Please follow the links below to learn more about our specific units:
The ModelSim Approach
In our units we present a unique approach to inquiry based learning, informed by latest trends in learning and cognitive sciences. Click here to read more about our approach…
Using the Units in the Classroom
Each unit is designed to be implemented for an approximately two-week period. Since total class time per week varies from school to school a more reliable measure would be the total classroom time required to complete the units. Based on our previous experiences, this would be about 10hrs of class time, however since we encourage teachers to be creative and interpret the units according to their teaching style, this should be considered an approximate value.
The first day and last day of the implementations students will be given a pre and post test including a mixture of multiple choice, open-ended and model based questions. Just like the units, the tests will be delivered using the web-based WISE4 system. These tests are designed to measure student learning in the content domain area, as well as, changes in approach to scientific inquiry and scientific thinking.
Between the pre and post tests the activities in the unit will be implemented by the teacher. While each activity comes with a teacher guide, the activities were designed with the idea that each teacher will interpret the activities according to their classroom dynamics and teaching styles. The methods and strategies covered in the workshop, and the tips in the teacher guides provide a solid foundation for implementing the model-based inquiry units. Nevertheless, the real strength of the units is that they are flexible and can only be fully realized with teachers’ input and interpretations, since it is the teachers who can truly understand the ecology of their own classrooms.
While the workshop will aim at helping teachers acquire all competencies needed to use the curricular materials, we are eager to provide support for teachers during the implementations as well. We have a community forum where teachers and the researchers can talk about the implementation experiences and seek solutions to the issues that might come up during the implementations. The ModelSim team members will actively participate in this forum to answer teacher questions and to contribute to the discussions about teachers’ experiences.
In addition, we will meet with participating teachers regularly either online (e.g., Skype, GTalk) or face-to-face (either at the Northwestern Campus, or at teachers’ schools) to help them with getting prepared for the implementations and to interview them after the implementations about their experiences.
Although the teachers’ forum is preferred medium to discuss issues that might relate to other teachers as well, we will be happy to answer questions from teacher individually either by email or by phone (see the contact section).