Eliciting Learner Knowledge: Enabling Focused Practice Through an Open-Source Online Tool

Eliciting and interpreting students’ ideas are essential skills in teaching, yet pre-service teachers (PSTs) rarely have adequate opportunities to develop these skills. In this study, we examine PSTs’ patterns of discourse and perceived learning through engaging in an interactive digital simulation called Eliciting Learner Knowledge (ELK). ELK is a seven-minute, chat-based virtual role play between a PST playing a “teacher” and a PST playing a “student” where the goal is for the teacher to find out what the student knows about a topic. ELK is designed to be a practice space where pre-service and in-service teachers can learn strategies for effectively eliciting their students’ knowledge. We review the implementation of ELK in eight teacher education courses in math or science methods at six different universities and assess (a) patterns of interaction during ELK and (b) PSTs’ perceptions of ELK and their learning from the simulation. Our findings suggest that PSTs engage in effective practices such as eliciting and probing more often than less effective practices such as evaluating and telling. Results suggest that PSTs gain experience in practicing talk moves and having empathy for students’ perspectives through using ELK.

Thompson, M., Leonard, G., Mikeska, J. N., Lottero-Perdue, P. S., Maltese, A. V., Pereira, G., Hillaire, G., Waldron, R., Slama, R., & Reich, J. (2022). Eliciting learner knowledge: Enabling focused practice through an open-source online tool. Behavioral Sciences, 12(9), 324-341. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs12090324