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Reporting experimental measurements to a forum

Get students to appreciate the complexity of experimental measurement by having them report measurements to a forum and discuss how they collected them.

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The Cloudworks Team
29 April 2008

The aim of this activity is to get introductory science students interacting with each other online so as to develop their understanding of scientific methods. The students post experimental data which they have collected themselves – in this case, daily records of precipitation measured with a home-made raid gauge – using a reporting template. The tutor stimulates discussion with open questions about their results and their methods: eg how did you measure the depth of water in your rain gauge? To keep interaction strong and encourage a sense of learning community, students are divided into tutor groups of 20, located in roughly the same geographical area, and posting on this activity is time-limited. Motivation is supported by the inclusion of a question about the discussion in the next assessment after the activity. [Valda Stevens, Neil McBride]

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