Average Learning Time
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 approach since it gives students a clear focus in the inquiry process and helps to tackle common misconceptions. Spotting mistakes from others' work appear 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 Scratchpad). 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 misconceptions. This scenario merely focuses on acquiring an understanding of conceptual knowledge.
The "Find the Mistake" scenario can be used by students who have prior knowledge (including misconceptions), but also by students who are pretty new 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.
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