Enhancing Scientific Inquiry through computer supported collaborative learning

ID: 52297 Type: Brief Paper
  1. Kathleen Koenig, Janet Zydney, and Casey Hord, University of Cincinnati, United States
  2. Lei Bao, The Ohio State University, United States

Tuesday, June 26 3:30-3:50 PM

Gayle V. Davidson-Shivers, University of South Alabama, United States

An engineering design project was designed to lead middle school students through activities focused on the cyclic process of scientific inquiry. Students were given the task to develop a windmill blade system with the most voltage output. This required cycles of design, build, test, and redesign, such that experiments built upon one another; enabling students practice in the scientific thinking and decision making promoted in 21st Century Learning. Initial outcomes, however, were disappointing in that most students conducted each cycle of inquiry as fragmented steps and often resorted to “trial and error”. Students also struggled with synthesizing information to guide necessary decisions in the design thinking process. Modifications were made to the lesson including embedding the worksheets in Google Slides, employing several principles of multimedia learning, adding question prompts, and enabling all group members access to one common file on Google Classroom to promote communication of ideas. The presentation will include what was learned about student habits, their deficiencies in scientific thinking, and how the computer supported lesson redesign better supported student learning and performance. Supported by NSF DRK-12 Grant #1417983.


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