The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) describe eight science and engineering practices with the goal of having students engage in authentic science practices. Although many teachers are committed to three-dimensional NGSS teaching, doing so remotely during a pandemic was challenging, especially with 20, 30, or more students on Zoom, and without access to labs. At the same time, the pandemic also offered the chance for teachers to reframe their curriculum in new ways, opening up more possibilities for student investigation.
Our InquirySpace project aims to introduce independent experimentation into high school classrooms and focuses on the NGSS practices of Planning and Carrying Out Investigations and Analyzing and Interpreting Data. To support these classroom practices, especially remotely, we collaborated with teachers to produce six YouTube videos with the theme “Teach with CODAP.” CODAP is our Common Online Data Analysis Platform, a free web-based tool for data analysis and visualization.
“Students love to learn but putting 38 students with diverse cultural and educational experiences and backgrounds in one class can be a bit overwhelming,” Emerlyn Gatchalian, a teacher at Hercules High School in Hercules, California, recently told us. “Supporting individual questions about technology was hard enough when teaching in person, it became even more difficult during the remote pandemic teaching, so having easy-to-understand videos for CODAP was a lifesaver. The videos helped my students learn how to use CODAP at their own pace and empowered them to investigate and collaborate with one another.”
The videos promote teaching inquiry-based learning with CODAP and cover topics from the basics to scaffolding advanced data analysis. The idea was to create a set of videos that a novice or experienced CODAP user alike could benefit from, either for learning how to teach with CODAP or to pick up a few advanced tricks.
The videos are available on the Concord Consortium’s YouTube channel as a playlist. The topics are:
Video 1 – Creating, saving, and sharing CODAP docs (2:35)
Video 2 – Simple Formulas (2:58)
Video 3 – Graphs and statistical tools (5:08)
Video 4 – Bringing data into CODAP (4:16)
Video 5 – Importing websites and interactives into CODAP (2:15)
Video 6 – Working with messy data (5:06)
The videos are designed to help teachers work with their students to produce and work with their own data rather than simply collect data. With InquirySpace curriculum units, teachers facilitate students over the course of four to six weeks as they work with sensors, investigate phenomena, bring their data into CODAP, and analyze and visualize their data. Ultimately, students develop their own experiments that help them understand and discover a scientific phenomenon.
In the sixth video in the series, students learn to work with “messy” data.
The National Science Foundation-funded InquirySpace project has always collaborated with participating research teachers, and the development of these videos was no exception. After each video was produced, we solicited feedback from teachers to improve the videos and ask their ideas for additional topics to explore.
One final tip for using the videos: Check out the “description” section of each video on YouTube, then navigate there to watch just a portion of the video to learn or review one of the many CODAP features. Happy viewing!