Designing a User-Friendly Microcomputer-Based Laboratory Package through the Factor Analysis of Teacher Evaluations
International Journal of Science Education Volume 25, Number 12, ISSN 0950-0693
In this study we analyse how the experiences of chemistry teachers on the use of a Microcomputer-Based Laboratory (MBL), gathered by a Likert-scale instrument, can be utilized to develop the new package "Empirica 2000." We used exploratory factor analysis to identify the essential features in a large set of questionnaire data to see how our previous MBL package, "Empirica for Windows 4.0," looks from the point of view of experienced chemistry teachers. Together, a six-factor solution explained 50.1% of the common variance and indicated the teachers' perspective on the use of a MBL package in chemical education. The factors were: "Versatility of the tool," "User interface," "Data presentation," "Data acquisition," "Set up," and "Usability." Based on the data, some conclusions concerning the software development and desired new features in the prototype software are discussed in the framework of each factor. (Contains 1 table, 1 figure, and 2 notes.)
Lavonen, J., Juuti, K. & Meisalo, V. (2003). Designing a User-Friendly Microcomputer-Based Laboratory Package through the Factor Analysis of Teacher Evaluations. International Journal of Science Education, 25(12), 1471-1487.