Features of TELS Community Curricula

TELS projects engage students in scientific inquiry through challenging collaborative activities that emphasize visualization, simulation, and investigation. To guide students through inquiry-based TELS curricula, teachers survey students’ ideas on an individual or small group basis and periodically address the whole class about course content.

TELS Curricula 1 TELS Curricula 3 TELS Curricula 2

TELS Community curriculum projects, built on the WISE platform, provide numerous instructional benefits for both teachers and students in the classroom, as well as rich opportunities for curriculum design and customization:

  • TELS Features for Students

    • Address consequential science topics across all grade levels
    • Provide a window on the practice of science by encouraging students to create arguments using scientific evidence and encouraging students to analyze scientific claims
    • Support integration of ideas from powerful visualizations, probe-based activities, and virtual experiments
    • Implement knowledge integration patterns to help students develop coherent ideas [Elicit ideas, Add new ideas, Develop criteria, Sort out and reflect on ideas]
    • Enable students to use a variety of communication skills for science including collaboration, reading, writing, representing ideas visually, and interacting with complex visualizations
    • Take advantage of the social context by having students construct arguments for an audience of peers, critique each others solutions, collaborate on large projects, and interpret ideas articulated by others
    • Promote self-monitoring of progress with reflection questions and feedback from teachers
    • Create a common look and feel for students, so that the transition from one TELS project to another is easy

  • TELS Features for Teaching in the Classroom

    • Create a common look and feel for teachers so that teaching one TELS topic makes teaching the next one straightforward
    • Support registration, privacy, and archiving so that schools can track student work over multiple projects and years
    • Embed assessments that reveal how students learn as they progress through a project and how the project’s cognitive and social supports contribute to their understanding
    • Embed professional development supports that enable teachers to view, comment, and score student work; compile student work into a portfolio with responses from multiple projects; and use the file as a grade book or an aid for conferences with students and parents

  • TELS Features for Design and Customization

    • Offer designers the Design Principles Database — an infrastructure for publishing, connecting, discussing, and reviewing design ideas
    • Draws on research by TELS and others to offer tested step types and activity sequences
    • Support teachers and researchers who desire to customize projects to local conditions, curriculum sequences, and student needs
    • Support registration, privacy, and archiving so that researchers can easily track student work over multiple projects and years
    • Offer open source access to other educational software developers
    • Take advantage of emerging technologies
    • Offer developers an authoring environment that incorporates successful curriculum design patterns and principles