Getting students to reflect in the lab

Speaker: 
Natasha Holmes
Event Date and Time: 
Fri, 2014-02-07 12:00 - 13:00
Location: 
Henn 309
Local Contact: 
Hal Clark
Intended Audience: 
Graduate
Recent data from one of our first year physics labs has shown evidence that students are not applying scientific thinking as they perform experiments. Why might this be? Well, we hadn't really taught them how to think scientifically about their results and they lacked some important skills for effectively reflecting about their data. They rarely had enough time to pause and re-evaluate what they'd been doing and we also weren't giving them much support or rewards for doing it. This year, we've been developing a new structure for the lab that engages students in evaluating their methods, data, models, and conclusions. In this talk I will describe some of the research that has motivated this change, present the teaching intervention we've developed, and show some preliminary data about its effectiveness in the course.
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