Moving Practice-Based, Secondary Science Teacher Education Online: The Case of Inquiry-Based Labs

by Alice Waldron, Relay Graduate School of Education; Cole Entress, Teachers College, Columbia University; & Daniel Sonrouille, Relay Graduate School of Education

Online coursework in science teacher education is becoming increasingly common. However, some content in science teacher education—how to skillfully (and safely) lead laboratory investigations, for instance—can pose a particular challenge when converted to an online format. We describe how we met this challenge in the creation of an online version of a practice-based science methods course focused on leading inquiry-based labs. Specifically, we articulate the design principles that guided our transition to a fully online course that produced student outcomes comparable to in-person sections and generated consistent, highly positive feedback from our graduate students. Additionally, by designing an online course that retained the teaching of lab competencies classically taught in person, we positioned the institution to better support students and instructors who found themselves suddenly online when the COVID-19 pandemic struck in the spring of 2020.