Tips & Tricks

Designing ILS: Pedagogical tips

The Go-Lab inquiry cycle has a number of phases for which we have chosen names that characterize the main cognitive activities for students. The Go-Lab names are:  Orientation, Conceptualisation, Investigation, Conclusion, and Discussion. The Conceptualisation, Investigation and Discussion phase can be divided in several sub phases. The next table displays a short description of the different phases.

Orientation First conjectures; What is this about?
Conceptualisation Theory; What do you think?
  Question Issue; Challenge
  Hypothesis Idea; Proposition
Investigation Study
  Exploration Play around
  Experimentation Research
  Data Interpretation What do I see?
Conclusion Decision; Result
Discussion Dialogue; Deliberation
  Reflection Consideration
  Communication How to tell someone else?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Students can go through these phases one by one, starting with Orientation and ending with the Discussion phase, but they can also take different routes and go back and forward between phases. The diagram below shows several possibilities. 

Using the Go-Lab authoring system Graasp, you can change the order of the phases and delete or add phases to meet your specific wishes. The names of the phases can be changed and adapted as well, allowing you to use terminology more familiar to your students. Make sure to adapt any of academic language within the phases as well, to match your students understanding. You can change the name of a phase in Graasp by clicking the name and typing the new name. Confirm by clicking the check mark.

 

Designing ILS: Pedagogical tips

One of the key characteristics of inquiry learning is that students have to find out something themselves, an investigation is always the backbone of an inquiry process. As part of the student’s initiation and guidance, it may be a good idea to include a much guided, structured, step-by-step, exercise, but inquiry also means that student-led investigations are present. Therefore, an ILS should not be a mere sequence of step-by-step instructions for the student to follow like a recipe cookbook. There must be an inquiry aspect where the student searches for and tries various possible solutions. It is ok if the student initially fails and repeats a process. So, instead of telling a student which values to fill in for each variable, students should find out themselves what are the interesting values to use; of course, you can give them predefined experiment to follow (and you can define those experiments in the Experiment Design Tool), but there should be freedom for students as well.

Designing ILS: Pedagogical tips

Be aware that whereas knowledge effects are immediate, inquiry skills effects take a longer time. For students who have their first encounter with an app or a laboratory, there must be a time period of getting familiarized with it. This might take a whole ILS, which could be designed for familiarization of students with demanding apps or laboratories. Under this assumption, it would take at least two ILSs in a row to see some first positive effects on student inquiry skills.

Designing ILS: Pedagogical tips

Students often find it difficult to start with an ILS that covers the whole inquiry cycle because they are not used to inquiry learning. Make sure that students get a good introduction in the inquiry approach and the tools to be used. If you plan to do lab work and inquiry tasks regularly, be sure there is a gradual increase in complexity. Start off with cookbook like experiments and end with real inquiry. For instance, you could start with inquiry tasks in which you give the students (parts of) the hypothesis/research question or limit the set of options. In this way, the students can gradually get used to the inquiry approach. In that case, the students only perform some of the steps that are in the full inquiry cycle. Gradually increasing the number of steps in the inquiry process can help students getting acquainted with inquiry learning.

Designing ILS: Pedagogical tips

If you have mixed ability classes, design ILSs which have mandatory activities for all students and some more challenging optional activities for those who finish the mandatory parts early.

Designing ILS: Pedagogical tips

Students (especially the younger ones) need more instructions (guidance) than you would expect. Things that might seem obvious for a (more) experienced user (pressing a button or tab, clicking on an item to change its appearance or characteristics) are often not clear to new users. Many of the labs and apps listed in the Go-Lab repository (for instance all the PhET labs) don’t contain instructions for use. This means that users have to find out for themselves which elements can be manipulated and what they should do and in which order. This leads to trial and error behaviour and sometimes to frustration.

Put in the text explicit statements about what students are expected to do. For instance: “Now you have reached the end of the Orientation phase, press the tab “Conceptualisation” to go to the next phase” or “Click on the tube when you want to change the characteristics of the fluent or from the ball in the tube. Then use the sliders in the top of the window to actually change the characteristics”.

Designing ILS: Pedagogical tips

It is not always the case that giving more support is beneficial for learning. When designing an ILS, it may seem the best to give always the highest level of support. This, however, may not be the case. There seems to be a delicate interplay with domain and student characteristics that determine the effectiveness of an app.

Designing ILS: Pedagogical tips

Provide students who have little prior knowledge with more guidance:

  • Include the Experiment Design Tool (EDT) to help them plan their experiments. Explain the purpose of experimentation (and the importance of varying one thing at a time if appropriate) and give an elaborate demonstration of how to operate the EDT.
  • Tell them which variable they need to vary in their experiment, and which variables they need to keep constant, instead of letting them figure this out themselves. This helps them conduct well-designed experiments from which they can better draw conclusions. You can do this by configuring the EDT with a readymade experiment yourself, so that students will start with this experiment when they go in their ILS.

Provide students who have some prior knowledge with less guidance.

  • Do not include the Experiment Design Tool (EDT) for students who have already quite prior knowledge. They will gain an equal amount of knowledge when they use the EDT compared to when they don’t use the EDT, but they can get frustrated because they already know what they need to do.
  • Do not tell them which variable they need to vary in their experiment and which variables they need to keep constant. They don’t need this additional guidance; just let them figure it out themselves!
Designing ILS: Pedagogical tips

Inquiry learning is a time consuming process, especially if it is new for students. This may take more time than you had expected. If you are in doubt, only use a limited number of Go-Lab tools (inquiry learning apps).

Designing ILS: Pedagogical tips

It is possible to write an ILS which requires a student to scroll up and down and move backwards and forwards between tabs to complete the lesson. However, this can lead to unnecessary errors by students who do not always read detailed instructions.

Where possible, even if this means repeating a lab or app, design an ILS in which the student will normally progress downwards through each phase and from left to right through the phases.

Designing ILS: Pedagogical tips

Inquiry Learning Spaces include by default five phases. In some cases, the content per phase can become very extensive. If a phase contains very much information in the form of text, tools and videos, students can easily get lost. Students need to scroll a lot and are unable to find the information they need. Or they are uncertain when to continue to the next phase. The risk that they accidently skip parts is considerable.

Make sure to restrict the amount of information per phase and limit scrolling to a minimum. To achieve this, consider adding extra phases and split up tasks for your students. Make sure to balance text, videos and tools wisely. If an image, tool or video is mentioned in the text, it should be just above or below the corresponding text. Both should be visible on the screen at the same time and students should not have to scroll down to find the tool or image corresponding to your instruction. Add prompts or motivational comments to guide your students through the ILS. Especially information on when to proceed to the next phase, or go back to a previous one, is useful. For example, “Well done, you now finished your first assignment” or “When you have done enough experiments to answer your research question, you can continue to the Conclusion phase”. Check the standalone view of the ILS regularly when designing an ILS to check the students’ view of the ILS.

Designing ILS: Pedagogical tips

Learning with online labs generally means that there is an interaction between extracting information from the lab itself and learning with other, more direct resources. Basically there are two standpoints:

  • Labs and/or simulations are best used before other instructional materials (online resources, books, lectures), so that students are sensitive for the information to extract from the expository material.
  • Before learning with an online lab, students should have sufficient knowledge to profit from their lab experiences.

 As a general recommendation, it seems appropriate to use both approaches. This can be achieved by giving a brief preview of the lab in the orientation phase, so that students can make themselves familiar with the lab and get sensitive for the issues they need to find out. In the conceptualization phase, background information can be presented. This can be done directly in the conceptualization phase by linking to other web sources, or offline in a lecture. In the investigation phase, students then return to the lab and make their full inquiry.

Designing ILS: Pedagogical tips

Put the lab work in a context. Don’t let the students do plain experiments. Presenting a context is not an aim in itself. By putting the experiment in a context, the students can see why the experiment is important and see what their findings mean and where they can be applied.

Designing ILS: Pedagogical tips

If an Inquiry Learning Space (ILS) is used in a stand-alone version, care must be taken that students have the necessary background knowledge and understand all the terminology that is used in the ILS. If this is not the case, this information can be given concurrently with the ILS. There are a few options to do this:

  • In the orientation and conceptualisation phase, necessary prior domain information can be directly displayed (as text, diagrams, videos, etc.).
  • Internet links to background information can be included in each phase (using the insert link icon ), some permanent information can also be displayed under the tools bottom bar (see tooltip Make use of the general tool facility).
Designing ILS: Pedagogical tips

The Inquiry Learning Space (ILS) can start with an information tab that tells the students what to expect and explains them the learning goals and structure of the ILS (see the figure below for an example). The difference with orientation phase is that in the orientation phase the prior knowledge of the students is revitalised, the main concepts of the domain are introduced and a general problem statement is given. The Intro phase is not there by default, so if you like to include it you have to create this phase yourself in the Go-Lab authoring environment Graasp (please see the Tips “You can change the phases of the inquiry cycle” and “Naming of the Inquiry Phases”).

Designing ILS: Pedagogical tips

Misconceptions and gaps in student knowledge can greatly impact student learning. If the gap is too big, students will not be able to relate the content of the ILS to their prior knowledge. This will make it difficult for them to give meaning to the things they do in the ILS.

Apart from raising curiosity and gaining attention, an important element of the Orientation phase is activation of the prior knowledge. This can be done in several ways. For instance, by giving students a quiz with questions that refer to things they have already learned. Or by asking students to make a concept map which graphically organizes the concepts that they already know (and their relationships). By doing this, the students get a kind of mental hooks to which they can connect the new information.

Designing ILS: Pedagogical tips

Consider designing ILSs for learning activities involving a blended combination of real and online labs, or even for lessons involving only real labs. A Go-Lab ILS and inquiry-based learning paradigm can still be useful for aspects such as orientation material, hypothesis generation, experimental design, recording and analysing results, revisiting hypotheses and reflecting on learning. An ILS using virtual labs can also be useful as a preparation activity for a real lab lesson, or for revision, learning reinforcement after a real lab lesson etc. Do not limit your vision.

Designing ILS: Pedagogical tips

For many students the inquiry approach is new. In traditional education, there is usually one good answer to a question. Often students also learn only one procedure to arrive at this correct answer. When they follow the procedure, and arrive at the correct answer, they know they have done well. With inquiry learning there is not just one ‘correct’ answer and there are many routes a student can take towards an answer. For many students, this is confusing. Students need to understand that there is not one way to go about an investigation. It is important to explain this to them extensively. Make clear that it doesn't matter whether their hypothesis is true or false, if it is well formulated. Explain that there is not a fixed number of experiments that they have to carry out, as long as they do enough to validate their hypothesis. Explain that there is not one way to design a good experiment, as long as they make sure the experimental design is sound. Students really have to change their way of thinking.

Designing ILS: Pedagogical tips

Students sometimes think they already know the answer to a research question. Because of this, they often conduct very few experiments and hence, find it difficult to analyse the results from their experiments, which disables them to reach conclusions. Once they have conducted enough useful experiments, but fail to analyse their results, show them how to better organise their data to draw meaningful conclusions.

Designing ILS: Pedagogical tips

Creating ILS: Practical Tips

The Go-Lab authoring tool uses “autosave” which means that you never have to worry about saving your work. This process, however, always overwrites older versions. If, for example, you like to experiment with your ILS and like to keep the old version you may want to make a copy, This is easily done by opening the dialogue at your ILS icon. This process is further explained with a short movie at: http://www.golabz.eu/videos.

Creating ILS: Practical Tips

When you create an ILS you can work together with a colleague and share responsibility for the ILS creation. You can easily invite a colleague in Graasp (the Go-Lab authoring facility) to become co-author. Go the upper right hand part of your screen and select “members”. Type the name of your colleague (who needs a Graasp account) and enter the name:

Click on the “viewer” underneath the person’s name and change the person’s role from “viewer” to “editor” or “owner”.

Creating ILS: Practical Tips

An owner of an ILS can invite people or revoke membership in it and assign roles; an owner can view and share the URL of the standalone view of the ILS. An editor can only edit content in the ILS. A viewer cannot edit the content and can only view it.

Creating ILS: Practical Tips

If you copied an ILS from the Portal and made substantial changes to its content and structure, then you may republish it as an author. However, it is always recommended to reference to the original ILS and its author by providing its web-link and name. For example, you can do it in the ILS description in Golabz or in the description of your ILS in Graasp (in this case the reference will appear in the standalone view of the ILS). You may add a text like “this ILS is based on the ILS … which was originally developed by …”). We are working on an automatic reference system, which will do this work for you in the future.

Creating ILS: Practical Tips

When you create an Inquiry Learning Space from a lab, Go-Lab offers you a set of predefined phases. You can add phases as you like and also rename them as you like (please see the Tip “Naming of the Inquiry Phases”).  See this ILS as an example:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Adding a phase can easily be done by clicking the “+” sign in Graasp (the Go-Lab authoring environment).

 Then use the create space button. Order of spaces can be changed by dragging them around.

 

Creating ILS: Practical Tips

If a phase in an Inquiry learning Space (ILS) is too long, students may lose focus as they have to scroll down too much. In this case you may decide to split a phase into two smaller phases (two tabs in the Inquiry Learning Space) and make sure you provide a connection between them. See the Tip “You can change the phases of the inquiry cycle” on how to add Phases to an ILS.

Creating ILS: Practical Tips

Introduce the main goals and expectations of each inquiry phase at the beginning of the phase.

Creating ILS: Practical Tips

There should be a connection between inquiry phases so the students progress logically from phase to phase. You can reach that by including at the end of each phase a brief sentence that marks the transition to the next phase. See this example:

Creating ILS: Practical Tips

Questions for the students can be posed through the Quiz Master app. These questions are multiple choice questions, but you can also place questions in the ILS as such. In the latter case:

  • Questions should be written in such a way that a simple Yes or No answer is insufficient. Students need to justify their answers by explicitly explaining the thought process behind how or why they did something.
  • Questions should be answerable in a text editing tool (e.g., Scratchpad tool) or indirectly answerable in a tooling tool (e.g., Concept Mapper). Rhetorical questions that cannot be answered somewhere in the ILS are not advised.
Creating ILS: Practical Tips

The most obvious approach in the conclusion phase is to ask the students to revise their hypothesis, select relevant data sets and observations, and adapt, if necessary, the hypothesis. This activity can be supported with the Go-Lab Conclusion tool.

To further support students, some statements or questions can be defined to be answered by the students. In some cases, the students may have to go back to previous phases to view those statements.

Examples:

  • What is the influence of the sea breeze on the development of clouds?
  • Is the total momentum (on the x-y plane) you calculated zero? If not, why is it not zero?

You can use the Input Box app to give students the opportunity to note down their answers.

Creating ILS: Practical Tips

Try to use a diversity of information sources (videos, text, animations, pictures, diagrams etc.). For complex concepts, use text plus multimedia resources (animations, videos) to reinforce learning the domain specific content (do not rely on one method of delivering information!).

Creating ILS: Practical Tips

Do not include too many videos and don’t choose too long videos - two minutes should be the approximate maximum (although there will be exceptions, of course).

Videos should have good visual and sound quality (i.e., brightness needs to be suitable to see what is happening and sound should not include excessive static or background noise).

Videos accompanied only with music (no voice-over explanations) should have accurate textual cues to explain what is happening during the viewing of the visual imagery.

Also please note that if you embed videos in Graasp (by dragging them into the ILS) and many students start the ILS at the same time (when your lesson begins) this may result in longer loading times. You may reduce this by linking the videos from YouTube.

Creating ILS: Practical Tips

Here, make sure that you provide enough information about how to use the lab. If working with a complicated simulation or lab, chop the investigation into different parts with different assignments, so your students don’t get overwhelmed. You can include a lab multiple times in your ILS. You can include a small video or manual before students start using the lab.

Creating ILS: Practical Tips

If you add a picture in your ILS you can resize it by using the “gear” symbol at the picture you had inserted.

Creating ILS: Practical Tips

You can make the Inquiry Learning Space (ILS) visually more attractive by using different background images for each phase. This will make it also more clear for students that they are changing phases.

You can change the background of a phase in Graasp by clicking the wheel next to a phase.

Creating ILS: Practical Tips

External web links can be added to an ILS as hyperlinks (using, for example, ctrl + K on windows or command + K on Mac OS). These hyperlinks always open in another tab. External web pages can also be directly embedded in an ILS by adding them as links (press the “+” button, then press “add link”).

Creating ILS: Practical Tips

You can change the language in which the authoring environment Graasp is presented. This means that all titles, buttons etc. in Graasp will be shown in the language of your choice.

You can change the language of an Inquiry Learning Space separately. You select per ILS the language that you want. The language of all Go-Lab tools (inquiry learning apps) will be automatically adapted (if a translation is available). Some of our labs are also available in variety of languages. Please check the lab information at Golabz.eu to find out which language is available for each lab. You should still translate the names of the ILS phases yourself (please see the Tip “Naming of the Inquiry Phases”).

Creating ILS: Practical Tips

When you create an ILS you can choose if and how your students need to log in to enter the ILS. Go to the sharing menu of your ILS in the authoring environment Graasp.

Here you can find the standalone view setting. Below the option to choose a language, you find the options for logging in.

There are three options. The first one, ‘username only’, means that students only have to enter a nickname to access the ILS.  If you choose the option ‘username and password’, students do not only enter a nickname but also a password to log in the ILS. This makes it harder for students to enter the ILSs of other students and prevents problems with similar nicknames. In both cases, if the student logs in the ILS later using the same credentials (i.e. respectively nickname or nickname and password), the work saved in the previous sessions will be displayed (e.g., hypothesis created, text written in the wiki or the input boxed, files uploaded, etc.).  In the same way, the resources generated by the students will be accessible to the teacher. The last option, ‘anonymous’, allows you to share the ILS without requiring a nickname. It should be noticed that, in this mode, neither the students will be able to recover the work done, nor the teacher will be able to know who used the ILS.

Creating ILS: Practical Tips

Once you have created your ILS, you can publish it in the Go-Lab Portal, on golabz.eu. Just click on the “Publish inquiry space” button that appears at the right-hand side of your ILS in Graasp in the “sharing” tab.

Be aware that it may take up to 24 hours before your ILS appears in the Portal due to the quality assurance procedure.

Creating ILS: Practical Tips

In case you get a pop-up window "This ILS has already been published” after clicking “Publish inquiry space” in Graasp (but you have not published this ILS to Golabz before), please click "Update".

You will land to the ILS metadata input page in Golabz. Please edit and add the metadata and click the “save” button after you have finished.

The cause of this problem is: Golabz has its own publishing system, but Graasp marks an ILS as published once the data has been sent to Golabz (whether the user has completed the publishing process is unknown). Thus, it can happen that Graasp marks an ILS as published although the publishing process in Golabz is not completed. We are in the process of cleaning up the Graasp ILS database. Before the database is cleaned up, please use the solution described above.

Creating ILS: Practical Tips

When having published an Inquiry Learning Space from Graasp into Golabz, sometimes it can occur that you cannot see the orange buttons "Preview" and "Copy & use this Inquiry Space" under the ILS logo on your ILS page in Golabz.

This problem is usually caused by unstable internet connection during your ILS publishing process. We suggest that you republish this ILS, when your internet connection is improved. If you still have the same issue, please go to your Graasp space, and find and add the user “Golab Team” to your space as an owner. You granted “Golab Team” the “owner” role. Then you could contact a Go-Lab expert to solve this problem for you by emailing support@golabz.eu. Please provide the link of your Graasp space and your Graasp account user name in the email, so that our expert can find your space fast. The Go-Lab team will help you publish your space as soon as possible and come back to you. Please count with several days.

If your ILS in Golabz does not have the orange buttons, users cannot view your ILS in the student view and use it. We strongly recommend you to take the aforementioned actions!

Creating ILS: Practical Tips

There is no limit or maximum number of students that can use an ILS simultaneously. However, if you experience problems or find that the system is slow, then you may consider grouping your students in teams of two or three per available PC. Usually, system performance in the classroom depends on the internet speed, so a large number of users can slow the system down, if the internet connection is unstable.

Creating ILS: Practical Tips

If your ILS is working properly in the browser that you use, it still is worthwhile to test it with different browsers. Especially when you want students to use it at home or if you plan to publish your ILS on http://www.golabz.eu/. Sometimes there are differences in the way applications are displayed.

Creating ILS: Practical Tips

Go-Lab Sharing and Authoring Platforms have been developed to be used on any device, so it is possible to use it on tablets and smartphones. However, we recommend you to use a bigger screen for authoring, as it is more convenient (for example, use your PC or laptop). For students, it is better to use a PC, laptop, or tablet, as a smartphone-screen might be too small for studying with an online lab.

Creating ILS: Practical Tips

If you want to propose an online lab to be included in the Go-Lab Portal on golabz.eu, please email your request at info@golabz.eu with subject “Go-Lab - new lab proposal”. In your email, please include the name of the lab, its web-link, and a paragraph describing shortly what this lab is about and which science subjects it is related to.

Alternatively, you can use the form that can be accessed using the “Propose a lab” button. You can find the button on the right-hand side of the Online Labs page: http://www.golabz.eu/labs, under the filtering options.

Creating ILS: Practical Tips

Go-Lab cares about students’ data protection, so privacy features have been built in by design. Students’ privacy is guaranteed, as students do not need to provide any email address to log in, merely only a nickname, which protects their identities from anyone but the teacher (as in a real classroom).  If you want to see your students’ data, you can ask students to login with known pre-assigned nicknames. You can then inspect and assess the students’ products (e. g., spreadsheets uploaded by the students, created concept maps, etc.).

You can also inspect and track patterns of usage of an ILS by using the learning analytics facilities (AngeLA). You decide whether you want to include AngeLA in the ILS. To activate AngeLA, add “user” AngeLA as a member to your ILS and give her editor rights.

Creating ILS: Practical Tips

Open-ended inquiry takes longer than structured and guided inquiry, and is most appropriate for students already comfortable with completing inquiry activities. For novice learners, it is useful to adapt an ILS to fit the time constraints of a classroom lesson. To determine which parts of an ILS may take too long for beginners, then it is useful for a teacher to use the Go-Lab learning analytics apps to monitor the progress of students, and if a section is found to take too long, then revise it appropriately. See the Student Time Spent app.

The Go-Lab environment offers teachers unique learning analytics apps to monitor the real-time progress of students, as well as easily visualise the recorded actions of students after they have finished working with an ILS. Using these apps can help teachers quickly identify students who need support and feedback during in-class Go-Lab activities (e. g. a student is spending too much time on a particular task and has not moved on to the next step).

Creating ILS: Practical Tips

Inquiry Apps: Set Up and Use

Go-Lab offers a broad range of effective tools, to help your students with various tasks. Students will have to get to know each tool you include. It will take them some time to figure out how to work with it. If you include too many tools in the first ILSs they will use, students may get overwhelmed. Choose some tools that are most beneficial for students and best support the learning goals of the ILS. Once your students are more familiar with Go-Lab, you can include more tools.

Inquiry Apps: Set Up and Use

Go-Lab tools (or Go-Lab inquiry apps, e.g., the concept mapper, the hypothesis/question scratchpad, the experiment design tool) can offer students pre-defined concepts of the domain. These concepts can be inserted through the configuration option () of these tools. This option is available when you use a tool in the authoring environment Graasp, but not in when you use the tool in the stand alone view. When you add the Concept Mapper for example, it offers a few pre-defined concepts like the ones depicted in the tool below. Make sure you adapt these terms to match the domain of your ILS, or delete them all together if you wish.

In this Questioning Scratchpad the building blocks are adapted by the teacher to match the domain of the ILS.

Another option is to not only provide students with pre-defined terms, but to go one step further and offer them partially filled tools. For example you can offer an (incomplete) concept map in the Concept Mapper tool or a set of hypotheses in the Hypothesis Scratchpad. This may help students who are not as yet very proficient in the larger domain and/or experimentation. You can prepare these (partially) filled tools in the authoring environment Graasp. Anything you create in a tool while you are in the authoring view (e.g. a set of hypotheses), will be visible for the students when they start up the ILS.

Inquiry Apps: Set Up and Use

Students often have difficulties formulating hypotheses and/or research questions. To help them on their way, you can configure the apps they use. Many apps can be adjusted to your own wishes when you have added an app to an ILS in Graasp, see the configuration of apps. The (number of) terms that will be displayed can be changed and it’s also possible to give students part of a hypothesis/question/concept map so that they only have to finish it.

The option to adjust the apps is not available in the student view. So students will not be able to change the setup of the apps.

Inquiry Apps: Set Up and Use

Tools (or Go-Lab inquiry apps) that are offered in an Inquiry Learning Space (ILS) are most probably new for students. This means that a tool should be accompanied by some instruction for students on how to use it. This also, or maybe even stronger, holds for general tools such as note pads. If students are asked to fill these notepads in, it might be effective to give them topics or headings to use and in any case make explicit what is expected from them. Also, if you ask students to make questions or hypotheses, it may be wise to tell them, especially for inexperienced students, how many you expect.

Inquiry Apps: Set Up and Use

Though most of our tools are quite intuitive, students do need some explanations how to work with them. Some teachers will choose to give a quick walk-through of an ILS at the beginning of class, explaining all the different tools. Additionally, each tool has a help function and in most ILSs a written instruction is provided. Despite all these efforts, many students still have trouble working with some of the tools. If there are many questions about these type of issues, it will disrupt the work of students.

Include instruction videos about the tools. Go-Lab offers very good short videos that explain exactly how to use a tool on http://www.golabz.eu/videos. Though these videos are aimed at teachers, they can easily be used in an ILS to benefit your students as well. These videos will display the sequence of tasks just as your students will and are easy to follow.

Implement the video in the ILS and then “set it as hint”. Students can choose to watch the videos or not (by pressing the link in the ILS), depending on their own needs, and can choose to fast forward to the parts that are useful for them.

The students will see the text below.

Inquiry Apps: Set Up and Use

Go-Lab tools (or Go-Lab inquiry apps) have a help button for students. As an author, you can adapt this help through the configuration button in the authoring phase. The help becomes visible when students click the “?” button on the tool.

Inquiry Apps: Set Up and Use

In the conceptualization phase, you may ask the students to explicate their current ideas by introducing the Question and/or Hypothesis Scratchpad. Students can then perform experiments to see if their questions are answered or their hypotheses are confirmed or refuted. To relate questions and/or hypotheses with the data from the experiments, you may want to use the Conclusion Tool from the Go-Lab set of tools. But, if you don’t, in any case, in the conclusion phase come back to the questions or hypotheses students have raised or the questions you may have raised yourself in the start of Inquiry Learning Space (ILS).

Inquiry Apps: Set Up and Use

Students often have difficulties designing (good) experiments. Give them suggestions on how to set up experiments that allow them to draw conclusions on research questions. For example, using extreme numbers in their experiments may help them to explore the boundaries of a domain. Varying just one variable and controlling for all other variables may help them to understand the effect of the varied variable on the results when they have a first understanding of the domain.

Implementing the Experiment Design Tool can support students in setting up experiments, especially the ones with low prior knowledge. Information about the EDT can be found in this video: http://www.golabz.eu/video/experimental-design-tool.

Inquiry Apps: Set Up and Use

Reflection is an important cognitive process for students in order to learn from their learning. Through reflection, students analyse what they have done during the learning process. During their reflection, they look back on a specific learning phase (e. g., how successfully they managed to formulate their research question) or their whole learning experience (e. g., what were the most difficult parts of the learning process). Reflection should be planned by the learner in order to achieve a maximum outcome. However, in reality, students in school often fail to plan their reflection. This is mostly because students are not capable of reflecting on their learning without guidance. Therefore it is important to integrate specific scaffolds that guide students towards reflection. This can be done through guiding questions activating the reflection process or prompts reminding students to reflect on a specific learning phase or the whole learning process. Go-Lab offers a tool to support the reflection process, named the Reflection Tool. More information about this tool can be found in this video: http://www.golabz.eu/video/reflection-tool.

Inquiry Apps: Set Up and Use

The conclusion tool uses data from the hypothesis scratchpad or question scratchpad, the data viewer and the observation tool. You need to include at least one of both scratchpads for the tool to work. To be able to fully use the tool, you should also include the data viewer and/or the observation tool.

Inquiry Apps: Set Up and Use

The data viewer will only work when you load data into the tool. You can either load data from the Experiment Design Tool or choose to enter data manually.

Inquiry Apps: Set Up and Use

Explore the potential of Go-Lab lessons for a combination of individual and group work. For instance, the use of apps such as Padlet, and of some of the scenarios such as Jigsaw, Structured Controversy or Six Thinking Hats. For more information have a look at the Go-Lab Scenarios.

Inquiry Apps: Set Up and Use

You can use Go-Lab tools (inquiry learning apps such as the hypothesis scratchpad) in different phases of an Inquiry Learning Space. You can also make general tools (such as a calculator or a periodic table) available for all phases through the bottom tool bar of an ILS.

You can add a tool to the general toolbar by adding it in Graasp at the same level as the ILS phases; it will then automatically appear in the bottom toolbar for the students. See the calculator example below.

Inquiry Apps: Set Up and Use

The “Teacher feedback” app allows you to give feedback to individual students.

 

You place the app next to the app you like to comment on when the lessons is over. For example you place it after the Concept Mapper where students created a concept map, or after a notepad where they formulated an answer to a question. You can include the Teacher feedback app by choosing this app from the list of available apps in Go-Lab.

 

Once you have included the Teacher feedback app in your ILS you can prepare feedback for each student. Go to the “members” section in Graasp, look for “Standalone users” and select the student you like to give feedback.

You will enter this student personal ILS and see it as the student has used it (so the tools and notepads will include the input from the student). Be careful, any changes you make will be saved as if the students made these changes himself, except for the comments you put in the feedback tool.  You now can type in your feedback in the app, which will look like this:

When the student opens the ILS he or she will see your feedback, but cannot edit it. You can place as many Teacher feedback apps in your ILS as you wish.

Inquiry Apps: Set Up and Use

Sometimes the inquiry learning apps developed by the University of Twente don’t run (you see nothing on your screen). This can have the cause that you have installed the Privacy Badger (https://www.eff.org/privacybadger) browser extension, so the Privacy Badger must allow content to be downloaded from the Go-Lab server in Twente.

Click on the Privacy Badger icon () to open the settings window:

The slider next to go-lab.gw.utwente.nl must be in the middle (yellow) or at the right (green). If the slider is at the left (red), all content from go-lab.gw.utwente.nl is blocked. As the result, the code for the inquiry apps cannot be loaded.

Inquiry Apps: Set Up and Use