Date of Award

Summer 8-8-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Secondary Education and Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Barbara Qualls, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Dr. Kevin Langford, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Dr. Stacy Hendricks, Ed.D.

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Richard Skuza, Ed.D

Fifth Advisor

Dr. Robbie Steward, Ph.D.


This study examined the effect of hands-on experiences on student achievement, interest, and attitude in chemistry. The researcher gathered data from 82 students enrolled in an East Texas high school chemistry course for the 2019-2020 school year. Historical data from five-unit tests were used to assess differences in mean achievement scores between test items aligned with hands-on laboratory experiences and test items aligned with computer-simulated experiences. An independent t-test and a paired t-test were used to statistically evaluate the data. The independent t-test showed no statistically significant difference. However, the paired t-test did indicate a statistically significant difference. To assess attitude and interest in chemistry, focus group interviews were conducted with one student from each of the seven participating classes. Transcripts of the interviews were quantized to analyze keywords and frequency of codes. Codes were cross-tabulated to find themes in the discussions. Analysis of the data revealed that students’ interest in and positive attitude toward science increased after participating in hands-on laboratory experiences, while computer simulated laboratory experiences increased negative attitude and decreased interest in chemistry. Meanwhile, students perceived learning from both hands-on and computer-simulated laboratory experiences.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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