Scenario-Find the mistake

In “Find the mistake!” the inquiry process is organized around spotting mistakes of other (fictitious) students on a specific subject. Research shows that this is a very effective learning apporach since it gives students a clear focus in the inquiry process and helps to tackle common misconceptions. Spotting mistakes in work from others appears to be more effective than spotting own mistakes because own mistakes are often attributed to external causes. Important conditions for success are that students work actively with the mistakes and that feedback is given.ILSs that follow this scenario introduce the wrong idea(s) from a named person in the orientation or conceptualisation phase and ask students to “translate” these misconceptions into a set of concrete hypotheses (using the hypothesis scracthpad). In the following phases experiments have to be carried out to test these hypotheses and the initial hypotheses need to be corrected. After that students have to reflect on what they think has caused the misconcpetions.This scenario merely focuses on acquiring understanding of conceptual knowledge.The Find the Mistake scenario can be used for students who have prior knowledge (including misconceptions) but also by students who are pretty fresh in the domain. In the latter case the “mistakes” need to be embedded in more extensive domain information, also then more support in the form of (partly) designed experiments is needed.

Further reading

  • Chang, H., & Chang, H. (2012). Scaffolding students’ online critiquing of expert- and peer-generated molecular models of chemical reactions. International Journal of Science Education, 35, 2028-2056. doi: 10.1080/09500693.2012.733978
  • Förster-Kuschel, J., Lützner, S., Fürstenau, B., & Ryssel, J. (2014). Fehlerhafte concept maps im betriebswirtschaftlichen planspielunterricht - lernen aus eigenen vs. Lernen aus fremden fehlern. Zeitschrift für Berufs- und Wirtschaftspädagogik, 110, 395-412.
  • Howard-Jones, P. A., Bogacz, R., Yoo, J. H., Leonards, U., & Demetriou, S. (2010). The neural mechanisms of learning from competitors. NeuroImage, 53, 790-799. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.06.027
  • McLaren, B. M., Adams, D., Durkin, K., Goguadze, G., Mayer, R. E., Rittle-Johnson, B., . . . van Velsen, M. (2012). To err is human, to explain and correct is divine: A study of interactive erroneous examples with middle school math students. In A. Ravenscroft, S. Lindstaedt, C. D. Kloos, & D. Hernández-Leo (Eds.), 21st century learning for 21st century skills (Vol. 7563, pp. 222-235): Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
  • Wijnen, F. (2014). Learning from erroneous models. Master thesis, University of Twente, Enschede.
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