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Abstract Title: Research Methodologies for Studying Troubleshooting, Metacognition, and Modeling in Junior-Level Electronics Courses
Abstract: Studying student learning in upper-division instructional laboratory settings requires tailoring research methodologies to the unique learning environments characteristic of these courses. As an example, we present our approach to a cross-institutional study of student troubleshooting in junior-level electronics courses. In this study, we conducted think-aloud interviews in which pairs of students were tasked with diagnosing and repairing a malfunctioning circuit. The resulting video data were examined to probe the relationship between students' troubleshooting strategies, metacognitive behaviors, and use of mathematical and conceptual models. In this session, we discuss our research methodology, paying particular attention to both preservation of ecological validity during data collection and application of existing theoretical frameworks to video data analyses. We further describe our application of, and preliminary results from, these methodologies to the specific context of troubleshooting as part of a broader effort to develop new frameworks for understanding problem solving in experimental physics settings.

This work has been supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. DUE-1245313, DUE-1323426, DUE-1323101, DUE-1245313, and DUE-0962805.
Abstract Type: Symposium Talk
Parallel Session: Research methodologies in Laboratory Contexts

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Dimitri R. Dounas-Frazer
University of Colorado, Boulder
and Co-Presenter(s)
Kevin L. Van De Bogart, Noah D. Finkelstein, MacKenzie R. Stetzer,  Heather J. Lewandowski