SKILLS AND UNDERSTANDINGS REQUIRED OF LEARNERS
Learners require literacy with respect to scientific terms
and symbolic standards and conventions. Learners also require
collaborative skills to share their ideas and representations,
ICT skills to develop their representations within the drawing
tool, to view digital resources and to share their work within
a discussion space.
ADDITIONAL LEARNER PREPARATION
Learners require experience in using criticism constructively
in redeveloping representations.
What guidelines and strategies are needed to assist teachers
to successfully design such a learning setting for their own
How to design tasks, how to build resources, how to create
supports, existing models, and literature on the implementation
Designing Tasks: Tasks should be designed
around recognised visual conventions and icons and should
involve practice with multiple examples, possibly gaining
in complexity. They should also be contained enough to be
part of a short-term experience so that multiple examples
can be reviewed.
Building Resources: The resources necessary
to fully implement the design require production of quality
video resources, probably best achieved through use of skilled
video producers, etc; a drawing tool for students to represent
their understanding of the processes is available for Chemistry,
and this could be developed further.
Guidelines needed by Instructor
What guidelines are needed for the instructor that will
assist in their successful delivery and implementation of
such a learning design?
Tips for successful implementation, management strategies,
guiding learners, problems to anticipate, contingencies.
It is essential that all students are encouraged to commit
their representation to paper or via software. If students
do not make this commitment there is no 'buy-in' to the process
and their misconceptions are not exposed.
The design can be implemented at multiple levels:
In a lecture or tutorial situation using either a video demonstration
or a specific demonstration and using pen and paper and peer
and expert feedback. The expert review can be in the form
of example representations on paper or overheads to compare
with the student representation.
Online the process can be facilitated through the software
tool, Molecular Level Construction Tool, for chemistry, while
there are a range of other software tools for physics and
biology, for example, to use to represent student understanding
of non-visible processes.