Examining the role of explicit epistemic reflection in promoting students’ learning from digital text

Feng Lin, Dana Gnesdilow, Nicole D. Martin, Catherine L. Dornfeld Tissenbaum, Sadhana Puntambekar

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article


This study examined whether and how epistemic reflection embedded in students’ use of a digital tool influenced their learning using the tool. One biology teacher and his four classes of 8th graders (N = 100) participated in this study. Students used a digital text tool, VidyaMap, to learn about photosynthesis and energy transformation. Two classes were provided prompts for epistemic reflection. The prompts encouraged students to reflect on the epistemic role of the tool for inquiry. The other two classes served as comparison groups and used the tool without epistemic reflection prompts. Quantitative analysis showed that the classes that received the epistemic reflection prompts outperformed the comparison classes in their learning. We also coded the levels of students’ epistemic reflection and found that it was correlated with students’ science learning from the tool. Qualitative analyses further suggested how students with high and low epistemic reflection scores differed in their inquiry using the tool. Implications of findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-247
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of International Conference of the Learning Sciences, ICLS
Issue number2018-June
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event13th International Conference of the Learning Sciences, ICLS 2018: Rethinking Learning in the Digital Age: Making the Learning Sciences Count - London, United Kingdom
Duration: Jun 23 2018Jun 27 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Education

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