The Progress Portfolio software is designed to encourage students to become reflective inquirers by focusing them on the normally invisible aspects of the process of inquiry. Students using the Progress Portfolio document the investigative process, their thoughts, and their interpretations, bringing these features of investigations into the classroom discourse, both within student groups and between students and teachers. The work described here suggests that the approach of building supports for reflection into a wrap- around inquiry-support framework holds promise as a means of impacting students' inquiry strategies and habits. The Progress Portfolio has been shown to have the flexibility to be integrated into existing classroom inquiry activities, and to be useful for students working in a wide range of investigation software. The Progress Portfolio enabled discussion around inquiry products and processes, supporting the collaborative construction of explanations of an investigation. It has also been shown to integrate well into the process of creating presentations. Our future research will focus on discovering principles for designing inquiry activities which encourage students to make use of the tools provided by the Progress Portfolio, and to better understand the kinds of annotation and data storage that will be most valuable to students.
We would like to thank our teacher-collaborators Laura Walhof and Judy Whitcomb for their significant contributions to the work presented here. This work was funded by DARPA's Computer Aided Education and Training Initiative.
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