Activity 1-1 | Activity 1-2 |
Identify Learner Needs and Justify Project
ABOUT THIS STEP
In step 1 your team learns more about the
key characteristics of inquiry-based classrooms by completing
three activities. Through these activities your team identifies
a target audience, partners with a school district, identifies
the specific learner characteristics to be targeted as you
design your investigation, and creates the first deliverable for
the Virtual Design Center, your project rationale.
Alignment and Design Space
During step 1 you interview your partner school district and
review the published literature to assess your audience. Your
investigation involves questions such as, What are these
learners like? What is their level of physical development? What
are their strengths? What are their typical likes and dislikes?
By considering your learners’ characteristics, you ensure that
your design meets their needs and enhances their learning
experience (see Figure 1).
The learner characteristics parameter of the Virtual
Design Center design space.
You use the characteristics of your learners to make decisions
about the remaining five parameters of your design space.
Focusing on the learner characteristics first helps you design a
strong, well-integrated learning activity.
Dimensions of Inspiration
Understanding your target
learners and their needs is essential for the design of
inspiring learning activities. This activity helps you build
initial expectations on the learners’ current level of
understanding of the intended topic area (mental models). In
order to inspire learners, the activity should provide the
proper level of difficulty so that learners see themselves
engaging in the activity (identity and self-efficacy). At the
same time, it should give enough challenges so that they can
have a sense of accomplishment and imagine themselves moving
beyond their current academic levels (identity and imagination).
Activities and NASA Review
The matrix below summarizes
the activities to be completed in this step and explains how to
meet NASA’s product review criteria.
Start the activities and
return to this page when you are finished.
You have created a rationale and identified a partner school for
your project. Now you have a better understanding of the
characteristics of your learners. Your team is probably
beginning to formulate ideas for the inquiry-learning activity.
Take notes on the content area based on where you see more needs
for your target learners.
Read the introduction on this page and reflect on the alignment,
inspiration, and NASA criteria in relation to your activities.
Once your team is satisfied with the step 1 deliverable, submit
it to the discussion board and share your experience for step 1.
Your facilitator will review your document and provide feedback.
step 2 you will select national science standards that will
serve as the learning goal for your inquiry-based activity. You
will also select science resources to support the activity.
When you are ready, go to
Activity 1-1 | Activity 1-2 |