Unit 4: Design


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Driving Question:

1. How do I design my own lab?


4. Develop their own inquiry lab activity based on an existing step-by-step lab

4.1 Familiarize yourself with a good example of an inquiry activity

4.2 Create a draft & get feedback

Before We Begin

Let’s take a moment to evaluate what we have covered so far. We began by reflecting on our own views of inquiry learning while setting up a familiar scenario: we have all been told we need to use inquiry methods, but many teachers lack the proper training to do so. In Unit 1, we worked to try and define what exactly inquiry is. Next, we examined the benefits of inquiry so that we had clear justification of why we are going through this process. In Unit 2, we helped each other work through some of the common difficulties with using inquiry in the classroom while getting a chance to share our own experiences. In Unit 3, we went over how to pick a good lab to begin to transition from cookbook styles labs to inquiry labs and also research and shared resources to help with the design process. In this, our final unit, we will actually go through the design process.

4.1 An Example

INTRODUCTION: Below I have uploaded two documents for you. The first one is a typical, cookbook style lab that I have used before in physics. The second lab is my updated lab I have made into an inquiry activity. I presented the questions for the students but allowed them choice in designing the procedure and in answering the questions. I followed the steps outlined in Figure 2 from Unit 3. Outlined below are the changes I made to my lab:

  1. Took away the materials list
  2. Changed the objectives into questions
  3. Added a situation
  4. Removed procedure
  5. Removed data tables
  6. Added discussion questions

[| Cookbook Style Lab: Work & Power]

[| Inquiry Lab: Work & Power]

4.2 Draft & Peer Review

ACTIVITY: Now it's your turn! Your job in this final task is to take one of the labs you identified earlier in this course and modify it like you saw in the example above. You can follow the steps outlined in the Adaptation Principles from the last unit, or you can follow any other tips and strategies that you found.

Once you have modified your lab, you need to upload it to our shared folder linked below.

[| Shared Folder for Uploading Inquiry Labs DRAFTS]

PEER ANALYSIS: Use the analysis tool seen here to review one other participant's inquiry lab (taken from Volkmann & Abell, 2003. pg. 39). The goal for your first-draft is to have at least one "yes" in each of the five categories. To review a lab, open the Shared Folder above and click on someone else's draft. Use the analysis tool below, and the comment feature, to review that person's lab.

Once you have made any necessary changes after your lab has been peer-reviewed, please submit your final lab into the shared folder linked below. That way we have a shared folder full of resources! I will also look over to final labs using the Inquiry Analysis Tool to give you feedback. [| Inquiry Labs FINAL: Upload Here]

Inquiry analysis tool.png

Go Back: Unit 3