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Harnessing technology to support on-line model building and peer collaboration : 

Harnessing technology to support on-line model building and peer collaboration Janice Gobert, Ph.D. The Concord Consortium 10 Concord Crossing, Suite 300 Concord MA 01742 mtv.concord.org jgobert@concord.org Making Thinking Visible is funded by the National Science Foundation under grant No. REC-9980600 awarded to Janice Gobert (Principal Investigator). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions expressed are those of the presenters and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Making Thinking Visible ~Summary: 

Making Thinking Visible ~Summary 3000 middle and high school students from California and Massachusetts collaborated on-line using WISE (Linn, 199) about plate tectonic activity in their respective location. The curriculum engaged students in many inquiry-oriented, model-based activities. Students were scaffolded by WISE using a scaffolding framework (more later). Data analysis focussed on measuring content gains and characterizing the nature of students’ models and model revisions. Results suggest that this curriculum was successful in fostering deep content learning. The task of evaluating and critiquing their peers’ models provides some insight into students’ learning.

Grounded in research in Science Education and Cognitive Science...: 

Grounded in research in Science Education and Cognitive Science... based on students’ misconceptions of plate tectonics of both the inside structure of the earth and of the causal mechanisms underlying plate tectonic-related phenomena (Gobert & Clement, 1999; Gobert, 2000), as well as students’ knowledge integration difficulties (Gobert & Clement, 1994). More on this….. emphasizes students’ active model-building and scaffolded interpretation of rich visualizations (Kindfield, 1993; Gobert & Clement, 1999; Gobert, 2000; Gobert & Buckley, in prep.) as strategies to promote deep learning. More on this… Implemented in WISE (Web-based Inquiry Science Environment) developed by Marcia Linn & Jim Slotta at UC-Berkeley, which is based on 15 years of research in science education (Linn & Hsi, 2000).

Typical models of structure of earth (Gobert, 2000) Type 0= 10.6%, Type 1=89.4%: 

Typical models of structure of earth (Gobert, 2000) Type 0= 10.6%, Type 1=89.4%

Typical models of volcanic eruption (Gobert, 2000): 

Typical models of volcanic eruption (Gobert, 2000)

Description and frequency of models of volcanic eruption (Gobert, 2000): 

Description and frequency of models of volcanic eruption (Gobert, 2000)

Project Goal: 

Project Goal East and West coast Students’ collaborate on-line about the differences in plate tectonic phenomena on-line using WISE (Web-based Inquiry Science Environment; Linn & Hsi, 2000). In doing so, students develop… Content knowledge of the spatial, causal, dynamic, and temporal features underlying plate tectonics. Inquiry skills for model-building and visualization. Epistemological understanding of the nature of scientific models. See papers from 2002-03 for these papers at mtv.concord.org.

Model-Based Scaffolding Elements: 

Model-Based Scaffolding Elements Representational Assistance to guide students’ understanding of the representations or the domain specific conventions in the domain. Model pieces acquisition to focus students' attention on the perceptual pieces of the representations and support students' knowledge acquisition about one or more aspects of the phenomenon (spatial, causal, functional, temporal). Model pieces integration to help students combine model components in order to come to a deeper understanding of how they work together as a causal system. Model based reasoning supports require students to reason with their models and supports them in doing so. Reconstruct, Reify, & Reflect support students to refer back to what they have learned, reinforce it, and then reflect to move to a deeper level of understanding. See specifics under this sheet.

Model-based activities and respective scaffolding for unit: What’s on your plate?: 

Model-based activities and respective scaffolding for unit: What’s on your plate? Draw, in WISE, their own models of plate tectonics phenomena. Participate in an on-line “field trip” to explore differences between the East and West coast in terms of earthquakes, volcanoes, mountains (beginning with the most salient differences). Pose a question about their current understanding (to support knowledge integration and model-building) Learn about location of earth’s plates (to scaffold relationship between plate boundaries anf plate tectonic phenomena). Reify important spatial and dynamic knowledge (integration of pieces of model) about transform, divergent, collisional, and convergent boundaries. Learn about causal mechanisms involved in plate tectonics, i.e., convection & subduction (scaffolded by reflection activities to integrate spatial, causal, dynamic, and temporal aspects of the domain). Learn to critically evaluate their peers’ models which in turn serves to help them think critically about their own models.

Model-based activities and respective scaffolding for unit (cont’d): 

Model-based activities and respective scaffolding for unit (cont’d) Engage in model revision based on their peers’ critique of their model and what they have learned in the unit. Scaffolded reflection task to reify model revision which prompt them to reflect on how their model was changed and what it now helps explain. Prompts are: “I changed my original model of.... because it did not explain or include....” “My model now includes or helps explain…” “My model is now more useful for someone to learn from because it now includes….” Reflect and reify what they have learned by reviewing and summarizing responses to the questions they posed in Activity 3. Transfer what they have learned in the unit to answer intriguing points: Why are there mountains on the East coast when there is no plate boundary there? How will the coast of California look in the future?

Portfolio for one quad of students selected for typical performance….: 

Portfolio for one quad of students selected for typical performance….

Slide13: 

Now that you have drawn your model, write which geologic process your model is depicting. This model depicts continental drift. Write a detailed explanation of what is happening inside Earth and on its surface for the geologic process you are trying to depict/ Include as much detail as you can. In our model…. The convectin [sic] currents in the mantle pushes the plates together pushing the land up making mountains.

Slide14: 

Now that you have drawn your model, write which geologic process your model is depicting. My model is of.. a volcano erupting. The model is supposed to be a volcano. It shows that it erupts and produces more layers onto earth. Write a detailed explanation of what is happening inside Earth and on its surface for the geologic process you are trying to depict/ Include as much detail as you can. In our model… the volcano erupts that has eight layers. Lava is spilling out onto the earth’s layers, forming more layers.

Act 4~ Earth’s plates: 

Act 4~ Earth’s plates

Act 7c~ Students’ Reflections on changes to their model (East coast pair): 

Act 7c~ Students’ Reflections on changes to their model (East coast pair) In our new model, we included....new arrows that showed the land that moved towards each other to make mountains. My new model now helps explain.....It helped explain what makes the mountains better and how the land moves toward each other. It is more useful because...You can now tell that the land moves toward each other. They told us to add layers in the mountain. We didn't know what they meant by that, so we added arrows explaining how the land pushes against each other. In the Wise program, we learned in more detail how mountains are formed. We added the arrows because we learned that the plates push against each other.

Act 7c~ Students’ Reflections on changes to their model (West coast pair): 

Act 7c~ Students’ Reflections on changes to their model (West coast pair)

Act 8a~ Students revisit their questions from Act 3~ pose a question activity. E coast group’s questions were….: 

Act 8a~ Students revisit their questions from Act 3~ pose a question activity. E coast group’s questions were….

Responses to E group pair’s first question….: 

Responses to E group pair’s first question….

Responses to E group pair’s second question….: 

Responses to E group pair’s second question….

Act 8b~ What have we learned? (Questions posed in Activity 3): 

Act 8b~ What have we learned? (Questions posed in Activity 3)

Act 8a~ Students revisit their questions from Act 3~ pose a question activity. W coast group’s question was….: 

Act 8a~ Students revisit their questions from Act 3~ pose a question activity. W coast group’s question was….

Responses to W group pair’s question….: 

Responses to W group pair’s question….

Act 8b~ What have we learned (W coast)?: 

Act 8b~ What have we learned (W coast)? We learned about earthquakes, volcanoes, and mountains. We learned how they looked from their point of view. We learned that dormant volcanoes can become active by earthquakes or plate movement.

Part 1: Content Gain Results: 

Part 1: Content Gain Results The students from one class on the West coast were partnered with the students from two classes on the East coast because of the differences in class sizes. Five such sets or “virtual classrooms” (referred to as WISE periods) were created in WISE. This is analysis of 360 students. A significant pre-post gain was found in all five WISE classrooms for content gains.

WISE Period 1- sig. Content gains- see others under this sheet: 

WISE Period 1- sig. Content gains- see others under this sheet

WISE Period 2- sig. Content gains: 

WISE Period 2- sig. Content gains

WISE Period 3- sig. Content gains: 

WISE Period 3- sig. Content gains

WISE Period 4 - sig. Content gains: 

WISE Period 4 - sig. Content gains

WISE Period 5 - sig. Content gains: 

WISE Period 5 - sig. Content gains

Conclusions: 

Conclusions In most of these programs to date, students are either presented with models to learn from (Raghavan & Glaser, 1995; White & Frederiksen, 1990) or they are given tasks which require them to construct their own models (Gobert, & Clement 1994, 1999; Gobert, 1998; 1999; Penner et al., 1997; Jackson, et al., 1994). This research extends a current vein of progressive model-building in science education (cf., Raghavan & Glaser, 1995; White & Frederiksen, 1990) by having students critique each others’ models as a way to promote deep understanding. Furthermore, all tasks in which students’ are constructing models, are learning with models, and are critiquing models of their peers are scaffolded using a model-based scaffolding framework (Gobert & Buckley, in prep.) in order to promote both deep understanding of the content as well as promote a deep understanding of models in science and how they are used in theory development. It is believed that rich, scaffolded model-based tasks such as these engages students in authentic scientific inquiry, and as such can significantly scientific literacy.

To found out more ...: 

To found out more ... To view the unit, go to wise.berkeley.edu, click on Member entrance, and for login enter “TryA1” and “wise” as your password. Click on “Plate Tectonics: What’s on Your Plate?” To find more information… Other papers are available at mtv.concord.org. For more on The Concord Consortium contact www.concord.org.

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