Andrea Eriksen Mini-Course: Designing Inquiry Based Science Lab Activities


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Designing Inquiry Based Science Lab Activities

Purpose and Overview


The purpose of this course is to give science teachers some very practical ways in which they can begin to transform their typical "cookbook styles" labs into lab activities which are more open-ended and inquiry-based.

Questions to be answered are:

-Why is inquiry important?

-How do I scaffold my lab activities?

-How do I fit inquiry-labs into my already packed schedule?

By the end of this course, teachers should be able to apply the tips and techniques given in the course in order to modify their own instruction.


This course is divided into four different units, that while accessed asynchronously, allows science teachers to work together to re-design labs to make them more open-ended.

Needs Assessment

Briefly summarize what you found out from your needs assessment regarding the learners' gaps of knowledge, skills, and attitudes that your mini-course means to address.

Performance Objectives

State the course-level objectives here. Sometimes, when the course objectives actually map onto the unit objectives, it is fine to combine the objectives with the following unit structure to state the objective(s) of each unit.

Course Units

This mini-course includes the following units. Click the title of a unit to go to its page.

Unit 1: Why is Inquiry Important?

Brief overview

Unit 2: What Makes Inquiry So Difficult to Implement Well?

Brief Overview

Unit 3: Brainstorming

Brief Overview ...

Unit 4: Design

Extended Resources