Brian J. Reiser

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There has been much interest in using software tools to scaffold learners in complex tasks, that is, to provide supports that enable students to deal with more complex content and skill demands than they could otherwise handle. Many different approaches to scaffolding techniques have been presented in a broad range of software tools. I argue that two(More)
Modeling is a core practice in science and a central part of scientific literacy. We present theoretical and empirical motivation for a learning progression for scientific modeling that aims to make the practice accessible and meaningful for learners. We define scientific modeling as including the elements of the practice (constructing, using, evaluating,(More)
This article examines what happens when students are explicitly supported in understanding the form of the artifacts that their science inquiry should produce. I explore how students' epistemological ideas about the nature of science interact with their conceptual understanding of a particular domain, as reflected in written explanations for an event of(More)
information (Nisbett & Ross, 1980). Furthermore, strong motivation can affect the way reasoning is carried out, leading people to pay more attention to information consistent with the desired outcome or to discount inconsistent information (Klayman & Ha, 1987). For example, if we are presented with a problematic idea, such as the need for substantial(More)
Science education reforms consistently maintain the goal that students develop an understanding of the nature of science, including both the nature of scientific knowledge and methods for making it. This paper articulates a framework for scaffolding epistemic aspects of inquiry that can help students understand inquiry processes in relation to the kinds of(More)
We describe an intelligent tutor for LISP programming. This tutor achieves a set of pedagogical objectives derived from Anderson's (1983) learning theory provide instruction in the context of problem-solving, have the student generate as much of each solution as possible, provide immediate feedback on errors, and represent the goal structure of the(More)
In this article we apply a novel analytical framework to explore students’ difficulties in understanding molecular genetics—a domain that is particularly challenging to learn. Our analytical framework posits that reasoning in molecular genetics entails mapping across ontologically distinct levels—an information level containing the genetic information, and(More)