|Phase 1||What the Teacher Does That Is|
|Consistent with the 5E Model||Inconsistent with the 5E Model|
Elicits responses that uncover what students know or think about the concept/subject
Provides definitions and answers
Provides premature answers to students' questions
|Explore||Encourages students to work together without direct instruction from teacher Observes and listens to students as they interact Asks probing questions to redirect students' investigations when necessary Provides time for students to puzzle through problems Acts as a consultant for students||Provides answers
Tells or explains how to work through the problem
Tells students they are wrong
Gives information or facts that solve the problem
Leads students step-by-step to a solution
|Explain||Encourages students to explain concepts and definitions in their own words Asks for justification (evidence) and clarification from students Formally provides definitions, explanations, and new labels Uses students' previous experiences as the basis for explaining concepts||Accepts explanations that have no
Neglects to solicit students' explanations
Introduces unrelated concepts or skills
|Elaborate||Expects students to use formal labels, definitions, and explanations provided previously Encourages students to apply or extend concepts and skills in new situations Reminds students of alternative explanations Refers students to existing data and evidence and asks, "What do you already know?" "Why do you think . . . ?"||Provides definitive answers
Tells students they are wrong
Leads students step-by-step to a solution
Explains how to work through the problem
|Evaluate||Observes students as they apply new concepts and skills Assesses students' knowledge and/or skills Looks for evidence that students have changed their thinking or behaviors Allows students to assess their own learning and group-process skills Asks open-ended questions, such as, "Why do you think . . . ?" "What evidence do you have?" "What do you know about x?" "How would you explain x?"||Tests vocabulary words, terms, and
Introduces new ideas or concepts
Promotes open-ended discussion unrelated to concept or skill
During the Elaborate phase of the model, exemplified in this module by Activity 4, Evaluating Claims About Cancer, students are challenged to extend their understanding of cancer. Through a new set of questions and experiences, students develop a deeper, broader understanding of the topic, obtain more information about areas of interest, and refine their scientific and critical-thinking skills. A teacher's primary goal in this phase of the model is to help students articulate generalizations and extensions of concepts and understandings that are relevant to their lives.
Finally, Activity 5, Acting on Information About Cancer, serves as the Evaluate activity for the program. At this point, it is important that students see they can extend and apply their understanding of cancer to the real world. It also is important that they receive feedback on the adequacy of their explanations and understandings. Evaluate activities are complex and challenging, and Activity 5 will stretch your students' abilities to listen, think, and speak.
The Cell Biology and Cancer Web site is a tool, like an overhead projector or a textbook, that you can use to help organize your use of the module, engage student interest in learning, and help orchestrate and individualize instruction. The Web site contains the following major resources:
The Web site runs on Apple Macintosh and IBM-compatible personal computers.
The recommended requirements for a Macintosh computer are the following:
The recommended requirements for IBM-compatible computers are the following:
The ideal use of the Web site requires one computer for each student team. However, if you have only one computer or Internet connection available, you can still use the Web site (for example, by using a suitable display device to show animations or videos to the whole class or by rotating teams through a computer station to access Internet-based resources).
If you do not have the facilities for using the Internet in your classroom, a print-based alternative for each activity that requires the Internet access is available for printing from the Web site. To use this version, you will need to print out the activity lesson plan and its associated masters.
Before you use this Web site or any other piece of instructional software in your classroom, it may be valuable to identify some of the benefits you expect the software to provide. For example, Roblyer (1997) suggests four major ways that instructional multimedia software can benefit students and teachers. First, well-designed multimedia software can help motivate students, help them enjoy learning, and help them want to learn more. Multimedia programs offer users a rich, interesting, and compelling environment in which to explore and learn, and it rewards users with a broader and more complex set of sensory experiences than print-based resources can provide. Well-designed multimedia resources can enliven content that students otherwise may perceive as dull and uninteresting. The video clips and animations provided on the Cell Biology and Cancer Web site offer students this benefit. Because multimedia programs often provide non-linear access to a rich array of information and stimulation, they can also encourage reluctant students to immerse themselves in a topic, creating, in effect, a positive feedback loop in which students learn as they "go their own way," wherever their interest or curiosity takes them.
Second, well-designed multimedia software also offers unique instructional capabilities. For example, such software can stimulate students to explore topics in greater depth and in more different dimensions than students often are willing or able to pursue. The simulation provided for Activity 3 and the reference database that supports Activity 5 have this effect. This benefit is related to the first, but it deepens and intensifies learning rather than stimulates students to investigate content they otherwise would not investigate. Part of this benefit derives from the power such software has to provide essentially immediate access to a wealth of ever more detailed and complex information on a topic, all presented in interesting and unusual ways. Part of the benefit, however, derives from the software's very design: A well-designed user interface provides an easy-to-use navigation system, stimulates curiosity, and encourages exploration of related areas.
Completing activities using instructional software can help students learn to organize and be responsible for their own learning rather than depend entirely on the teacher for direction and support. This goal is commonly cited by teachers and employers, most of whom explicitly desire students and employees who are self-directed and can structure and execute work independently.
Multimedia software can offer students learning experiences that are closer to actual field experiences than the experiences print-based resources offer. The videos that support Activity 5 allow students to listen to people advocating real positions on the topic under investigation. Although the student's experience of the situation in Activity 5 is vicarious, it is more realistic and memorable than the comparatively static and unchanging experience that a textbook treatment of this topic would offer. Because it engages more senses than simply sight, and because it requires more skills than simply understanding what one reads, well-designed instructional software also addresses many different learning styles and serves the needs of a wider population of students than most print-based resources.
Third, multimedia software can provide teachers with support for experimenting with new instructional approaches. The educational system in the United States is struggling to improve its ability to prepare students for the complex, collaborative, technology-rich workplace they will enter when they leave school. Technology can make possible new approaches to teaching in the classroom. For example, by moving the responsibility for organizing learning from the teacher to the student, instructional software can help teachers move into the role of observer and facilitator of learning rather than dispenser of information. As students work independently or in small teams, teachers can circulate throughout the room, listening to students interact with one another, asking and answering questions, and challenging students to consider alternative lines of research and analysis. These behaviors are very different from the typical ones teachers are engaged in when they carry the primary responsibility for delivering and explaining content.
Instructional software can also be an effective tool for helping teachers organize discussions of controversial issues in the classroom. In Activity 5 in this module, using videos to present conflicting positions lends greater credibility to these positions than they may have if they were presented by the teacher. It also depersonalizes the positions, allowing both teachers and students to focus on the substance of the issues rather than on the controversy itself.
Software programs on the Internet also offer teachers the opportunity to expand and enrich the number and depth of research-based projects they assign students, and to increase the scope and difficulty of problem or case-based activities they use in their classrooms. Although basic mathematic and communication skills still are considered essential for students to develop, educators are becoming increasingly aware that curricula must place less emphasis on learning specific factual information and place more on the ability to locate and use information to solve problems and to think critically about issues. The reference database provided in support of Activity 5 allows teachers to involve students in problem-solving and locating and using information while teaching the basic skills students are expected to acquire.
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