Faculty Advisor

Beck, Joseph E.

Faculty Advisor

Gobert, Janice


In this project, a microworld was created in an ASSISTment, a computer based program that assists students with inquiry as it collects data to assess their performance, that assessed middle school students' knowledge of ecology and inquiry skills while addressing common misconceptions in food webs. The students' prior knowledge of ecology was assessed through pretest items. Through two problem scenarios in the microworld, the students were assessed on their inquiry skills and knowledge. Their gains in knowledge were then assessed through the same pretest items given in a posttest. The project did successfully assess the students' inquiry skills and knowledge, although there is room for improvements in the microworld and scaffolding that should be made before further implementation.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

October 2011

Project Type

Interactive Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Computer Science

Advisor Department

Social Science and Policy Studies