The many quality digital resources were very engaging to explore this week. By connecting student learning to real-world authentic learning environments these networked communities increase engagement and make learning purposeful.

Depending on how educators structure learning, I tend to agree that Globe represents an example of Anchored Instruction. Provided that students actively engage the experience through open-ended problem-solving with the goal of constructing assessible knowledge that can be applied when required.

According to the Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt, Anchored Instruction is “situated in engaging, problem rich environments that allow sustained exploration by students and teachers” (1992a). Its design immerses students in “meaningful problems for students to solve that capture the intricacies of real-world mathematical problem solving” (Vye et al., 1997). Students experience problems as practitioners in real-life contexts encounter them. They work collaboratively with peers and socially construct knowledge through experience and argumentation. An anchored instruction “activity supports learning opportunities that relate to and extend thinking to other content areas” (Fried, 2005).

GLOBE anchors instruction within the real-world scientific data represented on the website and even involves students in the collection of data for use in actual scientific studies. GLOBE is organized into several separate “investigations,” each focused on a different aspect of the environment (Howland, 2002). The networked community goes beyond the capabilities of the Jasper Project, but both provide an engaging digital context for students to explore through independent investigations and open-ended problem-solving. It facilitates the creation of a shared experience for learners which is then utilized for deeper knowledge construction. Students learn within wide collaborative communities, including Globe scientists, and engage interdisciplinary issues “not just as learners but as scientists themselves” (Penuel, 2004). It facilitates clear connections between math and science topics. Unlike the Japer Series, GLOBE does not contain as an explicit “story, adventure, or situation that includes a problem or issue to be resolved and that is of interest to the students” (Fried, 2005). However, I believe that the experience itself could be framed in a similar way.

Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt (1992a). The Jasper experiment: An exploration of issues in learning and instructional design. Educational Technology, Research and Development, 40(1), 65-80.

Fried, A., Zannini, K., Wheeler, D., Lee, Y., & Cortez, a. J. (2005). Theory Name: Anchored Instruction. Retrieved from Suny Cortland:

Howland and Becker (2002). GLOBE: The Science behind Launching an International Environmental Education Program. Journal of Science Education and Technology, Vol. 11, No. 3 (Sep., 2002), pp. 199-210

Penuel, W.R., & Means, B. (2004). Implementation variation and fidelity in an inquiry science program: Analysis of GLOBE data reporting patterns. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 41(3), 294-315.

Vye, Nancy J.; Goldman, Susan R.; Voss, James F.; Hmelo, Cindy; Williams, Susan (1997). Complex mathematical problem solving by individuals and dyads. Cognition and Instruction, 15(4), 435-450.


  1. Hi Derek,
    I also stated that GLOBE is an example of anchored instruction. I did wonder though like others, does GLOBE have to have an instructional video just to be considered anchored instruction? I don’t think so. They both provide real-world problem solving questions, are collaborative in nature and are engaging. I wonder what it will take for other educators to see the same?

    1. Hi,

      I went back and forth thinking about the question. I struggled whether the experience was too prescribed to be an example of AI. I think if you engaged the students in the thinking that led the researchers to initially structure the data collection aspects it could provide the open-ended problem-solving experience the AI researchers were designing for.

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