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Abstract Title: Understanding and Encouraging Effective Collaboration in Introductory Physics Courses [1]
Abstract: Anecdotal evidence from the introductory physics classrooms at Chicago State University suggests that our students view collaboration as an important tool in their learning.  Despite this, students often need additional instruction and support for effective collaboration in order to make discussions productive.  In order to aid students in establishing effective collaborations we want to capitalize on the fact that students at CSU readily accept the inquiry approach to instruction.            
In this poster, we present the initial stage of this work.  Specifically, we have begun to video-tape student interactions in the classroom and interview students about the nature of learning.  In addition, we have developed and administered an instrument that gauges the value students place on the use of guided inquiry.   By utilizing a specific criteria and analyzing the occurrence of specific behaviors in the classroom we can determine the effectiveness of collaboration during group work.[2] Responses regarding how students value the use of questions in instruction suggest how peer questioning can be used to promote effective collaboration.

[1] Supported by the NYC Louis Stokes Alliance Bridge to Teaching and NSF grant #DUE 0632563.

[2] Vellom, R. P., & Anderson, C. W. (1999). Reasoning about data in middle school science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 36(2), 179.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster
Contributed Paper Record: Contributed Paper Information
Contributed Paper Download: Download Contributed Paper

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Geraldine L. Cochran
Chicago State University
Deptment of Chemistry and Physics
9501 S. King Drive - SCI 309
Chicago, IL 60628
Phone: 773-995-2172
Fax: 773-995-3809
and Co-Presenter(s)
Virginia L. Hayes, virginialenisehayes -at- yahoo.com
Mel S. Sabella, msabella -at- csu.edu
Chicago State University, Department of Chemistry and Physics