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03-03-2016 | Issue 1/2016

Journal of Science Teacher Education 1/2016

Using Automated Scores of Student Essays to Support Teacher Guidance in Classroom Inquiry

Journal:
Journal of Science Teacher Education > Issue 1/2016
Authors:
Libby F. Gerard, Marcia C. Linn

Abstract

Computer scoring of student written essays about an inquiry topic can be used to diagnose student progress both to alert teachers to struggling students and to generate automated guidance. We identify promising ways for teachers to add value to automated guidance to improve student learning. Three teachers from two schools and their 386 students participated. We draw on evidence from student progress, observations of how teachers interact with students, and reactions of teachers. The findings suggest that alerts for teachers prompted rich teacher–student conversations about energy in photosynthesis. In one school, the combination of the automated guidance plus teacher guidance was more effective for student science learning than two rounds of personalized, automated guidance. In the other school, both approaches resulted in equal learning gains. These findings suggest optimal combinations of automated guidance and teacher guidance to support students to revise explanations during inquiry and build integrated understanding of science.

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