Students input lots of different kinds of animal data into CyberTracker software on Visors based on observations in their schoolyard. In order to support students exploration of the inquiry-fostering question, Which zone in my schoolyard has the highest biodiversity?, the CyberTracker software and the Zope object-orientated database, Zone Summary, were designed with common organizational structures focusing on a select few salient features (animal abundance, animal richness). This common presentation format allows students to easily locate and analyze relevant data towards the evaluation of the biodiversity of their schoolyard.
The Rationale Behind the Feature (Specific Design Principle):
5th grade students in urban Detroit find it difficult to pull out the salient features of their own empirical data towards addressing complex inquiry questions. This feature streamlines their ability to locate and analyze relevant data.
Context of Use:
Best used when students have collected a great deal of empirical data and perhaps needs sufficient guidance (e.g. scaffolding) towards locating salient features in their data towards addressing inquiry questions.
Data were collected in Fall 2002 and are currently being analyzed for Spring 03 papers and meetings (AERA presentation).
Lee, H.S., and Songer. N.B. (in press) Making Authentic Science Accessible to Students. International Journal of Science Education.