STOCHASMOS: Web based reflective inquiry enviroments
To explore the role information technologies can play in supporting students' inquiry skills, the University of Cyprus, Learning in Science research group, has developed the Stochasmos platform, an online learning environment with embedded authoring tool for teachers.
Stochasmos is designed to support students’ scientific reasoning through authentic investigations, using data-rich, open-ended learning scenarios. In a typical lesson on Stochasmos, students work in groups of two or three on an investigation assigned to them by their teacher. The investigation is data-driven: data are presented in various forms and students are asked to interpret, integrate and explain them.
The objectives of Stochasmos are the following:
- The development of a Web-based inquiry environment for science learning, which will present students with authentic scientific data from diverse sources.
- The design of a Web-based reflective support system, which will be integrated with the Web-based inquiry environment.
- Τhe development of an authoring tool for easy creation of Web-based learning environments with reflective supports by other teachers or instructional designers.
- The development of instructional materials for teachers, describing the learning environment, activities, and objectives.
Coordinator: University of Cyprus
Target groups: researchers, secondary school students, teachers, trainee teachers, other
Topic: Applied sciences
Contact person: Simoni Angelides, simoni (at) netquest.com
Stochasmos is not only a learning and teaching platform but also a research tool: the experiences and data gathered help researchers investigate further how students learn and develop their scientific reasoning and knowledge. Some of the project’s main goals are the following:
- The investigation of the role of reflective inquiry supports in the development of middle-school students’ scientific reasoning.
- The investigation of the role of Web-based software scaffolding in supporting the construction of evidence-based explanations.
- The development of instruments to assess students’ scientific reasoning, in particular their evidence-based scientific explanations.
- The identification of the challenges students face during independent inquiries of complex scientific data on the Web.
The design of the Stochasmos Web-based environment includes a learning environment that students can use to engage and reflect on their inquiry, as well as an authoring system that teachers or other instructional designers can use to author their own Web-based learning environments with integrated reflective supports.
The Learning in Science group organizes workshops and conferences to train teachers in using the Stochasmos platform, and the learning modules available.