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Physical Review Physics Education Research
written by Jason M. May, Lauren A. Barth-Cohen, Jordan M. Gerton, Claudia De Grandi, and Adrian L. Adams
There is growing interest in implementing reform-based lab courses in undergraduate physics that are student driven rather than instructor driven. In these courses, students develop and carry out experiments while simultaneously reasoning about their hypotheses, data collection procedures, collected evidence, and the relevant physics content. However, there is a limited understanding of how students reason in these types of labs. Using the theoretical framework of sensemaking, we examine qualitative observational data of undergraduates engaging in open-ended experimentation in reform-based introductory physics for life sciences labs. We examine the moment-by-moment details of students' sensemaking by focusing on a series of inconsistencies, specifically focusing on what the inconsistencies are about and what moves students enact during sensemaking to resolve them. We explore sensemaking about conceptual and procedural inconsistencies through a narrative case study analysis of a single group whose sensemaking is largely representative of the observed data corpus. We find that students engaged in sensemaking to resolve conceptual inconsistencies by juxtaposing hypotheses and evidence and critiquing and constructing scientific explanations, sometimes evoking elements of mechanistic reasoning. Comparably, we find that students engaged in sensemaking to resolve procedural inconsistencies by proposing and testing a series of causes towards modifying experimental procedures or apparatus. Overall, we find that student sensemaking about both types of inconsistencies is generally productive, given students' resolutions and experimental progress. Capturing detailed sensemaking about inconsistencies highlights the richness of students' reasoning processes in this understudied learning environment that is becoming more prevalent.
Physical Review Physics Education Research: Volume 18, Issue 2, Pages 020134
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- General
Education - Applied Research
- Learning Environment
Education - Basic Research
- Cognition
= Cognition Development
- Problem Solving
= Metacognition
= Processes
- Student Characteristics
= Ability
= Skills
General Physics
- Physics Education Research
- Scientific Reasoning
Other Sciences
- Life Sciences
- Upper Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Research study
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Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.
Rights Holder:
American Physical Society
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.18.020134
NSF Numbers:
DUE-1938721
GRFP-1747505
Keywords:
IPLS lab research, IPLS research, Physics for Pre-Med, Reformed Physics, reformed physics labs
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created November 28, 2022 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
April 9, 2023 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
November 17, 2022
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AIP Format
J. May, L. Barth-Cohen, J. Gerton, C. De Grandi, and A. Adams, , Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 18 (2), 020134 (2022), WWW Document, (https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.18.020134).
AJP/PRST-PER
J. May, L. Barth-Cohen, J. Gerton, C. De Grandi, and A. Adams, Student sensemaking about inconsistencies in a reform-based introductory physics lab, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 18 (2), 020134 (2022), <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.18.020134>.
APA Format
May, J., Barth-Cohen, L., Gerton, J., De Grandi, C., & Adams, A. (2022, November 17). Student sensemaking about inconsistencies in a reform-based introductory physics lab. Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res., 18(2), 020134. Retrieved April 20, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.18.020134
Chicago Format
May, J, L. Barth-Cohen, J. Gerton, C. De Grandi, and A. Adams. "Student sensemaking about inconsistencies in a reform-based introductory physics lab." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 18, no. 2, (November 17, 2022): 020134, https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.18.020134 (accessed 20 April 2024).
MLA Format
May, Jason M., Lauren A. Barth-Cohen, Jordan M. Gerton, Claudia De Grandi, and Adrian L. Adams. "Student sensemaking about inconsistencies in a reform-based introductory physics lab." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 18.2 (2022): 020134. 20 Apr. 2024 <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.18.020134>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Jason M. May and Lauren A. Barth-Cohen and Jordan M. Gerton and Claudia De Grandi and Adrian L. Adams", Title = {Student sensemaking about inconsistencies in a reform-based introductory physics lab}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {18}, Number = {2}, Pages = {020134}, Month = {November}, Year = {2022} }
Refer Export Format

%A Jason M. May %A Lauren A. Barth-Cohen %A Jordan M. Gerton %A Claudia De Grandi %A Adrian L. Adams %T Student sensemaking about inconsistencies in a reform-based introductory physics lab %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 18 %N 2 %D November 17, 2022 %P 020134 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.18.020134 %O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article %A May, Jason M. %A Barth-Cohen, Lauren A. %A Gerton, Jordan M. %A De Grandi, Claudia %A Adams, Adrian L. %D November 17, 2022 %T Student sensemaking about inconsistencies in a reform-based introductory physics lab %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 18 %N 2 %P 020134 %8 November 17, 2022 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.18.020134


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