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Abstract Title: Changing the Locus of Evaluation to Promote Scientific Induction
Abstract: This study investigates the impact of nontraditional evaluative structures in the physics classroom on student affect. Typically, physics students' answers in discussions and on exams are evaluated by the instructor as right or wrong. In the learning environment that was the subject of this study, students were expected to reconcile their own ideas with available laboratory evidence and reach consensus with their peers. The overwhelming majority of the 15 students interviewed expressed positive attitudes towards learning physics and positive identification with physics. Video analysis suggests that this nontraditional evaluative practice resulted in authentic scientific reasoning, persistence, and enjoyment among students as they engaged in scientific induction. These findings suggest that the relocation of evaluative authority of students' ideas and explanations to laboratory evidence and social consensus, rather than with teacher and text, can promote more authentic engagement, enjoyment, and a sense of identification with physics.
Abstract Type: Symposium Talk
Targeted Session: Stop calling me stupid: Failure avoidance versus empowerment in physics learning

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Michael J. Ross
University of Colorado-Boulder