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Abstract Title: Modeling-Based Reasoning in the Upper-Division Physics Laboratory: Framework and Initial Results
Abstract: We review and extend existing frameworks on modeling to develop a new framework that describes model-based reasoning in upper-division physics labs. Constructing and using models are core scientific practices that have gained significant attention within K-12 and higher education. A significant feature of the new framework is that measurement tools (in addition to the physical system being studied) are subjected to the process of modeling. We designed a short laboratory activity and conducted think-aloud interviews with individual students to refine the framework and demonstrate its utility by identifying modeling-based reasoning in the laboratory.  When applied to the think-aloud interviews, the framework captures and differentiates students' model-based reasoning and helps identify areas of future research. A modeling perspective reframes many of the seemingly arbitrary technical details of measurement tools and apparatus as an opportunity for authentic and engaging scientific sense-making.
Abstract Type: Symposium Talk
Parallel Session: Research methodologies in Laboratory Contexts

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Benjamin M. Zwickl
Rochester Institute of Technology
and Co-Presenter(s)
Dehui Hu, Noah Finkelstein, and H. J. Lewandowski