics and the standards for learning mathematics emphasize reasoning and proof strongly, it is viewed as a challenging endeavor among learners, and they experience difficulties while constructing proofs. Students’ late exposure to proof concepts and teachers’ need for instructional support necessitate an early introduction of proof concepts through supporting teacher practices. Developing students’ proof skills has been studied both theoretically and empirically in the literature. These studies had different perspectives, focused on limited number of dimensions, and each contributed to distinct aspects of development of proof skills. There is a need for understanding factors contributing to attainment of proof related skills in real classroom environment in prolonged investigations. Hence, it is aimed to investigate middle school students’ proof competencies and facilitate students’ transition to proof through developing and guiding teacher practices in geometry lessons. The study will provide empirical and theoretical grounds to improve students’ proof competencies through an early intervention design as the relevant literature suggested. Including practitioner’s collaboration and considering cognitive, social, and environmental factors altogether are expected to provide a holistic view and bring insights on how to develop students’ proof competencies in practice and in theory.

Development of a measure of physics teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge
Advisor: Serkan ÖZEL; Advisor: Sevda YARDELEN-DAMAR
Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) is a key variable that influence a variety of outcomes such as classroom instruction and student outcomes. In this regard, description and measurement of PCK is particularly important. Although there are numerous research studies that qualitatively assess teachers’ PCK, studies that quantitatively assess teachers’ PCK are rare. Moreover, most of the quantitative studies that assess science teachers’ PCK are developed in the field of biology. Thus, there is a need to develop instruments that quantitatively measure physics teachers’ PCK. In this regard, this study aims to develop a test that measures in service physics teachers’ PCK of a specific topic. The test development process consists of several phases such as development of the initial version of the test, pilot testing, conducting cognitive interviews, revision of the test items and the final implementation of the test. The validity of the test will be evaluated by considering content validity and construct validity. The content validity of the test will be checked by consulting experts. The construct validity of the test will be ensured by comparing PCK test scores of teachers from different subjects (e.g., math or chemistry) as well as degrees (e.g., pre-service). Finally, interrelations between PCK test scores and conceptions of teaching will be also investigated for validation purposes.

Individualized Second Language Vocabulary Learning Through a Collaborative Multimedia Platform: A Design-Based Research
Gökhan ÖZKAN
Advisor: Ersoy ERDEMİR
Incorporation of computer-assisted language learning applications into learning environments through collaborative learning management systems embedded in a hybrid/native mobile app is the subject of this research to apply, evaluate, and improve adult English as Foreign Language (EFL) learners’ digital language learning experiences. This design-based research aims to disseminate the best practice of an existing progressive web app (PWA) solution by converting it into hybrid/native versions for wider use of adult EFL learners around the world. Prior to the dissemination step of the research, exploratory study to conduct context analysis was carried out to inform learning environment (Phase I) in analysis step. In addition, worldwide language learning apps and platforms were examined, analyzed, and mapped within the scope of ‘Cost European Cooperation in Science and Technology Action’ to form the pattern of the features of the recent worldwide digital language learning solutions (Phase II). In analysis step, the effectiveness of individualized strategy aid through prompts instead of conventional comprehension exercises was examined (Phase III) and research fostering the strategy use by prioritizing the cognitive steps as facilitators was designed to address the critical gap of considering individualized variables in e-learning solutions (Phase IV). In the development stage of the research, the concept of digital language learning and adult EFL learners is planned to be introduced to a transformative solution of innovative hybrid learning environment existing in all digital platforms.

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