After-School Science Club 2005Three evaluations have been done over the course of a year (the third evaluation is still in progress). Each evaluation involved putting the handhelds in front of middle-school students and seeing where the software helps them and where it could be improved to help them even more. After each evaluation there were aspects of the design which had to be re-examined and the software was modified accordingly. Overall the results have shown that the software can be used by middle-school students and that it can help students, assuming it is integrated appropriately into the classroom activities.
Currently we are in the process of an extended 10-week evaluation as part of an after-school science club. I am working with PhD student Swaroop Vattam to develop a curriculum for this program which affords learning of science concepts by the students but also allows us to research the effectiveness of integrating our software tools in such a program.
Swaroop and I chose the Vehicles In Motion unit of Learning by DesignTM as the base for our curriculum. VIM is designed for use in an in-school setting over an extended period of time (~40 class sessions). We had approximately 15 class sessions with which to work (10 1.5 hour sessions, once per week). In addition, the students would not be meeting everyday, so we had to expect a little bit of forgetting between sessions. Working within these constraints we designed a curriculum that we felt met our goals. As the weeks have progressed we have modified that curriculum as we discover that some of our assumptions were flawed.
Last modified 17 March 2005 at 5:42 pm by Jason Williams