Practical work is pivotal for the development of important skills inherent to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Through practical work, learners engage in skills that include critical thinking, problem-solving, and inquiry-based learning, which are important outcomes of STEM education. Given the rise in significance of remote learning as reinforced by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a need to reimagine the facilitation of practical work for learners. This paper uses the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) qualitative research design, an interpretive paradigm, and a mix of connectivism and community of inquiry (CoI) frameworks to explore the facilitation of STEM education practical work in remote classrooms. A systematic meta‑analysis of purposively selected papers using the preferred items, techniques of identification, screening, eligibility, and inclusion, and published between 2017 and 2021, was conducted. The following key words were used to conduct a search using Google Scholar: STEM practical work + STEM education in remote classrooms + Practical work in remote classrooms + STEM education in online classrooms + STEM education in virtual classrooms + Virtual practical work + Teaching STEM and COVID-19 + Practical work and COVID-19. Fifty papers were identified, of which fifteen were included in the study. Thematic content analysis techniques were used to analyze the papers. Five strategies to facilitate STEM practical work in remote classrooms were identified and the findings point to the prospects and future directions of practices in facilitating practical work for learners remotely.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).