Week 3: Thinking Like a Scientist – Inquiry-Based Labs

Introduction to Inquiry-Based Labs

 

Video 5.1.1 — Introduction to Inquiry-based Labs

Dr. Cynthia Brame from Vanderbilt University introduces the concept of inquiry-based labs.


Examples of Inquiry-Based Labs

 

Video 5.2.1 — Example of Inquiry-Based Lab in Introductory Astronomy

Dr. Cynthia Brame presents an example of Inquiry-based labs in an introductory astronomy class at Vanderbilt University taught by Dr. Erika Grundstrom.


Video 5.2.2 — Example of Inquiry-Based Lab in Biological Sciences

Dr. Cynthia Brame presents an example of Inquiry-based labs in a biological sciences class at Vanderbilt University Instructed by Charles Sissom.


Principles and Definitions of Inquiry-Based Labs

 

Video 5.3.1 — Elements of Inquiry

Dr. Cynthia Brame outlines the elements of inquiry that you can use when developing a lesson plan for an inquiry-based lab.

Video 5.3.1 Slides


Video 5.3.2 — Types of Thinking

Dr. Cynthia Brame discusses several levels/kinds of thinking that students undergo during an inquiry-based lab.

Video 5.3.2 Slides


Video 5.3.3 — Benefits and Limitations

Dr. Cynthia Brame outlines the benefits and limitations of implementing inquiry-based labs from the student and instructor perspective.

Video 5.3.3 Slides


Video 5.3.4 — Key Elements and Challenges

Dr. Cynthia Brame discusses the key elements and challenges involved in creating and implementing inquiry-based labs.

Discussion: As suggested by the Principles of Inquiry-based Lab Instruction video and the robust list of references and resources available around inquiry-based lab instruction, inquiry-based lab pedagogy can be very effective in promoting learning.

One of the objectives for this module is for you to be able to link inquiry-based lab pedagogy to larger learning contexts—for you to see for yourself why inquiry-based lab pedagogy has such strong potential. You have already considered how inquiry-based lab approaches can build on principles of learning, and in the video you just watched, we considered the cognitive activities that inquiry-based approaches can promote in students.

Now, we want you to consider this question from another angle. Specifically, certain classroom practices have been shown to be effective in STEM education. Which, if any, of these practices are readily incorporated into inquiry-based lab instruction?

Discuss which of these practices from the reading are readily incorporated into inquiry-based lab approaches and how you might do so in your lab.

Video 5.3.4 Slides


Assessment Options

 

Video 5.4.1 — Summative Assessment in Biological Sciences Example

Dr. Cynthia Brame provides examples of summative assessment in biological sciences inquiry-based labs and interviews faculty that are have significant experience assessing students in the inquiry-based lab setting.


Video 5.4.2 — Summative Assessment in Astronomy Example

Dr. Cynthia Brame provides examples of summative assessment in Astronomy inquiry-based labs and interviews faculty that are have significant experience assessing students in the inquiry-based lab setting.


Video 5.4.3 — Example Assessment Tools

Dr. Cynthia Brame provides examples of effective assessment tools you can use when planning and implementing inquiry-based labs.

Video 5.4.3 Slides

 


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