Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mastery of Subject Matter

[Author's note:  These subjects have been taken from the goals in America's Lab Report, a groundbreaking report from the National Research Council.  The text and images explain how authentic online science lab experiences meet those goals.]

Enhance student understanding of specific scientific facts and concepts and the way in which these facts and concepts are organized in the scientific disciplines.

example experiment showing mastery of subject matter, wqrm up example experiment showing mastery of subject matter, quiz
example experiment showing mastery of subject matter, vocabulary
In order to use science lab experiences to aid subject matter mastery, labs must have supporting material that helps students. At the upper left, you can see a reduced image of a warm up page. This page includes a brief description, goals and objectives, and a series of questions designed so that students begin to think about the topic and, possibly, to challenge their preconceptions. At the upper right is the beginning of a post-lab quiz that helps students to consider the science investigated with the experiments. Students can review their experimental work and support materials during this quiz.
The lower image shows the vocabulary and scientist mini-biography taken from the same Cell Respiration lab. The vocabulary list links to a hyperlinked list of all words related to this lab.
Not shown above is the Procedure page, which has additional background material on this lab, a procedure discussion when warranted, and information on errors, graphs, apparatus, units, and more. Also not shown are the fully worked out solutions for all quiz questions and the Solution Strategy page that explains principles in more detail and provides some sample worked-out problems.
All of this material creates a greater mastery of the science illustrated by the experiments being performed by the students.

© 2012 by Smart Science Education Inc., U.S.A.

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