case study method was adopted as a multifaceted research methodology potentially
capable of examining the influence of particular organisational and personal
factors on labwork and of identifying, describing and documenting students’
actions and cognitive processes that take place during labwork. 23 case
studies were carried out in six participating groups, allowing for an in-depth
investigation in a variety of contexts of how students’ understandings
of several aspects of scientific knowledge and inquiry may be facilitated
by different types of labwork.
Despite their diversity it was possible to classify the case studies into
the following groups according to the dominant type of experimental work,
which in turn made it possible to draw common findings...
types of labwork effectiveness have been envisaged. ‘Effectiveness 1’ involves
comparing students’ learning after labwork against expected learning objectives.
‘Effectiveness 2’ involves evaluating students’ actions and understandings
during labwork against the actions that had been planned at the outset."
(Séré et al., 1998, pp.15, 16)