Below is a presentation of the results of our analyses of middle school students' science fair poster hypotheses. These findings help us better understand which aspects of developing hypotheses students need more help in doing and guide our development of instruction on hypotheses given in the ISP Tutor.
Giving students choice of research question: Effects on science attitudes and learning outcomes.
In a recent study conducted in two middle schools, some students were given a choice of a experiment topic and research questions while others were given a research question. All students then worked through instruction on experimental design for the research question they chose/were given by first designing an experiment to test that research question. Then they evaluated other experiments for their topic. The effect of choice on students' learning of experimental design and attitudes about science depended on student characteristics such as age. A robust finding that was true for all students was that choosing a research question improved their views of the value of science.
Click on the pdf below for more details.
Siler, S. A. (2020). Giving students choice of research question: Effects on science attitudes and learning outcomes. (Draft: Do not cite.)