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Friday, July 9, 2010

Reflections for Week Two

Two weeks gone by, and it looks like we're starting to move forward. Here are my responses to the questions we've been given for reflection. Bear in mind that our group is working differently than some others.

What is the hypothesis you are testing?
We aren't testing any hypothesis, unless it was that four unrelated people from very different backgrounds can form a group and crank out good work! Our group is not even doing any research. We are building a product (a series of labs) that will have a definite outcome, so what we're doing is more engineering than science. Good stuff though, but not anything like textbook science.

What kinds of controls does the experiment have?
Hmmmm.... don't know how to answer that at all.

How will you measure your results?
This we can do - we get to run one lab with the high school kids before we use it on the college kids. That's the only measuring we can really do though.

How will the reliability of your data be ensured?
Now this question I like: I think that one thing that has really changed my teaching career has been microsoft word. For me, every thing I try - every test, quiz or homework is a question that I ask the guys in my classes. The key to making things better for the kids isn't to be perfect, it's just to keep on improving, and to use the results you get to see how get there. So the answer to the question is that we record everything. If the folks who come after us want to improve, they can look at our notes and see what we were thinking of. Student tests can be data just as much as lab data can be data. All just facts you're gotta keep track of.

How will inquiry fit into your lesson plan?
This is interesting - we're creating some actual labs, so we might have room to frame the labs to include some inquiry. Definitely, we're putting some puzzles into the program for students to work on, but we're building a product for our professor, who gets to decide just how much inquiry based stuff there will be in there. We'll see!

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