How-to-Use Guide for Science Teachers
This resource can be used by teachers as part of a classroom lesson, or students can work through it independently as part of a revision program.
1. Select the course. In our example, Year 12 Chemistry has been selected but the format is the same for all science courses.
2. Then the following screen appears.
3. On the left hand side, the following are listed:
- All the modules in this course as listed in the syllabus document
- All the content areas that match the inquiry questions in the module
For example, Module 5, Content 1 is matched to the NSW HSC Stage 6 syllabus, Content, the first inquiry question.
- Lessons are matched to the syllabus content listed under the inquiry question
For example, Module 5, Content 1, Lesson 1, is linked to the content listed under the first content area for the first inquiry question as shown:
4. When lesson 1 is selected two options appear - ‘watch’ and ‘apply’.
- ‘Watch’ is a video. This particular lesson demonstrates experiments/practical investigations for each of the reactions as listed in the syllabus. The experiments show the reactions clearly so students can observe what is actually happening. The video can be paused at any time to initiate discussion. For example, what caused the colour change in the middle beaker?
A transcript is provided for every video. Parts of the transcript may be used to design worksheets such as ‘cloze passages’. This type of activity is particularly useful for the weaker students. For example, part of the transcript can be used with words omitted as shown:
Cobalt is a transition metal that can form complex ions. A complex ion is an ion with a metal ion at its centre surrounded by either ions or molecules, or both.
Cobalt is a ____________ metal that can form ____________ ions. A complex ion is an ion with a ____________ ion at its centre surrounded by either ions or ____________, or both.
- ‘Apply’ is a lesson quiz based on the lesson content. It is composed of five multiple choice questions.
At the end of the quiz, the results show the number of questions answered correctly and the time taken.
Students will also be able to review their answers and identify which questions they answered incorrectly.
5. The Working Scientifically section focuses on particular outcomes and provides a scenario for students to work through. Students can save their responses as a pdf file and submit it to their teachers for feedback.
For example, the outcomes for the scenario provided for Module 5 include:
Working Scientifically Outcome
Questioning and predicting
CH11/12-1 develops and evaluates questions and hypotheses for scientific investigation
Knowledge and Understanding Outcome
Ch12-12 explains the characteristics of equilibrium systems, and the factors that affect these systems
- Students click on ‘Proceed’ and are taken to the ‘Research’ section which sets the scenario to help students propose a hypothesis.
- The 'Experiment' section contains an animation that allows students to manipulate the conditions such as temperature and partial pressure of the reactant gases for the Haber process to observe the effect on the yield of ammonia.
- The ‘Describe/Analyse’ section provides students with an opportunity to interpret the data provided. It provides a quick insight into how well students are interpreting the data and applying it to the theory.
- The 'Communicate’ section allows students to review their initial hypothesis after working through the experiment and data. The ‘Generate report’ button creates a pdf file of the student’s report.
6. The End of Module quiz can be used as a pre-test and post-test to monitor student progress. Programs can be adjusted depending on student performance in the pre-test. For example, if every student in class gets a question right, the teacher can assess through further verbal feedback if the students knew the content or simply guessed. If they knew the content, then it may not be necessary to cover it again in class.
An example is used to illustrate this point. Module 5 - End of Module - Quiz Question 1 as shown below, targets the syllabus learning outcome:
- model static and dynamic equilibrium and analyse the differences between open and closed systems
- If every student gets the question correct without guessing, then the teacher may be able to move onto "Modelling dynamic equilibrium" without having to spend time on "Modelling static equilibrium". Any gaps in knowledge can be identified in the post-test and these areas can be revised.
7. The ‘Depth Studies’ section provides students with guidance on how to approach each of the Working Scientifically Skills listed.
- The ‘Depth Studies Planning Tool’ is set out similarly to the ‘Working Scientifically’ tab within the Modules. Students can devise their own research question and work through the Working Scientifically Skills in a methodical manner. Students may be advised in advance which Working Scientifically Skills to focus on, in addition to the mandatory skills. In the final section, 'Communicating results', students can create and submit a pdf report of their plan to their teacher.
8. The ‘End of Course Quiz’ covers all the modules for the appropriate year and is comprised of 20 multiple choice questions and written response questions. The written response questions do not have marks allocated to them.
The ‘End of Course Quiz’ can be administered as a practice examination at the end of the year. Valuable feedback from this practice paper can be provided to students to help them identify areas that need to be revised before the actual examination.
- The time taken to complete the ‘End of Course Quiz’ can also provide valuable information about whether a student made a genuine attempt at the questions.