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Table 1 Possible student activities under different levels of inquiry in the domain of gel electrophoresis

From: “Virtual Inquiry”: Teaching Molecular Aspects of Evolutionary Biology Through Computer-Based Inquiry

Level Description of student activities under different levels of inquiry
1 Confirmatory inquiry: What is the role of gel concentration in the distance DNA fragments travel? Using a preselected virtual laboratory and by precisely following a predeveloped data analysis method, students verify the influence of gel concentration on the distance DNA fragment travel
2 Structured inquiry: What is the role of gel concentration in the distance DNA fragments travel? Using a predetermined virtual laboratory students determines either the method of data collection (search), the method of data analysis (evaluation), or the way to provide an explanation (reason) to the guiding question. The conduct of other phases is controlled by the teacher
3 Guided inquiry: What variables of gel electrophoresis influence the distance DNA fragments travel? Using a predetermined virtual laboratory students determine more than one: the method of data collection (search), the method of data analysis (evaluation), the way to provide an explanation (reason) to the guiding question. The conduct of other phases is controlled by the teacher
4 Open inquiry: Students formulate a driving question about a variable they wish to investigate and collect data about the effects of these variables by designing experimental tests. They independently determine the materials, methods of data collection, and data analysis and communicate their research results