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Abstract Title: Students' Ownership of Projects in the Upper-Division Physics Instructional Labratory Setting
Abstract: The development of a student's sense of ownership in project based laboratory courses has been increasingly recognized as an important factor in student success as well as an important part of becoming a scientist in an authentic research setting. For this reason some laboratory instructors have defined Project Ownership as a central learning goal for their courses. Our aim was to investigate the concept of student ownership in the context of an upper-division optical physics laboratory course in which students spend the final seven weeks of the semester working in groups on a final project of their choosing. We've drawn on two data sources: (1) results of the Survey on Project Ownership, administered at the end of the course and (2) weekly student reflections about their goals, challenges, and successes. Our analysis probes connections between student ownership and other relevant aspects of the final project experience, including student affect, agency, and self-efficacy as well as their interactions with peers and instructors. Comparison of reflections made during the first and second halves of the project provided the opportunity to investigate the evolution of ownership during the course and has revealed several promising avenues for future study of the dynamic process through which students develop a sense of ownership over their projects in such a setting.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Jacob Stanley
Department of Physics, University of Colorado - Boulder
and Co-Presenter(s)
Dimitri R. Dounas-Frazer, Department of Physics, University of Colorado - Boulder;
Laura Kiepura, Department of Physics, Georgia State University;
Heather J. Lewandowski, Department of Physics, University of Colorado - Boulder;