Predict-Observe-Explain (POE) Teaching Strategy in LAMS

Chelsea Bullock
3 min readDec 10, 2020


The Predict-Observe-Explain (POE) teaching strategy is often used in science. It works best with demonstrations or experiments that allow immediate observations.

Photo by Artem Podrez from Pexels

The premise behind POE is actually pretty simple:

  1. Ask the students to predict what will happen (without giving away the outcome)
  2. Get the student to write down their prediction and explain their reasoning. This is important to expose misconceptions or developing understandings. A plus, when possible, allow student to share their predictions with each other
  3. Get them to assert a confidence level on their prediction (ie: Not so sure, Sure, Very sure)
  4. Then give them time to observe the experiment and get them to write in detail what they observed.
  5. Finally ask the student to contrast their prediction with their own findings of the experiment observation.
  6. Optionally, when possible, ask the student to reflect on their key learning findings based on their prediction and experiment observation.

How do I create an online POE lesson with LAMS ?

According to Prof. James Dalziel, the heart of any effective POE is the selection of excellent content — you want a topic where students often have misconceptions, a resource which sets up a scenario where these misconceptions come into play (but without giving away the outcome), and then further material for an “Observation” which will clearly address the misconceptions and point towards the true situation.

Experiments are ideally suited to these requirements, and an effective video available in two parts is gold for this approach.

Authoring your POE Learning Design

The typical learning design in LAMS for an online POE is pretty simple:

Online POE learning design about the Hammer and the Feather experiment on the Moon (Apollo 15 mission)

Here’s the outline of activities:

Activity 1: Welcome to the lesson (noticeboard tool)

Activity 2: Introduction to the experiment (noticeboard tool)

Activity 3: Ask the students for their prediction (voting tool with option for add their own option)

Activity 4: Poll to assert the student’s confidence on their prediction (voting tool)

Activity 5: Ask student to explain the reasoning behind their prediction (Q&A tool with option for student to see each other’s reasoning after they have submitted their own).

Activity 6: A video where it shows the full experiment in the Moon. After the students see the experiment, they are to write their observation -and see other ones observations after they have submitted their own).

Activity 7: A discussion where students are to compare their prediction and the actual results from the experiment and share their perspectives (in this case, we chose a Forum but it could be any other collaborative activity within LAMS -Zoom, doKu, Chat, etc).

Activity 8: A wrap up where we see how this experiment is conducted on Earth in a huge vacuum chamber -to emphasize the theoretical underpinnings (noticeboard tool)

Activity 9: Each student gets to write a personal reflection on their own key learning findings (notebook tool).

Let’s look at an example:

Online POE LAMS lesson: The Hammer and Feather experiment on the Moon

Following the activities above, I created an online Jigsaw lesson the Hammer and Feather experiment on the Moon

Take a look at the lesson in the LAMS Community and preview it as a student to see how it “plays”.

Other POE resources

In his book “Practical e-Teaching Strategies”, Prof. James Dalziel has an extensive explanation of POE with different tips and suggestion on how to run POE lesson synchronous and asynchronous. Very useful reasons and the book is publicly available for free.



Chelsea Bullock

I’m a Communication Manager and Outreach Officer at LAMS (Learning Designer App).