nQuire for the OpenScience Lab: supporting communities of inquiry learning

Villasclaras Fernandez, Eloy; Sharples, Mike; Kelley, Simon and Scanlon, Eileen (2013). nQuire for the OpenScience Lab: supporting communities of inquiry learning. In: Scaling up Learning for Sustained Impact, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer, pp. 585–588.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-40814-4_64

URL: http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-6...


We have developed a platform to support Citizen Inquiry activities, based on the nQuire Toolkit software which was originally de- signed to support inquiry-based learning activities for schools. Citizen Inquiry is an innovative way for learners to engage in practical scientific activities, in which they take the role of self-regulated scientists in informal learning contexts. The platform will be integrated with the OpenScience Laboratory and will allow individuals or groups to create inquiries that rely on virtual scientific instruments for collecting scientifically reliable data. A demonstration inquiry has been created using the Open University Virtual Microscope that enables learners to conduct investigations of lunar geology by studying rare and authentic samples of Moon rock collected during the Apollo programme. Inquiries created using such instruments are intended to arouse a sense of wonder in members of the public, attract learners to science, and build communities of users around non-professional yet authentic scientific activities. This demonstration will show the nQuire authoring tools and the prototype inquiry, focusing on the integration of the scientific tool and features that facilitate collaboration in citizen inquiries.

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