Using the idea manager to promote coherent understanding of inquiry investigations

Kevin W. McElhaney, Camillia F. Matuk, David I. Miller, Marcia C. Linn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

This study examines the ideas students generated during an online inquiry investigation and how students used these ideas to construct scientific explanations about everyday phenomena. We designed and implemented a four-day, technology-enhanced inquiry unit on the chemistry of recycling with 164 high school students. The unit incorporates the Idea Manager, a new inquiry scaffolding technology that helps students record their ideas and construct coherent explanations. We scored the conceptual content of the ideas students recorded, how students organized their ideas, and the coherence of students' explanations. Regression models show that students' ability to distinguish ideas predicted explanation coherence more strongly than the number of relevant ideas they recorded. Three cases illustrate difficulties some students had using molecular concepts to support their explanations. The findings demonstrate how this new technology can permit closer examination of students' learning progress and inform curricular refinements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication10th International Conference of the Learning Sciences
Subtitle of host publicationThe Future of Learning, ICLS 2012 - Proceedings
Pages323-330
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2012
Event10th International Conference of the Learning Sciences: The Future of Learning, ICLS 2012 - Sydney, NSW, Australia
Duration: Jul 2 2012Jul 6 2012

Publication series

Name10th International Conference of the Learning Sciences: The Future of Learning, ICLS 2012 - Proceedings
Volume1

Other

Other10th International Conference of the Learning Sciences: The Future of Learning, ICLS 2012
CountryAustralia
CitySydney, NSW
Period7/2/127/6/12

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Education

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  • Cite this

    McElhaney, K. W., Matuk, C. F., Miller, D. I., & Linn, M. C. (2012). Using the idea manager to promote coherent understanding of inquiry investigations. In 10th International Conference of the Learning Sciences: The Future of Learning, ICLS 2012 - Proceedings (pp. 323-330). (10th International Conference of the Learning Sciences: The Future of Learning, ICLS 2012 - Proceedings; Vol. 1).