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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

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


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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