ETEC 533: Web-Based Inquiry & Scaffolding Online

The following is a reflection for several weeks worth of conversations about the WISE software and the SKI model for learning scaffolding.

  • What was the motivation to create WISE?

    • WISE, or web-based inquiry science environment, was designed to create customizable, evidence based, and reputable resources for teachers in science classrooms to teach content in an inquiry style. Each customizable WISE project can be tailored to fit a teacher’s needs in the classroom, and was developed by a team of educational pedagogy researchers, scientists in that field, science teachers, and technology designers.

  • In what ways does SKI promote knowledge integration through its technological and curriculum design? Describe a typical process for developing a WISE project.

    • SKI has four main goals: make thinking visible (generally through reflection), make science accessible, help students learn from one another, and promote lifelong learning. Each WISE project starts an inquiry process through guided instruction, and generally scaffolds off the guided support in order for students to inquire about the process for themselves.

  • How does this design process compare with the Jasper Adventures?

    • The design is very similar to Jasper, except that WISE attempts to use multimedia tools more relevant to this day and age (I say attempt as many models are outdated in their design and use) rather than just video. Jasper also requires an in class teacher to structure the lesson, where as WISE could theoretically be used as an independent module for student inquiry.

  • What about WISE would you customize?

    • WISE is in drastic need of a User Interface (UI) Rehaul. The whole website, as well as the student experience of the website, feels straight out of 2006. Changing curriculum pages is clunky, using online models are slow and unresponsive, and the design choices are tacky and uninviting for using the platform. Overall, and as unfortunate as it is, the slow use of the interface, slow adaptations of websites (needing to edit in html code without a live interface builder?), and the tacky design is enough to push me off using WISE in my own classrooms, or recommend using WISE in your own classrooms.


Linn, M., Clark, D., & Slotta, J. (2003). Wise design for knowledge integration. Science Education, 87(4), 517-538.

Williams, M., Linn, M.C., Ammon, P. et al. Journal of Science Education and Technology (2004) 13: 189.