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PERC 2014 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Examining Epistemological Beliefs in Undergraduate Thesis Writing
Abstract: We present results from ongoing research to better understand how writing an undergraduate thesis improves scientific reasoning and writing skills through impacting metacognition, motivation, and epistemological beliefs. Previous work indicates that scaffolding the writing process in a thesis-writing course can be an effective strategy for promoting better writing and stronger scientific reasoning skills. Our findings suggest that students' beliefs about the nature of knowledge are, indeed, related to students' exhibition of these skills. Here we further explore this relationship through analysis of the coherence of students' various epistemological beliefs and the effect of epistemology-focused classroom interventions on learning outcomes. Data have been collected across multiple departments and institutions over two years. Ultimately, our analysis will be used to shape continued institution- and department-specific changes during subsequent years of this multi-year study.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Jason E. Dowd
Duke University
Box 90338, 137 BioSci Bldg
130 Science Drive
Durham, NC 27708
Phone: 7733830088
and Co-Presenter(s)
Julie A. Reynolds, Duke University
Robert J. Thompson, Jr., Duke University