generalize their learning by prompting students to reflect on their experiences, and by extending the range of experiences through cross group exchanges.
Whole-class discussions that are interleaved with student-directed investigations may be particularly profitable, because the investigation experiences provide teachers and students with a common, concrete frame of reference on which to base student and teacher remarks.
We identified curricular structures that capitalize on these three types of support. There are a number of questions that need to be addressed in order to develop an instructional model for integrating computer- supported student inquiry with structured classroom interaction. First, we need to determine whether students' remarks during class discussions reflect learning and understanding of the material. Second, we need to examine the range of learning resulting from discussions. Are students who take part in the discussion the only ones that appear to benefit from the discussions? Finally, we need to combine assessments of student learning with analyses of discussions in order to characterize the nature of effective and less effective discussions, and the strategies teachers employ to create these different settings.
BGuILE is supported by a grant from the James S. McDonnell Foundation. Any opinions, findings, or conclusions expressed here belong to the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the James S. McDonnell Foundation. We thank William Sandoval, Brian Smith and Franci Steinmuller for their collaboration on this research. We also thank David Goodspeed and Linda Patton for inviting us into their classrooms and collaborating with us as designers, and their students for their interest and cooperation.
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