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Abstract Title: Discourse analysis of Learning Assistant preparation sessions: Group discussion dynamics and level of mechanistic reasoning
Abstract: The physics department at Texas State University has implemented a Learning Assistant (LA) program with reform-based instructional changes in our introductory course sequences. The LA program structure at TXST is informed by the theory of communities of practice.  We are interested in how participation in the program influences LAs' identity both as physics students and as physics teachers; in particular, how being part of the LA community changes participants' self-concepts and their day-to-day practice.  Russ et. al. developed a Discourse Analysis Tool to help identify students' mechanistic reasoning [1].  In Russ' Discourse Analysis Tool, she outlines nine categories for identifying mechanistic reasoning; the highest level of these is "chaining". Our data include six semesters of video of LA prep sessions.  We utilize Russ' Discourse Analysis Tool to investigate the impact of being an LA on their use of higher level mechanistic reasoning.

Supported by NSF DUE-1557405, DUE-1431578, and PHY-0808790
[1] Russ et al., Sci. Ed., 92: 499-525, 2008.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session I
Poster Number: A39

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Austin McCauley
Texas State University
and Co-Presenter(s)
Shahrzad A. Hesaaraki, Jessica Conn, Eleanor W. Close

Contributed Poster

Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster