Faculty Advisor

Beck, Joseph E.

Faculty Advisor

Gobert, Janice


A microworld was created in a Science ASSISTment, a computer based learning environment that assists students with inquiry as it collects data to assess their performance. The microworld assessed middle school students' knowledge of ecology and inquiry skills while addressing common misconceptions in food webs. The students' prior knowledge was assessed through pretest items. Two problem scenarios in the microworld were used to assess the students on their inquiry skills and content knowledge. Their gains in knowledge were then assessed through the same pretest items given in a posttest. The project successfully assessed the students' inquiry skills and knowledge, although further improvements in the microworld and scaffolding should be made before implementation in a larger setting.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

August 2011

Project Type

Interactive Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Computer Science

Advisor Department

Social Science and Policy Studies