Learning Characteristics of Students
It is very important that the case take into consideration the learning characteristics of students in order to develop an instructional plan that will maximize learning for students. For example, it is essential that all students are engaged before learning can occur. This calls for the creation of extremely interesting activities that are related to the desired enduring understandings. If one half of the students who will participate in the case are English Learners then it is critical that the instructional plan include tools and resources that will support this student population. This means that activities related to this instructional case must emphasize hands on approaches that allow English Learners equal access to the curriculum. It also means that the team may develop and use a table that clearly identifies the components of the tests that could be used to demonstrate the presence of water on remote and hostile locations such as Mars. A template for such a table is provided below.
|Test for Water||Chemical Basis for Test||Expected Results||Suitable for in Remote or Hostile Environment?|
|Measuring the freezing point of water|
|Measuring the Boiling Point of Water|
|Cobalt (II) Chloride Paper indicator test|
|Add a few drops to white anhydrous copper(II) sulphate|
|pH test for water|
|Use substances that are known to dissolve in water|
|Use of electrolysis to break water into its component elements|
Potential student misconceptions
Teachers will work collaboratively in their teams to identify potential student misconceptions. Potential student misconceptions might include:
Students may assume a white substance on images from Mars indicates water ice when it could be other substances such as frozen carbon dioxide (dry ice).
Students may assume that ice on Mars will melt to form liquid water, when pressure-temperature conditions on Mars may cause water ice to sublimate (transfrom directly from solid to vapor).