Peterson , Cheryl Ann , Stuessy, Carol .
Students' online inquiry engagement in PlantingScience: Examples from exemplary middle and high school students' experiences.
Inquiry can emphasize science as practice and led to authentic science research learning. An innovative inquiry-based, online-mentored learning platform called PlantingScience (PS) was developed by the Botanical Society of America that enables students, teachers, and scientist-mentors to engage in authentic scientific practice and discourse. The purpose of this exploratory study is to determine what parts of an authentic inquiry cycle that students, who demonstrate extensive engagement in the platform, emphasize during online communication. The Online Elements of Inquiry Checklist was developed to address these purposes. It has an inter-rater reliability of 92.1%. Our research involved 263 randomly selected secondary level groups of students from Fall 2008 to Fall 2009 who were using PS modules that had undergone and completed beta testing. Results from the 263 student teams where used to determine the student teams showing the most extensive engagement. Most of the exemplary students provided quality evidence that they had engaged in Immersion activities. All of the exemplary students provided evidence that they had considered possible outcomes during the Prediction Phase. Many of the students provided quality evidence of engagement in the Experimental Design and Procedures phase. Some of the students also provided quality evidence of engagement in the Conclusions and Explanations phase. In the Future Research and Implication phase, over half of the exemplary student-teams mentioned possible study revisions, however, these students rarely discussed the implications of their study While these students show extensive engagement in earlier parts of an inquiry cycle, their evidence for engagement tapers off towards the end of any inquiry cycle. The patterns of these online results are similar to previous innovative and authentic approaches to science learning in face-to-face settings. Which leads to a question of how can students be guided through a complete authentic inquiry cycle. At this point in time our analysis, we would suggest that teachers and scientists familiarize themselves with the checklist and use it as prompt to engage students in online conversations about their projects and encourage these students to complete their inquiry cycles online. We also recommend that teachers and scientists focus on the final stages of the inquiry and prompt students to share their conclusions and explanations, along with the implications of their study and ideas of how to revise them.
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1 - Texas A&M University, College Station, Teaching, Learning, and Culture, Mail Stop 4232, College Station, TX, 77841, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Location: Delaware A/Hyatt
Date: Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
Time: 10:45 AM