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Step 6. Use Learning Technologies to Support Inquiry

ABOUT THIS STEP

Think about the role of technology within the world of science, engineering, and mathematics. How does technology operate in authentic settings, and what kind of role does it play within professional practice? Learning technologies should be developed and applied in a way that reflects how the world operates, ultimately helping learners to understand and perform in a similar fashion. Technology should be used when it is an essential part of the learning activities, motivated by instructional needs. One of the most important missions you face as a designer is making sure the technology used aligns with both scientific practice and learners’ needs. In this step you explore some learning technologies that have the potential to make a difference with today’s learners, and you plan the use of learning technologies in your inquiry activity. 

Alignment and Design Space
In this step your goal is to find learning technologies that reflect the use of the science resources you identified in step 2. However, you may decide to support the inquiry-based activity in different ways. You explore different options in step 6 activities.

Image showing the Virtual Design Center scenario design space for inquiry-based learning activities- the six faces of the design space cube.  Please have someone assist you with this.

Figure 1. The Virtual Design Center scenario design space for inquiry-based learning activities—the six faces of the design space cube.

Dimensions of Inspiration
Using learning technologies to support inquiry, you can foster different dimensions of inspiration. This depends on the design principles you choose to support using learning technologies. For example, if you decide to use a learning technology that is similar to technology that experts use in the domain (e.g., visualization tool), you foster learners’ mental models of science content and science practice and help them identify with the scientists of the domain. Explore those promising technologies in activity 6-1.

Activities and NASA Review Criteria Matrix
The matrix below summarizes the activities to be completed in this step and explains how to meet NASA’s product review criteria.

Activity Summary/Deliverable NASA'S Product Review

Explore and describe how certain features of various learning technologies can support learners during the inquiry activity. Deliverable 6-1 is informal. Post your thoughts to the discussion board.

These activities address the following review criteria:

A-1. Quality and Appropriateness
D-9. Content
G-14. Design

Read Virtual Design Center Step 6: NASA Criteria Connect.

Develop an outline incorporating one or more learning technologies to support learners in their practice of scientific inquiry.

Complete Deliverable 6-2: Outline of Learning Technology Support.

 Start the activities in the matrix and return to this page when you finish.

 Continue to Activity 6-1.

DEBRIEFING
Through step 6 you have explored different types of learning technologies and outlined their use to support your inquiry-based classroom activity. Read the introduction in this page, make any necessary revisions to the current and previous deliverables, and reflect on the inspiration and NASA criteria in relation to your design.

Once your team is satisfied with the step 6 deliverables, submit them to the discussion board and share your experience for step 6. Your facilitator will review your documents and provide feedback.   

Congratulations! You have concluded the six main steps of the Virtual Design Center. The collection of your deliverables is now your design document to complete your inquiry-based activity. In the wrap-up activities you will be provided with resources to plan your evaluations, establish partnerships, and prepare your product to meet federal requirements and regulations. When you are ready to continue, move onto Wrap-up Activities.

Main | Activity 6-1 | Activity 6-2

 

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