The pandemic interrupted in-person learning and forced schools to find alternative ways to strengthen students’ science inquiry competencies remotely. It is particularly challenging to support students in science where engagement in authentic inquiry is essential. Since the beginning of the pandemic 6,678 number of Teachers have utilized Inq-ITS and our teacher alerting dashboard to provide students with continued opportunities to develop their inquiry competencies; students also received real time support from our virtual tutor Rex as they worked remotely. The present study explored the trajectory of students’ inquiry competencies in Inq-ITS from their performance in-class before the COVID-19 pandemic to their performance during remote learning. Results indicated that students either maintained or significantly improved on their inquiry competencies. This work has significant implications for how technology that provides real-time assessment and scaffolding of students’ inquiry can support student learning, even during remote instruction.
The gains seen in this study are rather remarkable as they exceed the gains we would typically see over a small number of labs. In order for students to reach proficiency, we expect that students will need to complete 20 or more investigations.