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Abstract Title: Surprise! Shifting students away from model-verifying frames in physics labs
Abstract: Framing affects how students interpret, approach, and accomplish tasks. Little is known, however, about how students frame tasks in labs. During the first lab of a sequence designed to teach students about experimental modeling and critical thinking with data, students test a simple model that breaks down with improved measurements. Using in-lab video and follow-up interviews, we identified students' frequent use of a model-verifying frame that substantially interferes with instructional goals. We present a preliminary case study analysis of two students who approach the lab with a model-verifying frame, engage in problematic behaviors (including questionable research practices such as ignoring contradictory evidence), but later shift their frames to accommodate goals aligned with instructional intention. As instructors transition instructional labs to open-inquiry experiences, an activity that directly challenges the model-verifying frame may be productive for shifting students away from this problematic frame to one that supports their engagement in authentic experimentation.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session III
Poster Number: C83
Contributed Paper Record: Contributed Paper Information
Contributed Paper Download: Download Contributed Paper

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Emily M. Smith
Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics, Cornell University
and Co-Presenter(s)
Martin M. Stein
Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics, Cornell University

N.G. Holmes
Laboratory of Atomic and Solid State Physics, Cornell University