A Guided Inquiry laboratory to enhance students’ understanding of the Law of Mechanical Energy Conservation

Dumcho Wangdi, Monamorn Precharattana, Paisan Kanthang


This study investigated tenth grade Bhutanese students’ understanding of the law of mechanical energy
conservation. A low-cost hands-on model developed using locally available materials designed as an integral part
of a guided inquiry laboratory was used as intervention. A single-group pretest-posttest research design was
employed. The instruments used to explore the students’ conceptual understanding and views and attitudes were
13 two-tier multiple-choice items and 20 close-ended Likert-based items, respectively. The study also examined
the students’ views and attitudes toward a guided inquiry laboratory and the effectiveness of a hands-on model
through a semi-structured interview protocol. The data was analysed by calculating the mean, standard deviation,
and t-test. The paired-sample t-test indicated a significant enhancement of students’ conceptual understanding
due to the intervention of the guided inquiry laboratory from pretest (M=12.59, SD=3.28) to posttest [M=21.39,
SD=3.07), t(99) = – 52.14, p<.005]. The findings also indicated students having positive views and attitudes
towards the guided inquiry laboratory and the developed hands-on model.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30722/IJISME.28.01.003