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PERC 2016 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: The Need For New Instruments: Assessing Interdisciplinary Thinking
Abstract: Interdisciplinary thinking and reconciliation is integral to developing a coherent understanding of science. Significant research has gone into addressing this problem, particularly in the context of biology and physics. Projects like NEXUS resulted in the development of courses and materials that are meaningful to students across the disciplines and can serve as prototypes for similar endeavors. The development of these research-based courses has created a need for new assessment tools. We outline the preliminary stages of development of an instrument to assess how students connect essential ideas across introductory science disciplines and how students expect the disciplines to relate. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 biology majors enrolled in a physics course. The students were asked to explain everyday interdisciplinary phenomena as well as to describe their attitudes toward different disciplines and making connections between them. An analysis of these interviews is a first step toward developing a framework for an interdisciplinary assessment.
Abstract Type: Symposium Talk
Parallel Session: Conceptual Issues and Content Revisions in the Introductory Physics Course for Life Science Students

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: K. K. Mashood
Michigan State University
and Co-Presenter(s)
Vashti Sawtelle, Charles W. Anderson, Rebecca L. Matz, Emily E. Scott, Sonia M. Underwood
Michigan State University

Invited Presentation

Invited Presentation: Download the Invited Presentation