Learning Science Online: Inquiry Learning in Formal and Informal Settings

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Scanlon, Eileen
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Commonwealth of Learning (COL)
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In the past 50 years we have conducted many of projects investigating science learning in formal and informal settings at the UK Open University (UKOU). We review the teaching of science at a distance with the UKOU and the development of methods to include practical work in distance and online learning. Our recent work on the development of an inquiry learning pedagogy offers the possibility of extending opportunities for learning science in informal settings. Currently our work is extending into exploring the perspective of citizen science as a setting in which learning about science can take place. Interest in citizen science is growing, and in particular those projects supported by technology. We have developed the concept of citizen science inquiry which is a combination of mass participation citizen science and learning to be a scientist through scientific inquiry (Herodotou et al, 2017). Finally, we report on the development of software to support citizen science inquiry and we will describe the evolution of the various platforms including nQuire and nQuire-it. We have recently developed a new web platform for the conduct of citizen inquiries in conjunction with the BBC Tomorrows World. This new platform allows for scientists, and members of the public to create and run online studies. Our aim is to increase the scale of the inquiry missions we can support, and further investigate informal opportunities to learn science. This paper will describe the development of our work in over the years in online practical work in science.// Paper ID 57
eLearning, Non-Formal Education, Formal Education, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)