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Teachers’ Transformation to Inquiry-Based Instructional Practice  [PDF]
Jeff C. Marshall, Julie B. Smart
Creative Education (CE) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/ce.2013.42019

This collective case study examines secondary science teachers’ responses to a professional development program designed to assist in the transformation of inquiry belief structures and inquiry instructional practices. These teachers were participants in a year-long professional development institute that focused on increasing the quantity and quality of inquiry in secondary science classrooms. This multi-case design examines multiple data sources in order to answer the following research question: How do the beliefs and practices of teachers regarding inquiry-based instruction evolve over the year of intervention? Participants were selected using the data from an inquiry observational protocol to represent a variety of abilities and beliefs regarding inquiry instructional practice. The results provide insights into teachers’ belief structures and classroom structure related to inquiry instruction. Further, we detail the role of the professional development experience in facilitating transformation of classroom practice. Implications for how professional development programs are developed and led are provided.

Inquiry Instructional Method and the School Science Currículum  [cached]
Jacinta Agbarachi Opara,Nkasiobi Silas Oguzor
Current Research Journal of Social Science , 2011,
Abstract: The crusade to universalize basic education and improve its quality is now very much on the agenda of many countries including the developing ones. Meaning that, there is an implication, there is an overwhelming concern over the quality and relevance of education globally. Undoubtedly, the quality of education is a direct consequence and outcome of the quality of teachers and teacher education. The socialization of the child is a long process which requires careful and systematic application of workable principles as to achieve the desired results. To perhaps improve the student’s academic achievement in biology, a shift will be necessary from what has traditionally been experienced in the Nigeria classrooms toward more inquiry teaching practices, which facilitated teaching for meaningful learning. Suffice it to note the importance of inquiry in the science process, as, allowing students to describe objects and events, ask questions, construct explanations, test those explanations against current scientific knowledge, and communicate their ideas to others. This is the contention in this study. The thesis of this study is to contribute to the ongoing debate on enhancing teaching and learning strategies through innovation and changes in the contemporary epoch of new world order, thus globalization and technology.
Examining the Anatomy of a Screencast: Uncovering Common Elements and Instructional Strategies  [cached]
William Sugar,Abbie Brown,Kenneth Luterbach
International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning , 2010,
Abstract: The researchers engaged in cooperative inquiry in order to explore screencasts as online instructional tools. In total, each researcher analyzed 37 screencasts, which provided over two hours of instruction. The content area of these screencasts concentrated on teaching specific computing procedures (e.g., how to install web server software or how to add a table in a word processor). The researchers analyzed their own self-produced screencasts as well as those that were professionally produced. Analyses of the screencasts led the researchers to discover common structural components (i.e., bumpers, screen movement, and narration) and common instructional strategies (i.e., provide overview, describe procedure, present concept, focus attention, and elaborate content). By synthesizing the common structure and common instructional strategies, the researchers offer a framework for considering the role of screencasts as online instructional tools. To introduce a practical application of the framework, the researchers created a screencasting checklist, which may be used by online instructors and instructional designers to develop and assess their own screencasts. This initial work invites additional research and development in order to refine the screencasting framework and checklist.
Patricia Allen Carbonell
Academic Research International , 2012,
Abstract: Implementing International Mindfulness Instructional Design (IMID) may ameliorate trauma that online Latino students experience, and improve their comparative 44% virtual academic underperformance to their white online student counterparts.
Technical Evaluation Report 49: Learning Objects and Instructional Design
Brian Harvey
International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning , 2005,
Abstract: Reusable learning objects are an approach that is receiving a significant amount of attention in distance-based and online education (see Reports # 11, 40, and 46 in this series). They have the potential to provide cost-effective, personalised instruction with a short development time. Instructional design principles, however, must play an important part in any such development effort, within a design process that occurs on two levels. At the higher level, instruction must be designed to deliver material efficiently to students at the modular/ course/ programme level. Design principles should be applied at the secondary level, at which the unique characteristics of learning objects are determined. Various instructional design (ID) methodologies are capable of dealing with these issues. The current report discusses a sle of these methodologies, and compares the ID adequacy of objects in four major learning object repositories: Merlot, CLOE, EOE, and Wisconsin Online. At the time of writing, each of these repositories contains objects that are inadequate from the ID point of view.
Lens Inquiry: An Astronomy Lab for Non-science Majors at Hartnell Community College  [PDF]
Nicole M. Putnam,Judy Y. Cheng,Elizabeth J. McGrath,David K. Lai,Pimol Moth
Physics , 2010,
Abstract: We describe a three hour inquiry activity involving converging lenses and telescopes as part of a semester-long astronomy lab course for non-science majors at Hartnell Community College in Salinas, CA. Students were shown several short demonstrations and given the chance to experiment with the materials, after which there was a class discussion about the phenomena they observed. Students worked in groups of 2-4 to design their own experiments to address a particular question of interest to them and then presented their findings to the class. An instructor-led presentation highlighted the students' discoveries and the lab's content goals, followed by a short worksheet-based activity that guided them in applying their new knowledge to build a simple telescope using two converging lenses. The activity was successful in emphasizing communication skills and giving students opportunities to engage in the process of science in different ways. One of the biggest challenges in designing this activity was covering all of the content given the short amount of time available. Future implementations may have more success by splitting the lab into two sessions, one focusing on converging lenses and the other focusing on telescopes.
Universal Instructional Design Principles for Moodle  [cached]
Tanya Elias
International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning , 2010,
Abstract: The paper identifies a set of universal instructional design (UID) principles appropriate to distance education (DE) and tailored to the needs of instructional designers and instructors teaching online. These principles are then used to assess the accessibility level of a sample online course and the availability of options in its LMS platform (Moodle) to increase course accessibility. Numerous accessibility-sensitive plug-in modules are found to be available to Moodle users, though relatively few features were included in the sample course analysed. This may be because they have not been made available to instructors at the institutional level. The paper offers a series of recommendations to improve the accessibility of online DE to learners with diverse abilities, disabilities, and needs.
Changes in the measured image separation of the gravitational lens system, PKS 1830-211  [PDF]
C. Jin,M. A. Garrett,S. Nair,R. W. Porcas,A. R. Patnaik,R. Nan
Physics , 2003, DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-8711.2003.06390.x
Abstract: We present eight epochs of 43 GHz, dual-polarisation VLBA observations of the gravitational lens system PKS 1830-211, made over fourteen weeks. A bright, compact ``core'' and a faint extended ``jet'' are clearly seen in maps of both lensed images at all eight epochs. The relative separation of the radio centroid of the cores (as measured on the sky) changes by up to 87 micro arcsec between subsequent epochs. A comparison with the previous 43 GHz VLBA observations (Garrett et al. 1997) made 8 months earlier show even larger deviations in the separation of up to 201 micro arcsec. The measured changes are most likely produced by changes in the brightness distribution of the background source, enhanced by the magnification of the lens. A relative magnification matrix that is applicable on the milliarcsecond scale has been determined by relating two vectors (the ``core-jet'' separations and the offsets of the polarised and total intensity emission) in the two lensed images. The determinant of this matrix, -1.13 +/-0.61, is in good agreement with the measured flux density ratio of the two images. The matrix predicts that the 10 mas long jet, that is clearly seen in previous 15 and 8.4 GHz VLBA observations (Garrett et al. 1997, Guirado et al. 1999), should correspond to a 4 mas long jet trailing to the south-east of the SW image. The clear non-detection of this trailing jet is a strong evidence for sub-structure in the lens and may require more realistic lens models to be invoked, e.g. Nair & Garrett (2000).
An Internet Based Instructional Design Framework for Vocational Education
Thosporn Sangsawang,Kalayanee Jitgarun,Paiboon Kiattikomol
International Journal of Soft Computing , 2012, DOI: 10.3923/ijscomp.2011.119.127
Abstract: Internet based courses has become a dominant factor in instructional, academia and everyday life. It has increasingly been developed by many academic institutions, organizations and companies worldwide due to their benefits for both learners and educators. However, many of the developmental approaches lack two important considerations needed for implementing internet-based instructional applications such as integration of the psychologies learning theories with instructional design and development of the process and evaluation framework to improve the overall quality of internet-based learning support vocational education. This study addressed these two weaknesses while developing based on a vocational education environment. Thus, the purpose of this study was to synthesize an instructional design framework from mental process, learning by doing and social context, to create an internet based instructional design framework for vocational education. The framework was created by synthesizing three existing theories of instructional design. To synthesize the framework first used the Delphi technique with 17 experts to identify their perspectives on the three instructional design theories. The results revealed that the framework provides excellent potential for develop and evaluation. The process is easy, effective access to information and also implies an integrated performance of development method. The study also confirmed that for an internet-based instructional to be successful, various aspects of the online environment should be considered such as application domain knowledge, conceptual theory and evaluation about the overall quality of the design environment.
Instructional Use of Weblogs  [PDF]
The Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education , 2007,
Abstract: Web 2.0 can provide learners with increased interaction and online collaboration. Among its applications, weblogs have gained an increasing popularity as they allow bloggers to voice their own perspectives which can be delivered to a large audience through the Web. Weblogs can be integrated into teaching-learning process as they encourage learners to collaborate and freely voice their ideas. However, innovative technologies might not always lead to innovative distance education practices if timely adaptation lags behind. This study presents a review on instructional use of weblogs along with implications for open and distance learning.
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