Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is NexGen Inquiry™?

    NexGen Inquiry™ is an interactive, web-based platform for teachers to organize student-centered scientific inquiry and engineering design investigations. Built by teachers for teachers, NexGen Inquiry™ is the result of over a decade of work with students and science educators at the Van Andel Education Institute Science Academy in Grand Rapids, MI.

    NexGen Inquiry™ provides access to three related tools to support your success:

    • Teacher Classroom – secure, cloud-based system allowing you to easily manage student, small group and class projects using web-based Student Journals.
    • Teacher Community – interactive forums for you to ask questions, share ideas, explore best practices, and collaborate with fellow science and engineering teachers.
    • Resource Library - support materials, investigation templates, and time-saving ideas to support your integration of NexGen Inquiry™ technology and classroom practice as a whole.
  • How much does the Teacher Classroom and Student Journal cost?

    Teacher licenses are $48 per year. There are no per student costs.

    Annual teacher licenses provide full access to the Teaching and Learning Platform for one teacher and all of the teacher's students. Teacher licenses include access to Introductory Professional Development content, instructional resources and scaffolds, and online Community.

    Additional details, including an introductory price of $42 for 15 months, are available on our plans and pricing page.

    Purchase order instructions for schools and districts interested in purchasing multiple teacher licenses are available by clicking here.

  • How does Teacher Classroom work?

    The platform is built from the ground up to support Van Andel Education Institute’s Community of Scientific Practice instructional model. A quick summary of the platform workflow helps illustrate how Teacher Classroom works.

    1. Create your account and define your classroom to support your unique needs. Add students quickly to classrooms by providing them with a unique classroom code or by entering/uploading student names. Adding student names automatically creates a web-based journal workspace for each student.
    2. Use or modify available investigation templates or create your own to assign directly to your student’s journals. Students work within secure web-based journals to complete assigned investigations.
    3. Review Student Journals at any time to provide feedback or guidance to individuals or the entire class. Students can also share updates or present work within their journals on screen or from a classroom projector.
    4. Provide grades and final comments on student investigations directly within student investigations at the completion of a lesson or lesson sequence.
  • What training resources are available to support my use of the platform?

    Teacher resources and materials are available to provide support for you to quickly and easily integrate the platform into your instructional practice.

    Introductory professional development includes:

    • Quick Start Guides – An overview of platform tools, the Teacher Community and hints for use with students.
    • Online Immersion – A media-rich introduction to levels of scientific inquiry as well as the VAEI Community of Practice instructional model and QPOE2® from the perspective of a student.
    • Lesson Transformation – An introduction to a process to transform lessons through the lens of the Community of Scientific Practice and QPOE2® for enhanced use of the NexGen Inquiry™ platform.
  • Does NexGen Inquiry™ support my school district’s science or engineering education standards and objectives?

    Absolutely. NexGen Inquiry™ Teacher Classroom and Student Journal tools provide opportunities to enhance the delivery and learning of curriculum to meet your science and engineering standards through the use of technology.

  • Do I have to replace my curriculum or lesson plans to use the tools?

    No. We have specifically designed NexGen Inquiry™ to support investigations and projects within all science and engineering curriculums.

  • What are the technology requirements to use NexGen Inquiry™?

    All you need is a personal computer, laptop, or tablet with a browser and Internet access. The cloud-based platform is available 24x7 using all modern web browsers. All data is secured using industry standards for secure cloud-based infrastructure.

  • Do students need an e-mail account to use NexGen Inquiry™?

    No. Students without e-mail addresses can be quickly added directly within the Teacher Classroom. After adding students to the classroom roster, you simply distribute user names and passwords to students for them to access their Student Journals within the platform.

  • Is there an app that I need for my mobile device or tablet?

    No. NexGen Inquiry™ is a web-based software tool designed to function in all major browsers.

  • Who can I contact to learn more?

    Please contact us with your questions or requests for additional information.