NSF Awards: 1418423
2018 (see original presentation & discussion)
Grades 6-8
The Graphing Research on Inquiry with Data in Science (GRIDS) projects transforms middle school students’ science learning using assessments linked to instruction. GRIDS units use graphs to improve understanding of density, mechanics, thermodynamics, photosynthesis, mitosis, plate tectonics, and other topics. GRIDS students use graphs to help them learn science; they use scientific ideas to help them interpret graphs. The GRIDS Graphing Inventory (GGI), an online assessment reveals student ideas. Automated scoring of graph constructions, interpretations, and explanations personalize GRIDS units for each learner. Powered by the open-source Web-based Inquiry Science Environment (WISE) platform, GRIDS creates, studies, and disseminates graph technologies, assessments, instructional designs, professional development, and learning materials. View GRIDS projects at https://wise.berkeley.edu. Learn more about our research at http://wise-research.berkeley.edu.
Jonathan Margolin
Principal Researcher
This video really helped me see how GRIDS allows students to use graphs to test out different hypotheses. I am wondering about how this program "sits" in the curriculum. What span of grades and topics does it address?
Marcia Linn
Professor
The GRIDS units are designed for grades 5 to 9. Most units last 5 to 10 class periods. There are 10 GRIDS units available at WISE.Berkeley.edu. There are also challenges for most of the units.
Brian Drayton
Another question I have is, is this system able to take input from sensors? I would think that temp., as well as motion, would lend themselves nicely to both a modeling and an empirical exploration — creating some messy data of the sort Marcia spoke of at the beginning.
Marcia Linn
Professor
Thank you for the question. We do support use of sensors. The WISE thermodynamics project has a version with temperature sensors.
Marcia Linn
Professor
We are interested in experiences others have had with using automated guidance on student-constructed graphs. And, we would love to collaborate with people who would like to use graphs in their research. Let us know.
Margo Murphy
I am very interested in these models/ graphs. How intuitive are they to implement? Are there built in teacher supports or is more formal training required?
Also, are you collecting data behind the scenes as students use the GRIDS units? I am wondering if you are able to assess growth over time based on types of decisions students make within the GRIDs activity.
Very interesting ideas!
Eliane Wiese
Postdoctoral Scholar
Thanks for your feedback! The graphs and models are easy to add to the unit with the WISE authoring tools. For graphs that students can draw, like in the photosynthesis example, authors can specify how many series, the name of each series, and can choose a background for the graph (e.g., the light/dark for photosynthesis).
We are collecting data behind the scenes. For graphs that students draw, we save a snapshot every time students submit their graphs, which lets us see how students improve their graphs in response to feedback. We have also collected data on steps where students reflect on their original predictions, including what they have changed their minds about. For graphs with models like the thermodynamics model, we log which trials students run and how they use the experimentation grid.
Sally Crissman
Senior Science Educator
I enjoyed your video (wished for more!). I'm interested in the automatic guidance. Do students work independently or do they work in groups? I was wondering if they shared graphs in small group settings if a peer would have picked up the problem problem with the graph shown in the video.
Sally
Eliane Wiese
Postdoctoral Scholar
Thanks for your comment! Students usually work in pairs. Sometimes teachers will assign students to groups of three, or to work independently. But, working in groups doesn't always mean working together. Some pairs will take turns working, and some students don't always think deeply about their partner's ideas. And, in some cases, a pair will have the same preconceptions. We are exploring ways to encourage students to collaborate productively in these units - we'd love your ideas!
Sally Crissman
Senior Science Educator
Based on classroom observations, I'd say that peer talk during small group work is one of the richest opportunities for learning. Of course, the talk is productive only when the task for small groups is clear (what's to be done, how much time they have) and there's accountability for the work. Because the teacher can't be everywhere at once, this is a time to test ideas with each other, put partially formed ideas on the table and see how they sound, try small experiments, etc. Returning to your example with graphs, if students know they are responsible for critiquing graphs, for example, using some kind of rubric. Applying a rubric to another person's work often results in awareness that their own needs fixing! However, If they know the software is also doing the critique, I can imagine this would be a disincentive. It takes more time to plan and include productive small group learning but I've seen it foster more independent learner/thinkers. When we have chance to videotape a class that includes small group wrangling with a problem and the presentation of findings to the whole class, the small group conversation is rich with an exchange of ideas and the subsequent presentation has more of a sense of conclusions without revealing all the reasoning behind them.
Group size matters, I've seen pair work or groups of 3 or 4. Much bigger and not everyone gets heard. Maybe the partner gets to play the role of automatic guidance before the software weighs in. Once students understand how to read a graph story, speedy generation of data points is so helpful!
Sally
Adi Kidron
Post-Doctoral Researcher
Thank you, Sally. It's exciting to hear your insights since, as you wrote, designing and enacting collaborative activities is challenging, both for the teachers and the students. We are currently exploring additional ways to promote students' collaborative knowledge building skills. Using the auto scoring as means to promote collaboration is a very interesting idea. I'm curious to hear if and how did you manage to share the different groups insights? What were the presentations like? Did they share their dilemmas? How varied were their insights? Did you feel they are open to actually learn from other groups as well as from their own group members?
Sally Crissman
Senior Science Educator
Our partner teachers had some good ways for groups to share their artifacts or ideas. The lesson design includes a whole class Meaning Making discussion but you don't want a tedious repetitive sharing. So, for example, a teacher might say I'm going to pick one group to share their whiteboard energy story today ...i
If there are artifacts, it's great when there are examples of different ways to solve a problem and kids can talk about the pros and cons of each. In our work, we try to encourage teachers to have the group stick with an idea long enough to go deeply, reveal confusions, and reach some kind of consensus.
Yes. it's very important for the presenters to share their dilemmas, not just report that they have it nailed! Dilemmas are usually pretty interesting and generate productive discussion. Classroom example, 4th graders telling an energy flow story:"after the propeller transferred motion energy to the air, we didn't know what happened to the energy next so we have a component labeled ?". The rest of the group then thinks, Hmmm what did we think happened to the energy after we felt the wind? and we're ready for ideas about dissipation!
How to keep the rest of the group interacting with the presenters' material? They need to know their role: be ready to talk about how this graph (or whatever) is the same or different from your own?Our investigation question today is .... do you think the information on this graph is the enough to answer the question? Explain What questions do you have for the presenters? Do you agree or disagree with ....?
The teacher has to have established a classroom culture that supports such interactions, including teaching some discussion skills! It's really about shifting a right or wrong answer classroom to a reasoning, arguing from evidence, and taking a chance with an emerging idea, classroom.
Sally
Mike Stieff
I really appreciate the focus on integrating graph interpretation more centrally into science learning activities. The video mentions the mismatch between graphs typically seen in math instruction and those seen in science classrooms. Have you found opportunities on the GRIDS project for fostering cooperative learning activities across both math and science classrooms?
Further posting is closed as the event has ended.