Logging Opportunities in Online Programs for Science

The LOOPS program uses the cyber infrastructure to provide innovative resources that support inquiry in the middle school science classroom. The project makes innovative use of technology to create timely, valid, and actionable reports to teachers by analyzing assessments and logs of student actions generated in the course of using online inquiry curriculum units. The reports will allow teachers to make data-based decisions about alternative teaching strategies.

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LOOPS is collecting data on student progress—what activity within each student is working on or has completed, plus student responses to questions and scores on various assessment items. The major innovation of LOOPS will be data on student inquiry skills obtained by monitoring how students learn from their explorations of scientific models and probes. LOOPS will extract in real time a few key indicators of inquiry skills and present them in a format that teachers can use.

LOOPS resources put teachers in a feedback loop of data, which will help inform their choices of assessments, actions, and curriculum customizations. These feedback loops are being classroom-tested with inquiry-based materials using probes and models focused on 8th grade physical science.

The LOOPS project is headed by the Concord Consortium, in a partnership effort with TELS Community members at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Toronto.