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Abstract Title: Emergent studies of students engaged in sense-making labwork
Abstract: In the summer of 2014, twenty first-generation and/or deaf/hard-of-hearing incoming STEM majors came to RIT to take part in a two-week experience designed to foster reflective, metacognitive practice around the design of experiments to investigate climate change. The entire experience -- small group scientific activities and large group reflective discussions -- was videotaped and analyzed with an emergent coding framework. From the analysis came a number of interesting research questions. On the first full day of the program, the students collaboratively developed a sign for the word ``metacognition'' for which there is not a sign in American Sign Language. Three aspects of the ensuing discussion stood out: (1) how the instructor communicated expectations about decision making; (2) how the instructor promoted student-driven decision making rather than instructor-driven policy; and (3) one student's shifts in decision making behavior. Subsequent days raised the issue of student views on expertise, what traits they attributed to novices and experts, and how they saw themselves transitioning from novice to expert. In this presentation, we discuss the research approach taken to studying a rich laboratory-based environment that contained many elements foreign to the researchers (e.g. deaf/hard-of-hearing culture). We conclude by discussing implications of this research for activity-based physics instruction.
Abstract Type: Symposium Talk
Parallel Session: Research methodologies in Laboratory Contexts

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Corey Ptak
Rochester Institute of Technology
and Co-Presenter(s)
Mary Bridget Kustusch, Eleanor C. Sayre, and Scott V. Franklin