Presentation on theme: "What Makes a Good Activity? Lessons from research and experience Cindy Shellito (U of Northern CO) and Cathy Manduca (SERC)"— Presentation transcript:
What Makes a Good Activity? Lessons from research and experience Cindy Shellito (U of Northern CO) and Cathy Manduca (SERC)
Wisdom from Experience Engages students in some interactive way Students work with real data, build skills, practice science, solve problems Students integrate or apply knowledge in a new way Activity has clear purpose (perhaps one main point?), helps achieve course objectives
Wisdom from Learning Science (How People Learn, NRC,1999) Learning is additive, it builds on current understanding Understanding is actively constructed This requires an engaged learner Different people construct/learn most easily in different ways Learning to learn (metacognition) is an important aspect of becoming an expert Metacognition is context specific Cognitive and affective domains are both important in learning ( http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/affective/index.html)
Wisdom from Curriculum Design Goals, assessments, activities (Wiggins and McTighe, 1998) Scaffolding (http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/webdesign/Scaffolding /index.html) Developing knowledge that can be used flexibly (Edelson, 2001)
Principles of Design 1) Students must be engaged to learn How does the activity engage them? 2) Students must construct new knowledge incrementally as a results of experience. What experiences will they have in this activity? 3) Students must refine and connect their knowledge to be able to use it further How will the activity promote reflection on and application of the new knowledge? Edelson, 2001, Learning for Use A Framework for the Design of Technology-Supported Inquiry Activities: Journal of Research in Science Teaching, vol 38, no 3, p 355-385
Wisdom from Educational Research 1)Clear learning outcomes in mind. 2)Thoughtfully sequenced into the flow of classroom science instruction. 3)Integrate learning of science content with learning about the processes of science. 4)Incorporate ongoing student reflection and discussion.
Is it Good? Will the activity lead to the desired learning? Will I be able to tell? Does the pedagogy promote learning? Are the materials I provide for students complete and helpful? Could someone else implement this from the information I provide?
Does the Pedagogy Promote Learning? Does the activity motivate and engage students? Does it build on what they know and address their initial beliefs? Is it appropriate for the variety of students expected in the class? Are students engaged in independent thinking and problem solving? Are there opportunities for students to interate and improve their understanding incrementally? Is there an appropriate balance of guidance vs exploration? Does it include opportunities for reflection, discussion, and synthesis? Does it provide opportunities for students to assess their learning and confirm they are on the right track?