Design principles for experiments

Welcome to the fifth week of Teaching Science at University! In this week we want to show you how we can improve students’ learning in a lab or in the field. In the first lesson we show you how to design a lab class, then we focus on delivering a lab class. We show you how you can use design principles (known as “gestalt principles”) to present experiments in a manner which is easy for your students to understand. Then we look at a model on students’ competences on experimentation that you can use to track the development of your students’ conceptual development. From research we know that students often hold inadequate conceptions about the nature of science and the scientific endeavor. We show you how you can address these conceptions to enable your students to understand the meaning of experiments, models, and theories in science. Finally we focus on the role of models in science education. We look at a model for model competence you can use to analyse where your students stand and to train different dimensions of dealing with models. At the end of this week you should be able to design a lab class that improves the inquiry skills of your students.

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