Generating and Testing Hypotheses

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Enhance students' understanding of and ability to use knowledge by engaging them in mental processes that involve making and testing hypotheses.

Generalizations From Research

  1. Hypotheses generation and testing can be approached in either a deductive or inductive manner.
  2. Teachers should ask students to clearly explain their hypotheses and their conclusions.

Example Activities

  • Systems Analysis
  • Problem-Solving and Project-Based Learning
  • Historical Investigation
  • Invention
  • Decision-Making

Recommendations & Ideas

  1. Make sure students can explain their hypotheses and conclusions
  2. Use a variety of structured tasks to guide students through generating and testing hypotheses
  3. Plan time for students to increase their conceptual understanding of skills or processes


Information presented above in the definition is from McREL, and generalizations from research, and recommendations & ideas is from Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement (ASCD)(Robert J. Marzano, Debra J. Pickering, Jane E. Pollock).

Web 2.0 Connections

"Y" Under each category indicates that this tool can be used with this strategy.

"Free +" Indicates that the tool is free at the basic level, but that more advanced versions are available at a cost.

Category Key:

SD = Identifying Similarities and Differences CL = Cooperative Learning SNT = Summarizing and Note-Taking ER = Reinforcing Effort and Providing Recognition HP = Homework and Practice NR = Nonlinguistic Representation OF = Setting Objectives and Providing Feedback HYP = Generating and Testing Hypotheses QCO = Questions, Cues, and Advance Organizers

Tool Link Desc Cost SD CL SNT ER HP NR OF HYP QCO Notes
MediaWiki [[1]] Open Source wiki software Free Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Wiki engine that powers [http://www.wikipedia.org Wikipedia] as well as this wiki.
Backpack [[2]] Online Personal Organizer Free + Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Basecamp [[3]] Online Project Collaboration Free + Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Ning [[4]] Community Websites Free Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Can be used for a classroom website
pbWiki [[5]] Wiki Hosting Website Free Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Zoho Wiki [[6]] Wiki Hosting Website Free Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Part of Zoho Suite of Online Apps
Zoho Writer [[7]] Online Word Processor Free Y Y Y Y Y Y Part of Zoho Suite of Online Apps
Zoho Notebook [[8]] Online Notebook Free Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Part of Zoho Suite of Online Apps
Google Documents [[9]] Online Word Processor Free Y Y Y Y Y Y Also contains Spreadsheets & Presentations
WordPress [[10]] Blog Hosting Website Free Y Y Y Y Y Y
Technorati [[11]] Blog Search Engine Free Y Y Y Y Y Y
EduBlogs [[12]] Blog Hosting Website Free Y Y Y Y Y Y
Blogger [[13]] Blog Hosting Website Free Y Y Y Y Y Y
Wikispaces [[14]] Wiki Hosting Website Free Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y


Examples from teachers, students, classrooms, schools

Please click on the "edit" tab to share your examples here.

Contributor: Louise Maine

Students were introduced to water quality and related environmental factors. They were then asked about the quality of the local source of water at Cloe Lake/Jackson Run drainage basin. Methods of testing and determining quality were researched. Students were then placed into groups where we visited the local watershed, tested the watershed in various manners, and students collaborated within the group to analyze data in order to determine quality of the watershed. Excess nitrogen levels required students to analyze the drainage basin map of the watershed to determine possible causes, places to find more information about the source, and plans for future testing/intervention.

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