A National Science Foundation Update
Inquiry-based educative curricula and teachers who use these curricula as intended are major factors in achieving successful student learning outcomes in science. Educative curricula can also bring about significant change in teacher practice. Educative curricula are generally accompanied by carefully designed print teacher guides that facilitate the implementation of curricula, encourage new instructional strategies, and accommodate curriculum modifications while retaining fidelity to the developers’ content sequencing and pedagogy.
An electronic teacher guide (eTG) was developed to determine whether a digital guide could better support teachers in implementing an inquiry-based curriculum and in enhancing their practice. Developed as a proof-of-concept exemplar, features of the eTG support high school teachers in planning, implementing, and modifying innovative instructional materials and in developing more ambitious teaching practices.
To examine the value of the electronic teacher guide (eTG) as a curriculum planning and teaching tool,
it was important to study it in the contexts of teachers’ actual planning, teaching, and reflecting.
This paper described two descriptive case studies.
The goal of the Electronic Teacher Guide project (NSF # 0918702) was to redesign the print teacher guide for the genetics unit of Foundation Science: Biology (NSF #0439443) as an exemplar of a cybertool that would support the implementation of the curriculum and enhance its educative impact. The completion of this goal required collaborative interactions among curriculum developers, technology designers, software developers, researchers and evaluators. The five year collaboration was characterized by major challenges relating to communication, geographical distance, and culture.
The goal of the Electronic Teacher Guide project was to redesign the print teacher guide for the genetics unit of Foundation Science: Biology as an exemplar of a cybertool that would support the implementation of the curriculum and enhance its educative impact. The completion of this goal required collaborative interactions among curriculum developers, technology designers, software developers, researchers and evaluators.
Reason Racer is an online, rate-based, multiplayer game that applies specific game features in
order to engage middle school students in introductory knowledge of and thinking related to
scientific argumentation. Game features include rapid and competitive play, timed performance,
immediate feedback, and high rates of response across many game-play sessions and science
scenarios. The areas of argumentation addressed in the game include understanding a claim,
judging evidence about a claim based on type (fact, opinion) and quality, determining the
Ault, M., (2014). How games can engage students and improve learning. eSchool News: Daily Tech News & Innovation. Retrieved from www.eschoolnews.com/2014/06/06/games-engage-students-241/
Understanding how games create a sense of flow and engagement can help teachers make better choices about their instructional use of games.