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.

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