Video-worked examples to support the development of elementary students' science process skills: a case study in an inquiry activity on electrical circuits
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Background: Scientific inquiry is a widely accepted methodology to promote science process skills. In inquiry activities, students develop their understanding by addressing questions, performing scientific research and interpreting results derived from their research. Developing these science skills to perform scientific inquiries is considered a learning objective in primary science education. Although this methodology yields good results, it can be too cognitively demanding for inexperienced students. Guides are therefore needed to support the development of novel inquirer activities. Purpose: In the present work, a didactic strategy based on videoworked examples is proposed for guiding the inquiry process in an elementary education classroom. Sample: This study included 30 elementary school students in the fifth and sixth grade from one rural school in Catalonia (eastern Spain). Design and method: The present work is a case study in which a quantitative method is applied to achieve the research objectives. Six open-ended questions were used to analyse the performance of the different science process skills. Results: Results confirm that the strategy based on the use of video-worked examples to support an inquiry activity provides students with a structure for the inquiry process, and in particular, improve their questioning, collection, processing and analysing skills. These data reinforce the idea that offering supports and instructions renders an opportunity to practise science process skills and improve the students' understanding and application of these abilities. Moreover, video-worked examples supported transferring scientific skills to other scientific contexts. Conclusions: The use of video-worked examples as a didactic strategy has a positive impact on the students' inquiry behavior. This strategy promoted positive classroom dynamics reflected in improved students' autonomy, collaborative work and motivation when performing an inquiry activity.