Revising geology labs to explicitly use the scientific method
K.A. Hannula 2003 Journal of Geoscience Education v.51 (2), 194-200.
Abstract: Many content- or skill-based labs can be revised to explicitly involve the scientific method by asking students to propose hypotheses before making observations. Labs in which this method has been successfully applied include skill-building labs such as topographic map labs, content-based labs involving experiments with models, and field labs. Because these labs force students to state their expectations before making observations, they allow students to test their own models for various processes, making the students feel more engaged in the observations. Students' self-assessment shows that they felt that they learned a great deal from this style of labs, and that they found the labs to be fun. However, students felt that they learned little about the scientific method because they believed they already understood it, although other assessment methods suggest that their understanding was incomplete. By explicitly asking students to state and test hypotheses in the course of many labs, this type of exercise reinforces other discussions of the scientific method, and gives students a better understanding of how scientists think.