Reflection and Evaluation

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Target Objective

Learners will be able to reflect back upon the implementation of the varied level of inquiry activities and see strengths and weaknesses

Recap of what you've done so far

  • What inquiry based learning is...
  • Breaking down inquiry to a deeper level of varying the levels of inquiry used in science labs
  • reflecting on and reworking current labs to incorporate a higher level of inquiry

Reflection on varying levels of inquiry in science labs

Now that you have redesigned and taken a more in depth look at your labs based on their inquiry levels, there is one more step to gaining a better understanding of how and why it is beneficial to incorporate various levels of inquiry into the classroom. Fay and Bretz (2008) give great detail on their rubric, which quantifies the levels of inquiry in science labs, and it can be quite helpful in determining at what level of inquiry your students are performing at. One may wonder what the next step is...one thing to consider is how you can take this and apply it to a step above with your entire curriculum. Fay and Bretz (2008) discuss 4 different trajectories that can give direction as to how to vary the inquiry throughout the entire year, not just in a single lab. There are a few questions I'd like you to think about as you wrap up your course in 'varying the level of inquiry in science labs':
  1. After reviewing the 4 trajectories in the article, which do you feel would best fit your class? Why would this be beneficial? Consider your material, characteristics of your students as learners, and time constraints.
  2. "When the lines of inquiry are open to students, they have the opportunity to experience the process of science" (Fay & Bretz, pg 42). Finally reflect upon how your views of inquiry have developed over this course and where your understanding of varying inquiry in science labs stands. How has this course helped you understand the use, benefits, and importance of varying inquiry in science labs?
  3. What do you feel are your strengths when it comes to incorporating and designing various inquiry level based labs/activities? Is there any area in which you struggled? How can you improve that?
Talk:How has your knowledge of varying the levels of inquiry evolved?

Evaluation

After designing your higher level inquiry lab, take a poll of your students after they have participated to see how they felt the outcome was. Limit your questions to 3-4 which may include how well they felt the activity helped them reach the learning goal, how this was different than other labs, and if they felt this set up was more beneficial to them. If you don't have a classroom to implement the lab into, gather a few friends or family members to have them participate in it (if you have that option). Also partake in the poll questions to see how you felt about the learning outcomes.

Resources

Bretz, Stacey L., & Fay, Michael E. 2008. Structuring the level of inquiry in your classroom. The Science Teacher; Summer 2008.

Unit 1: Understanding what Inquiry Based Learning Is

Unit 2: Identifying the Components of Inquiry in laboratory activities

Unit 3: Designing an Inquiry Based Lab with varying levels of inquiry

Introduction: Varying the Level of Inquiry in Science Lab Activities