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Title: Learning to Model Ecosystems With Interaction Food Webs in Middle School Classrooms
Authors: Lui, Michelle
Moher, Tom
Issue Date: Jul-2017
Publisher: Philadelphia, PA: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Citation: Lui, M. & Moher, T. (2017). Learning to Model Ecosystems With Interaction Food Webs in Middle School Classrooms In Smith, B. K., Borge, M., Mercier, E., and Lim, K. Y. (Eds.). (2017). Making a Difference: Prioritizing Equity and Access in CSCL, 12th International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) 2017, Volume 1. Philadelphia, PA: International Society of the Learning Sciences.
Abstract: Modeling is an important part of scientific practice that represents phenomenon but also allows for prediction and reasoning about systems. While students typically do not have issues with understanding simple linear relationships, difficulties arise when more complex relationships are introduced. Richer representational diagrams make visible the complexities within ecosystems and can help students better understand interacting forces. We co-designed an instructional sequence with software applications to support middle school students building interaction food webs as models of ecosystems. 48 students participated in the lessons and used the applications in groups of three to four students. 87% of groups were able to successfully produce an interaction food web. Posttests found that over 80% of students gave a completely or partially correct explanation, demonstrating reasonable proficiency in understanding interaction food webs. The results from each step of the instructional sequence are discussed with respect to the curriculum and technology design.
Appears in Collections:CSCL 2017

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