Virtual and authentic web based ecological inquiries
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Virtual and Authentic Web-based Ecological Inquiries. XB Wu 1 , S Knight 2 , A Webb 2 , M Ziegler 2 , JF Schielack 1 1 Texas A&M University 2 Pennsylvania State University August 8, 2013 Waterbury Summit. Virtual Ecological Inquiry (VEI) in Second Life. Museum

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Virtual and Authentic Web-based Ecological Inquiries

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Virtual and authentic web based ecological inquiries

Virtual and Authentic Web-based Ecological Inquiries

XB Wu1, S Knight2, A Webb2, M Ziegler 2,JF Schielack1

1 Texas A&M University

2Pennsylvania State University

August 8, 2013

Waterbury Summit


Virtual ecological inquiry vei in second life

Virtual Ecological Inquiry (VEI)in Second Life

  • Museum

    • Explore ecology of Wolong

    • Formulate hypothesis

    • Design field investigation

  • Field plots (Wolong)

    • Field sampling

  • Lab

    • Data analysis and interpretation


Web based ecological inquiry using bearcam

Web-based Ecological Inquiry Using BearCam

  • Based on research of Larry Griffing (TAMU-Biology) on grizzly bear behavior at the McNeil River Fall in Alaska.

  • Archived photos with stamps of date and time (~800 photos over period of a week) used for the BearCam inquiry project.


Inquiry process

Inquiry Process

Online group discussions and in-class dialog throughout the process.


Ecology disciplinary context of inquiry

Ecology – Disciplinary context of inquiry

  • Questions (F-CC; F-DCI)

    • Structure/spatial patterns, relationships

    • Functions - processes and interactions

    • Mechanisms and explanations

  • Approach of inquiry (F-SP)

    • Observation-based but quantitative

    • Comparative

  • Epistemic and Social Practice (F-SP)

    • Structure and style of written communication

    • Peer review process

    • Collaborations


Aim learning outcomes of inquiry

Aim – Learning outcomes of inquiry

  • Knowledge (F-CC; F-DCI; 21CC)

    • Develop deeper understanding of focused disciplinary contents

    • Recognize connections and uncertainties

  • Practices/Competencies (F-SP; 21CC)

    • Recognize pattern; frame question; design investigation

    • Collect, analyze, interpret, and represent data

    • Argue from evidence, construct explanations, write to communicate

    • Collaborate - offer and seek feedback; self-evaluate

  • Understanding of science (F-SP)

    • Enhance understanding of nature of science and inquiry

    • Enhance interests and dispositions in science


Virtual and authentic web based ecological inquiries

Distribution of Scores for Inquiry Project Reports

20 reports each selected for VEI and BearCam inquiry projects

Low score 0 (meets none of the criteria) to high score 3 (meets all of the criteria)


Next steps

Next Steps

  • Refine and expand the functionality

    • VEI - group-based field investigation; gaming elements

    • BearCam – expanded data set for more complex investigations

  • Assessment

    • Better instrument for understanding of science process

    • Reflections on the learning

  • Study the use in different settings

    • Different types of institutions and populations of students


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