Investigative Science Learning Environment

What makes it unique?

ISLE is a holistic approach that involves all parts of a course including the labs. The lab usually drives what happens in other aspects of the course unless the approach is implemented in the studio format where student-performed experiments are naturally integrated into the process. ISLE includes two important intentionalities: the students learn physics by practicing it (ISLE process) and their well-being is improved. Students’ feelings of belonging to physics and their success in learning are as important as what they learn. ISLE instructors encourage the students to learn how to rule out ideas, not how just to support them with evidence. This focus on testing multiple explanations of observational experiments experimentally with the goal of ruling out is one of the major goals of the approach. ISLE instructors focus on helping students learn the difference between a hypothesis and a prediction. Finally, ISLE instructors encourage the students to read the textbook AFTER they conducted explorations in class not before.