How do Openers Contribute to Student Learning?

Amber ZERTUCHE, Libby GERARD, Marcia C. LINN


Openers, or brief activities that initiate a class, routinely take up classroom time each day yet little is known about how to design these activities so they contribute to student learning. This study uses technology-enhanced learning environments to explore new opportunities to transform Openers from potentially busy work to knowledge generating activities. This study compares the impact of teacher-designed Openers, Opener designs based on recent research emphasizing knowledge integration, and no Opener for an 8th grade technology-enhanced inquiry science investigation. Results suggest that students who participate in a researcher-designed Opener are more likely to revisit and refine their work, and to make significant learning gains, than students who do not participate in an Opener. Students make the greatest gains when they revisit key evidence in the technology-enhanced curriculum unit prior to revision. Engaging students in processes that promote knowledge integration during the Opener motivate students to revise their ideas. The results suggest design principles for Openers in technology-enhanced instruction.


Technology, Science Education, Teaching Practices, Classroom Assessment, Formative Assessment

Paper Details

Paper Details
Topic EU Education Programs
Pages 79 - 92
Issue IEJEE, Volume 5, Issue 1, Special Issue Learning and Instruction in the Natural Sciences
Date of acceptance 01 October 2012
Read (times) 513
Downloaded (times) 267

Author(s) Details


University of California, United States


University of California, United States

Marcia C. LINN

University of California, United States


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