A Go-Lab scenario shapes the didactical structure of an Inquiry Learning Space (ILS). Scenarios differ in their different approaches, activities and in the combination of:

  • offline and online activities
  • individual or collaborative actions
  • distribution of activities with several levels of teacher guidance
  • sequencing of activities

Six different scenarios are presented. Choosing the right scenario depends on the educational objectives and organization of the lesson, students' characteristics, prior knowledge, and acquired inquiry skills.

After presenting the scenarios, we show you how you can choose and add a Scenario to your ILS. 

Basic Scenario

In the Basic scenario, student learning is centered around performing fundamental inquiry tasks such as identifying variables, making predictions, conducting experiments and drawing evidence-based conclusions. In order to facilitate the logical and seamless flow of inquiry for students, the Basic scenario conveniently organizes inquiry tasks into five major phases:

  1. Orientation
  2. Conceptualisation
  3. Investigation
  4. Conclusion
  5. Discussion.

The five inquiry phases structure the learning experience for students so that regardless of their current ability they can achieve optimal results. This is possible because in several of the phases there are multiple options to guide inquiry learning. For example, in the Conceptualisation phase, it is possible to direct students towards posing a question which they subsequently explore in the Investigation phase. This is especially beneficial for novice students who have just been introduced to a topic and are curious to explore relationships among concepts that are new to them. However, for students already familiar with a topic, then it is possible to guide them to formulate hypotheses in the Conceptualisation phase which they subsequently test by conducting appropriate experiments in the Investigation phase. Systematic testing of hypotheses with controlled experiments is a defining feature of how professional scientists approach problems in real-life.

Overall, the Basic scenario provides a flexible learning experience for students to solve authentic problems in science by following an inquiry way of thinking rather than by simply memorizing established facts.

Find the Mistake

In “Find the mistake!” the inquiry process is organized around spotting mistakes of other (fictitious) students on a specific subject. Research shows that this is a very effective learning approach since it gives students a clear focus in the inquiry process and helps to tackle common misconceptions. Spotting mistakes from others' work appear to be more effective than spotting own mistakes because own mistakes are often attributed to external causes. Important conditions for success are that students work actively with the mistakes and that feedback is given.

ILSs that follow this scenario introduce the wrong idea(s) from a named person in the orientation or conceptualisation phase and ask students to “translate” these misconceptions into a set of concrete hypotheses (using the Hypothesis Scratchpad). In the following phases, experiments have to be carried out to test these hypotheses and the initial hypotheses need to be corrected. After that, students have to reflect on what they think has caused the misconceptions. This scenario merely focuses on acquiring an understanding of conceptual knowledge. 

The "Find the Mistake" scenario can be used by students who have prior knowledge (including misconceptions), but also by students who are pretty new in the domain. In the latter case the “mistakes” need to be embedded in more extensive domain information, also then more support in the form of (partly) designed experiments is needed.

Jigsaw Approach

In a jigsaw puzzle, each part of the picture has to be put in place to depict the whole figure. Accordingly, the Jigsaw Scenario is a type of group learning arrangement, where each student needs to cooperate with his or her peers to achieve learning goals. Each student's contribution is necessary for the preparation of the final outcome.

The Jigsaw Scenario is considered as an essential cooperative strategy for science education. One major characteristic of this perspective is that students have an opportunity to learn from each other by communicating with peers and exchanging information. Students are grouped twice, first in home groups and then in expert groups. The latter will delve deeper into a part of the whole study. When each expert will return to his or her home group, he/she will share the expertise gained with other home group members. Each student's contribution is like a part of the picture that has to be there to shape the whole figure. In the Jigsaw Scenario, positive outcomes of collaborative learning are catalyzed by fostering student interaction in expert and home groups. However, this requires that students have the necessary communication skills, such as interpersonal and argumentation skills.

In Go-Lab, the Jigsaw Scenario could be implemented in two alternative learning activity sequences, the Hypothesis Pathway and the Driving Question Pathway. In both cases, students first form home groups and then switch to different expert groups to investigate each one dimension of the phenomenon under study. At the end of their expert work, experts return to home groups to communicate their results with peers and draw a final conclusion. The Hypothesis Pathway is to be followed when students have a clear overview of the variables engaged in the phenomenon under study and, therefore, when they could formulate and test hypotheses. When students do not have such a clear overview, they would better choose the Driving Question Pathway and proceed to exploration of the phenomenon.

Learning by Critiquing

In the Learning by Critiquing scenario the major student activity is to judge the quality of an experimental set-up. Students read a report written by others about an experiment that they performed. Learning activities center around presenting and defending opinions by making judgments about information, the validity of ideas, or quality of work based on a set of criteria.

In the first part of the scenario, students judge the report based on a set of criteria that the teacher has given them. Based on their critique they try to come to a better experiment design. In the second part of the scenario, they perform the experiment and write a report about their design, findings, and conclusions. In the third part of the scenario, students exchange their reports and evaluate the work of another (group of) student(s). Based on the feedback that they receive they finalize their report.

This scenario is used to make students aware of the processes related to scientific reasoning and reporting and is less focused on teaching a specific topic. Students should have some basic understanding of the topic at hand. If this is not present, the basic information should be presented in the Orientation phase of the scenario.

Six Thinking Hats

Edward de Bono’s (1999) Six Thinking Hats is a widely adopted creativity technique in various fields, including education. Essentially, Six Thinking Hats provides directions for adopting different modes of thinking, characterized by six coloured hats: White, Red, Black, Yellow, Green, and Blue.

Normally this creativity technique is applied in a group setting. Participants can wear real physical hats or imaginative ones (i.e., by asking all group members to utter loudly together the colour of the hat or presenting the image of the hat in a way perceivable by all of them). It is important that putting on and taking off hats is performed as explicit actions of gesturing or verbalizing. Also, group members should use the same colour hat simultaneously. By switching hats, participants can refocus or redirect their thoughts and interactions. Furthermore, the hats can be used in any order that is deemed appropriate and can be repeated as many times as necessary to address the issue at hand.

The Six Thinking Hats technique has successfully been applied to teach STEM subjects and several advantages have been identified such as promoting creativity and problem solving, stimulating diversity of thoughts and empathy...etc.

Structured Controversy

The Structured Controversy scenario is a learning activity that uses a controversial socio-scientific issue to engage students. The scenario essentially pairs inquiry-based science education with civic responsibility. Citizens in democratic societies should be involved in decisions regarding new technologies and scientific innovation when cultural, environmental, social, economic or ethical values are at stake.

To prepare students for this important civic responsibility, the Structured Controversy scenario is designed around a socio-scientific controversy that is argued by two opposing sides during a student debate. The controversy is structured in such a way that a compromise position exists in the middle and both opposing sides have a fair chance of contributing arguments towards this compromise.

The Structured Controversy scenario is divided into two lessons. In the first lesson, students work through an ILS to acquire relevant domain knowledge as well as learning to support arguments with empirical evidence. At the end of the ILS students are instructed to prepare for the debate which will occur in the second lesson. In the debate, students are split into two teams and work together to present their arguments following a prescribed debate format moderated by the teacher. After the debate, the teacher allows time for a collaborative group discussion about ways to resolve the controversy with a compromise solution.

The Structured Controversy scenario is mostly focused on providing students with the skills to evaluate science critically and giving them the opportunity to participate in a constructive dialogue about socio-scientific issues with their classmates. It assumes that students are able to prepare convincing arguments for their debate by searching for relevant information on their own or together with their team members.

The 5Es Scenario

The 5E model of learning comprises of 5 stages of inquiry: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate. 

1. Students ‘Engage’ with the new content. This stage is synonymous to the ‘Orientation’ phase of the Basic Approach. In this phase:

  • elicit prior knowledge
  • students make connections between past and present learning
  • arouse curiosity in students and mentally engage them

2. Students make predictions and ‘Explore’ the topic. Students:

  • design experiments and predict outcomes
  • actively manipulate and experiment
  • record their unbiased observations

3. Students ‘Explain’ their understanding of the topic. In this phase:

  • students develop explanations for the investigated phenomena based on the evidence they have collected
  • students verbalize their understanding
  • new terms, definitions, and explanations are provided by the teacher to deepen or broaden student-understanding

4. Students ‘Elaborate’ on their understanding i.e. they deepen and/or broaden their knowledge on the same by applying their learning to novel situations.

5. Students (and teachers) ‘Evaluate’ learning. Here, students check whether they have met their learning goals and can also assess their learning process.

Using Scenarios in an ILS

1. Starting with golabz.eu:

Visit the Scenarios page in golabz.eu. Choose a specific scenario, and directly from the scenario's page select "Duplicate Space" (see figure below). 


When you select "Duplicate Space", you will be redirected to Graasp, where an ILS with the chosen scenario has been created

2. Starting with graasp.eu:

While creating an ILS in graasp.eu, you can select a scenario, and the respective phases of the scenario will be created in your ILS automatically (see figures below). You can always edit and modify these phases.     



Create an ILS in Graasp - Step 1


Create an ILS in Graasp - Step 2


Select a Scenario from the drop-down list


An ILS with the phases of the chosen scenario has been created