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1

Facilitating Conceptual Change in StudentsUnderstanding of Boiling Concept  

Microsoft Academic Search

The objective of this study was to construct a teaching strategy for facilitating studentsconceptual understanding of the\\u000a boiling concept. The study is based on 52 freshman students in the primary science education department. Students’ ideas were\\u000a elicited by a test consisting of nine questions. Conceptual change strategy was designed based on students’ alternative conceptions.\\u000a Conceptual change in studentsunderstanding

Bayram Costu; Alipasa Ayas; Mansoor Niaz; Suat Ünal; Muammer Çalik

2007-01-01

2

Assessing Undergraduate Students' Conceptual Understanding and Confidence of Electromagnetics  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The study examines how students' conceptual understanding changes from high confidence with incorrect conceptions to high confidence with correct conceptions when reasoning about electromagnetics. The Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism test is weighted with students' self-rated confidence on each item in order to infer how strongly…

Leppavirta, Johanna

2012-01-01

3

The Conceptual Understanding of Sound by Students with Visual Impairments  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Introduction: The purpose of the study presented here was to understand and describe the misconceptions of students with visual impairments about sound and instructional techniques that may help them to develop a scientific understanding. Methods: Semistructured interview-centered pre-and posttests were used to identify the students' conceptual

Wild, Tiffany A.; Hilson, Margilee P.; Hobson, Sally M.

2013-01-01

4

Measuring Conceptual Change in College Students' Understanding of Lunar Phases  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

To determine the overall effectiveness of instruction at producing a scientifically correct understanding, researchers need to be able to assess conceptual change. This paper details how using Model Analysis Theory (MAT) in conjunction with the Lunar Phases Concept Inventory (LPCI), provides researchers a more detailed picture of college students conceptual change with regards to lunar phases than traditional methods alone. A review of MAT is provided along with a detailed example of its application before and after instruction to determine conceptual change.

Lindell, Rebecca S.

2010-01-18

5

Facilitating Conceptual Change in Students' Understanding of Ecological Concepts  

Microsoft Academic Search

In this study, the effect of conceptual-change-texts-oriented instruction to seventh-grade students' understanding of ecological concepts was investigated. Using information collected through interviews and related literature, the Ecology Concept Test was developed and administered to 58 elementary students in two classes of an elementary school before and after the treatment. The experimental group received conceptual-change-texts-oriented instruction and the control group received

Özlem Özkan; Ceren Tekkaya; Ömer Geban

2004-01-01

6

Facilitating Conceptual Change in Students' Understanding of Ecological Concepts  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

In this study, the effect of conceptual-change-texts-oriented instruction to seventh-grade students' understanding of ecological concepts was investigated. Using information collected through interviews and related literature, the Ecology Concept Test was developed and administered to 58 elementary students in two classes of an elementary school…

Ozkan, Ozlem; Tekkaya, Ceren; Geban, Omer

2004-01-01

7

Facilitating Conceptual Change in Students' Understanding of Boiling Concept  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The objective of this study was to construct a teaching strategy for facilitating students' conceptual understanding of the boiling concept. The study is based on 52 freshman students in the primary science education department. Students' ideas were elicited by a test consisting of nine questions. Conceptual change strategy was designed based on students' alternative conceptions. Conceptual change in students' understanding of boiling was evaluated by administering a pre-, post- and delayed post-test. The test scores were analysed both by qualitative and quantitative methods. Statistical analysis using one-way ANOVA of student test scores pointed to statistically significant differences in the tests and total scores ( p < 0.05). Quantitative analysis of students' responses on each test revealed different schema about changing their knowledge system. Both qualitative and quantitative analyses suggest that the teaching activities facilitated students' conceptual understanding. No statistically significant differences were found between post-test and delayed post-test scores, suggesting that the teaching strategy enabled students to retain their new conceptions in the long-term memory.

Co?tu, Bayram; Ayas, Alipa?a; Niaz, Mansoor; Ünal, Suat; Çalik, Muammer

2007-12-01

8

Modeling students' conceptual understanding of force, velocity, and acceleration  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

We have developed a multiple choice test designed to probe students' conceptual understanding of the relationships among the directions of force, velocity, and acceleration. The test was administered to more than 800 students enrolled in standard or honors introductory physics courses or a second-year physics majors course. The test was found to be reasonably statistically reliable, and correlations of test score with grade, course level, and the Force Concept Inventory were moderate to strong. Further analysis revealed that in addition to the common incorrect response that velocity must be in the direction of the acceleration or net force, up to 30% of students gave ``partially correct'' responses, for example that velocity can be either opposite to or in the direction of the acceleration or net force but not zero. The data also suggests that for some students their evolution of understanding may progress through this kind of partially incorrect understanding.

Rosenblatt, Rebecca; Sayre, Eleanor C.; Heckler, Andrew F.

2009-11-01

9

Comparing Student Conceptual Understanding of Thermodynamics in Physics and Engineering  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Thermodynamics is a core part of curricula in physics and many engineering fields. Despite the apparent similarity in coverage, individual courses in each discipline have distinct emphases and applications. Physics education researchers have identified student difficulties with concepts such as heat, temperature, and entropy as well as with larger grain-sized ideas such as state variables, path-dependent processes, etc. Engineering education research has corroborated some of these findings and has identified additional difficulties unique to engineering contexts such as confusion between steady-state and equilibrium processes. We are beginning a project that provides an opportunity to expand the interdisciplinary research on conceptual understanding in thermodynamics. This project has two goals: first, determine the overlapping content and concepts across the disciplines; second, compare conceptual understanding between these groups using existing conceptual questions from PER and EER. We present a review of PER and EER literature in thermodynamics and highlight some concepts that we will investigate.

Clark, Jessica W.; Thompson, John R.; Mountcastle, Donald B.

2013-05-28

10

Introductory College Chemistry Students' Understanding of Stoichiometry: Connections between Conceptual and Computational Understandings and Instruction.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Many studies of college chemistry students have found a gap between students' success in solving computational chemistry problems and their success in solving conceptual chemistry problems. This paper examines college students' understanding of the concept of stoichiometry, the particulate nature of matter, and chemistry problem solving. This…

Wolfer, Adam J.; Lederman, Norman G.

11

Longitudinal study of student conceptual understanding in electricity and magnetism  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

We have investigated the long-term effect of student-centered instruction at the freshman level on juniors’ performance on a conceptual survey of Electricity and Magnetism (E&M). We measured student performance on a research-based conceptual instrument—the Brief Electricity & Magnetism Assessment (BEMA)-over a period of 8 semesters (2004-2007). Concurrently, we introduced the University of Washington's Tutorials in Introductory Physics as part of our standard freshman curriculum. Freshmen took the BEMA before and after this Tutorial-based introductory course, and juniors took it after completion of their traditional junior-level E&M I and E&M II courses. We find that, on average, individual BEMA scores do not change significantly after completion of the introductory course—neither from the freshman to the junior year, nor from upper-division E&M I to E&M II. However, we find that juniors who had completed a non-Tutorial freshman course scored significantly lower on the (post-upper-division) BEMA than those who had completed the reformed freshman course—indicating a long-term positive impact of freshman Tutorials on conceptual understanding.

Pollock, S. J.

2009-12-01

12

Teaching for Conceptual Understanding  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

A series of lessons were taught in a second-grade classroom to assist students' conceptual understanding of celestial motion. After assessing student misconceptions about space and the movement of planets and the Sun, the teacher engaged the students in role-playing, group work, and computer simulations. These teaching strategies were effective for enhancing students' conceptual understanding.

Howren, Carrie; Kang, Nam-Hwa

2004-09-01

13

Understanding Genetics: Analysis of Secondary Students' Conceptual Status  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This article explores the conceptual change of students in Grades 10 and 12 in three Australian senior high schools when the teachers included computer multimedia to a greater or lesser extent in their teaching of a genetics course. The study, underpinned by a multidimensional conceptual-change framework, used an interpretive approach and a…

Tsui, Chi-Yan; Treagust, David F.

2007-01-01

14

Crafting an International Study of Students' Conceptual Understanding of Astronomy  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Large international investigations into the learning of science, such as the TIMSS and PISA studies, have been enlightening with regard to effective instructional practices. Data from these studies revealed weaknesses and promising practices within nations' educational systems, with evidence to suggest that these studies have led to international reforms in science education. However, these reforms have focused on the general characteristics of teaching and learning across all sciences. While extraordinarily useful, these studies have provided limited insight for any given content domain. To date, there has been no systematic effort to measure individual's conceptual astronomy understanding across the globe. This paper describes our motivations for a coordinated, multinational study of astronomy understanding. First, reformed education is based upon knowing the preexisting knowledge state of our students. The data from this study will be used to assist international astronomy education and public outreach (EPO) professionals in their efforts to improve practices across global settings. Second, while the US astronomy EPO community has a long history of activity, research has established that many practices are ineffective in the face of robust misconceptions (e.g.: seasons). Within an international sample we hope to find subpopulations that do not conform to our existing knowledge of student misconceptions, leading us to cultural or educational practices that hint at alternative, effective means of instruction. Finally, it is our hope that this first venture into large-scale disciplinary collaboration will help us to craft a set of common languages and practices, building capacity and leading toward long-term cooperation across the international EPO community. This project is sponsored and managed by the Center for Astronomy & Physics Education Research (CAPER), in collaboration with members of the International Astronomical Union-Commission 46. We are actively welcoming and seeking partners in this work.

Slater, Stephanie; Bretones, P. S.; McKinnon, D.; Schleigh, S.; Slater, T. F.; for Astronomy, Center; Education Research, Physics

2013-01-01

15

Investigation of students’ intermediate conceptual understanding levels: the case of direct current electricity concepts  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Conceptual understanding is one of the main topics in science and physics education research. In the majority of conceptual understanding studies, studentsunderstanding levels were categorized dichotomously, either as alternative or scientific understanding. Although they are invaluable in many ways, namely developing new instructional materials and assessment instruments, students’ alternative understandings alone are not sufficient to describe studentsconceptual understanding in detail. This paper introduces an example of a study in which a method was developed to assess and describe studentsconceptual understanding beyond alternative and scientific understanding levels. In this study, six undergraduate studentsconceptual understanding levels of direct current electricity concepts were assessed and described in detail by using their answers to qualitative problems. In order to do this, conceptual understanding indicators are described based on science and mathematics education literature. The studentsunderstanding levels were analysed by assertion analysis based on the conceptual understanding indicators. The results indicated that the participants demonstrated three intermediate understanding levels in addition to alternative and scientific understanding. This paper presents the method and its application to direct current electricity concepts.

Cobanoglu Aktan, D.

2013-01-01

16

The Effect of Distributed Practice on Students' Conceptual Understanding of Statistics  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

In this study the effect of the reduced distribution of study activities on students' conceptual understanding of statistics is investigated in a quasi-experiment. Conceptual understanding depends on coherent and error free knowledge structures. Students need time to construct such knowledge structures. A curriculum reform at our university…

Bude, Luc; Imbos, Tjaart; van de Wiel, Margaretha W.; Berger, Martijn P.

2011-01-01

17

Primary Student-Teachers' Conceptual Understanding of the Greenhouse Effect: A mixed method study  

Microsoft Academic Search

The greenhouse effect is a reasonably complex scientific phenomenon which can be used as a model to examine students' conceptual understanding in science. Primary student-teachers' understanding of global environmental problems, such as climate change and ozone depletion, indicates that they have many misconceptions. The present mixed method study examines Finnish primary student-teachers' understanding of the greenhouse effect based on the

Ilkka Johannes Ratinen

2011-01-01

18

The Effect of a Conceptual Change Approach on Understanding of Students' Chemical Equilibrium Concepts  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of a conceptual change approach over traditional instruction on tenth-grade students' conceptual achievement in understanding chemical equilibrium. The study was conducted in two classes of the same teacher with participation of a total of 44 tenth-grade students. In this study, a…

Atasoy, Basri; Akkus, Huseyin; Kadayifci, Hakki

2009-01-01

19

Enhancing Students' Understanding of Photosynthesis and Respiration in Plant Through Conceptual Change Approach  

Microsoft Academic Search

This study investigated the effectiveness of combining conceptual change text and discussion web strategies on students' understanding\\u000a of photosynthesis and respiration in plants. Students' conceptual understanding of photosynthesis and respiration in plants\\u000a was measured using the two-tier diagnostic test developed by Haslam and Treagust (1987, Journal of Biological Education 21: 203--211). The test was administered as pretest and posttest to

Ayse Yenilmez; Ceren Tekkaya

2006-01-01

20

Testing the Development of Student Conceptual and Visualization Understanding in Quantum Mechanics through the Undergraduate Career.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Describes an assessment instrument designed to test conceptual and visual understanding of quantum theory, probe various aspects of student understanding of some core ideas of quantum mechanics, and investigate how students develop over the undergraduate curriculum. (Contains 52 references.) (Author/YDS)

Cataloglu, E.; Robinett, R. W.

2002-01-01

21

Facilitating conceptual change in ninth grade students' understanding of human circulatory system concepts  

Microsoft Academic Search

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of the conceptual change text oriented instruction over traditionally designed instruction on ninth grade studentsunderstanding of the human circulatory system concepts, and their retention of this understanding. The subjects of this study consist of 73 ninth grade female students from two classes of a basic school in Jordan. One

Salem A. Alkhawaldeh

2007-01-01

22

Facilitating Conceptual Change in Ninth Grade Students' Understanding of Human Circulatory System Concepts  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of the conceptual change text oriented instruction over traditionally designed instruction on ninth grade students' understanding of the human circulatory system concepts, and their retention of this understanding. The subjects of this study consist of 73 ninth grade female students

Alkhawaldeh, Salem A.

2007-01-01

23

Using Portfolios To Assess Students' Conceptual Understanding of Flotation and Buoyancy.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The research described in this paper investigates the use of portfolio assessment techniques in middle school science classrooms. It explores how alternative assessment frameworks, such as portfolios, can be used by the classroom teacher and the students as an indicator of students' conceptual understanding and to facilitate changes in science…

Erduran, Sibel; Duschl, Richard A.

24

Argumentation and Students' Conceptual Understanding of Properties and Behaviors of Gases  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of argumentation-based pedagogy on college students' conceptual understanding of properties and behaviors of gases. The sample consists of 108 students (52 in the control group and 56 in the intervention group) drawn from 2 general chemistry college courses taught by the same instructor. Data…

Aydeniz, Mehmet; Pabuccu, Aybuke; Cetin, Pinar Seda; Kaya, Ebru

2012-01-01

25

Using Art-Based Chemistry Activities to Improve Students' Conceptual Understanding in Chemistry  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This study aimed to determine the effects of art-based chemistry activities (ABCA) on high school students' conceptual understanding in chemistry. The study used the pretest-posttest control group design. A total of 64 third-year high school students from two different chemistry classes participated in the study. One class was exposed to art-based…

Danipog, Dennis L.; Ferido, Marlene B.

2011-01-01

26

Contribution of Conceptual Change Texts and Concept Mapping to Students' Understanding of Acids and Bases.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This study was conducted to compare effects of concept mapping and conceptual change texts instruction over traditional instruction on 10th grade students' understanding of acid and base concepts. 110 students from 6 classes of a chemistry course taught by the same teacher were enrolled in the study. There were four experimental group classes and…

Cakir, Ozlem Sila; Uzuntiryaki, Esen; Geban, Omer

27

Improving Students' Conceptual Understanding of Conductors and Insulators  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

We examine the difficulties that introductory physics students, undergraduate physics majors, and physics graduate students have with concepts related to conductors and insulators covered in introductory physics by giving written tests and interviewing a subset of students. We find that even graduate students have serious difficulties with these concepts. We develop tutorials related to these topics and evaluate their effectiveness by comparing the performance on written pre-/post-tests and interviews of students who received traditional instruction vs. those who learned using tutorials.

Bilak, Joshua; Singh, Chandralekha

2009-07-08

28

Changing Scientific Reasoning and Conceptual Understanding in College Students  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Data from several years and several different classes have shown that Lawson test scores do not change much over the course of a single semester and are strongly correlated with FCI gains. So what does change Lawson scores? We have new data that we think shows that more interaction with materials that demand reasoning (and not just clicker questions and end of chapter Homework problems) improves reasoning ability and subsequently conceptual development.

Pyper, Brian A.

2012-05-15

29

The Contribution of Conceptual Change Texts Accompanied by Concept Mapping to Students' Understanding of the Human Circulatory System.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Investigates the contribution of conceptual change texts accompanied by concept mapping instruction to 10th-grade students' understanding of the human circulatory system. Indicates that the conceptual change texts accompanied by concept mapping instruction produced a positive effect on students' understanding of concepts. Concludes that students

Sungur, Semra; Tekkaya, Ceren; Geban, Omer

2001-01-01

30

Improving studentsconceptual understanding of the greenhouse effect using theory-based learning materials that promote deep learning  

Microsoft Academic Search

Students’ everyday ideas of the greenhouse effect are difficult to change. Environmental education faces the challenge of developing instructional settings that foster studentsconceptual understanding concept of the greenhouse effect in order to understand global warming. To facilitate studentsconceptual development with regard to the greenhouse effect, learning materials aimed at promoting active cognitive learning in order to achieve deep

Sibylle Reinfried; Urs Aeschbacher; Benno Rottermann

2012-01-01

31

Improving Students' Conceptual Understanding of the Greenhouse Effect Using Theory-Based Learning Materials that Promote Deep Learning  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Students' everyday ideas of the greenhouse effect are difficult to change. Environmental education faces the challenge of developing instructional settings that foster students' conceptual understanding concept of the greenhouse effect in order to understand global warming. To facilitate students' conceptual development with regard to the…

Reinfried, Sibylle; Aeschbacher, Urs; Rottermann, Benno

2012-01-01

32

Can an egg-dropping race enhance students' conceptual understanding of air resistance?  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Children are familiar with situations in which air resistance plays an important role, such as parachuting. However, it is not known whether they have any understanding about the concept of air resistance, how air resistance affects falling objects, and the differential effect it has on different objects. The literature reveals that there are misconceptions even among undergraduate physics students about how air resistance is affected by the mass and size of falling objects. A study was carried out in Hong Kong to explore Grade 6 students' (aged 11-12) conceptions of air resistance with respect to falling objects of different size and mass, and whether the subjects showed any change in their conceptual understanding after participating in an egg-dropping race. The findings show that students had a wide range of conceptions, which could be characterized into different levels. Their conceptions seem rather robust, and more structured interventions are required to bring about changes in students' conceptual understanding of air resistance.

Lee, Yeung Chung; Kwok, Ping Wai

2009-03-01

33

Assessing Students' Conceptual Understanding in Science: An introduction about a national project in Taiwan  

Microsoft Academic Search

In this article, we discuss several aspects of the national project, the National Science Concept Learning Study, designed to assess elementary, middle, and secondary students' conceptual understanding in science. After a short introduction to provide some history of the project, we describe the processes used in the integrative study, the participants in the research, the involve- ment of about 30

David F. Treagust

2007-01-01

34

Effect of Instruction Based on Conceptual Change Activities on Students' Understanding of Static Electricity Concepts  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This study was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of learning activities based on conceptual change conditions and traditionally designed physics instruction on tenth-grade students' understanding of static electricity concepts and their attitudes toward physics as a school subject. Misconceptions related to static electricity concepts…

Baser, Mustafa; Geban, Omer

2007-01-01

35

Effects of Experimenting with Physical and Virtual Manipulatives on Students' Conceptual Understanding in Heat and Temperature  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This study aimed to investigate the comparative value of experimenting with physical manipulatives (PM) in a sequential combination with virtual manipulatives (VM), with the use of PM preceding the use of VM, and of experimenting with PM alone, with respect to changes in students' conceptual understanding in the domain of heat and temperature. A…

Zacharia, Zacharias C.; Olympiou, Georgios; Papaevripidou, Marios

2008-01-01

36

The Effect of Conceptual Change Texts Oriented Instruction on Students' Understanding of the Solubility Equilibrium Concept  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The present study aimed to investigate the effect of conceptual change texts oriented instruction on 10th grade students' understanding of solubility equilibrium concept. The misconceptions related to solubility equilibrium concept were obtained through interviews with high school chemistry teachers and related literature. The data were obtained…

Onder, Ismail; Geban, Omer

2006-01-01

37

Study of TA's ability to implement the Tutorials in Introductory Physics and student conceptual understanding  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Many students are not prepared for college physics and therefore perform poorly. This becomes a problem when students must pass physics as part of course requirements for their major. At the University of Cincinnati this problem is being addressed through the implementation of Tutorials in Introductory Physics in the recitation sections of our calculus-based physics course. In recent years we have evidence that the Tutorials in Introductory Physics increase both students' conceptual understanding of physics as well as their success rate in the course. To make further improvements we have shifted our research focus to the training of the recitation TAs. This presentation will describe the training the TAs receive as well as the methodology and instruments used in the study to determine the effectiveness of each TA. Preliminary findings indicate that there is a relationship between the TA's ability to implement the Tutorials in Introductory Physics and student conceptual understanding.

Koenig, Kathleen M.; Endorf, Robert J.

2005-10-27

38

The Use of Student Writing in Algebra To Gain Conceptual Understanding  

Microsoft Academic Search

This quantitative, action research project sought to find out how the use of writing prompts in algebra could help students to i1nprove their conceptual understanding of the content. Before starting final exam review, thirty-five students from New York algebra classes were pre-tested on several concepts. The concepts that they scored the weakest in were used in the study. Brief instructional

Emily M. Gloss

2011-01-01

39

Using conceptual maps to assess students' climate change understanding and misconceptions  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The complex and interdisciplinary nature of climate change science poses special challenges for educators in helping students understand the climate system, and how it is evolving under natural and anthropogenic forcing. Students and citizens alike have existing mental models that may limit their perception and processing of the multiple relationships between processes (e.g., feedback) that arise in global change science, and prevent adoption of complex scientific concepts. Their prior knowledge base serves as the scaffold for all future learning and grasping its range and limitations serves as an important basis upon which to anchor instruction. Different instructional strategies can be adopted to help students understand the inherently interdisciplinary topic of global climate change, its interwoven human and natural causes, and the connections it has with society through a complex range of political, social, technological and economic factors. One assessment method for students' understanding of global climate change with its many uncertainties, whether associated with the workings of the climate system or with respect to social, cultural and economic processes that mediate human responses to changes within the system, is through the use of conceptual maps. When well designed, they offer a representation of students' mental model prior and post instruction. We will present two conceptual mapping activities used in the classroom to assess students' knowledge and understanding about global climate change and uncover misconceptions. For the first one, concept maps will be used to demonstrate evidence of learning and conceptual change, while for the second we will show how conceptual maps can provide information about gaps in knowledge and misconceptions students have about the topic.

Gautier, C.

2011-12-01

40

Using Two-Tier Test to Identify Primary Students' Conceptual Understanding and Alternative Conceptions in Acid Base  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The purpose of this study was to identify primary students' conceptual understanding and alternative conceptions in acid-base. For this reason, a 15 items two-tier multiple choice test administered 56 eighth grade students in spring semester 2009-2010. Data for this study were collected using a conceptual understanding scale prepared to include…

Bayrak, Beyza Karadeniz

2013-01-01

41

Avoiding Reflex Responses: Strategies for Revealing Students' Conceptual Understanding in Biology  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

There is widespread concern about the level of scientific literacy in the U. S. An important, although often overlooked, point, is that student learning is generally only a good as the assessments used to measure it. Unfortunately, most assessments measure recall and recognition rather than conceptual understanding, and as a result over-estimate levels of scientific literacy. We have encountered this fact during the construction of the Biology Concept Inventory (BCI). Using the concept of diffusion, which is taught in a wide range of introductory biology, chemistry, and physics courses, as an exemplar, we describe lessons learned and strategies we use to create questions that better probe student understanding.

Klymkowsky, Michael W.; Gheen, Rachel; Garvin-Doxas, Kathy

2007-01-01

42

The Impact of the History of Physics on Student Attitude and Conceptual Understanding of Physics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

The purpose of this study is to investigate student learning of Newtonian Mechanics through the study of its history and the development of the relevant ideas since the time of ancient Greece. The hypothesis is that not only will students learn the basic concepts of mechanics, but also will develop a more positive attitude and appreciation for physics. To assess the studentsâ conceptual understanding, we administer Force Concept Inventory (FCI) and for the measurement of student attitude change, we employed the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey (CLASS); both were given as pre and post-tests. Additionally, at the end of the quarter, a survey was given out to see how students perceived the different course components and which ones they found helpful in their learning. This paper will present our preliminary results on such a study.

Garcia, Sarah; Hankins, April; Sadaghiani, Homeyra R.

2011-01-01

43

A Lakatosian Conceptual Change Teaching Strategy Based on Student Ability To Build Models with Varying Degrees of Conceptual Understanding of Chemical Equilibrium.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Reports on a study that constructs a Lakatosian teaching strategy that can facilitate conceptual change in students' understanding of chemical equilibrium. Results indicate that the experimental group performed better on tests. Contains 81 references. (DDR)

Niaz, Mansoor

1998-01-01

44

Identifying Students' Mental Models of Sound Propagation: The Role of Conceptual Blending in Understanding Conceptual Change  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

We investigated introductory physics students' mental models of sound propagation. We used a phenomenographic method to analyze the data in the study. In addition to the scientifically accepted Wave model, students used the "Entity" model to describe the propagation of sound. In this latter model sound is a self-standing entity, different from the…

Hrepic, Zdeslav; Zollman, Dean A.; Rebello, N. Sanjay

2010-01-01

45

Assessment in Support of Conceptual Understanding and Student Motivation to Learn Science  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Classroom-based assessment strategies may influence the development of conceptual understanding and motivational beliefs among elementary learners in science. A contextual analysis of how young children (65 second graders) responded to classroom-based assessment--and the impact that assessment may have had on science learning--suggests that these young children enjoyed learning about science. Their positive attitudes may have developed because of the opportunities for active exploration they were given and the intellectual stimulation that resulted from new and unexpected discoveries in science. Successful assessment experiences may also have contributed to the enthusiasm that these students expressed for science.

King, Melissa D.

2006-01-01

46

Development of a student-centered instrument to assess middle school students' conceptual understanding of sound  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

This article describes the development and field test of the Sound Concept Inventory Instrument (SCII), designed to measure middle school students' concepts of sound. The instrument was designed based on known students' difficulties in understanding sound and the history of science related to sound and focuses on two main aspects of sound: sound has material properties, and sound has process properties. The final SCII consists of 71 statements that respondents rate as either true or false and also indicate their confidence on a five-point scale. Administration to 355 middle school students resulted in a Cronbach alpha of 0.906, suggesting a high reliability. In addition, the average percentage of students' answers to statements that associate sound with material properties is significantly higher than the average percentage of statements associating sound with process properties (p <0.001). The SCII is a valid and reliable tool that can be used to determine students' conceptions of sound.

Eshach, Haim

2014-01-01

47

The Effect of Cooperative Learning Approach Based on Conceptual Change Condition on Students' Understanding of Chemical Equilibrium Concepts  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of the cooperative learning approach based on conceptual change conditions over traditional instruction on 10th grade students' conceptual understanding and achievement of computational problems related to chemical equilibrium concepts. The subjects of this study consisted of 87 tenth grade…

Bilgin, Ibrahim; Geban, Omer

2006-01-01

48

An exploratory study into students' conceptual understanding of acid\\/base principles associated with chemical buffer systems  

Microsoft Academic Search

The overall objective of this research project was to provide an insight into students' conceptual understanding of acid\\/base principles as it relates to the comprehension and correct application of scientific concepts during a problem-solving activity. The difficulties experienced learning science and in developing appropriate problem-solving strategies most likely are predetermined by students' existing conceptual and procedural knowledge constructs; with the

Catherine Elizabeth MacGowan

1997-01-01

49

The Effects of Representations, Constructivist Approaches, and Engagement on Middle School Students' Algebraic Procedure and Conceptual Understanding  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This study examined the effects of types of representations, constructivist teaching approaches, and student engagement on middle school algebra students' procedural knowledge and conceptual understanding. Data gathered from 16 video lessons and algebra pretest/posttests were used to run three multilevel structural equation models. Symbolic…

Ross, Amanda; Willson, Victor

2012-01-01

50

Students' Conceptual Understanding and Critical Thinking: A Case for Concept Maps and Vee-Diagrams in Mathematics Problem Solving  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

With the current focus in mathematics education on the importance of developing students' conceptual understanding, fluency with the language of mathematics, critical thinking, and working mathematically, teachers are constantly expected to design challenging and investigative tasks that can engage and motivate students in their learning of…

Afamasaga-Fuata'i, Karoline

2008-01-01

51

Impacts of Multi-Representational Instruction on High School Students' Conceptual Understandings of the Particulate Nature of Matter  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This quasi-experimental study examined 42 high school introductory chemistry students' conceptual understandings of the particulate nature of matter (PNM) before and immediately after instruction. Two groups of students, who were taught by the same teacher, received one of two possible instructional interventions: Reform-Based Teaching (RBT) or…

Adadan, Emine; Irving, Karen E.; Trundle, Kathy C.

2009-01-01

52

An Investigation of Effectiveness of Conceptual Change Text-oriented Instruction on Students' Understanding of Solution Concepts  

Microsoft Academic Search

This study investigated the effect of conceptual change text-oriented instruction over traditional instruction on students' understanding of solution concepts (e.g., dissolving, solubility, factors affecting solubility, concentrations of solutions, types of solutions, physical properties of solutions) and their attitudes towards chemistry. The sample of this study consisted of 87 undergraduate students from two classes enrolled in an introductory chemistry course. One

NurtaÇ Canpolat; Samih BayrakÇeken; Ömer Geban

2006-01-01

53

Comparing and Combining Real and Virtual Experimentation: An Effort to Enhance Students' Conceptual Understanding of Electric Circuits  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The purpose of this study was to investigate value of combining Real Experimentation (RE) with Virtual Experimentation (VE) with respect to changes in students' conceptual understanding of electric circuits. To achieve this, a pre-post comparison study design was used that involved 88 undergraduate students. The participants were randomly assigned…

Zacharia, Z. C.

2007-01-01

54

Making the Invisible Visible: Enhancing Students' Conceptual Understanding by Introducing Representations of Abstract Objects in a Simulation  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This study aimed to identify if complementing representations of concrete objects with representations of abstract objects improves students' conceptual understanding as they use a simulation to experiment in the domain of "Light and Color". Moreover, we investigated whether students' prior knowledge is a factor that must be considered in deciding…

Olympiou, Georgios; Zacharias, Zacharia; deJong, Ton

2013-01-01

55

The effect of the use of concept maps on community college students' conceptual understanding of biology course content  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Purpose of the study. The major purpose of this study was to measure the change, if any, in students' conceptual understanding of biology course content using concept maps (experimental) or a standard lecture format (control). In addition, the effectiveness of the use of concept maps as advance organizers was measured according to the various subgroups of cognitive development level, age, ethnicity, gender, class time, and educational background. A final concern was the relationships between conceptual understanding of biology course content and the students' cognitive development level. Procedure. A quasi-experimental design was used to conduct the study during a sixteen-week semester. The study was conducted during the fall, 1997, semester at a community college using 190 students enrolled in General Biology 1406. Major data were collected using a pretest, posttest, and the Test of Logical Thinking. Data were treated through the application of analysis of covariance, Pearson product-moment correlation, and the Fisher Z-transformation technique. Findings. The findings of this investigation were as follows: (1) Concept maps used as advance organizers had a significant effect on student conceptual understanding of biology course content. (2) The use of concept maps as advance organizers had a significant effect on student conceptual understanding of biology when students are classified according to their cognitive developmental level, age, gender, major, course time, and educational background. (3) A significant relationship between cognitive developmental level and conceptual understanding was also found. Conclusions. The use of concept maps, as advance Organizers, is an effective method for improving student learning in general biology classes. A positive relationship exists between students' cognitive developmental level and conceptual understanding.

Wells, Franklin Brian

56

The Effects of an Interactive Computer-Based Simulation Prior to Performing a Laboratory Inquiry-Based Experiment on Students' Conceptual Understanding of Physics.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Investigates the effects of interactive computer-based simulations presented prior to inquiry-based laboratory experiments on students' conceptual understanding of mechanics, waves/optics, and thermal physics. Uses conceptual tests to assess conceptual understandings of each topic. Indicates that the use of the simulations improved students'…

Zacharia, Zacharias; Anderson, O. Roger

2003-01-01

57

Understanding the Greenhouse Effect by Embodiment--Analysing and Using Students' and Scientists' Conceptual Resources  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Over the last 20 years, science education studies have reported that there are very different understandings among students of science regarding the key aspects of climate change. We used the cognitive linguistic framework of experientialism to shed new light on this valuable pool of studies to identify the conceptual resources of understanding

Niebert, Kai; Gropengießer, Harald

2014-01-01

58

Leveraging Conceptual Frameworks to Improve Students' Mental Organization of Astronomy Understanding  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Many different types of schematic diagrams are useful in helping students organize and internalize their developing understanding in introductory astronomy courses. These include Venn Diagrams, Flowcharts, Concept Maps, among others, which illustrate the relationships between astronomical objects and dynamic concepts. These conceptual framework diagrams have been incorporated into the NSF-funded ClassAction project. ClassAction is a collection of electronic materials designed to enhance the metacognitive skills of college and university introductory astronomy survey students by promoting interactive engagement and providing rapid feedback in a highly visual setting. The main effort is targeted at creating dynamic think-pair-share questions supported by simulations, animations, and visualizations to be projected in the lecture classroom. The infrastructure allows instructors to recast these questions into alternative forms based on their own pedagogical preferences and feedback from the class. The recourses can be easily selected from a FLASH computer database and are accompanied by outlines, graphics, and numerous simulations which the instructor can use to provide student feedback and, when necessary, remediation. ClassAction materials are publicly available online at URL: http://astro.unl.edu and is funded by NSF Grant #0404988.

Slater, Timothy F.; Lee, K. M.

2006-06-01

59

Transformation and Contextualisation: Conceptualising Students' Conceptual Understandings of Threshold Concepts in Calculus  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Research on student learning in higher education suggests that threshold concepts within various disciplines have the capacity to transform students' understanding. The present study explores students' understanding in relation to particular threshold concepts in mathematics--integral and limit--and tries to clarify in what sense developing an…

Scheja, Max; Pettersson, Kerstin

2010-01-01

60

An Investigation of Effectiveness of Conceptual Change Text-Oriented Instruction on Students' Understanding of Solution Concepts  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This study investigated the effect of conceptual change text-oriented instruction over traditional instruction on students' understanding of solution concepts (e.g., dissolving, solubility, factors affecting solubility, concentrations of solutions, types of solutions, physical properties of solutions) and their attitudes towards chemistry. The…

Pinarbasi, Tacettin; Canpolat, Nurtac; Bayrakceken, Samih; Geban, Omer

2006-01-01

61

The Effects of Students' Cognitive Styles on Conceptual Understandings and Problem-Solving Skills in Introductory Mechanics  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The purpose of this study was to determine if there are relationships among freshmen students' Field depended or field independent (FD/FI) cognitive style, conceptual understandings, and problem solving skills in mechanics. The sample consisted of 213 freshmen (female = 111, male = 102; age range 17-21) who were enrolled in an introductory physics…

Ates, Salih; Cataloglu, Erdat

2007-01-01

62

Effect of explicit problem solving instruction on high school students' problem-solving performance and conceptual understanding of physics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

In this study a two-sample, pre/posttest, quasi-experimental design was used to investigate the effect of explicit problem-solving instruction on high school students' conceptual understanding of physics. Eight physics classes, with a total of 145 students, were randomly assigned to either a treatment or comparison group. The four treatment classes were taught how to use an explicit problem-solving strategy, while the four comparison classes were taught how to use a textbook problem-solving strategy. Students' problem-solving performance and conceptual understanding were assessed both before and after instruction. The results indicated that the explicit strategy improved the quality and completeness of students' physics representations more than the textbook strategy, but there was no difference between the two strategies on match of equations with representations, organization, or mathematical execution. In terms of conceptual understanding, there was no overall difference between the two groups; however, there was a significant interaction between the sex of the students and group. The explicit strategy appeared to benefit female students, while the textbook strategy appeared to benefit male students. The implications of these results for physics instruction are discussed.

Huffman, Douglas

2005-11-17

63

Students' conceptual understanding of quantum physics in college level classroom environments  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The purposes of the current study were to study the potential solutions of the common learning difficulties, insufficient teaching techniques and other significant instructional or conceptual problems encountered while teaching and learning an important branch of physical science, quantum physics (QP), at the senior or junior college year. Both quantitative and qualitative methodologies were utilized in this study. The participants included five physics faculty members with different levels of teaching experience who were teaching one of the quantum physics courses (e.g. Modern Physics, Quantum Physics, and Quantum Mechanics) and 43 senior or junior undergraduate students enrolled in their courses during fall and spring terms of 2006. The findings of this study revealed that students struggle in QP classes mainly because of (1) complex mathematical tools in QP, (2) abstract concepts and non-parallel construction of QP, (3) QP has a bad reputation that negatively affects students prior to taking it, and (4) the pace in curriculum of quantum physics courses is too fast for the students. In order to increase students' conceptualization of QP concepts, the faculty members who participated in this study suggested that: (1) more time on solving more abstract conceptual questions should be spent, (2) recitation hours for solving more numerical problems need to be dedicated, and (3) revision of curriculum is necessary.

Akarsu, Bayram

64

Urban High School Students' Critical Science Agency: Conceptual Understandings and Environmental Actions Around Climate Change  

Microsoft Academic Search

This study investigates how the enactment of a climate change curriculum supports students' development of critical science agency, which includes students developing deep understandings of science concepts and the ability to take action at the individual and community levels. We examined the impact of a four to six week urban ecology curriculum on students from three different urban high schools

Katherine L. McNeill; Meredith Houle Vaughn

2010-01-01

65

Effects of Problem-Based Learning on University Students' Epistemological Beliefs about Physics and Physics Learning and Conceptual Understanding of Newtonian Mechanics  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This study investigated the effects of problem-based learning on students' beliefs about physics and physics learning and conceptual understanding of Newtonian mechanics. The study further examines the relationship between students' beliefs about physics and their conceptual understanding of mechanics concepts. Participants were 124 Turkish…

Sahin, Mehmet

2010-01-01

66

Effects of Student-Generated Diagrams versus Student-Generated Summaries on Conceptual Understanding of Causal and Dynamic Knowledge in Plate Tectonics.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Grade five students' (n=58) conceptual understanding of plate tectonics was measured by analysis of student-generated summaries and diagrams, and by posttest assessment of both the spatial/static and causal/dynamic aspects of the domain. The diagram group outperformed the summary and text-only groups on the posttest measures. Discusses the effects…

Gobert, Janice D.; Clement, John J.

1999-01-01

67

Effectiveness of Conceptual Change Text-oriented Instruction on StudentsUnderstanding of Energy in Chemical Reactions  

Microsoft Academic Search

The aim of this study is to compare the effectiveness of conceptual change text instruction (CCT) in the context of energy\\u000a in chemical reactions. The subjects of the study were 60, 10th grade students at a high school, who were in two different\\u000a classes and taught by the same teacher. One of the classes was randomly selected as the experimental

Özgecan Tastan; Eylem Yalçinkaya; Yezdan Boz

2008-01-01

68

Developing a magnetism conceptual survey and assessing gender differences in student understanding of magnetism  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

We discuss the development of a research-based conceptual multiple-choice survey of magnetism. We also discuss the use of the survey to investigate gender differences in students' difficulties with concepts related to magnetism. We find that while there was no gender difference on the pre-test. However, female students performed significantly worse than male students when the survey was given as a post-test in traditionally taught calculus-based introductory physics courses with similar results in both the regular and honors versions of the course. In the algebra-based courses, the performance of female and male students has no statistical difference on the pre-test or the post-test.

Li, Jing; Singh, Chandralekha

2012-02-01

69

Effects of Problem-Based Learning on University Students’ Epistemological Beliefs About Physics and Physics Learning and Conceptual Understanding of Newtonian Mechanics  

Microsoft Academic Search

This study investigated the effects of problem-based learning on students’ beliefs about physics and physics learning and\\u000a conceptual understanding of Newtonian mechanics. The study further examines the relationship between students’ beliefs about\\u000a physics and their conceptual understanding of mechanics concepts. Participants were 124 Turkish university students (PBL = 55,\\u000a traditional = 69) enrolled in a calculus-based introductory physics class. Students’ beliefs about physics and

Mehmet Sahin

2010-01-01

70

The effect of using a structured reading framework on middle school students' conceptual understanding within the Science Writing Heuristic approach  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

This study was designed to investigate the impact of using a Structured Reading Framework within the Science Writing Heuristic approach on a summary writing task, and how this framework is related to the development of students' conceptual understanding in the summary writing task. A quasi-experimental design with sixth and seventh grade students taught by two teachers in the middle school was used. Each teacher had four classes with two classes using the Structured Reading Framework (treatment) and the other two classes used the original reading framework (control). A total of 170 students participated in the study, with 83 in the control group (four classes) and 87 in the treatment group (four classes). All students used the SWH student templates to guide their written work and completed these templates during the SWH investigations of each unit. After completing the SWH investigations, both groups of students were asked to complete the summary writing task at the end of each unit. This process was replicated for each of the two units. All student writing samples collected were scored using an analytical framework and scoring matrices developed for the study. A total of 588 writing samples were included in the statistical analysis. Results indicated that the treatment group who used the Structured Reading Framework performed significantly better on the Summary Writing task than the control group. The results suggest that the using of the Structured Reading Framework in prompting and guiding the reading activities within the SWH approach have an impact on the development of conceptual understanding. In addition, it appears that the Structured Reading Framework impacted the development of conceptual understanding in the Summary Writing task by providing a scaffold to assist students' knowledge construction.

Jang, Jeong Yoon

71

Urban High School Students’ Critical Science Agency: Conceptual Understandings and Environmental Actions Around Climate Change  

Microsoft Academic Search

This study investigates how the enactment of a climate change curriculum supports students’ development of critical science\\u000a agency, which includes students developing deep understandings of science concepts and the ability to take action at the individual\\u000a and community levels. We examined the impact of a four to six week urban ecology curriculum on students from three different\\u000a urban high schools

Katherine L. McNeill; Meredith Houle Vaughn

72

Arguments, Contradictions, Resistances, and Conceptual Change in Students' Understanding of Atomic Structure.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Reports on a study aimed at facilitating freshman general chemistry students' understanding of atomic structure based on the work of Thomson, Rutherford, and Bohr. Hypothesizes that classroom discussions based on arguments/counterarguments of the heuristic principles on which these scientists based their atomic models can facilitate students'…

Niaz, Mansoor; Aguilera, Damarys; Maza, Arelys; Liendo, Gustavo

2002-01-01

73

Conceptual understanding of thermodynamics: A study of undergraduate and graduate students  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

There is a perception among college students that physical chemistry is an impossibly difficult subject. The hypothesis guiding this study is that this perception is caused by the mismatch between the physical chemistry curriculum and the cognitive needs of students, whose learning styles, misconceptions, and difficulties are not explicitly addressed. A qualitative approach was used to examine students' conceptions of concepts such as internal energy, enthalpy, heat capacity, entropy, and Gibbs free energy. Students' views about science, physical chemistry, and thermodynamics were also examined. The subjects of the study were nine undergraduate and graduate students taking introductory or review courses in thermodynamics. Data were obtained from twenty-five individual interviews, thirteen of which took place while respondents were taking a course and twelve after they had completed it. The interviews were tape-recorded and transcribed and the transcripts were analyzed by a cross-case comparison method. The results show that graduate students had many of the same difficulties and misconceptions as undergraduate students. After a semester, students retained a minimal understanding of the main ideas of thermodynamics and the connections between them. They had a limited understanding of the relevance of thermodynamics to chemistry. Students regarded mathematical derivations as a fundamental component of thermodynamics and relied exclusively on mathematical equations to represent concepts such as enthalpy. Mathematical presentations were emphasized in lectures. The mathematical and pictorial symbols that students copied from the blackboard did not necessarily hold the same meaning for them as they did for professors. Many students had difficulty connecting mathematical symbols to physical concepts. They often confused the macroscopic and microscopic pictures and did not understand the concept of equilibrium. They never mentioned equilibrium in their descriptions of the science of thermodynamics. Students did not make connections between thermodynamic concepts such as internal energy and their prior formal knowledge.

Patron, Francis

1997-11-01

74

The impact of science notebook writing on ELL and low-SES students' science language development and conceptual understanding  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

This quantitative study explored the impact of literacy integration in a science inquiry classroom involving the use of science notebooks on the academic language development and conceptual understanding of students from diverse (i.e., English Language Learners, or ELLs) and low socio-economic status (low-SES) backgrounds. The study derived from a randomized, longitudinal, field-based NSF funded research project (NSF Award No. DRL - 0822343) targeting ELL and non-ELL students from low-SES backgrounds in a large urban school district in Southeast Texas. The study used a scoring rubric (modified and tested for validity and reliability) to analyze fifth-grade school students' science notebook entries. Scores for academic language quality (or, for brevity, language ) were used to compare language growth over time across three time points (i.e., beginning, middle, and end of the school year) and to compare students across categories (ELL, former ELL, non-ELL, and gender) using descriptive statistics and mixed between-within subjects analysis of variance (ANOVA). Scores for conceptual understanding (or, for brevity, concept) were used to compare students across categories (ELL, former ELL, non-ELL, and gender) in three domains using descriptive statistics and ANOVA. A correlational analysis was conducted to explore the relationship, if any, between language scores and concept scores for each group. Students demonstrated statistically significant growth over time in their academic language as reflected by science notebook scores. While ELL students scored lower than former ELL and non-ELL students at the first two time points, they caught up to their peers by the third time point. Similarly, females outperformed males in language scores in the first two time points, but males caught up to females in the third time point. In analyzing conceptual scores, ELLs had statistically significant lower scores than former-ELL and non-ELL students, and females outperformed males in the first two domains. These differences, however, were not statistically significant in the last domain. Last, correlations between language and concept scores were overall, positive, large, and significant across domains and groups. The study presents a rubric useful for quantifying diverse students' science notebook entries, and findings add to the sparse research on the impact of writing in diverse students' language development and conceptual understanding in science.

Huerta, Margarita

75

Bridging the Educational Research-Teaching Practice Gap: Conceptual Understanding, Part 2--Assessing and Developing Student Knowledge  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The first paper in this two-part miniseries on conceptual understanding discussed expert and novice conceptual knowledge, the multifaceted nature of conceptual understanding, and the cognitive skills essential for constructing it. This second article presents examples of instruments for the assessment and development of five facets of conceptual

Schonborn, Konrad J.; Anderson, Trevor R.

2008-01-01

76

Enhancing Students' Conceptual Understanding by Engaging Science Text with Reflective Writing as a Hermeneutical Circle  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Students can have great difficulty reading scientific texts and trying to cope with the professor in the classroom. Part of the reason for students' difficulties is that for a student taking a science gateway course the language, ontology and epistemology of science are akin to a foreign culture. There is thus an analogy between such a student and an anthropologist spending time among a native group in some remote part of the globe. This brings us naturally to the subject of hermeneutics. It is through language that we attempt to understand an alien culture. The hermeneutical circle involves the interplay between our construct of the unfamiliar with our own outlook that deepens with each pass. It can be argued that for novice students to acquire a full understanding of scientific texts, they also need to pursue a recurrent construction of their comprehension of scientific concepts. In this paper it is shown how an activity, reflective-writing, can enhance students' understanding of concepts in their textbook by getting students to approach text in the manner of a hermeneutical circle. This is illustrated using studies made at three post-secondary institutions.

Kalman, Calvin S.

2011-02-01

77

Comparison of the Effects of Conceptual Change Texts Implemented after and before Instruction on Secondary School Students' Understanding of Acid-Base Concepts  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This study examined whether the application of conceptual change texts are effective before or after the instruction on 10th grade students' conceptual understanding and alternative conceptions about acids and bases. The study was conducted with 76 10th grade students from three classes of a chemistry course taught by the same teacher. One of the…

Demircioglu, Gokhan

2009-01-01

78

Representational Classroom Practices that Contribute to Students' Conceptual and Representational Understanding of Chemical Bonding  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Understanding bonding is fundamental to success in chemistry. A number of alternative conceptions related to chemical bonding have been reported in the literature. Research suggests that many alternative conceptions held by chemistry students result from previous teaching; if teachers are explicit in the use of representations and explain their…

Hilton, Annette; Nichols, Kim

2011-01-01

79

Blending Physical and Virtual Manipulatives: An Effort to Improve Students' Conceptual Understanding through Science Laboratory Experimentation  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This study aimed to investigate the effect of experimenting with physical manipulatives (PM), virtual manipulatives (VM), and a blended combination of PM and VM on undergraduate students' understanding of concepts in the domain of "Light and Color." A pre-post comparison study design was used for the purposes of this study that involved 70…

Olympiou, Georgios; Zacharia, Zacharias C.

2012-01-01

80

Conceptual understandings of biology in pre-service science educators and undergraduate biology students at Colorado institutions of higher education  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Pre-service secondary science individuals, future middle or high school instructors training to become teachers, along with both Honors and general first year undergraduate biology students were investigated to determine how they reason about and understand two core topics in Biology: matter and energy flow through biological systems and evolution by natural selection. Diagnostic Question Clusters were used to assess student understanding of the processes by which matter and energy flow through biological systems over spatial scales, from the atomic-molecular to ecosystem levels. Key concepts and identified misconceptions were examined over topics of evolution by natural selection using the multiple-choice Concept Inventory of Natural Selection (CINS) and open-response Assessing COntextual Reasoning about Natural Selection (ACORNS). Pre-service teachers used more scientifically based reasoning than the undergraduate students over the topics of matter and energy flow. The Honors students used more scientific and less improper informal reasoning than the general undergraduates over matter and energy flow. Honors students performed best on both the CINS and ACORNS items over natural selection, while the general undergraduates scored the lowest on the CINS, and the pre-service instructors scored lowest on the ACORNS. Overall, there remain a large proportion of students not consistently using scientific reasoning about these two important concepts, even in future secondary science teachers. My findings are similar to those of other published studies using the same assessments. In general, very few biology students at the college level use scientific reasoning that exhibits deep conceptual understanding. A reason for this could be that instructors fail to recognize deficiencies in student reasoning; they assume their students use principle-based reasoning. Another reason could be that principle-based reasoning is very difficult and our teaching approaches in college promote memorization of content rather than conceptual change. My findings are significant to the work and progression of concept inventories in biology education, as well as to the instructors of students at all levels of biology curriculum, and those of future science teachers.

Smith, Trenton John

81

An exploratory study into students' conceptual understanding of acid/base principles associated with chemical buffer systems  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The overall objective of this research project was to provide an insight into students' conceptual understanding of acid/base principles as it relates to the comprehension and correct application of scientific concepts during a problem-solving activity. The difficulties experienced learning science and in developing appropriate problem-solving strategies most likely are predetermined by students' existing conceptual and procedural knowledge constructs; with the assimilation of newly acquired knowledge hindering or aiding the learning process. Learning chemistry requires a restructuring of content knowledge which will allow the individual to assemble and to integrate his/her own perception of science with instructional knowledge. The epistemology of constructivism, the theoretical grounding for this research project, recognizes the student's role as an active participant in the learning process. The study's design was exploratory in nature and descriptive in design. The problem-solving activity, the preparation of a chemical buffer solution at pH of 9, was selected and modified to reflect and meet the study's objective. Qualitative research methods (i.e., think aloud protocols, retrospective interviews, survey questionnaires such as the Scale of Intellectual Development (SID), and archival data sources) were used in the collection and assessment of data. Given its constructivist grounding, simplicity, and interpretative view of knowledge acquisition and learning of collegiate aged individuals, the Perry Intellectual and Ethical Development Model (1970) was chosen as the applied model for evaluation student cognition. The study's participants were twelve traditional college age students from a small, private liberal arts college. All participants volunteered for the project and had completed or were completing a general college chemistry course at the time of the project. Upon analysis of the data the following observations and results were noted: (1) students' overall comprehension level of key acid/base principles was at the misconception/miscued level of understanding; (2) the level of a student's conceptual knowledge effected their problem-solving performance and influenced their use of problem-solving tactics; (3) students casual use of the terms "acid" and/or "base" played a significant role in the misuse and misunderstanding of the principles of acid/base chemistry; (4) as assessed from their think aloud protocols and described by the Perry Scheme positions of intellect the study's participants' overall level of cognition were ranked as dualistic/relativistic thinkers; and (5) the SID questionnaire survey rankings did not seem to assess or reflect the participants' cognitive ability to learn or correctly use acid/base concepts as they preformed the study's problem-solving activity--the preparation of buffer solution having a pH of 9.

MacGowan, Catherine Elizabeth

82

A Study of General Education Astronomy Students' Understandings of Cosmology. Part I. Development and Validation of Four Conceptual Cosmology Surveys  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This is the first in a series of five articles describing a national study of general education astronomy students' conceptual and reasoning difficulties with cosmology. In this paper, we describe the process by which we designed four new surveys to assess general education astronomy students' conceptual cosmology knowledge. These surveys focused…

Wallace, Colin S.; Prather, Edward E.; Duncan, Douglas K.

2011-01-01

83

Longer term impacts of transformed courses on student conceptual understanding of E&M  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

We have measured upper-division physics majors' performance using two research-based conceptual instruments in E&M, the BEMA [1] and the CUE (Colorado Upper Division Electrostatics assessment[2].) The BEMA has been given pre/post in freshman E&M (Physics II) courses, and the BEMA and CUE have been given pre/post in several upper-division E&M courses. Some of these data extend over 10 semesters. We used PER-based techniques to transform the introductory and upper-division courses starting in Fall 2004 and 2007, respectively [2, 3]. Our longitudinal data allow us to measure ``fade'' on BEMA performance between freshman and junior year. We investigate the effects of curricula on students by comparing juniors who were enrolled in traditional vs. transformed physics as freshmen, as well as those who were enrolled in traditional or transformed upper-division E&M I, using both BEMA and CUE measures. We find that while freshman reforms significantly impact BEMA scores, junior-level reforms affect CUE but not BEMA outcomes.

Pollock, Steven J.; Chasteen, Stephanie V.

2009-11-01

84

What Does Conceptual Understanding Mean?  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

All advocates of curriculum reform talk about an increased emphasis on conceptual understanding in mathematics. In this article, the authors use many examples to address the following issues: What does conceptual understanding mean, especially in introductory courses such as college algebra, precalculus, or calculus? How do we recognize its…

Gordon, Florence S.; Gordon, Sheldon P.

2006-01-01

85

The effects of academic literacy instruction on engagement and conceptual understanding of biology of ninth-grade students  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Academic language, discourse, vocabulary, motivation, and comprehension of complex texts and concepts are keys to learning subject-area content. The need for a disciplinary literacy approach in high school classrooms accelerates as students become increasing disengaged in school and as content complexity increases. In the present quasi-experimental mixed-method study, a ninth-grade biology unit was designed with an emphasis on promoting academic literacy skills, discourse, meaningful constructivist learning, interest development, and positive learning experiences in order to learn science content. Quantitative and qualitative analyses on a variety of measures completed by 222 students in two high schools revealed that those who received academic literacy instruction in science class performed at significantly higher levels of conceptual understanding of biology content, academic language and vocabulary use, reasoned thought, engagement, and quality of learning experience than control-group students receiving traditionally-organized instruction. Academic literacy was embedded into biology instruction to engage students in meaning-making discourses of science to promote learning. Academic literacy activities were organized according the phases of interest development to trigger and sustain interest and goal-oriented engagement throughout the unit. Specific methods included the Generative Vocabulary Matrix (GVM), scenario-based writing, and involvement in a variety of strategically-placed discourse activities to sustain or "boost" engagement for learning. Traditional instruction for the control group included teacher lecture, whole-group discussion, a conceptual organizer, and textbook reading. Theoretical foundations include flow theory, sociocultural learning theory, and interest theory. Qualitative data were obtained from field notes and participants' journals. Quantitative survey data were collected and analyzed using the Experience Sampling Method (ESM) to measure cognitive and emotional states, revealing patterns of engagement, quality of experience, and flow over the course of the instructional unit. Conceptual understanding was measured using the state persuasive writing rubric to analyze science essays in which students supported a claim with scientific evidence. The study contributes an Engagement Model of Academic Literacy for Learning (EngageALL), a Rubric for Academic Persuasive Writing (RAPW), a unique classification system for analyzing academic vocabulary, and suggestions for situated professional development around a research-based planning framework. A discussion addresses a new direction for future research that explores academic identity development.

Larson, Susan C.

86

Development of a research-based learning progression for middle school through undergraduate students' conceptual understanding of size and scale  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Size and scale are crosscutting ideas integral to scientific understanding. However, research shows that students have little understanding of the size of objects, particularly objects too small to see with the unaided eye. Using a cross-sectional study with 101 middle-school through undergraduate students, a teaching experiment with 24 middle school students, and a theoretical task analysis, I built a learning progression for one-dimensional size and scale that focused on four aspects: ordering by size, grouping by size, relative scale (how many times bigger one object is than another), and absolute size. Over 90% of students develop their conceptual understanding of size and scale by connecting the aspects of size and scale in a specific order. Learners first connect the two qualitative aspects: ordering and grouping. They next connect ordering and relative scale, and then connect ordering and absolute size. Learners connect the two quantitative aspects, relative scale and absolute size, last. A major assumption underlying the learning progression theory is that they can be used to design learning materials that will advance student understanding. To provide empirical support for this idea, a teaching experiment was conducted to determine if students could advance in the manner suggested by the learning progression. The teaching experiment resulted in statistically and educationally significant learning gains. It showed that students increase the accuracy of their factual knowledge in tandem with their increased connectedness of knowledge, by establishing landmark objects that help them construct a mental measurement line. Measurement units including micrometers and nanometers were shown to be powerful tools for student learning about the unseen world. The task analyses revealed a variety of strategies that learners can use in addressing size and scale tasks. Types of strategies include using recall, using a single aspect, and employing the connection across aspects. Required logical and mathematical skills that precede proportional reasoning were also identified. This dissertation provides a model of how to develop a learning progression for a core idea, and showed that a learning progression can inform the design of curriculum materials that can move students to more advanced levels on the learning progression.

Delgado, Cesar

87

The Impact of Peer Instruction on College Students' Beliefs about Physics and Conceptual Understanding of Electricity and Magnetism  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The purpose of this study is to assess students' conceptual learning of electricity and magnetism and examine how these conceptions, beliefs about physics, and quantitative problem-solving skills would change after peer instruction (PI). The Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism (CSEM), Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey…

Gok, Tolga

2012-01-01

88

Assessing the Development of Chemistry Students' Conceptual and Visual Understanding of Dimensional Analysis via Supplemental Use of Web-Based Software  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This study was designed to evaluate the effects of a proprietary software program on students' conceptual and visual understanding of dimensional analysis. The participants in the study were high school general chemistry students enrolled in two public schools with different demographics (School A and School B) in the Chattanooga, Tennessee,…

Ellis, Jennifer T.

2013-01-01

89

The Effect of the Conceptual Change Oriented Instruction through Cooperative Learning on 4th Grade Students' Understanding of Earth and Sky Concepts  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of the conceptual change oriented instruction through cooperative learning (CCICL) and traditional science instruction (TI) on 4th grade students' understanding of earth and sky concepts and their attitudes toward earth and sky concepts. In this study, 56 fourth grade students from the…

Celikten, Oksan; Ipekcioglu, Sevgi; Ertepinar, Hamide; Geban, Omer

2012-01-01

90

Conceptual understanding of thermodynamics: A study of undergraduate and graduate students  

Microsoft Academic Search

There is a perception among college students that physical chemistry is an impossibly difficult subject. The hypothesis guiding this study is that this perception is caused by the mismatch between the physical chemistry curriculum and the cognitive needs of students, whose learning styles, misconceptions, and difficulties are not explicitly addressed. A qualitative approach was used to examine students' conceptions of

Francis Patron

1997-01-01

91

Evaluating Students' Conceptual Understanding of Balanced Equations and Stoichiometric Ratios Using a Particulate Drawing  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

A total of 156 students were asked to provide free-response balanced chemical equations for a classic multiple-choice particulate-drawing question first used by Nurrenbern and Pickering. The balanced equations and the number of students providing each equation are reported in this study. The most common student errors included a confusion between…

Sanger, Michael J.

2005-01-01

92

Upper Secondary Students' Understanding of the Use of Multiple Models in Biology Textbooks—The Importance of Conceptual Variation and Incommensurability  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

In this study we investigate students' ability to discern conceptual variation and the use of multiple models in genetics when reading content-specific excerpts from biology textbooks. Using the history and philosophy of science as our reference, we were able to develop a research instrument allowing students themselves to investigate the occurrence of multiple models and conceptual variation in Swedish upper secondary textbooks. Two excerpts using different models of gene function were selected from authentic textbooks. Students were given the same questionnaire-instrument after reading the two texts, and the results were compared. In this way the students themselves made a classification of the texts which could then be compared with the researchers' classification of the texts. Forty-one upper secondary students aged 18-19 participated in the study. Nine of the students also participated in semi-structured interviews. Students recognized the existence of multiple models in a general way, but had difficulty discerning the different models and the conceptual variation that occurs between them in the texts. Further they did not recognize the occurrence of incommensurability between multiple models. Students had difficulty in transforming their general knowledge of multiple models into an understanding of content specific models of gene function in the textbooks. These findings may have implications for students' understanding of conceptual knowledge because research has established textbooks as one of the most influential aspects in the planning and execution of biology lessons, and teachers commonly assign reading passages to their students without further explanation.

Gericke, Niklas; Hagberg, Mariana; Jorde, Doris

2013-04-01

93

Evaluating Students' Conceptual Understanding of Balanced Equations and Stoichiometric Ratios Using a Particulate Drawing  

Microsoft Academic Search

A total of 156 students were asked to provide free-response balanced chemical equations for a classic multiple-choice particulate-drawing question first used by Nurrenbern and Pickering. The balanced equations and the number of students providing each equation are reported in this study. The most common student errors included a confusion between the concepts of subscripts and coefficients and including unreacted chemical

Michael J. Sanger

2005-01-01

94

Using a Computer Animation To Improve Students' Conceptual Understanding of a Can-Crushing Demonstration.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Presents several student responses to viewing a can-crushing demonstration in which a soda can containing a small amount of water was heated on a hot-plate to boil the water, removed from the heat, and sealed by inverting over a container of cold water. Students were given a quiz, made predictions, and explained what happened on a molecular level.…

Sanger, Michael J.; Phelps, Amy J.; Fienhold, Jason

2000-01-01

95

Effectiveness of the Conceptual Change Texts Accompanied by Concept Maps about Students' Understanding of the Molecules Carrying Genetical Information  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This study aims to investigate the effects of concept maps, together with conceptual change texts, given to 11th grade students' on the subject of molecules carrying genetical information. The semistructured individual interviews were conducted with 5 upper class students to find misconceptions related to the subject. A success test was developed…

Tastan, Ibrahim; Dikmenli, Musa; Cardak, Osman

2008-01-01

96

Understanding Conservation of Laws in Mechanics: Students' Conceptual Change in Learning about Collisions.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Reviews research on student learning about collisions in physics instruction. Focus is placed on the main differences between the spontaneous perspective in describing/interpreting collisions and the disciplinary perspective based upon the energy and linear momentum conservation laws. (PR)

Grimellini-Tomasini, N.; And Others

1993-01-01

97

How Students Understand Physics Equations.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Analyzed a corpus of videotapes in which university students solved physics problems to determine how students learn to understand a physics equation. Found that students learn to understand physics equations in terms of a vocabulary of elements called symbolic forms, each associating a simple conceptual schema with a pattern of symbols. Findings…

Sherin, Bruce L.

2001-01-01

98

Fundamental Computer Science Conceptual Understandings for High School Students Using Original Computer Game Design  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

In 2009, the North Carolina Virtual Public Schools worked with researchers at the William and Ida Friday Institute to produce and evaluate the use of game creation by secondary students as a means for learning content related to career awareness in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines, with particular emphasis in…

Ernst, Jeremy V.; Clark, Aaron C.

2012-01-01

99

Promoting Students' Conceptual Understanding of Plant Defense Responses Using the Fighting Plant Learning Unit (FPLU)  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Most students think animals are more interesting than plants as a study topic believing that plants are inferior to animals because they are passive and unable to respond to external challenges, particularly biological invaders such as microorganisms and insect herbivores. The purpose of this study was to develop an inquiry-based learning unit,…

Nantawanit, Nantawan; Panijpan, Bhinyo; Ruenwongsa, Pintip

2012-01-01

100

Using Students' Representations Constructed during Problem Solving to Infer Conceptual Understanding  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The differences in the types of representations constructed during successful and unsuccessful problem-solving episodes were investigated within the context of graduate students working on problems that involve concepts from 2D-NMR. Success at problem solving was established by having the participants solve five problems relating to material just…

Domin, Daniel; Bodner, George

2012-01-01

101

Exploring the Influence of the Mass Media on Primary Students' Conceptual Understanding of Genetics  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The new Australian Curriculum ignites debate about science content appropriate for primary school children. Abstract genetics concepts such as genes and DNA are still being avoided in primary school, yet research has shown that, by age 10, many students have heard of DNA and/or genes. Scientific concepts appear in the mass media, but primary…

Donovan, Jenny; Venville, Grady

2012-01-01

102

Growing Pebbles and Conceptual Prisms - Understanding the Source of Student Misconceptions about Rock Formation.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Analyzes narrative essays--stories of rock formation--written by pre-service elementary school teachers. Reports startling misconceptions among preservice teachers on pebbles that grow, human involvement in rock formation, and sedimentary rocks forming as puddles as dry up, even though these students had completed a college level course on Earth…

Kusnick, Judi

2002-01-01

103

Teaching Mathematical Trade Topics for Conceptual Understanding.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This book is intended to assist trade and industrial education teachers in teaching mathematical trade topics in a way that will increase students' conceptual understanding of them. The first chapter provides an overview of the book's contents and suggests ways of using it. The next five chapters address the following aspects of using principles…

Larkin, Alan; Phillips, Keith

104

Exploring Middle School Students' Understanding of Three Conceptual Models in Genetics  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Genetics is the cornerstone of modern biology and a critical aspect of scientific literacy. Research has shown, however, that many high school graduates lack fundamental understandings in genetics necessary to make informed decisions about issues and emerging technologies in this domain, such as genetic screening, genetically modified foods, etc.…

Freidenreich, Hava Bresler; Duncan, Ravit Golan; Shea, Nicole

2011-01-01

105

Students' Conceptual Understanding of a Function and Its Derivative in an Experimental Calculus Course  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Calculus has been witnessing fundamental changes in its curriculum, with an increased emphasis on visualization. This mode for representing mathematical concepts is gaining more strength due to the advances in computer technology and the development of dynamical mathematical software. This paper focuses on the understanding of the function and its…

Habre, Samer; Abboud, May

2006-01-01

106

The Influence of Computer-Assisted Instruction on Students' Conceptual Understanding of Chemical Bonding and Attitude toward Chemistry: A Case for Turkey  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

In this study, the effect of computer-assisted instruction on conceptual understanding of chemical bonding and attitude toward chemistry was investigated. The study employed a quasi-experimental design involving 11 grade students; 25 in an experimental and 25 in a control group. The Chemical Bonding Achievement Test (CBAT) consisting of 15…

Ozmen, Haluk

2008-01-01

107

Effect of Animation Enhanced Conceptual Change Texts on 6th Grade Students' Understanding of the Particulate Nature of Matter and Transformation During Phase Changes  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

In this study, the effect of animation enhanced conceptual change texts (CCT-CA) on grade 6 students' understanding of the particulate nature of matter (PNM) and transformation during the phase changes was investigated. A quasi-experimental design and one control group (CG, N = 25) and one experimental group (EG, N = 26) were used. While the…

Ozmen, Haluk

2011-01-01

108

The Comparative Effects of Prediction/Discussion-Based Learning Cycle, Conceptual Change Text, and Traditional Instructions on Student Understanding of Genetics  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The present study examined the comparative effects of a prediction/discussion-based learning cycle, conceptual change text (CCT), and traditional instructions on students' understanding of genetics concepts. A quasi-experimental research design of the pre-test-post-test non-equivalent control group was adopted. The three intact classes, taught by…

Yilmaz, Diba; Tekkaya, Ceren; Sungur, Semra

2011-01-01

109

Examining the Relationship Between Students' Understanding of the Nature of Models and Conceptual Learning in Biology, Physics, and Chemistry  

Microsoft Academic Search

This research addresses high school studentsunderstandings of the nature of models, and their interaction with model?based software in three science domains, namely, biology, physics, and chemistry. Data from 736 high school studentsunderstandings of models were collected using the StudentsUnderstanding of Models in Science (SUMS) survey as part of a large?scale, longitudinal study in the context of technology?based

Janice D. Gobert; Laura O’Dwyer; Paul Horwitz; Barbara C. Buckley; Sharona Tal Levy; Uri Wilensky

2011-01-01

110

The effectiveness of interactive computer simulations on college engineering student conceptual understanding and problem-solving ability related to circular motion  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

In the past thirty years, the effectiveness of computer assisted learning was found varied by individual studies. Today, with drastic technical improvement, computers have been widely spread in schools and used in a variety of ways. In this study, a design model involving educational technology, pedagogy, and content domain is proposed for effective use of computers in learning. Computer simulation, constructivist and Vygotskian perspectives, and circular motion are the three elements of the specific Chain Model for instructional design. The goal of the physics course is to help students remove the ideas which are not consistent with the physics community and rebuild new knowledge. To achieve the learning goal, the strategies of using conceptual conflicts and using language to internalize specific tasks into mental functions were included. Computer simulations and accompanying worksheets were used to help students explore their own ideas and to generate questions for discussions. Using animated images to describe the dynamic processes involved in the circular motion may reduce the complexity and possible miscommunications resulting from verbal explanations. The effectiveness of the instructional material on student learning is evaluated. The results of problem solving activities show that students using computer simulations had significantly higher scores than students not using computer simulations. For conceptual understanding, on the pretest students in the non-simulation group had significantly higher score than students in the simulation group. There was no significant difference observed between the two groups in the posttest. The relations of gender, prior physics experience, and frequency of computer uses outside the course to student achievement were also studied. There were fewer female students than male students and fewer students using computer simulations than students not using computer simulations. These characteristics affect the statistical power for detecting differences. For the future research, more intervention of simulations may be introduced to explore the potential of computer simulation in helping students learning. A test for conceptual understanding with more problems and appropriate difficulty level may be needed.

Chien, Cheng-Chih

111

The impact of participation in a study abroad programme on students' conceptual understanding of community health nursing in a developing country.  

PubMed

A pilot study was undertaken to ascertain the changes in conceptual understanding that resulted from participation in a study abroad programme in Chiang Mai in Thailand of a small group of Australian final year nursing students. Students' conceptual understandings were measured by means of open-ended interviews based on a case study scenario describing health conditions in a hypothetical Thai village. Students were asked to imagine that they had been appointed to work as a community health nurse in the village and describe how they would undertake the task. Shifts in understanding were detected by interviewing the participants before, during and after their participation in the programme and comparing their responses. The results of this limited study indicated that the impact of participation in the programme was less than expected. Furthermore, the factors of which students tended to show greatest awareness were those about which they had been briefed prior to departure. Nevertheless participants reported they had learnt much from their experiences. It is suggested that the discrepancy between the evidence provided by interview data and students' self-reports may be explained by participation having resulted primarily in the acquisition of the tacit rather than conceptual knowledge. PMID:9829681

Inglis, A; Rolls, C; Kristy, S

1998-10-01

112

Effects of Conceptual Change Texts and Laboratory Experiments on Fourth Grade StudentsUnderstanding of Matter and Change Concepts  

Microsoft Academic Search

The purpose of this study was to investigate whether conceptual change texts and laboratory experiments are effective in overcoming\\u000a misconceptions and whether the concepts were acquired permanently when these methods were utilized. In this study, we addressed\\u000a some topics from the “Matter and Change” unit in science and technology class of elementary 4th grade. Students from three\\u000a classes of an

Jale Durmus; ?ule Bayraktar

2010-01-01

113

Students' understandings of electrochemistry  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Electrochemistry is considered by students to be a difficult topic in chemistry. This research was a mixed methods study guided by the research question: At the end of a unit of study, what are students' understandings of electrochemistry? The framework of analysis used for the qualitative and quantitative data collected in this study was comprised of three categories: types of knowledge used in problem solving, levels of representation of knowledge in chemistry (macroscopic, symbolic, and particulate), and alternative conceptions. Although individually each of the three categories has been reported in previous studies, the contribution of this study is the inter-relationships among them. Semi-structured, task-based interviews were conducted while students were setting up and operating electrochemical cells in the laboratory, and a two-tiered, multiple-choice diagnostic instrument was designed to identify alternative conceptions that students held at the end of the unit. For familiar problems, those involving routine voltaic cells, students used a working-forwards problem-solving strategy, two or three levels of representation of knowledge during explanations, scored higher on both procedural and conceptual knowledge questions in the diagnostic instrument, and held fewer alternative conceptions related to the operation of these cells. For less familiar problems, those involving non-routine voltaic cells and electrolytic cells, students approached problem-solving with procedural knowledge, used only one level of representation of knowledge when explaining the operation of these cells, scored higher on procedural knowledge than conceptual knowledge questions in the diagnostic instrument, and held a greater number of alternative conceptions. Decision routines that involved memorized formulas and procedures were used to solve both quantitative and qualitative problems and the main source of alternative conceptions in this study was the overgeneralization of theory related to the particulate level of representation of knowledge. The findings from this study may contribute further to our understanding of students' conceptions in electrochemistry. Furthermore, understanding the influence of the three categories in the framework of analysis and their inter-relationships on how students make sense of this field may result in a better understanding of classroom practice that could promote the acquisition of conceptual knowledge --- knowledge that is "rich in relationships".

O'Grady-Morris, Kathryn

114

Effect of animation enhanced conceptual change texts on 6th grade students' understanding of the particulate nature of matter and transformation during phase changes  

Microsoft Academic Search

In this study, the effect of animation enhanced conceptual change texts (CCT–CA) on grade 6 studentsunderstanding of the particulate nature of matter (PNM) and transformation during the phase changes was investigated. A quasi-experimental design and one control group (CG, N = 25) and one experimental group (EG, N = 26) were used. While the control group taught traditional instruction, the experimental group received

Haluk Özmen

2011-01-01

115

The Comparative Effects of Prediction\\/Discussion-Based Learning Cycle, Conceptual Change Text, and Traditional Instructions on Student Understanding of Genetics  

Microsoft Academic Search

The present study examined the comparative effects of a prediction\\/discussion?based learning cycle, conceptual change text (CCT), and traditional instructions on students' understanding of genetics concepts. A quasi?experimental research design of the pre?test–post?test non?equivalent control group was adopted. The three intact classes, taught by the same science teacher, were randomly assigned as prediction\\/discussion?based learning cycle class (N = 30), CCT class

Diba Yilmaz; Ceren Tekkaya; Semra Sungur

2011-01-01

116

A Study of General Education Astronomy Students' Understandings of Cosmology. Part III. Evaluating Four Conceptual Cosmology Surveys: An Item Response Theory Approach  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This is the third of five papers detailing our national study of general education astronomy students' conceptual and reasoning difficulties with cosmology. In this paper, we use item response theory to analyze students' responses to three out of the four conceptual cosmology surveys we developed. The specific item response theory model we use is…

Wallace, Colin S.; Prather, Edward E.; Duncan, Douglas K.

2012-01-01

117

A Study of General Education Astronomy Students' Understandings of Cosmology. Part II. Evaluating Four Conceptual Cosmology Surveys: A Classical Test Theory Approach  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This is the second of five papers detailing our national study of general education astronomy students' conceptual and reasoning difficulties with cosmology. This article begins our quantitative investigation of the data. We describe how we scored students' responses to four conceptual cosmology surveys, and we present evidence for the inter-rater…

Wallace, Colin S.; Prather, Edward E.; Duncan, Douglas K.

2011-01-01

118

Students' Understanding of Tides.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Reports the findings of research into students' understanding of tides. Students from secondary school and pre-service primary school teacher trainees were chosen as subjects and their understanding was assessed by questionnaire. (Author/CCM)

Viiri, Jouni

2000-01-01

119

Using Science Notebooks to Improve Writing Skills and Conceptual Understanding  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The purpose of this article is to provide teachers with strategies for improving students' writing and deepening their conceptual understanding through the use of science notebooks. The strategies include using various resources and providing a variety of feedback opportunities for students. A sample science investigation and an accompanying…

Butler, Malcolm B.; Nesbit, Catherine

2008-01-01

120

Effects of Conceptual Change Texts and Laboratory Experiments on Fourth Grade Students' Understanding of Matter and Change Concepts  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The purpose of this study was to investigate whether conceptual change texts and laboratory experiments are effective in overcoming misconceptions and whether the concepts were acquired permanently when these methods were utilized. In this study, we addressed some topics from the "Matter and Change" unit in science and technology class of…

Durmus, Jale; Bayraktar, Sule

2010-01-01

121

Students' belief about conceptual knowledge in introductory physics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This paper describes a distinction between two ways in which students may see the role of conceptual knowledge in introductory physics. Is a belief that conceptual knowledge constitutes the core of physics understanding? Is a belief that the associations between conceptual knowledge and physics are apparent but not essential? Excerpts from interviews of two subjects illustrate this distinction in a range of interviewing activities and show its relevance for understanding students' work in an introductory physics course.

Hammer, David

2006-06-19

122

THE ROLE OF SELF-REGULATED LEARNING IN FOSTERING STUDENTS' CONCEPTUAL UNDERSTANDING OF COMPLEX SYSTEMS WITH HYPERMEDIA  

Microsoft Academic Search

This study examines the role of self-regulated learning (SRL) in facilitating students' shifts to more sophisticated mental models of the circulatory system as indicated by both performance and process data. We began with Winne and colleagues' information processing model of SRL (Winne, 2001; Winne & Hadwin, 1998) and used it to examine how students regulated their own learning when using

ROGER AZEVEDO; JOHN T. GUTHRIE; DIANE SEIBERT

2004-01-01

123

Using a schoolyard garden to increase language acquisition and conceptual understanding of science in elementary ELL students  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

This action research study examined a small cross-section of a Texas public school population. Participants were kindergarten through third grade students enrolled in the English as a Second Language (ESL) Program who were pulled out of their general classroom to receive English support within the content area of science. This study looked at how effective a hands-on learning experience using a schoolyard garden enhanced the academic language and science content of the participants. The study began in mid-March and concluded at the end of April with each group receiving 40 minutes of instruction five days a week. Each group consisted of a Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced/Advanced High student for a total of 12 participants. Four forms of data were used in this study: archival, pre-test, post-test, and journal. Rubrics were used to analyze individual students' level of academic language before and after the study. The results illustrate that the younger students (kindergarten and first grade) descriptions were very basic and concrete while the older students had more accurate and descriptive responses. Upon completion of this research, it was determined that the usage of a schoolyard garden compliments both the acquisition of academic language and the increase in science content knowledge.

Stewart, Morgan

124

Conceptual and Procedural Performance of Undergraduate Students in Integration  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

We investigate the conceptual and procedural knowledge in integration of a group of students who has successfully completed a one-year calculus course. The participants are asked five questions and their responses are analysed in detail. We observed that the students do not have satisfactory conceptual understanding of integration. Moreover, it is…

Mahir, Nevin

2009-01-01

125

The Role of Self-Regulated Learning in Fostering Students' Conceptual Understanding of Complex Systems with Hypermedia  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This study examines the role of self-regulated learning (SRL) in facilitating students' shifts to more sophisticated mental models of the circulatory system as indicated by both performance and process data. We began with Winne and colleagues' information processing model of SRL (Winne, 2001; Winne & Hadwin, 1998) and used it to examine how…

Azevedo, Roger; Guthrie, John T.; Seibert, Diane

2004-01-01

126

A Comparison of Students' Conceptual Understanding of Electric Circuits in Simulation Only and Simulation-Laboratory Contexts  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The aim of this experimental study was to compare learning outcomes of students using a simulation alone (simulation environment) with outcomes of those using a simulation in parallel with real circuits (combination environment) in the domain of electricity, and to explore how learning outcomes in these environments are mediated by implicit (only…

Jaakkola, Tomi; Nurmi, Sami; Veermans, Koen

2011-01-01

127

Case-Based Instruction: Improving Students' Conceptual Understanding through Cases in a Mechanical Engineering Course  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Recently, there has been a push within engineering curricula to adopt more learner-centered pedagogies, such as case-based instruction. Case-based instruction has been hypothesized to make the curriculum more relevant and motivating for students by pushing them to integrate the concepts they have learned with other experiences. The current study…

Yadav, Aman; Vinh, Megan; Shaver, Gregory M.; Meckl, Peter; Firebaugh, Stephanie

2014-01-01

128

Epistemic Beliefs and Conceptual Understanding in Biotechnology: A Case Study  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The purpose of this investigation was to explore students' epistemic beliefs and conceptual understanding of biotechnology. Epistemic beliefs can influence reasoning, how individuals evaluate information, and informed decision making abilities. These skills are important for an informed citizenry that will participate in debates regarding areas in…

Rebello, Carina M.; Siegel, Marcelle A.; Witzig, Stephen B.; Freyermuth, Sharyn K.; McClure, Bruce A.

2012-01-01

129

Effects of Problem-Based Learning with Web-Anchored Instruction in Nanotechnology on the Science Conceptual Understanding, the Attitude towards Science, and the Perception of Science in Society of Elementary Students  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This study explored the effects of Problem-Based Leaning (PBL) with web-anchored instruction in nanotechnology on the science conceptual understanding, the attitude towards science, and the perception of science in society of elementary students. A mixed-methods approach was used. Subjects (N=46) participated in the study for approximately two…

Yurick, Karla Anne

2011-01-01

130

Students' Understanding of Differentiation.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Investigated students' (N=110) understanding of elementary calculus using clinical interview method. Analysis of responses to tasks concerning differentiation and rate of change led to detailed data concerning degree of understanding attained and common errors/misconceptions. Implications for mathematics instruction are discussed. (This is a…

Orton, A.

1983-01-01

131

Mathematical vs. conceptual understanding: Where do we draw the line?  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

This research involved high school physics students and how they learn to understand Newton's laws as they relate to falling bodies and projectile motion. Students in introductory, algebra-based, high school physics classes were evaluated based on their prior knowledge through a pretest, designed to assess their initial comprehension of the motion of falling bodies and projectiles. Groups were divided and taught separately with an emphasis on either mathematical derivation of equations, followed by brief conceptual discussions, or on thorough conceptual analysis, followed by a brief mathematical verification. After a posttest was given, an evaluation of the responses and explanations of each group of students was used to determine which method of instruction was more effective. Results indicate that after the conceptual group and math groups achieved similar scores on the pretest, the conceptual group obtained a slightly higher normalized gain of 25% on the posttest, compared to the mathematical group's normalized gain of 16% (unpaired two-tailed t-test P value for posttest results was 0.1037) and, while within standard deviations, also achieved higher overall scores on all posttest questions and higher normalized gains on all but one posttest question. Further, most students, even thoes in the mathematically-instructed group, were more inclined to give conceptually-based responses on postest questions than mathematically-based ones. In the context of this topic, the dominating difficulty for both groups was in analyzing two-dimensional projectile motion and, more specifically, the behavior of each onedimensional component of such motion.

Sadaghiani, Homeyra; Aguilera, Nicholas

2013-01-01

132

Enhancing College Students' Understanding of Lunar Phases  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Astronomy education researchers now know that college students do not enter the introductory astronomy classroom as blank slates, but rather with a pre-existing understanding of many introductory astronomy concepts, including lunar phases. Sometimes this understanding is scientifically correct, but often students' understanding is incomplete, inadequate or simply incorrect and cannot explain observed phenomenon. Unfortunately, students' pre-existing understandings are often deeply rooted, and many students leave the classroom without a scientifically correct understanding of lunar phases. The purpose of this research study was to design instruction that enhances college students' understanding of lunar phases. This multi-phase study utilized qualitative and quantitative research methods to fulfill this purpose by identifying students' prior understanding of lunar phases, developing the Lunar Phases Concept Inventory (LPCI) to measure conceptual change, designing and evaluating an in-class group activity designed to teach the concept of lunar phases. Using a qualitative phenomenology, fourteen college students' conceptual understanding of lunar phases was uncovered and organized into a conceptual framework with eight dimensions of student understanding, each with alternative facets. Based upon this conceptual framework, the LPCI was developed. This instrument consists of fourteen multiple-choice items designed to assess student understanding of lunar phases. Based on a modified Karplus Learning Cycle, an in-class group activity was developed to teach the concept of lunar phases. During the fall of 1999, this activity was implemented at a midwestern university as part of a restructured astronomy course during two fifty-minute class periods. Administered prior to and after instruction, the LPCI shows the instruction was effective. A statistical analysis of the results shows that the instruction produced an effect size of 2.99 and a normalized gain of 0.63.

Lindell, Rebecca S.

2013-05-28

133

Does active engagement curricula give long-lived conceptual understanding?  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Both constructivist and sociocultural views of learning and instruction stresses the crucial role of active engagement. It has been demonstrated in large-scale studies that curricula that use âactive engagementâ instructional strategies achieve good results in conceptual tests. However most testing have been done at the end or immediately after a course. The important question is thus if strategies that purport to achieve high gains in conceptual tests produce a permanent change in studentâs world view from "Aristotelian" to "Newtonian" or if the effects reported are only temporary? Our data and data from Montana State University show that, after active engagement physics courses, student display a good conceptual understanding several years after instruction. It is thus concluded that some instructional strategies do achieve fundamental shifts in studentsâ conceptual framework.

Bernhard, Jonte

2012-07-13

134

The Effects on Students' Conceptual Understanding of Electric Circuits of Introducing Virtual Manipulatives within a Physical Manipulatives-Oriented Curriculum  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This study investigates whether Virtual Manipulatives (VM) within a Physical Manipulatives (PM)-oriented curriculum affect conceptual understanding of electric circuits and related experimentation processes. A pre-post comparison study randomly assigned 194 undergraduates in an introductory physics course to one of five conditions: three…

Zacharia, Zacharias C.; de Jong, Ton

2014-01-01

135

Enhancing college students' understanding of lunar phases  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Astronomy education researchers now know that college students do not enter the introductory astronomy classroom as blank slates, but rather these students enter the classroom with a pre-existing understanding of many introductory astronomy concepts, including lunar phases. Sometimes this understanding is scientifically correct, but often students' understanding is incomplete, inadequate or simply incorrect and cannot explain observed phenomenon. Unfortunately, students' pre- existing understandings are often deeply rooted, and many students leave the classroom without a scientifically correct understanding of lunar phases. The question now arises, how do instructors develop successful instruction so that students leave the classroom with a scientifically correct understanding of lunar phases? The purpose of this research study was therefore to design instruction that enhances college students' understanding of lunar phases. This multi-phase study utilized both qualitative and quantitative research methods to fulfill this purpose by identifying students' prior understanding of lunar phases, developing the Lunar Phases Concept Inventory (LPCI) to measure conceptual change, designing and evaluating an in-class group activity designed to teach the concept of lunar phases. Using a qualitative phenomenology, fourteen college students' conceptual understanding of lunar phases was uncovered. This conceptual understanding was organized into a conceptual framework with eight separate dimensions of student understanding, each with alternative facets of student understanding. Based upon this conceptual framework, the LPCI was developed. This instrument consists of fourteen multiple-choice items designed to assess student understanding of lunar phases. Based on a modified Karplus Learning Cycle, an in-class group activity was developed to teach the concept of lunar phases. During the fall semester of 1999, this activity was implemented at a midwestern university as part of a restructured astronomy course. This activity took only two fifty-minute class periods. Administered prior to and after instruction, the LPCI shows that the instruction was indeed effective. A statistical analysis of the results shows that the instruction produced an effect size of 2.99 and a normalized gain of 0.63.

Lindell, Rebecca Susan

136

A Study of General Education Astronomy Students' Understandings of Cosmology. Part V. The Effects of a New Suite of Cosmology "Lecture-Tutorials" on Students' Conceptual Knowledge  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This is the final paper in a five-paper series describing our national study of the teaching and learning of cosmology in general education astronomy college-level courses. A significant portion of this work was dedicated to the development of five new "Lecture-Tutorials" that focus on addressing the conceptual and reasoning difficulties that our…

Wallace, Colin S.; Prather, Edward E.; Duncan, Douglas K.

2012-01-01

137

Helping Students Understand Risk  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Despite the central role of risk assessment in analyzing and making decisions about many environmental issues, most people are poorly equipped to understand key concepts about risk or apply them successfully. I present three class activities in which students develop a better appreciation for the magnitude of a one in a million increased risk of…

Weihe, Paul

2006-01-01

138

Can You Explain This? - Conceptual Exercises for Physics Students  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This workbook of conceptual exercises covers the material from introductory physics. It is written to help students understand important physics concepts and principles and to help them develop the problem-solving skills needed to solve conceptual exercises consistently and correctly. Each chapter examines a different topic and has three different types of conceptual exercises, âConflicting Contentionsâ tasks, âQualitative Reasoningâ tasks, and âCan You Explain This?â tasks.

Wozny, Christopher

2004-12-18

139

Showing Automatically Generated Students' Conceptual Models to Students and Teachers  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

A student conceptual model can be defined as a set of interconnected concepts associated with an estimation value that indicates how well these concepts are used by the students. It can model just one student or a group of students, and can be represented as a concept map, conceptual diagram or one of several other knowledge representation…

Perez-Marin, Diana; Pascual-Nieto, Ismael

2010-01-01

140

Modeling studentsâ conceptual understanding of force, velocity, and acceleration  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

We have developed a multiple choice test designed to probe studentsâ conceptual understanding of the relationships among the directions of force, velocity, and acceleration. The test was administered to more than 800 students enrolled in standard or honors introductory physics courses or a second-year physics majors course. The test was found to be reasonably statistically reliable, and correlations of test score with grade, course level, and the Force Concept Inventory were moderate to strong. Further analysis revealed that in addition to the common incorrect response that velocity must be in the direction of the acceleration or net force, up to 30% of students gave âpartially correctâ responses, for example that velocity can be either opposite to or in the direction of the acceleration or net force but not zero. The data also suggests that for some students their evolution of understanding may progress through this kind of partially incorrect understanding.

Rosenblatt, Rebecca; Sayre, Eleanor C.; Heckler, Andrew F.

2010-01-19

141

Mathematical vs. Conceptual Understanding: Where Do We Draw The Line?  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This research involved high school physics students and how they learn to understand Newtonâs laws as they relate to falling bodies and projectile motion. Students in introductory, algebra-based, high school physics classes were evaluated based on their prior knowledge through a pretest, designed to assess their initial comprehension of the motion of falling bodies and projectiles. Groups were divided and taught separately with an emphasis on either mathematical derivation of equations, followed by brief conceptual discussions, or on thorough conceptual analysis, followed by a brief mathematical verification. After a post-test was given, an evaluation of the responses and explanations of each group of students was used to determine which method of instruction was more effective. Results indicate that after the conceptual group and math groups achieved similar scores on the pretest, the conceptual group obtained a slightly higher normalized gain of 25% on the post-test, compared to the mathematical groupâs normalized gain of 16% (unpaired two-tailed t-test P value for post-test results was 0.1037) and, while within standard deviations, also achieved higher overall scores on all post-test questions and higher normalized gains on all but one post-test question. Further, most students, even those in the mathematically-instructed group, were more inclined to give conceptually-based responses on post-test questions than mathematically-based ones. In the context of this topic, the dominating difficulty for both groups was in analyzing two-dimensional projectile motion and, more specifically, the behavior of each one-dimensional component of such motion.

Sadaghiani, Homeyra R.; Aguilera, Nicholas

2013-07-17

142

Effects of problem-based learning with Web-anchored instruction in nanotechnology on the science conceptual understanding, the attitude towards science, and the perception of science in society of elementary students  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

This study explored the effects of Problem-Based Leaning (PBL) with web-anchored instruction in nanotechnology on the science conceptual understanding, the attitude towards science, and the perception of science in society of elementary students. A mixed-methods approach was used. Subjects (N=46) participated in the study for approximately two and a half weeks. A pretest was administered for science conceptual understanding and for attitude towards science. An intervention, web-based nanotechnology anchor, Catching the Rays, followed. Catching the Rays navigated subjects through a nano quest on sunscreen. After the intervention, a posttest was administered for each science conceptual understanding and attitude towards science. Following, a purposeful selection of interviewees (N=6) participated in a Nano Post-Interview. Pretest/posttest data were analyzed using a paired t test. Results of the paired t test for science conceptual understanding (post- being larger than pre-, p <. 01) and attitude towards science (post- being larger than pre-, p < .01) were significant at the p < .05 alpha level. Nano Post-Interview data were coded and analyzed independently by two raters for emerging themes. Two themes of "Risks and Benefits" and "Solves Problems" emerged from subjects' (N=6) responses to perception of science in society questions. The theme of "Risks and Benefits" strongly suggests that subjects have a positive perception that nanotechnology comes with risks and benefits to society. The theme of "Solves Problems" strongly suggests subjects have a positive perception that nanotechnology is governed by society's needs and is used to help solve society's problems. Findings from this study suggest that PBL with web-anchored instruction in nanotechnology had a positive effect on subjects' science conceptual understanding, attitude towards science, and perception of science in society.

Yurick, Karla Anne

143

Cross-Grade Comparison of Students' Understanding of Energy Concepts  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The aims of this cross-grade study were (1) to determine the level of understanding of energy concepts of students at different academic grades and the differences in understanding between these grades and (2) to analyse the conceptual development of these students. Two hundred and forty-three students at 3 different levels (high school,…

Saglam-Arslan, Aysegul

2010-01-01

144

Student Attitude, Student Understanding and Mathematics Anxiety  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This paper reports on two of ten themes that emerged from a study of the impacts of a fraction teaching intervention on the mathematics anxiety and fraction competence of eight Year 8 students. The themes arose from multiple data sources and relate to Student Attitude and Student Understanding. The students identified practical, hands-on…

Jennison, Michelle; Beswick, Kim

2010-01-01

145

Students Do Not Overcome Conceptual Difficulties after Solving 1000 Traditional Problems.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Investigates the relationship between traditional physics textbook problem solving and conceptual understanding. Reports that students had many of the well-known conceptual difficulties with basic mechanics and that there was little correlation between the number of problems solved and conceptual understanding. (Contains 21 references.)…

Kim, Eunsook; Pak, Sung-Jae

2002-01-01

146

Creativity: A Motivational Tool for Interest and Conceptual Understanding in Science Education  

Microsoft Academic Search

This qualitative, quantitative mixed-method study explores how students' motivation and interest in creative hands-on activities affected their conceptual understanding of science. The objectives of this research include developing a greater understanding about how creative activities, incorporated into the classroom as instructional strategies, increase student motivation and their learning or mastery of science concepts. The creative activities are viewed as a

Thienhuong Hoang

2007-01-01

147

Understanding the Working College Student  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Working is now a fundamental responsibility for many undergraduates. But understanding how employment affects students' educational experiences is complicated by why students work. Many students must work to pay the costs of attending college. Some traditional-age students may use employment as a way to explore career options or earn spending…

Perna, Laura W.

2010-01-01

148

Learning environment, learning styles and conceptual understanding  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

In recent years there have been many studies on learners developing conceptions of natural phenomena. However, so far there have been few attempts to investigate how the characteristics of the learners and their environment influence such conceptions. This study began with an attempt to use an instrument developed by McCarthy (1981) to describe learners in Malaysian primary schools. This proved inappropriate as Asian primary classrooms do not provide the same kind of environment as US classrooms. It was decided to develop a learning style checklist to suit the local context and which could be used to describe differences between learners which teachers could appreciate and use. The checklist included four dimensions — perceptual, process, self-confidence and motivation. The validated instrument was used to determine the learning style preferences of primary four pupils in Penang, Malaysia. Later, an analysis was made regarding the influence of learning environment and learning styles on conceptual understanding in the topics of food, respiration and excretion. This study was replicated in the Philippines with the purpose of investigating the relationship between learning styles and achievement in science, where the topics of food, respiration and excretion have been taken up. A number of significant relationships were observed in these two studies.

Ferrer, Lourdes M.

1990-01-01

149

Understanding Conceptual Change: Connecting and Questioning  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

We engage in a metalogue based on eight papers in this issue of "Cultural Studies of Science Education" that review the state of conceptual change research and its possible affect on the teaching and learning of science. Our discussion addresses three aspects of conceptual change research: theoretical, methodological, and practical, as we discuss…

Milne, Catherine; Kirch, Susan; Basu, Sreyashi Jhumki; Leou, Mary; Fraser-Abder, Pamela

2008-01-01

150

Effect of Explicit Problem Solving Instructions on the Problem Solving Performance and Conceptual Understanding of Introductory College Physics  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Two sections of introductory non-calculus general physics lecture courses, with a total enrolment of 120 students, were used to investigate the impact of explicit problem solving instruction on students' problem solving ability and conceptual understanding. The comparison group was instructed in textbook style problem solving strategy. Students' conceptual understanding was assessed by adminstering the Force Concept Inventory (FCI) at the begening and end of the semester. Required written rationale for multiple choice questions and responses to multistep problems were analyzed to further assess conceptual understanding and problem solving skills of the students in the two groups. A significant difference was noted in both understanding and problem solving performance.

Numan, Muhammad; Sobolewski, Stanley

1998-04-01

151

Impact of animation on assessment of conceptual understanding in physics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This study investigates the effect of computer animation on assessment and the conditions under which animation may improve or hinder assessment of conceptual understanding in physics. An instrument was developed by replacing static pictures and descriptions of motion with computer animations on the Force Concept Inventory, a commonly used pencil and paper test. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected. The animated and static versions of the test were given to students and the results were statistically analyzed. Think-aloud interviews were also conducted to provide additional insight into the statistical findings. We found that good verbal skills tended to increase performance on the static version but not on the animated version of the test. In general, students had a better understanding of the intent of the question when viewing an animation and gave an answer that was more indicative of their actual understanding, as reflected in separate interviews. In some situations this led students to the correct answer and in others it did not. Overall, we found that animation can improve assessment under some conditions by increasing the validity of the instrument.

Dancy, Melissa H.; Beichner, Robert J.

2007-11-19

152

Impact of Animation on Assessment of Conceptual Understanding in Physics  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

This study investigates the effect of computer animation on assessment and the conditions under which animation may improve or hinder assessment of conceptual understanding in physics. An instrument was developed by replacing static pictures and descriptions of motion with computer animations on the Force Concept Inventory, a commonly used pencil and paper test. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected. The animated and static versions of the test were given to students and the results were statistically analyzed. Think-aloud interviews were also conducted to provide additional insight into the statistical findings. We found that good verbal skills tended to increase performance on the static version but not on the animated version of the test. In general, students had a better understanding of the intent of the question when viewing an animation and gave an answer that was more indicative of their actual understanding, as reflected in separate interviews. In some situations this led students to the correct answer and in others it did not. Overall, we found that animation can improve assessment under some conditions by increasing the validity of the instrument.

Dancy, Melissa H.

2007-04-01

153

Impact of animation on assessment of conceptual understanding in physics  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

This study investigates the effect of computer animation on assessment and the conditions under which animation may improve or hinder assessment of conceptual understanding in physics. An instrument was developed by replacing static pictures and descriptions of motion with computer animations on the Force Concept Inventory, a commonly used pencil and paper test. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected. The animated and static versions of the test were given to students and the results were statistically analyzed. Think-aloud interviews were also conducted to provide additional insight into the statistical findings. We found that good verbal skills tended to increase performance on the static version but not on the animated version of the test. In general, students had a better understanding of the intent of the question when viewing an animation and gave an answer that was more indicative of their actual understanding, as reflected in separate interviews. In some situations this led students to the correct answer and in others it did not. Overall, we found that animation can improve assessment under some conditions by increasing the validity of the instrument.

Dancy, Melissa H.; Beichner, Robert

2006-06-01

154

Understanding affect in design: an outline conceptual framework  

Microsoft Academic Search

This paper provides an outline conceptual framework that may be helpful for those involved in the emerging area of ‘affective design’. Historically, the shift from cognitive approaches that eschewed emotions towards a more encompassing conceptual approach that includes affective or emotive processes is understandable. A basic understanding of concepts such as affect and emotion are required in order to address

Annette Aboulafia; Liam J. Bannon

2004-01-01

155

Evaluation of Students' Understanding of Thermal Concepts in Everyday Contexts  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The aims of this study were to determine the underlying conceptual structure of the thermal concept evaluation (TCE) questionnaire, a pencil-and-paper instrument about everyday contexts of heat, temperature, and heat transfer, to investigate students' conceptual understanding of thermal concepts in everyday contexts across several school years and…

Chu, Hye-Eun; Treagust, David F.; Yeo, Shelley; Zadnik, Marjan

2012-01-01

156

A study of change in students' conceptual frameworks in astronomy  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

School students' conceptual frameworks in astronomy and students' levels of knowledge and conceptualization were examined for 130 students in grades 2 through 12. Knowledge and conceptualization increased with school age. A test administered to 892 students in 7 schools demonstrated that schools contributed little to education in astronomy.

Finegold, Menahem; Pundak, David

2006-05-16

157

Teaching Physics for Conceptual Understanding Exemplified for Einstein's Special Relativity  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

In most liberal arts colleges the prerequisites for College Physics, Introductory or Calculus based, are strictly related to Mathematics. As a state of fact, the majorities of the students perceive Physics as a conglomerate of mathematical equations, a collection of facts to be memorized and they regard Physics as one of the most difficult subjects. A change of this attitude towards Physics, and Science in general, is intrinsically connected with the promotion of conceptual understanding and stimulation of critical thinking. In such an environment, the educators are facilitators, rather than the source of knowledge. One good way of doing this is to challenge the students to think about what they see around them and to connect physics with the real world. Motivation occurs when students realize that what was learned is interesting and relevant. Visual teaching aids such as educational videos or computer simulations, as well as computer-assisted experiments, can greatly enhance the effectiveness of a science lecture or laboratory. Difficult topics can be discussed through animated analogies. Special Relativity is recognized as a challenging topic and is probably one of the most misunderstood theories of Physics. While understanding Special Relativity requires a detachment from ordinary perception and every day life notions, animated analogies can prove to be very successful in making difficult topics accessible.

Undreiu, Lucian M.

2006-12-01

158

Investigating Student Understanding of the Universe: Structure  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Chicago State University (CSU) offers an introductory astronomy course that services students from a variety of majors including pre-service teachers. At CSU, we have been investigating methods and tools that will improve student conceptual understanding in astronomy for this diverse group of students. We have analyzed pre-course surveys, pre-course essays, exams, and interviews in an effort to better understand the ideas and difficulties in understanding that students have in regards to the structure of the universe. Analysis of written essays has revealed that our students do have some knowledge of the objects in the universe, but interviews inform us that their understanding of the structure of the universe is superficial. This project is a part of a larger study; also see our posters on student ideas about dark matter, the age and expansion of the universe, and perceptions of astronomical sizes and distances. This work was supported by NASA ROSES E/PO Grant #NNXlOAC89G, as well as by the Illinois Space Grant Consortium and National Science Foundation CCLI Grant #0632563 at Chicago State University and the Fermi E/PO program at Sonoma State University.

Hayes, Virginia; Coble, K.; Nickerson, M.; Cochran, G.; Camarillo, C. T.; Bailey, J. M.; McLin, K. M.; Cominsky, L. R.

2011-05-01

159

Assessing Student Understanding of General Chemistry with Concept Mapping  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Results indicated that concept maps provided an excellent tool for students to generate meaningful connections between chemical concepts. Evidence is given that concept maps can be used to provide students, professors, and teaching assistants with information about a student's conceptual understanding. A grading rubric for assessing student concept maps is also presented. Several issues regarding the use of concept maps as assessment tools and the attitudes of students and teaching assistants toward the instructional use of concept maps are discussed.

Francisco, Joseph S.; Nakhleh, Mary B.; Nurrenbern, Susan C.; Miller, Matthew L.

2002-02-01

160

Using Student Reasoning to Inform the Development of Conceptual Learning Goals: The Case of Quadratic Functions  

Microsoft Academic Search

Despite the proliferation of mathematics standards internationally and despite general agreement on the importance of teaching for conceptual understanding, conceptual learning goals for many K-12 mathematics topics have not been well-articulated. This article presents a coherent set of five conceptual learning goals for a complex mathematical domain, generated via a method of systematic empirical analysis of students' reasoning. Specifically, we

Joanne Lobato; Charles Hohensee; Bohdan Rhodehamel; Jaime Diamond

2012-01-01

161

The ability to understand and use conceptual change pedagogy as a function of prior content learning experience  

Microsoft Academic Search

This research examined the relationship between content instruction and the development of elementary teacher candidates' understanding of conceptual change pedagogy. Undergraduate students (n = 27) enrolled in two sections of a science methods course received content instruction through either traditional or conceptual change methods, followed by instruction about conceptual change pedagogy. Candidates were interviewed pre- and postinstruction about their content

René T. Stofflett; Trish Stoddart

1994-01-01

162

Three Phase Ranking Framework for Assessing Conceptual Understanding in Algebra Using Multiple Representations  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Algebra students may often demonstrate a certain degree of proficiency when manipulating algebraic expressions and verbalizing their behaviors. Do these abilities imply conceptual understanding? What is a reliable indicator that would provide educators with a relatively trustworthy and consistent measure to identify whether students learn…

Panasuk, Regina M.

2010-01-01

163

Effectiveness of conceptual change instruction on understanding of heat and temperature concepts  

Microsoft Academic Search

This study investigated the differential effects of two modes of instructional program (conceptual change oriented and traditionally designed) and gender difference on students' understanding of heat and temperature concepts, and their attitudes toward science as a school subject. The subjects of this study consisted of 72 seventh grade students from two General Science Classes taking the course from the same

Mustafa Baser; Ömer Geban

2007-01-01

164

Effectiveness of Conceptual Change Instruction on Understanding of Heat and Temperature Concepts  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This study investigated the differential effects of two modes of instructional program (conceptual change oriented and traditionally designed) and gender difference on students' understanding of heat and temperature concepts, and their attitudes toward science as a school subject. The subjects of this study consisted of 72 seventh grade students

Baser, Mustafa; Geban, Omer

2007-01-01

165

Biology Student Teachers' Conceptual Frameworks regarding Biodiversity  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

In recent years, biodiversity has received a great deal of attention worldwide, especially in environmental education. The reasons for this attention are the increase of human activities on biodiversity and environmental problems. The purpose of this study is to investigate biology student teachers' conceptual frameworks regarding biodiversity.…

Dikmenli, Musa

2010-01-01

166

Metrics for data warehouse conceptual models understandability  

Microsoft Academic Search

Due to the principal role of Data warehouses (DW) in making strategy decisions, data warehouse quality is crucial for organizations. Therefore, we should use methods, models, techniques and tools to help us in designing and maintaining high quality DWs. In the last years, there have been several approaches to design DWs from the conceptual, logical and physical perspectives. However, from

Manuel A. Serrano; Juan Trujillo; Coral Calero; Mario Piattini

2007-01-01

167

Children's conceptual understanding of forces and equilibrium  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Children in years three, four, and five of physics study were tested to determine their intuitive preconceptions about forces and equilibrium in the static case, as well as any changes in their conceptual framework that might have taken place as a result of maturity and instruction.

Jones, George; Hurford, Will; Terry, Colin

2005-11-28

168

Conceptual Challenges in Learning Ozone Formation for Collegiate Students  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Atmospheric chemistry in general, and tropospheric ozone formation in particular, are complex processes that to be understood require students to learn several interrelated concepts. These systems are particularly difficult to grasp because they are inherently nonlinear and because they are abstract- students do not have an obvious tangible model for how gases behave in an unbounded atmosphere. To address perceived shortfalls in our studentsconceptualizations of atmospheric chemical processes, we have endeavored to develop, implement, and assess curricular materials that can be used from the freshmen to graduate level. Our goal was to both improve student understanding of the fundamental concepts of atmospheric chemistry while simultaneously reinforcing the scientific method and what it means to do science. Our approach for achieving this was to build student-friendly interfaces to adapt existing research models for use in the classroom and thereby provide students with a means of exploring the evolution of pollutants in the atmosphere. A major focus of the project was student understanding of ozone formation. In this presentation we provide insight regarding collegiate students’ conceptions of ozone formation and discuss possible explanations for student misconceptions in this and related environmental topics of concern. In order to extract student understanding and conceptions of ozone formation, qualitative interview and analysis methodologies were implemented. These qualitative procedures allowed us to gain a rich and detailed understanding of the specific nature of students’ mental models of these concepts. Forty-five participants were included in the study, all of which were collegiate students enrolled in a junior-level Introduction to Environmental Engineering course at Washington State University. Our results show that the students seemed to comprehend many individual concepts within ozone production cycle to some extent. However, there were very few students who were able to link together overlapping ideas, especially when it came to piecing together a process model for ozone formation. This caused them to have a weak conceptual understanding of the overall material. Our results further suggest that a reason for these weak conceptions may be due to underlying incorrect understandings of fundamental concepts in chemistry and physics. Interestingly, students frequently verbalized synthetic models of understanding that included correct and incorrect concepts from class and information they had learned from the media. These models conflated the process being studied- tropospheric ozone formation- with two other atmospheric processes that receive extensive public attention: stratospheric ozone destruction and greenhouse gas-induced global warming. Results have implications for teaching and the challenges in guiding students in the integration of knowledge obtained outside of class and classroom concepts to develop expert understandings.

Howard, K. E.; Chung, S. H.; Jobson, B. T.; Vanreken, T. M.; Brown, S. A.

2010-12-01

169

Assessing Student Understanding with Technology  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Most science teachers are amazed when grading tests and quizzes, often wondering how and why students have reached a conclusion, particularly when students fail to provide a detailed account of their logic. Ideally, a variety of assessments should be used to identify alternate student conceptions or gaps in understanding, particularly when preparing students for state-mandated exams. With this in mind, a free internet-based software package, IMMEX (interactive multimedia exercises) was designed to use authentic scenarios to gauge students' problem-solving skills and science knowledge.

Jr., Charles T.; Jordan, Joni; Cooper, Melanie M.; Stevens, Ron

2006-06-01

170

At-Risk and Bilingual Fifth-Grade Students' On-Task Behavior and Conceptual Understanding in Earth Science-Related Topics during Inquiry-, Technology-, and Game-Based Activities  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The Graduate K-12 (GK12) program has been developed by NSF to support the national effort to advance scientific knowledge through educational partnerships. This paper highlights research conducted during the 2006-2007 school year with the Texas A&M University GK12 project. Two elementary schools with very high numbers of at risk students - those who are poor, speak English as their second language, and have a history of failing state-mandated tests were identified to be the field site for the GK12 project. In these two, high-minority (97% and 40% African American and Hispanic) schools, 80% and 56% of the children have been identified by the state as at risk; 94% and 52% are classified as economically disadvantaged; and 46% and 2% are limited English proficient, respectively. In the past year, 30% and 73% of fifth grade students in these schools passed the science portion of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test. Data collected during a three- week period where GK12 fellows taught the fifth graders Earth science-related topics is presented. During the implementation, students were engaged in technology-, inquiry-, and game-based activities. Students were divided into low-, medium-, and high-abilities in one school, and regular and bilingual groups in the other. Pre- post open-ended multiple choice tests indicated that all but the low performing students' conceptual understanding (CU) significantly (p < 0.05) improved during the IT activity. The low and high student groups' CU significantly improved during the inquiry activity, and the high and bilingual students' CU significantly improved for the game activities. Classroom observation assessments showed that there was a significant (p < 0.10) positive (0.347) correlation between on-task behavior and CU. Significant differences between student groups' CU and on-task behavior indicated that technology-based activities showed greatest differences between the low- ability learners and the other students, whereas, inquiry-based activities tended not to show such extremes. In the case of the bilingual and regular students however, technology-based instruction tended to increase their scores and decrease gaps with other groups. Using different pedagogical approaches (e.g., technology-, inquiry- and game-based methods) to teach Earth science is important to reach all elementary students. Earth science educators should not forget that there does not exist any one teaching and learning method that will be a 'quick fix' for the masses. However, educational partnerships between universities and K-12 schools strengthen the efforts to increase scientific literacy among all students, including diverse and at risk populations.

McNeal, K.; Vasquez, Y.; Avandano, C.; Moreno, K.; Besinaiz, J.

2007-12-01

171

Assessing Students' Understanding through Conversations  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This article describes how teachers can use students' conversations to assess their mathematical understanding. The authors draw on their own classroom experiences to show what they learned about planning for future lessons based on discussions in their own classrooms.

Vanderhye, Cecilia M.; Zmijewski Demers, Cynthia M.

2008-01-01

172

Empirical Investigations of Student Understanding  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Why study student understanding of physics? For some of us, "because it's there" is a large part of the reason. However, many of us are also strongly committed to using our findings to improve teaching at the classroom level. One type of investigation that has proven fruitful as a guide for improving student learning is discussed in the article. The underlying goals and assumptions are discussed in general terms. A specific example provides a context for discussing the interpretation of student thinking.

Heron, Paula R.

2005-11-02

173

Surveying Students' Conceptual and Procedural Knowledge of Acid-Base Behavior of Substances  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

By the end of their high school studies, students should be able to understand macroscopic and sub-microscopic conceptualization of acid-base behavior and the relationship between these conceptual models. The aim of this article is to ascertain whether grade-12 students have sufficient background knowledge to explain the properties of acids,…

Furio-Mas, Carles; Calatayud, Maria-Luisa; Barcenas, Sergio L.

2007-01-01

174

How Active Learning Affects Student Understanding of Concepts in Electromagnetism  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

We discuss the effects of the learning environment of the MIT TEAL project on student cognitive and affective outcomes in introductory electromagnetism. Our assessment included examining student conceptual understanding before and after studying electromagnetism in a media-rich environment. We developed pre-and posttests consisting of conceptual questions from standardized tests, as well as questions designed to assess the effect of visualizations and experiments. The research population consisted of 811 undergraduate students, consisting of small-and a large-scale experimental group and control group. The active learning students improved their conceptual understanding of the subject matter to a significantly higher extent than their control group peers. A subsequent longitudinal study indicates that the long-term effect of the TEAL course on student retention of concepts was significantly stronger than that of the traditional course.

Belcher, John; Dori, Judy; Breslow, Lori

2009-05-01

175

Understanding psychiatric institutionalization: a conceptual review  

PubMed Central

Background Since Goffman’s seminal work on psychiatric institutions, deinstitutionalization has become a leading term in the psychiatric debate. It described the process of closure or downsizing of large psychiatric hospitals and the establishment of alternative services in the community. Yet, there is a lack of clarity on what exactly the concept of institutionalization means in present-day psychiatry. This review aims to identify the meaning of psychiatric institutionalization since the early 1960s to present-day. Method A conceptual review of institutionalization in psychiatry was conducted. Thematic analysis was used to synthesize the findings. Results Four main themes were identified in conceptualizing institutionalization: bricks and mortar of care institutions; policy and legal frameworks regulating care; clinical responsibility and paternalism in clinician-patient relationships; and patients’ adaptive behavior to institutionalized care. Conclusions The concept of institutionalization in psychiatry reflects four distinct themes. All themes have some relevance for the contemporary debate on how psychiatric care should develop and on the role of institutional care in psychiatry.

2013-01-01

176

Dialogic Framing of Scientific Content for Conceptual and Epistemic Understanding  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This article draws on M. M. Bakhtin's (1981) notion of dialogism to articulate what it means to understand a scientific idea. In science, understanding an idea is both conceptual and epistemic and is exhibited by an ability to use it in explanation and argumentation. Some distillation of these activities implies that dialogic understanding of a…

Ford, Michael J.; Wargo, Brian M.

2012-01-01

177

Conceptual Continuity and the Science of Baseball: Using Informal Science Literacy to Promote Students' Science Learning  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This project explores "conceptual continuity" as a framework for understanding students' native ways of understanding and describing. Conceptual continuity suggests that the relationship between the use of words in one genre and the scientific genre can exist at varying levels of association. This perspective can reveal the varied relationships…

Brown, Bryan A.; Kloser, Matt

2009-01-01

178

Student Understanding of the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This presentation from the 2006 PTEC Conference presents education research on topics in thermodynamics. Student responses to conceptual thermodynamics questions, and the conceptions they reveal, are presented. Tutorial materials developed to help students gain a better understanding of the topic are also presented.

Heron, Paula R.

2006-09-30

179

High-School Students' Conceptual Difficulties and Attempts at Conceptual Change: The Case of Basic Quantum Chemical Concepts  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This study tested for deep understanding and critical thinking about basic quantum chemical concepts taught at 12th grade (age 17-18). Our aim was to achieve conceptual change in students. A quantitative study was conducted first (n = 125), and following this 23 selected students took part in semi-structured interviews either individually or in…

Tsaparlis, Georgios; Papaphotis, Georgios

2009-01-01

180

Individual differences in conceptual and procedural fraction understanding: the role of abilities and school experience.  

PubMed

Recent research on children's conceptual and procedural knowledge has suggested that there are individual differences in the ways that children combine these two types of knowledge across a number of mathematical topics. Cluster analyses have demonstrated that some children have more conceptual knowledge, some children have more procedural knowledge, and some children have an equal level of both. The current study investigated whether similar individual differences exist in children's understanding of fractions and searches for explanations for these differences. Grade 6 students (n=119) and Grade 8 students (n=114) were given measures of conceptual and procedural knowledge of fractions as well as measures of general fraction knowledge, general conceptual ability, and general procedural ability. Grade 6 children demonstrated a four-cluster solution reflecting those who do poorly on procedural and conceptual fraction knowledge, those who do well on both, those whose strength is procedural knowledge, and those whose strength is conceptual knowledge. Grade 8 children demonstrated a two-cluster solution reflecting those whose strength is procedural knowledge and those whose strength is conceptual knowledge. Cluster in either grade, however, did not vary in distribution across schools and was not related to general conceptual ability or general procedural ability. Overall, these results provide a more detailed picture of individual differences in conceptual and procedural knowledge in mathematical cognition. PMID:22995445

Hallett, Darcy; Nunes, Terezinha; Bryant, Peter; Thorpe, Christina M

2012-12-01

181

Building Conceptual Understanding in Young Scientists.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Describes the use of a new pedagogic approach to geology used to create a sequence of investigative activities enabling students to speculate, hypothesize, observe, test, reason, and infer about the characteristics of rocks. The approach is framed by two questions: (1) What are the key characteristics of different rock groups?; and (2) How did the…

Hawley, Duncan

2002-01-01

182

High school students' conceptual coherence of qualitative knowledge in the case of the force concept  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

The notion of studentsâ conceptual coherence is introduced in this thesis to clarify what is meant by conceptual understanding. Studentsâ conceptual coherence is divided into three aspects: contextual, representational, and conceptual framework coherence. The abilities required by the conceptual coherence are discussed as well as ways of evaluating it in the case of the force concept. A new research-based instructional approach to foster studentsâ conceptual coherence of the force concept and related kinematics is introduced and validated: it brings together interactive-engagement teaching methods and the research on students' difficulties with the target domain.

Savinainen, Antti

2009-06-05

183

Effective Assessment: Probing Students' Understanding of Natural Selection  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Evolution by natural selection provides the conceptual framework upon which much of modern biology is based: therefore understanding core ideas about biological evolution is an essential part of scientific literacy. Nonetheless, research repeatedly shows that high school and college students have difficulties understanding the notion of natural…

Stern, Luli

2004-01-01

184

Understanding the Role of Academic Language on Conceptual Understanding in an Introductory Materials Science and Engineering Course  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Students may use the technical engineering terms without knowing what these words mean. This creates a language barrier in engineering that influences student learning. Previous research has been conducted to characterize the difference between colloquial and scientific language. Since this research had not yet been applied explicitly to engineering, conclusions from the area of science education were used instead. Various researchers outlined strategies for helping students acquire scientific language. However, few examined and quantified the relationship it had on student learning. A systemic functional linguistics framework was adopted for this dissertation which is a framework that has not previously been used in engineering education research. This study investigated how engineering language proficiency influenced conceptual understanding of introductory materials science and engineering concepts. To answer the research questions about engineering language proficiency, a convenience sample of forty-one undergraduate students in an introductory materials science and engineering course was used. All data collected was integrated with the course. Measures included the Materials Concept Inventory, a written engineering design task, and group observations. Both systemic functional linguistics and mental models frameworks were utilized to interpret data and guide analysis. A series of regression analyses were conducted to determine if engineering language proficiency predicts group engineering term use, if conceptual understanding predicts group engineering term use, and if conceptual understanding predicts engineering language proficiency. Engineering academic language proficiency was found to be strongly linked to conceptual understanding in the context of introductory materials engineering courses. As the semester progressed, this relationship became even stronger. The more engineering concepts students are expected to learn, the more important it is that they are proficient in engineering language. However, exposure to engineering terms did not influence engineering language proficiency. These results stress the importance of engineering language proficiency for learning, but warn that simply exposing students to engineering terms does not promote engineering language proficiency.

Kelly, Jacquelyn

185

Making Sense of Conceptual Tools in Student-Generated Cases: Student Teachers' Problem-Solving Processes  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This article examines the way student teachers make sense of conceptual tools when writing cases. In order to understand the problem-solving process, an analysis of the interactions is conducted. The findings show that transforming practical experiences into theoretical reflection is not a straightforward matter. To be able to elaborate on the…

Jahreie, Cecilie Flo

2010-01-01

186

Using the Biodatamation(TM) strategy to learn introductory college biology: Value-added effects on selected students' conceptual understanding and conceptual integration of the processes of photosynthesis and cellular respiration  

Microsoft Academic Search

The purpose of this exploratory research was to study how students learn photosynthesis and cellular respiration and to determine the value added to the student's learning by each of the three technology-scaffolded learning strategy components (animated concept presentations and WebQuest-style activities, data collection, and student-constructed animations) of the BioDatamation(TM) (BDM) Program. BDM learning strategies utilized the Theory of Interacting Visual

Jewel Jurovich Reuter

2005-01-01

187

The case method of instruction, conceptual change, and student attitude  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of the case method of instruction (CMI) on conceptual change in students' understanding of genes, biodiversity, and evolution topics, and to investigate the effect of learning with CMI on student attitude regarding the discipline of science, and learning about science. The study also investigated students' perceptions of their learning gains based on CMI. This was a mixed-methods action research study that used a quasi-experimental design. The study participants were enrolled in three sections (n1 = 20, n2 = 16, n3 = 30) of the same introductory biology course during the spring of 2006 at a small, private university in the southeastern United States. At the beginning of the semester, students completed a pretest composed of six open-ended questions (two on each topic) to uncover their alternative conceptions---or lack of them, and after instruction using CMI, students answered the same questions as a post-test on two hourly class exams. The answers were scored with original rubrics and the differences between the scores were analyzed using the Student's paired t-Test. In addition, twelve student volunteers were interviewed twice, once after each exam, by an independent interviewer, to elicit their understanding about the method of CMI, their understanding of the topics from the recent exam, and their attitudes about science and learning about science. The interviews were audio taped and transcribed, and analyzed for themes and comments about conceptual understanding and learning about science. Students also completed two instruments anonymously: the Science Attitude Inventory (SAI II) and the Student Assessment of Learning Gains (SALG). The SAI II was completed on the first and the last day of the semester to assess change in student attitude about science and the pretest and posttest scores were analyzed for significant differences. Students completed the SALG online immediately before the course final exam to provide their opinion on learning science with CMI and their perception of learning gains made by using CMI. Student responses in each of 5 categories were studied and written comments were analyzed. According to the interview data, CMI presented a new learning paradigm for students and many agreed that the method made learning more interesting, motivating, and relevant, and as a consequence they learned more and expect to retain knowledge longer. Based on the pretest answers, many students had alternative conceptions, but some responses indicated a lack of preconceptions altogether. All classes showed an increase in conceptual learning of all three topics, based on the analysis of the posttest rubric scores, with evolution concepts showing the largest increase. CMI appears to have a no effect on student attitude toward science, according to the SAI II data, it but does affect student attitude about learning science, based on the interview data. CMI appears to be a teaching strategy that can promote student engagement in learning science and may help students to make progress toward conceptual change.

Gallucci, Kathleen K.

188

LETTERS AND COMMENTS: Comment on 'The effects of students' reasoning abilities on conceptual understanding and problem-solving skills in introductory mechanics'  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

In a recent article, Ates and Cataloglu (2007 Eur. J. Phys. 28 1161-71), in analysing results for a course in introductory mechanics for prospective science teachers, found no statistically significant correlation between students' pre-instruction scores on the Lawson classroom test of scientific reasoning ability (CTSR) and post-instruction scores on the force concept inventory (FCI). As a possible explanation, the authors suggest that the FCI does not probe for skills required to determine reasoning abilities. Our previously published research directly contradicts the authors' finding. We summarize our research and present a likely explanation for their observation of no correlation.

Coletta, Vincent P.; Phillips, Jeffrey A.; Savinainen, Antti; Steinert, Jeffrey J.

2008-09-01

189

Supporting Conceptual Understandings of and Pedagogical Practice in Technology through a Website in New Zealand  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This article reports on the up-date and development of an on-line resource to support of teachers' conceptual understandings and pedagogical practice in New Zealand. Techlink is a website dedicated to supporting technology teachers, students and those with an interest in technology education. This research documents part of a Ministry of Education…

Fox-Turnbull, Wendy; O'Sullivan, Gary

2013-01-01

190

Effect of conceptual change approach accompanied with concept mapping on understanding of solution concepts  

Microsoft Academic Search

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of conceptual change texts accompanied with concept mapping instruction, compared to traditional instruction (TI), on 8th grade studentsunderstanding of solution concepts and their attitudes toward science as a school subject. Solution Concept Test was developed as a result of examination of related literature and interviews with teachers regarding their

Esen Uzuntiryaki; Ömer Geban

2005-01-01

191

Effect of Conceptual Change Approach Accompanied with Concept Mapping on Understanding of Solution Concepts  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of conceptual change texts accompanied with concept mapping instruction, compared to traditional instruction (TI), on 8th grade students' understanding of solution concepts and their attitudes toward science as a school subject. Solution Concept Test was developed as a result of examination…

Uzuntiryaki, Esen; Geban, Omer

2005-01-01

192

A Confirmatory Structural Equation Model of Achievement Estimated by Dichotomous Attitudes, Interest, and Conceptual Understanding  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Many models in science education have tried to clarify the causal relationships of affective variables on student performance, by presenting theoretical models, exploratory SEM (structural equation models), and confirmatory SEM. Based on the literature, the recent AS-TI-CU model scrutinised the most robust stimuli of conceptual understanding (CU):…

Kim, Minkee; Song, Jinwoong

2010-01-01

193

Navigating a Literacy Landscape: Teaching Conceptual Understanding with Multiple Text Types  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The authors draw on Cognitive Flexibility Theory (Spiro, Coulson, Feltovich, & Anderson, 2004) as a lens to examine one seventh-grade English language arts teacher's pedagogical approach to using multiple text types to develop students' conceptual understandings about the 1957 integration of Little Rock's Central High School. Multiple text types…

Boyd, Fenice B.; Ikpeze, Chinwe H.

2007-01-01

194

Posing Problems to Develop Conceptual Understanding: Two Teachers Make Sense of Division of Fractions  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The way in which two teachers, Elizabeth and Carolyn, posed problems to develop their own conceptual understanding of division of fractions in terms that would also be meaningful for their students is described. Carolyn and Elizabeth's approach is to pose several problems of various degrees of difficulty and complexity for each aspect of the…

Flores, Alfinio; Turner, Erin E.; Bachman, Renee C.

2005-01-01

195

Conceptual and Mathematical Barriers to Students Learning Quantum Mechanics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

The purpose of this study is to identify students' conceptual and mathematical difficulties in learning the core concepts of introductory quantum mechanics, with the eventual goal of developing instructional material to help students with these difficulties. We have investigated student understanding of several core topics in the introductory courses, including quantum measurement, probability, Uncertainty Principle, wave functions, energy eigenstates, recognizing symmetry in physical systems, and mathematical formalism. Student specific difficulties with these topics are discussed throughout this dissertation. In addition, we have studied student difficulties in learning, applying, and making sense out of complex mathematical processes in the physics classroom. We found students' achievement in quantum courses is not independent of their math backgrounds. In addition, there is a large jump in the level of mathematics at which one needs to succeed in physics courses after the sophomore level in The Ohio State University's physics curriculum. The results reported suggest recommendations for further study of student understanding of quantum mechanics and for the development of materials to aid understanding. These recommendations have potentially important implications for the teaching of introductory quantum mechanics and for the development of teaching aids, texts, and technology resources.

Sadaghiani, Homeyra R.

2014-06-08

196

College physics students' epistemological self-reflection and its relationship to conceptual learning  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Students should develop self-reflection skills and appropriate views about knowledge and learning, both for their own sake and because these skills and views may be related to improvements in conceptual understanding. We explored the latter issue in the context of an introductory physics course for first-year engineering honors students. As part of the course, students submitted weekly reports, in which they reflected on how they learned specific physics content. The reports by 12 students were analyzed for the quality of reflection and some of the epistemological beliefs they exhibited. Students' conceptual learning gains were measured with standard survey instruments. We found that students with high conceptual gains tend to show reflection on learning that is more articulate and epistemologically sophisticated than students with lower conceptual gains. Some implications for instruction are suggested.

May, David; Etkina, Eugenia

2005-11-02

197

Is conceptual understanding compromised by a problem-solving emphasis in an introductory physics course?  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Developing competency in problem solving and enhancing conceptual understanding are primary objectives in introductory physics, and many techniques and tools are available to help instructors achieve them. Pedagogically, we use an easy-to-implement intervention, the ACCESS protocol, to develop and assess problem-solving skills in our SCALE-UP classroom environment for algebra-based physics. Based on our research and teaching experience, an important question has emerged: while primarily targeting improvements in problem-solving and cognitive development, is it necessary that conceptual understanding be compromised? To address this question, we gathered and analyzed information about student abilities, backgrounds, and instructional preferences. We report on our progress and give insights into matching the instructional tools to student profiles in order to achieve optimal learning in group-based active learning. The ultimate goal of our work is to integrate individual student learning needs into a pedagogy that moves students closer to expert-like status in problem solving.

Ridenour, J.; Feldman, G.; Teodorescu, R.; Medsker, L.; Benmouna, N.

2013-01-01

198

Students' Perceptions of Statistics: An Exploration of Attitudes, Conceptualizations, and Content Knowledge of Statistics  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Although statistics education research has focused on students' learning and conceptual understanding of statistics, researchers have only recently begun investigating students' perceptions of statistics. The term perception describes the overlap between cognitive and non-cognitive factors. In this mixed-methods study, undergraduate students

Bond, Marjorie E.; Perkins, Susan N.; Ramirez, Caroline

2012-01-01

199

College physics students' epistemological self-reflection and its relationship to conceptual learning  

Microsoft Academic Search

Students should develop self-reflection skills and appropriate views about knowledge and learning, both for their own sake and because these skills and views may be related to improvements in conceptual understanding. We explored the latter issue in the context of an introductory physics course for first-year engineering honors students. As part of the course, students submitted weekly reports, in which

David B. May; Eugenia Etkina

2002-01-01

200

Matching Math Interventions to Students' Skill Deficits: A Preliminary Investigation of a Conceptual and Procedural Heuristic  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The current study demonstrates how conceptual and procedural knowledge can be used as a heuristic to better understand student math difficulties in order to develop interventions and lay the groundwork for future research. Math interventions were implemented with two elementary students using a nonexperimental single-case design. One student

Burns, Matthew K.

2011-01-01

201

Relationship between student performance on conceptual and computational problems of chemical equilibrium  

Microsoft Academic Search

The main objective of this study is to compare student performance on problems requiring conceptual understanding or the use of algorithmic solution strategies, that is, computational problems. Seventy?eight science major freshman students at the Universidad de Oriente (Venezuela) were tested to obtain information on various aspects of chemical equilibrium. Results obtained support the hypothesis that students who perform better on

Mansoor Niaz

1995-01-01

202

Initial Understanding of Vector Concepts among Students in Introductory Physics Courses.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Investigates physics students' understanding of vector addition, magnitude, and direction for problems presented in graphical form. Indicates that many students retained significant conceptual difficulties regarding vector methods that are heavily employed throughout the physics curriculum. (Author/KHR)

Nguyen, Ngoc-Loan; Meltzer, David E.

2003-01-01

203

The Effect of Conceptually Oriented Instruction on Students' Computational Competencies. Research Series No. 214.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Does conceptually oriented instruction jeopardize students' computational competence? If it does, then why are so many reform efforts continuing to emphasize the importance of teaching for conceptual understanding? If it does not, then why are the majority of teachers at all grade levels continuing to teach for computational competence without…

Madsen, Anne L.; Lanier, Perry E.

204

Evolution in students' understanding of thermal physics with increasing complexity  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

We analyze the development in studentsunderstanding of fundamental principles in the context of learning a current interdisciplinary research topic—soft matter—that was adapted to the level of high school students. The topic was introduced in a program for interested 11th grade high school students majoring in chemistry and/or physics, in an off-school setting. Soft matter was presented in a gradual increase in the degree of complexity of the phenomena as well as in the level of the quantitative analysis. We describe the evolution in students’ use of fundamental thermodynamics principles to reason about phase separation—a phenomenon that is ubiquitous in soft matter. In particular, we examine the impact of the use of free energy analysis, a common approach in soft matter, on the understanding of the fundamental principles of thermodynamics. The study used diagnostic questions and classroom observations to gauge the student’s learning. In order to gain insight on the aspects that shape the understanding of the basic principles, we focus on the responses and explanations of two case-study students who represent two trends of evolution in conceptual understanding in the group. We analyze changes in the two case studies’ management of conceptual resources used in their analysis of phase separation, and suggest how their prior knowledge and epistemological framing (a combination of their personal tendencies and their prior exposure to different learning styles) affect their conceptual evolution. Finally, we propose strategies to improve the instruction of these concepts.

Langbeheim, Elon; Safran, Samuel A.; Livne, Shelly; Yerushalmi, Edit

2013-12-01

205

Students' Conceptual Knowledge of Energy and Momentum  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

In this article, the authors describe their investigation of student understanding of energy and momentum concepts at the level of introductory physics by designing and administering a 25-item multiple choice test and conducting individual interviews. They find that most students have difficulty in qualitatively interpreting basic principles related to energy and momentum and in applying them in physical situations. The test development process and a summary of results are presented.

Singh, Chandralekha; Rosengrant, David

2006-12-06

206

Learning science in small groups: The relationship of conversation to conceptual understanding  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between conversation and conceptual understanding of erosion. The objective of this study was to investigate how fifth grade students' conceptions of erosion changed while they used stream tables and worked in groups of four within an inquiry-based curriculum. This study used symbolic interactionism and sociocognitive frameworks to interpret science learning in the elementary classroom. The research focused on the conceptual understanding of the focal group students, their use of classroom discourse to talk about their understandings of erosion, and the expertise that emerged while using stream tables. This study took place over a one-semester long study on erosion. Key informants were eight fifth graders. The data sources consisted of children's journals; transcripts of audiotaped interviews with the key informants before, during, and after the erosion unit; transcripts of videotapes of the students using the stream tables; and field notes recording children's discourse and activity. Individual and group cases were constructed during the study. The knowledge of the eight focal group children was placed on a hierarchy of conceptual understanding that contained 8 components of the erosion process. All four of the students whose ideas were examined in depth gained in their conceptual understanding of erosion. Students' individual expertise enhanced their own conceptual understanding. The contribution of classroom discourse and expertise to conceptual understanding differed between the two focal groups. Group 1 used essential expertise to sustain generative conversations, maximizing their learning opportunities. Students in Group 1 got along with one another, rotated assigned roles and jobs, and were able to start their own generative conversations. Members of Group 1 asked generative questions, connected stream table events to real life situations, and involved everyone in the group. Group 2 engaged in a predominance of procedural discourse and had fewer learning opportunities. Group 2 had two dominant personalities who developed a conflict over roles and jobs, keeping their peers out of the conversation. Students in Group 2 had generative conversations, but these were not sustained due to the lack of acknowledgment of peer expertise and the starting their own generative conversations.

McDonald, James Tarleton

207

Understanding Food Insecurity in the Elderly: A Conceptual Framework  

Microsoft Academic Search

In order to determine the potential effects of changes in welfare, health, and nutrition programs on food insecurity in the elderly, it is important to have a comprehensive understanding of the factors influencing food insecurity in this population group. Using a naturalistic paradigm and methods, a conceptual framework of factors that influence food insecurity status was developed based on in-depth

Wendy S. Wolfe; Christine M. Olson; Anne Kendall; Edward A. Frongillo

1996-01-01

208

Prospective Teacher Learning: Recognizing Evidence of Conceptual Understanding  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This study examined prospective teachers' (PSTs) ability to recognize evidence of children's conceptual understanding of mathematics in three content areas before and after an instructional intervention designed to support this ability. It also investigates the role PSTs' content knowledge plays in their ability to recognize children's…

Bartell, Tonya Gau; Webel, Corey; Bowen, Brian; Dyson, Nancy

2013-01-01

209

Graduate Employability: A Conceptual Framework for Understanding Employers' Perceptions  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This study provides a conceptual framework for understanding what employers think about the value of graduates with similar educational credentials in the workplace (their employability), using insights from the new institutionalism. In this framework, the development of employers' beliefs about graduates' employability is broken into a number of…

Cai, Yuzhuo

2013-01-01

210

Perspectival Understanding of Conceptions and Conceptual Growth in Interaction  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

We propose a bridge between cognitive and sociocultural approaches that is anchored on the sociocultural side by distributed cognition and participation, and on the cognitive side by information structures. We interpret information structures as the contents of distributed knowing and interaction in activity systems. Conceptual understanding is…

Greeno, James G.; van de Sande, Carla

2007-01-01

211

Instructional Aids to Support a Conceptual Understanding of Multiple Representations  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The main goals of this study were to test whether multiple representations, such as diagrams and equations, per se help to acquire conceptual understanding in probability, and to investigate whether learners need instructional support to utilize the potentials of multiple representations. The authors conducted an experimental study with 8…

Berthold, Kirsten; Renkl, Alexander

2009-01-01

212

Conceptual and mathematical barriers to students learning quantum mechanics  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Quantum mechanics has revolutionized the way we view the physical world. This theory has required a dramatic revision in the structure of the laws of mechanics governing the behavior of the particles and led to the discovery of macroscopic quantum effects ranging from lasers and superconductivity to neutron stars and radiation from black holes. Though its validity is well confirmed by the experimental evidence available, quantum mechanics remains somewhat of a mystery. The purpose of this study is to identify students' conceptual and mathematical difficulties in learning the core concepts of introductory quantum mechanics, with the eventual goal of developing instructional material to help students with these difficulties. We have investigated student understanding of several core topics in the introductory courses, including quantum measurement, probability, Uncertainty Principle, wave functions, energy eigenstates, recognizing symmetry in physical systems, and mathematical formalism. Student specific difficulties with these topics are discussed throughout this dissertation. In addition, we have studied student difficulties in learning, applying, and making sense out of complex mathematical processes in the physics classroom. We found students' achievement in quantum courses is not independent of their math backgrounds (correlation coefficient 0.547 for P631 and 0.347 for P263). In addition, there is a large jump in the level of mathematics at which one needs to succeed in physics courses after the sophomore level in The Ohio State University's physics curriculum. Many students do not have a functional understanding of probability and its related terminologies. For example, many students confuse the "expectation value" with "probability density" in measurement and some students confuse "probability density" with "probability amplitude" or describe the probability amplitude as a "place" or "area." Our data also suggested that students tend to use classical models when interpreting quantum systems; for example, some students associate a higher energy to a larger amplitude in a wave function. Others, have difficulty differentiating wave functions from energy eigenstates. Furthermore, some students do not use the relationship between the wave function and the wavenumber as a primary resource in for qualitative analysis of wave functions in regions of different potential. Many students have difficulty recognizing mathematical symbols for a given graph and lack the ability to associate the correct functions with their respective graphs. I addition, students do not distinguish an oscillatory function such as e-ix from an exponential decay function such as e-x. The results reported suggest recommendations for further study of student understanding of quantum mechanics and for the development of materials to aid understanding. These recommendations have potentially important implications for the teaching of introductory quantum mechanics and for the development of teaching aids, texts, and technology resources.

Sadaghiani, Homeyra R.

213

An analysis of science conceptual knowledge in journals of students with disabilities and normally achieving students  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Science education reforms of the last two decades have focused on raising the bar for ALL students which includes students with mild to moderate disabilities. Formative assessment can be used to assess the progress of these students to inquire, understand scientific concepts, reason scientifically, make decisions, and communicate effectively in science. The purpose of this study is to examine the use of science journals as a formative assessment in a guided inquiry unit of study for students with learning disabilities. Two normally achieving students (NA) and five students with learning disabilities (SLD) participated in a study of mammals that utilized journals to record the development of student knowledge through the course of study. Students were interviewed after the lessons were complete using the same prompts required in the journals. Themes were developed from the student writings and their verbal discourse using Grounded Theory. Journals and verbal discourse were rated following the themes of Knowledge Telling (KT) and Knowledge Transformation (KTR). Concept maps were developed for the Pre and Post test lessons (written and verbal discourses) by the raters in an attempt to further explain the knowledge that the students conveyed. The results of this study suggest that SLD are able to demonstrate knowledge about mammals better through verbal discourse than written discourse. While the NA students wrote more and used more technical discourse than did their SLD peers, the conceptual understanding of the topic by the SLD was no less inclusive than their NA peers when accessed verbally. The journals demonstrated limited conceptual growth for the SLD. Further, while lexical density is important to the development of knowledge in science, this study suggests the "conceptual density" may be another important indicator to examine.

Grigg, Gail S.

214

Student Understanding of Liquid-Vapor Phase Equilibrium  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Student understanding of the equilibrium coexistence of a liquid and its vapor was the subject of an extended investigation. Written assessment questions were administered to undergraduates enrolled in introductory physics and chemistry courses. Responses have been analyzed to document conceptual and reasoning difficulties in sufficient detail to…

Boudreaux, Andrew; Campbell, Craig

2012-01-01

215

High School Students' Understanding of Projectile Motion Concepts  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of conceptual change-based instruction and traditionally designed physics instruction on students' understanding of projectile motion concepts. Misconceptions related to projectile motion concepts were determined by related literature on this subject. Accordingly, the Projectile Motion…

Dilber, Refik; Karaman, Ibrahim; Duzgun, Bahattin

2009-01-01

216

Surveying Students' Conceptual Knowledge of Electricity and Magnetism.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Introduces the Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism (CSEM) which was developed to assess students' knowledge of topics in electricity and magnetism. Reports on the number of student difficulties in electricity and magnetism. (Contains 23 references.) (Author/YDS)

Maloney, David P.; O'Kuma, Thomas L.; Hieggelke, Curtis J.; Van Heuvelen, Alan

2001-01-01

217

Conceptual change among middle school students studying elementary thermodynamics  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

There is great interest in the processes by which learners reorganize and reformulate knowledge. This research adds to the current understanding by exploring two questions. "How does the learner's understanding change during the study of elementary thermodynamics?," and "What motivates learners to restructure or reorganize their knowledge?" The conceptual changes and factors affecting that change over the course of a semester within an eighth grade physical science class are presented. General student understanding was assessed through open ended pretests, short tests and posttests given to the entire population ( N=180). This was combined with a series of five clinical interviews over the course of the 13 week instruction period for each of 33 students selected by stratified random design for gender and class period. Analysis combined interview and written test data for the experimental groups and written test data for the entire population, allowing both within subject and between subject analyses. A detailed process of conceptual change emerges with individual differences illustrating impediments to knowledge integration. Inferences that have broader application in science instruction are made.

Lewis, Eileen Lob

1996-03-01

218

From Words to Concepts: Focusing on Word Knowledge When Teaching for Conceptual Understanding Within an Inquiry-Based Science Setting  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

This qualitative video study explores how two elementary school teachers taught for conceptual understanding throughout different phases of science inquiry. The teachers implemented teaching materials with a focus on learning science key concepts through the development of word knowledge. A framework for word knowledge was applied to examine the students' level of word knowledge manifested in their talk. In this framework, highly developed knowledge of a word is conceptual knowledge. This includes understanding how the word is situated within a network of other words and ideas. The results suggest that students' level of word knowledge develops toward conceptual knowledge when the students are required to apply the key concepts in their talk throughout all phases of inquiry. When the students become familiar with the key concepts through the initial inquiry activities, the students use the concepts as tools for furthering their conceptual understanding when they discuss their ideas and findings. However, conceptual understanding is not promoted when teachers do the talking for the students, rephrasing their responses into the correct answer or neglecting to address the students' everyday perceptions of scientific phenomena.

Haug, Berit S.; Řdegaard, Marianne

2014-03-01

219

Conceptual Systems and Educational Environment: Relationships Between Teacher Conceptual Systems, Student Conceptual Systems, and Classroom Environment as Perceived by Fifth and Sixth Grade Students.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

A study was done to determine the significant relationships among teacher conceptual systems, student conceptual systems, and student perceptions of the classroom educational environment in selected elementary schools. Tested was the general hypothesis that students would be more involved with teachers they perceived as being less authoritarian…

Phillips, Mark; Sinclair, Robert

220

A Generational Approach to Understanding Students  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This chapter establishes the conceptual framework for understanding the Millennial generation by presenting a theoretical model of generational succession that demonstrates the value of studying how the values of one generation interact with and are influenced by others.

Coomes, Michael D.; DeBard, Robert

2004-01-01

221

Demonstration Assessment: Measuring Conceptual Understanding and Critical Thinking with Rubrics.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Presents the science demonstration assessment as an authentic- assessment technique to assess whether students understand basic science concepts and can use them to solve problems. Uses rubrics to prepare students for the assessment and to assign final grades. Provides examples of science demonstration assessments and the scoring of rubrics in the…

Radford, David L.; And Others

1995-01-01

222

Students' ways of understanding aromaticity and electrophilic aromatic substitution reactions  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Studies in organic chemistry education focus mainly on increasing students' performance. Studies from general chemistry education reveal that students' performance is not a good indicator of conceptual understanding. In support, Bhattacharyya and Bodner (2005) reveal that chemistry graduate students can produce correct answers to reaction mechanisms tasks in organic chemistry without understanding the underlying concepts behind the tasks. This dissertation uses the constructs of Harel's DNR-based instruction (1998, 2001, in press [a]) to categorize students' ways of understanding aromaticity and electrophilic aromatic substitution reactions. DNR refers to three instructional principles: Duality Principle, Necessity Principle and Repeated Reasoning Principle. Primarily, this study applies the following constructs integral to the Duality Principle: ways of understanding and ways of thinking. The purpose of this study is three-fold. The first purpose is to identify students' ways of understanding aromaticity and electrophilic aromatic substitution reactions and subsequently the ways of thinking that are inferred by these ways of understanding. The second purpose of this study is to provide quantitative evidence of students' beliefs (one category of ways of thinking) about learning organic chemistry. The third purpose is to show how we can help students develop more desirable ways of understanding aromaticity. First, several ways of understanding were identified from semi-structured interviews conducted with 12 undergraduate-level students. Three ways of thinking were inferred from these ways of understanding: (1) non-referential symbolic reasoning, (2) non-referential use of terminology, and (3) beliefs about learning organic chemistry. Second, the results of a 46-Item Likert-scale survey provided empirical evidence to support the claim that the students have a tendency towards memorization when learning organic chemistry. Third, this study demonstrated the potential for students' developing more scientific ways of understanding aromaticity through teaching interview sessions where problem tasks were designed to perturb students existing ways of understanding.

Duffy, Anne Merete

223

Assessing the impact of a computer simulation in conjunction with Tutorials in Introductory Physics on conceptual understanding  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This paper compares the effect on student understanding from using either real-world circuits or an interactive circuit simulation. Three groups of students who worked through a tutorial on multiple-loop circuits from Tutorials in Introductory Physics, one with real circuits and two with a simulation, were compared in terms of their conceptual understanding after instruction. Students who used the simulation completed the tutorial faster and had more time for discussion with the TAs, and generally scored higher on conceptual questions than did those who used real circuits.

Hazelton, Ryan L.; Shaffer, Peter S.; Heron, Paula R.

2014-01-31

224

Students' learning approaches and their understanding of some chemical concepts in eighth-grade science  

Microsoft Academic Search

The purpose of this study was to (a) investigate the relationship between students' learning approaches and their conceptual understanding of some chemical concepts, (b) describe the qualitative differences between a deep and surface learning approach to learning science, and (c) identify the kinds of cognitive and metacognitive strategies that students use as they construct their conceptual knowledge. One hundred and

Christine Hui Li Chin

1997-01-01

225

The Effect of Supplementing Instruction with Conceptual Change Texts on Students' Conceptions of Electrochemical Cells  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of instruction supplemented by conceptual change texts (CCTs) over traditional instruction on students' understanding of electrochemical (galvanic and electrolytic) cell concepts. The participants of the study consisted of 64 students from the two classes of a high school located in…

Yuruk, Nejla

2007-01-01

226

Effects of Conceptual Change and Traditional Confirmatory Simulations on Pre-Service Teachers' Understanding of Direct Current Circuits  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The objective of this research is to investigate the effects of simulations based on conceptual change conditions (CCS) and traditional confirmatory simulations (TCS) on pre-service elementary school teachers' understanding of direct current electric circuits. The data was collected from a sample consisting of 89 students; 48 students in the…

Baser, Mustafa

2006-01-01

227

Surveying students' understanding of quantum mechanics in one spatial dimension  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

We explore the difficulties that advanced undergraduate and graduate students have with non-relativistic quantum mechanics of a single particle in one spatial dimension. To investigate these difficulties we developed a conceptual survey and administered it to more than 200 students at 10 institutions. The issues targeted in the survey include the set of possible wavefunctions, bound and scattering states, quantum measurement, expectation values, the role of the Hamiltonian, and the time-dependence of the wavefunction and expectation values. We find that undergraduate and graduate students have many common difficulties with these concepts and that research-based tutorials and peer-instruction tools can significantly reduce these difficulties. The findings also suggest that graduate quantum mechanics courses may not be effective at helping students to develop a better conceptual understanding of these topics, partly because such courses mainly focus on quantitative assessments.

Zhu, Guangtian; Singh, Chandralekha

2012-04-30

228

Understanding ACPA's Student Learning Imperative.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The Student Learning Imperative (SLI) was created to stimulate discussion on how student affairs professionals can enhance student learning and personal development. This paper outlines the antecedents and background of the SLI position paper. A member of the committee that developed the SLI discusses here student affairs' historical goal of…

Bloland, Paul A.

229

Numeric and Conceptual Understanding of General Chemistry at a Minority Institution  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

According to the summary data of 1992, only 1,092 of the 38,814 Ph.D.'s awarded in the USA went to African-Americans. The situation is even worse in the sciences. In the same year, only 17 African-Americans were awarded Ph.D. degrees in chemistry in the USA (1). Considering the growing minority population in the USA, it is imperative that a more effective delivery system be designed to attract more African-Americans into the chemical sciences. Recently, several chemistry educators (2 - 6) found that a good algorithmic problem solver may have limited understanding of the chemistry behind the algorithmic manipulations and that many bright students who have the ability to study chemistry are not attracted to the area (so-called "second-tier students"). However, most reported results were from a universities with primarily nonminority student populations. Therefore, a study of concept learning versus problem solving at a predominantly minority institution such as Florida A&M University (FAMU) may provide useful information to individuals considering using a more concept-based framework in their teaching. In the present study, we adopted paired questions from Nakhleh's paper (6). These questions could help to identify the second-tier students in general chemistry classes by studying differential performance on conceptual and algorithmic questions. Each of the five pairs of questions deals with a particular area of general chemistry (gas laws, equations, limiting reagents, empirical formulas, and density). Within each pair, other than algorithmic and conceptual questions, a third questionnaire was added to ask students about their preference for either algorithmic or conceptual problems. During years of teaching in both majority and minority institutions, the authors have observed that a large proportion of minority students are more interested in concepts than in algorithmic aspects of chemistry problems. The authors assumed that FAMU students might contain a relatively higher concentration of conceptual thinkers than of algorithmic problem solvers. Other quantitative characteristics were also preliminarily explored.

Lin, Qun; Kirsch, Paul; Turner, Ralph

1996-10-01

230

Conceptual Ecology of Evolution Acceptance among Greek Education Students: The Contribution of Knowledge Increase  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

In this study, we explored the factors related to acceptance of evolutionary theory among students/preservice preschool education teachers using conceptual ecology for biological evolution as a theoretical frame. We aimed to examine the acceptance and understanding of evolutionary theory and also the relationship of acceptance and understanding of…

Athanasiou, Kyriacos; Katakos, Efstratios; Papadopoulou, Penelope

2012-01-01

231

Trajectories of collaborative scientific conceptual change: Middle school students learning about ecosystems in a CSCL environment  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The dissertation aims to achieve two goals. First, it attempts to establish a new theoretical framework---the collaborative scientific conceptual change model, which explicitly attends to social factor and epistemic practices of science, to understand conceptual change. Second, it report the findings of a classroom study to investigate how to apply this theoretical framework to examine the trajectories of collaborative scientific conceptual change in a CSCL environment and provide pedagogical implications. Two simulations were designed to help students make connections between the macroscopic substances and the aperceptual microscopic entities and underlying processes. The reported study was focused on analyzing the aggregated data from all participants and the video and audio data from twenty focal groups' collaborative activities and the process of their conceptual development in two classroom settings. Mixed quantitative and qualitative analyses were applied to analyze the video/audio data. The results found that, overall participants showed significant improvements from pretest to posttest on system understanding. Group and teacher effect as well as group variability were detected in both students' posttest performance and their collaborative activities, and variability emerged in group interaction. Multiple data analyses found that attributes of collaborative discourse and epistemic practices made a difference in student learning. Generating warranted claims in discourse as well as the predicting, coordinating theory-evidence, and modifying knowledge in epistemic practices had an impact on student's conceptual understanding. However, modifying knowledge was found negatively related to students' learning effect. The case studies show how groups differed in using the computer tools as a medium to conduct collaborative discourse and epistemic practices. Only with certain combination of discourse features and epistemic practices can the group interaction lead to successful convergent understanding. The results of the study imply that the collaborative scientific conceptual change model is an effective framework to study conceptual change and the simulation environment may mediate the development of successful collaborative interactions (including collaborative discourse and epistemic practices) that lead to collaborative scientific conceptual change.

Liu, Lei

232

Understanding Diversity in Millennial Students  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The Millennial generation of college students has demographics and attitudes toward diversity issues different from their predecessors; this chapter explores those differences and their implications for student affairs work.

Broido, Ellen M.

2004-01-01

233

Student Retention in Higher Education: Some Conceptual and Programmatic Perspectives.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Provides a review of conceptual perspectives on the salient issues affecting student retention in higher education generally, and minority student retention in particular, over the past few decades. Also summarizes programmatic strategies implemented at institutions as examples of student retention initiatives that have had significant impacts.…

Lang, Marvel

2002-01-01

234

Conceptual change among middle school students studying elementary thermodynamics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Studies the conceptual changes and factors affecting eighth- grade physical science students (n=180) investigating elementary thermodynamics. Classifies three types of students regarding their learning methods: converging, progressing, and oscillating. Reports that original intuitive conceptions are difficult to change and that students engaged in activities requiring sustained reflection make greater cognitive gains.

Lewis, Eileen

2006-05-31

235

The effects of a visualization-centered curriculum on conceptual understanding and representational competence in high school biology  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a visualization-centered curriculum, Hemoglobin: A Case of Double Identity, on conceptual understanding and representational competence in high school biology. Sixty-nine students enrolled in three sections of freshman biology taught by the same teacher participated in this study. Online Chemscape Chime computer-based molecular visualizations were incorporated into the 10-week curriculum to introduce students to fundamental structure and function relationships. Measures used in this study included a Hemoglobin Structure and Function Test, Mental Imagery Questionnaire, Exam Difficulty Survey, the Student Assessment of Learning Gains, the Group Assessment of Logical Thinking, the Attitude Toward Science in School Assessment, audiotapes of student interviews, students' artifacts, weekly unit activity surveys, informal researcher observations and a teacher's weekly questionnaire. The Hemoglobin Structure and Function Test, consisting of Parts A and B, was administered as a pre and posttest. Part A used exclusively verbal test items to measure conceptual understanding, while Part B used visual-verbal test items to measure conceptual understanding and representational competence. Results of the Hemoglobin Structure and Function pre and posttest revealed statistically significant gains in conceptual understanding and representational competence, suggesting the visualization-centered curriculum implemented in this study was effective in supporting positive learning outcomes. The large positive correlation between posttest results on Part A, comprised of all-verbal test items, and Part B, using visual-verbal test items, suggests this curriculum supported students' mutual development of conceptual understanding and representational competence. Evidence based on student interviews, Student Assessment of Learning Gains ratings and weekly activity surveys indicated positive attitudes toward the use of Chemscape Chime software and the computer-based molecular visualization activities as learning tools. Evidence from these same sources also indicated that students felt computer-based molecular visualization activities in conjunction with other classroom activities supported their learning. Implications for instructional design are discussed.

Wilder, Anna

236

The nature of elementary students' science discourse and conceptual learning  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

This qualitative study examined the nature of 5th-grade students' oral and written discourse in relation to their conceptual learning during six science inquiry-based lessons. Qualitative data were collected using small group observations, transcriptions of small group discourse, students' science notebooks, and student interviews. These data were used to create an in-depth illustration of 5th-grade students' discourse and the impact of that discourse on their science conceptual learning. Findings indicated students spoke in three main discourse classifications during small group inquiries and two of these discourses were also present in the science notebook entries. Findings further indicated gender did not impact the nature of students' oral or written discourse regarding their conceptual learning. Implications for classroom practice and suggestions for further research in elementary science education are offered.

Parks, Melissa Y.

237

Comet Inquiry in Action: Developing Conceptual Understanding of Comets through Stardust and Deep Impact Mission EPO Activities  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

NASA Discovery Program missions to comets - Deep Impact and Stardust, and their extended missions - are the rich source that their respective Education and Public Outreach teams mine to convey investigative concepts to K-12 students. Specially designed curricular activities strive to be engaging and represent science authentically. Even more, they unpack complex science content so students' conceptual understanding can develop. Multimedia elements - interactives, interviews, and games - enhance an educator's toolbox of materials used to reach diverse audiences and deepen understanding.

Feaga, L.; Warner, E.; Ristvey, J.; Cobb, W.; Meyer, A.

2012-08-01

238

Students' Conceptions of Underlying Principles in Medical Physiology: An Interview Study of Medical Students' Understanding in a PBL Curriculum  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Medical physiology is known to be a complex area where students develop significant errors in conceptual understanding. Students' knowledge is often bound to situational descriptions rather than underlying principles. This study explores how medical students discern and process underlying principles in physiology. Indepth interviews, where…

Fyrenius, Anna; Silen, Charlotte; Wirell, Staffan

2007-01-01

239

Using Multiple Representations to Promote Grade 11 Students' Scientific Understanding of the Particle Theory of Matter  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

This study explored two groups of Grade 11 (age 16-17) students' conceptual understandings about aspects of particle theory before, immediately after, and 3 months after instruction with multiple representations (IMR) and instruction with verbal representations (IVR). Data sources included open-ended questionnaires, interviews, and student artifacts. The data were analyzed using statistical and descriptive methods to compare the extent of change and persistence in the IMR and IVR students' conceptual understandings of particle theory. The results indicated that the students held similar, but poor understandings of particle theory prior to any instruction. After instruction, the IMR students outperformed the IVR students in terms of developing scientific understandings about each aspect of particle theory and maintaining such understandings over a period of time. The results demonstrated that carefully designed instruction using multiple representations can be very efficacious in promoting and maintaining students' scientific understanding.

Adadan, Emine

2013-06-01

240

An investigation of the use of microcomputer-based laboratory simulations in promoting conceptual understanding in secondary physics instruction  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Physics education research has shown that students bring alternate conceptions to the classroom which can be quite resistant to traditional instruction methods (Clement, 1982; Halloun & Hestenes, 1985; McDermott, 1991). Microcomputer-based laboratory (MBL) experiments that employ an active-engagement strategy have been shown to improve student conceptual understanding in high school and introductory university physics courses (Thornton & Sokoloff, 1998). These (MBL) experiments require a specialized computer interface, type-specific sensors (e.g. motion detectors, force probes, accelerometers), and specialized software in addition to the standard physics experimental apparatus. Tao and Gunstone (1997) have shown that computer simulations used in an active engagement environment can also lead to conceptual change. This study investigated 69 secondary physics students' use of computer simulations of MBL activities in place of the hands-on MBL laboratory activities. The average normalized gain in students' conceptual understanding was measured using the Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation (FMCE). Student attitudes towards physics and computers were probed using the Views About Science Survey (VASS) and the Computer Attitude Scale (CAS). While it may be possible to obtain an equivalent level of conceptual understanding using computer simulations in combination with an active-engagement environment, this study found no significant gains in students' conceptual understanding ( = -0.02) after they completed a series of nine simulated experiments from the Tools for Scientific Thinking curriculum (Thornton & Sokoloff, 1990). The absence of gains in conceptual understanding may indicate that either the simulations were ineffective in promoting conceptual change or problems with the implementation of the treatment inhibited its effectiveness. There was a positive shift in students' attitudes towards physics in the VASS dimensions of structure and reflective thinking, while there was a negative shift in students' attitudes towards computers in the CAS subscales of anxiety and usefulness. The negative shift in attitudes towards computers may be due to the additional time and work required by the students to perform the simulation experiments with no apparent reward in terms of their physics grade. Suggestions for future research include a qualitative element to observe student interactions and alternate formats for the simulations themselves.

Tomshaw, Stephen G.

241

Understanding Disabilities & Online Student Success  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Online learning has been growing at an exponential rate over the past decade, providing new opportunities for students seeking quality courses and programs offered through flexible formats. However, as higher education continues to expand online offerings, services must be expanded simultaneously to support all students. This article focuses on…

Betts, Kristen; Welsh, Bill; Pruitt, Cheryl; Hermann, Kelly; Dietrich, Gaeir; Trevino, Jorge G.; Watson, Terry L.; Brooks, Michael L.; Cohen, Alex H.; Coombs, Norman

2013-01-01

242

Assessing Student Understanding of Physical Hydrology  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Our objective is to characterize and assess upper division and graduate student thinking by developing and testing an assessment tool for a physical hydrology class. The class' learning goals are: (1) Quantitative process-based understanding of hydrologic processes, (2) Experience with different methods in hydrology, (3) Learning, problem solving, communication skills. These goals were translated into two measurable tasks asked of students in a questionnaire: (1) Describe the significant processes in the hydrological cycle and (2) Describe laws governing these processes. A third question below assessed the students' ability to apply their knowledge: You have been hired as a consultant by __ to (1) assess how urbanization and the current drought have affected a local spring and (2) predict what the effects will be in the future if the drought continues. What information would you need to gather? What measurements would you make? What analyses would you perform? Student and expert responses to the questions were then used to develop a rubric to score responses. Using the rubric, 3 researchers independently blind-coded the full set of pre and post artifacts, resulting in 89% inter-rater agreement on the pre-tests and 83% agreement on the post-tests. We present student scores to illustrate the use of the rubric and to characterize student thinking prior to and following a traditional course. Most students interpreted Q1 in terms of physical processes affecting the water cycle, the primary organizing framework for hydrology, as intended. On the pre-test, one student scored 0, indicating no response, on this question. Twenty students scored 1, indicating rudimentary understanding, 2 students scored a 2, indicating a basic understanding, and no student scored a 3. Student scores on this question improved on the post-test. On the 22 post-tests that were blind scored, 11 students demonstrated some recognition of concepts, 9 students showed a basic understanding, and 2 students had a full understanding of the processes linked to hydrology. Half the students had provided evidence of the desired understanding; however, half still demonstrated only a rudimentary understanding. Results on Q2 were similar. On the pre-test, 2 students scored 0, 21 students scored 1, indicating rudimentary understanding, 2 students scored a 2, and no student scored a 3. On the post-test, again approximately half the students achieved the desired understanding: 9 students showed some recognition of concepts, 12 students demonstrated a basic understanding; only one student exhibited full understanding. On Q3, no student scored 0, 9 scored 1, 15 scored 2 and 1 student scored 3. On the post-test, one student scored 1, 16 students scored 2, and 5 students scored 3. Students were significantly better at responding to Q3 (the application) as opposed to Q1 and Q2, which were more abstract. Research has shown that students are often better able to solve contextualized problems when they are unable to deal with more abstract tasks. This result has limitations including the small number of participants, all from one institution, and the fact that the rubric was still under development. Nevertheless, the high inter-rater agreement by a group of experts is significant; the rubric we developed is a potentially useful tool for assessment of learning and understanding physical hydrology. Supported by NSF CAREER grant (EAR-0955750).

Castillo, A. J.; Marshall, J.; Cardenas, M. B.

2012-12-01

243

Supporting Scientific Reasoning and Conceptual Understanding Through the use of Inscriptions  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

While there is a vast body of research on visual representations, the results do not paint a clear picture of how to use inscriptions to support learning. Part of the difficulty stems from the need for research that investigates the use of inscriptions in classroom learning contexts. Toward this end, there is a small body of work that investigates the role of inscriptions in supporting students' engagement in scientific reasoning practices. Through the development of a case study of expert practice, this dissertation contributes to that literature by examining the potential power of inscriptions as resources for science teaching and learning in the context of a teacher professional development course that aims to support 4th grade teachers' content knowledge around the topic of electric circuits. This study examined the curriculum and video record from one enactment of this course to analyze the affordances of particular representations for supporting conceptual understanding and scientific reasoning practices; examine the facilitator's inscriptional practices that supported collaborative learning; and analyze the interactions among the learners, facilitator, and inscriptions that supported conceptual understanding. This exemplary facilitator successfully used inscriptions to engage learners in scientific reasoning practices that supported their conceptual understanding. She used inscriptions to structure and support discussions that were based on learner-generated ideas, yet led to curriculum-directed conceptual and pedagogical goals. The curriculum provided a series of inscriptional resources that were well suited for the conceptual and scientific reasoning activities that they proposed to support. By using curricular inscriptions to shape the content and form of the discussions, the facilitator created opportunities to learn that were 1) contingent on learner contributions and understanding, and 2) congruent with curricular goals. This work identifies several pedagogical content knowledge demands of supporting scientific reasoning through the use of inscriptions. Beyond knowledge of the conceptual terrain, the facilitator needed to (a) understand the match between particular inscriptions (or types of inscriptions) and the conceptual or scientific reasoning work they can support; (b) understand and interpret learner ideas in relation to the curricular goals; and (c) use inscriptions to make learner ideas available for examination, analysis, revision and discussion in service of the curricular goals.

Wong, Nicole

244

Searching For Evidence Of Student Understanding  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

There is a strong emphasis in physics education research on the use of multiple representations to help students explain physical phenomena and to solve physics problems. In this paper, we report on students' use of multiple representations in the analysis of kinematics problems. The students learned kinematics using the Physics Union Mathematics curriculum*. When we examined pairs of representations in student work (motion diagrams and graphs), we found that students were often consistent but not necessarily correct. Based on the patterns in the data we argue that to fully assess student understanding we need to provide students with problems that require them to use at least two different representations to explain their answer.

Bartiromo, Tara; Finley, James; Etkina, Eugenia

2010-10-01

245

Students' use of resources in understanding solar cells  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

We use the framework of conceptual and epistemological resources to investigate how students construct understanding of solar cells - a complex modern physics topic that requires mastery of multiple concepts. We interviewed experts and novices about their understanding of the physics of solar cells, and examined their responses for evidence of resources being activated. We used this information to create a unit dedicated to the physics of solar cells at the advanced undergraduate level, which we then implemented. Based on the patterns in the interviews and student responses in the classroom during the unit we can hypothesize what resources students draw on when they are trying to understand the complex physics involved in the functioning of solar cells.

Richards, A. J.; Etkina, Eugenia

2013-01-01

246

Conceptual Dynamics: Following Changing Student Views of Force and Motion  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This paper develops the phenomenological framework and methodology of "conceptual dynamics" in order to identify student views of the physical world and to explore the dynamic process by which these views are transformed during instruction. Conceptual dynamics aids the determination of the multiple student views, even for large numbers of students in instructional settings, and provides a method for the ordering of student views into learning hierarchies. The methods of conceptual dynamics are then applied to student views in a specific area of physicsâforce and motion, the behavior of objects moving as a result of forces acting on them. Common student views of force and motion for the different cases that students distinguish are articulated and learning hierarchies are established that allow a statistical prediction of student progression through the various views. Newton's First and Second Laws, for example, become the Four Student Laws of Force and Motion where different force and motion relationships apply to objects standing still, slowing down, moving at a constant velocity, and speeding up. Students adopt a physicist view of the four cases of motion in the order listed. Student descriptions of each view, in their own words, are given. Data is presented to support a model for the transition from one view to another that postulates that many students move through a transitional state when changing views.

Thornton, Ronald K.

2006-12-07

247

Textbook treatments and students' understanding of acceleration  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

The ways in which the concept of acceleration is treated in physics textbooks is compared with understandings of the concept demonstrated by final-year secondary (n=30) and first-year university students (n=60). Some students' understandings are shown to be incomplete in ways that parallel misleading or inaccurate textbook treatment of the concept.

Dall'Alba, Gloria

2006-05-23

248

Understanding Chemical Hazards: A Guide for Students.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The goal of this safety guide is to enable students to take more responsibility for lab safety by using the Self-Audit System for Students and to understand the responsibility for safety shared by the institution through the development and maintenance of a Chemical Hygiene Plan. This student guide discusses safety equipment and the procedures…

American Chemical Society, Washington, DC.

249

Students' Understanding of Z[subscript N  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

In this study, we explore six students' conceptions of Z[subscript n] in an effort to understand students' conceptions of quotient groups in general. We discovered that there were three different ways our students thought about Z[subscript n], namely as infinite sets, element-set combinations, and representative elements. We explore how…

Siebert, Daniel; Williams, Steven R.

2003-01-01

250

Promoting Pre-Service Elementary Students' Understanding of Chemical Equilibrium through Discussions in Small Groups  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of small group discussion on students' conceptual understanding of chemical equilibrium. Students' understanding of chemical equilibrium concepts was measured using the Misconception Identification Test. The test consisted of 30 items and administered as pre-posttests to a total of 81…

Bilgin, Ibrahim

2006-01-01

251

Coming to Understand the Formal Definition of Limit: Insights Gained from Engaging Students in Reinvention  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The purpose of this article is to elaborate Cottrill et al.'s (1996) conceptual framework of limit, an explanatory model of how students might come to understand the limit concept. Drawing on a retrospective analysis of 2 teaching experiments, we propose 2 theoretical constructs to account for the students' success in formulating and understanding

Swinyard, Craig; Larsen, Sean

2012-01-01

252

Investigating the Effectiveness of a POE-Based Teaching Activity on Students' Understanding of Condensation  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This article reports on the development of a Predict-Observe-Explain, POE-based teaching strategy to facilitate conceptual change and its effectiveness on student understanding of condensation. The sample consisted of 52 first-year students in primary science education department. Students' ideas were elicited using a test consisting of five probe…

Costu, Bayram; Ayas, Alipasa; Niaz, Mansoor

2012-01-01

253

High-Maintenance Students: A Conceptual Exploration and Implications  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This article explores high-maintenance students in the university setting: those students who complain and whine, beyond reasonable limits, thereby exhausting their instructor's energy. By drawing heavily on the personality literature, I advance a conceptual foundation, research propositions, and suggestions for future research regarding…

Burke, Lisa A.

2004-01-01

254

Effectiveness of Ninth-Grade Physics in Maine: Conceptual Understanding  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The Physics First movement-teaching a true physics course to ninth-grade students-is gaining popularity in high schools. There are several different rhetorical arguments for and against this movement, and it is quite controversial in physics education. However, there is no actual evidence to assess the success, or failure, of this substantial shift in the science teaching sequence. We have undertaken a comparison study of physics classes taught in ninth- and 12th-grade classes in Maine. Comparisons of student understanding and gains with respect to mechanics concepts were made with excerpts from well-known multiple-choice surveys and individual student interviews. Results indicate that both populations begin physics courses with similar content knowledge and specific difficulties, but when learning concepts, ninth-graders are more sensitive to the instructional method used.

O'Brien, Michael J.; Thompson, John R.

2009-04-01

255

The Effects of Inquiry-Based Computer Simulation with Cooperative Learning on Scientific Thinking and Conceptual Understanding of Gas Laws  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of inquiry-based computer simulation with heterogeneous-ability cooperative learning (HACL) and inquiry-based computer simulation with friendship cooperative learning (FCL) on (a) scientific reasoning (SR) and (b) conceptual understanding (CU) among Form Four students in Malaysian Smart…

Abdullah, Sopiah; Shariff, Adilah

2008-01-01

256

The Effectiveness of Peer Instruction and Structured Inquiry on Conceptual Understanding of Force and Motion: A Case Study from Thailand  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This study proposed to investigate the effectiveness of learning activities based on a conceptual change theoretical framework by embedding a peer instruction method with structured inquiry (PISI) on tenth grade students' understanding of force and motion concepts. This teaching method was compared to the existing traditional instruction (TI).…

Suppapittayaporn, Decha; Emarat, Narumon; Arayathanitkul, Kwan

2010-01-01

257

Understanding the nature of science through the historical development of conceptual models  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Understanding the nature of science has been a common goal in science education for years and continues to hold a distinct place in the recently developed Pan-Canadian science framework. Although the nature of science is often prominent in the front end of such reform documents, the implementation of these goals is presumed to be taught implicitly with the delivery of knowledge outcomes. Research strongly indicates that most students have naive conceptions about the nature of science. Surprisingly, research also clearly shows that science teachers do not fare much better, and that when they do possess adequate understanding of the nature of science it does not significantly influence their behaviour in the classroom. Norm Lederman (1998), one of the leading scholars in this field, describes two approaches advocated by curriculum reform documents to address the nature of science outcomes. The first approach suggests that students can achieve nature of science outcomes by "doing science", the second suggests that history of science can enhance students' understanding of the nature of science. While Lederman advocates the use of the history of science, he argues that these approaches are not effective when used implicitly. He recommends that an explicit approach be used (planned for, taught, assessed), but so far there have been no studies which employ this technique beyond short lessons or limited case histories. This thesis advocates an explicit approach to teaching the nature of science using the historical development of conceptual models. The research study of this thesis integrated the historical development of conceptual models with the traditional content found in a typical grade ten chemistry curriculum. Participants in the research were 74 senior 2 (grade 10) science students from four different classes in three different schools in the province of Manitoba. Prior to, and after instruction, students wrote Lederman's VNOS nature of science test. The tests were reviewed by the researcher and a nature of science profile was compiled for each student. From this profile and the student responses, 24 students (8 from each group) were selected to be interviewed. The research indicates that the HDCM unit was a successful means to improve students' understanding of models, theories, evidence, and the tentativeness of science. The manner in which students employed their examples in the post-test suggests that the historical content of the unit accounts for this change. On the relationship between laws and theories the research indicates that the view that theories advance to laws is an extremely tenacious misconception although students did seem to improve their understanding of laws and theories independently. The HDCM unit did not yield significant results in advancing students understandings of the creative and imaginative aspects of the nature of science. However, there were individual cases where progress was made which might indicate that more opportunity and a longer development time could enhance student understanding in this area. Students also indicated positive attitudes towards the inclusion of the history of science in their curriculum. The HDCM unit presented a more humanistic view of science to the students which was reflected in their interest, motivation, and responses to the curriculum. We should view this results as positive for future curriculum development in this area. Finally, the HDCM unit was shown to significantly influence one practising teacher's understanding of the nature of science.

Metz, Donald J.

258

High School Students' Physical Education Conceptual Knowledge  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The value of conceptual physical education knowledge has long been acknowledged (American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, 1969; Kneer, 1981; NASPE, 1995) yet has not been formally measured or assessed. Seven multiple choice tests with established validity and reliability (Ayers, 2001b) were used to assess the concepts…

Ayers, Suzan F.

2004-01-01

259

Western Australian school students' understanding of biotechnology  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Are science educators providing secondary school students with the background to understand the science behind recent controversies such as the recently introduced compulsory labelling of genetically modified foods? Research from the UK suggests that many secondary school students do not understand the processes or implications of modern biotechnology. The situation in Australia is unclear. In this study, 1116 15-year-old students from eleven Western Australian schools were surveyed to determine their understanding of, and attitude towards, recent advances in modern biotechnology. The results indicate that approximately one third of students have little or no understanding of biotechnology. Many students over-estimate the use of biotechnology in our society by confusing current uses with possible future applications. The results provide a rationale for the inclusion of biotechnology, a cutting edge science, in the school science curriculum

Dawson, Vaille; Schibeci, Renato

2003-01-01

260

The effects of conceptual change texts accompanied with animations on overcoming 11th grade students' alternative conceptions of chemical bonding  

Microsoft Academic Search

This paper aims to determine the effect of conceptual change texts accompanied with computer animations on 11th grade studentsunderstanding and alternative conceptions related to chemical bonding. One experimental group (EG; N=28) and one comparison group (CG; N=30) were used in the study. While the comparison group taught traditional instruction, the experimental group received conceptual change text accompanied with computer

Haluk Özmen; Hülya Demircioglu; Gökhan Demircioglu

2009-01-01

261

Creating meaningful learning experiences: Understanding students' perspectives of engineering design  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

There is a societal need for design education to prepare holistic engineers with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to innovate and compete globally. Design skills are paramount to the espoused values of higher education, as institutions of higher learning strive to develop in students the cognitive abilities of critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity. To meet these interests from industry and academia, it is important to advance the teaching and learning of engineering design. This research aims to understand how engineering students learn and think about design, as a way for engineering educators to optimize instructional practice and curriculum development. Qualitative research methodology was used to investigate the meaning that engineering students' ascribe to engineering design. The recruitment of participants and corresponding collection of data occurred in two phases using two different data collection techniques. The first phase involved the distribution of a one-time online questionnaire to all first year, third year, and fourth year undergraduate engineering students at three Canadian Universities. After the questionnaire, students were asked if they would be willing to participate in the second phase of data collection consisting of a personal interview. A total of ten students participated in interviews. Qualitative data analysis procedures were conducted on students' responses from the questionnaire and interviews. The data analysis process consisted of two phases: a descriptive phase to code and categorize the data, followed by an interpretative phase to generate further meaning and relationships. The research findings present a conceptual understanding of students' descriptions about engineering design, structured within two educational orientations: a learning studies orientation and a curriculum studies orientation. The learning studies orientation captured three themes of students' understanding of engineering design: awareness, relevance, and transfer. With this framework of student learning, engineering educators can enhance learning experiences by engaging all three levels of students' understanding. The curriculum studies orientation applied the three holistic elements of curriculum---subject matter, society, and the individual---to conceptualize design considerations for engineering curriculum and teaching practice. This research supports the characterization of students' learning experiences to help educators and students optimize their teaching and learning of design education.

Aleong, Richard James Chung Mun

262

Revitalizing Astronomy Teaching Through Research on Student Understanding  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Over the years, considerable rhetoric exists about which instructional strategies induce the largest conceptual and attitude gains in non-science majoring, undergraduate university students. To determine the effectiveness of lecture-based approaches in astronomy and astrobiology, we found that student scores on a 68-item pre-test/post-test concept inventory showed a statistically significant increase from 30% to 52% correct. In contrast, students evaluated after the use of Lecture-Tutorials increased to 72%. The Lecture Tutorials are intended for use during lecture by small student groups and compliment existing courses with conventional lectures. Based on extensive research on student understanding, Lecture-Tutorials offer professors an effective, learner-centered, classroom-ready alternative to lecture that does not require any outside equipment or drastic course revision for implementation. Each 15-minute Lecture-Tutorial poses a carefully crafted sequence of conceptually challenging, Socratic-dialogue driven questions, along with graphs and data tables, all designed to encourage students to reason critically about difficult concepts in astronomy and astrobiology.

Slater, T.

2006-08-01

263

The Effect of Supplementing Instruction with Conceptual Change Texts on Students’ Conceptions of Electrochemical Cells  

Microsoft Academic Search

The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of instruction supplemented by conceptual change texts (CCTs) over\\u000a traditional instruction on studentsunderstanding of electrochemical (galvanic and electrolytic) cell concepts. The participants\\u000a of the study consisted of 64 students from the two classes of a high school located in Turkey. Classes were randomly assigned\\u000a to experimental group, which was

Nejla Yürük

2007-01-01

264

Computer-based physics and students' physics conceptual growth  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

This study was designed to explore the process of students' conceptual change and investigate the effectiveness of computer simulations in fostering students' conceptual change. Since the 1980s students' preconceptions have been an interesting topic in science education, and many scholars have been trying to formulate effective approaches to address students' preconceptions. In Chapter 2 and Chapter 3, I examine the two dimensions of constructivism, radical and social, reflected on the most popular model of conceptual change, Posner's model, and propose an argument format of science instruction that includes six steps. According to this approach, teaching should start from where students are. Students are given enough opportunities to express their ideas and defend and examine their positions through argument with others. Instead of forcing students to buy scientific concepts, the instructor moves to the position of persuading students to appreciate science. In Chapters 4, 5, 6, and 7, I investigate the effectiveness of computer-based simulations in addressing students' preconceptions through qualitative and quantitative methods. This investigation lasted four terms, with 10 classes and a total of approximately 800 students involved. Interactive computer simulations, as demonstration and phenomena that require students to explain or make a prediction, were proved to be a helpful device in fostering conceptual change. Students' attitudes toward physics were somewhat independent of the use of simulations, although most of the students studied showed a preference for the use of simulations in physics classes. My theoretical study on teaching for conceptual change suggests that the events that are applied to foster conceptual change, including simulations, would be better used in the construction or invention stage of a new concept rather than in the application stage. My findings from the evaluation of the use of computer applets supported this prediction. I discovered that computer-based simulations worked more effectively when they were used in the exploratory stage of a new concept. Technology was not functional by itself for teaching and learning. Only when it was designed and used properly could technology help in education.

Zhou, Guoqiang

265

Comparing student learning with multiple research-based conceptual surveys: CSEM and BEMA.  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

We present results demonstrating similar distributions of student scores, and statistically indistinguishable gains on two popular research-based assessment tools: the Brief Electricity and Magnetism Assessment (BEMA) and the Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism(CSEM). To deepen our understanding of student learning in our course environment and of these assessment tools as measures of student learning, we identify systematic trends and differences in results from these two instruments. We investigate correlations of both pre- and post- conceptual scores with other measures including traditional exam scores and course grades, student background (earlier grades), gender, a pretest of scientific reasoning, and tests of attitudes and beliefs about science and learning science. Overall, for practical purposes, we find the BEMA and CSEM are roughly equivalently useful instruments for measuring student learning in our course.

Pollock, S. J.

2008-10-01

266

The Effect of Concept Mapping on Student Understanding and Correlation with Student Learning Styles  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

This study investigated the use of concept mapping as a pedagogical strategy to promote change in the learning styles of pre-nursing students. Students' individual learning styles revealed two subsets of students; those who demonstrated a learning style that favors abstract conceptualization and those who demonstrated a learning style that favors concrete experience. Students in the experimental groups performed concept mapping activities designed to facilitate an integrative understanding of interactions between various organ systems of the body while the control group received a traditional didactic instruction without performing concept mapping activities. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected in order to measure differences in student achievement. Analysis of the quantitative data revealed no significant change in the learning styles of students in either the control or experimental groups. Learning style groups were analyzed qualitatively for recurring or emergent themes that students identified as facilitating their learning. An analysis of qualitative data revealed that most students in the pre-nursing program were able to identify concepts within the class based upon visual cues, and a majority of these students exhibited the learning style of abstract conceptualization. As the laboratory experience for the course involves an examination of the anatomical structures of the human body, a visual identification of these structures seemed to be the most logical method to measure students' ability to identify anatomical structures.

Mosley, William G.

267

Effects of Conceptual Change and Traditional Confirmatory Simulations on Pre-Service Teachersâ Understanding of Direct Current Circuits  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

The objective of this research is to investigate the effects of simulations based on conceptual change conditions (CCS) and traditional confirmatory simulations (TCS) on pre-service elementary school teachersâ understanding of direct current electric circuits. The data was collected from a sample consisting of 89 students; 48 students in the experimental group who were taught simulations based on CCS, and 41 students in control group who followed the TCS. Subjects in both groups used open source software (Qucs) to simulate electric circuits. All students were administered Electric Circuits Concepts Test (DIRECT), Science Process Skills Test, Physics Attitude Scale, and Computer Attitude Scale before the treatment. Pre-test analyses revealed that there is no significant difference between experimental and control groups in terms of understanding of direct current electricity. After completing 3 weeks treatment, all students received the DIRECT again as a post-test. Analysis of covariance was used. Science process skills and attitudes toward computers were taken as covariates. The results showed that the conceptual change based simulations caused significantly better acquisition of conceptual change of direct current electricity concepts than the confirmatory simulation. While science process skills and attitudes towards computer made significant contributions to the variations in achievement, gender differences and interactions between gender and treatment did not. Eleven weeks later, the DIRECT was reapplied to the students in both groups. Eleven weeks delayed post-test results showed that the experimental group outperformed the control group in understanding of direct current electric concepts.

Baser, Mustafa

2010-03-11

268

On the Conceptual Understanding of the Photoelectric Effect  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

We attempt an in-depth literature review that focuses on some finer aspects of the photoelectric effect that will help build a more coherent understanding of the phenomenon. These include the angular distribution of photoelectrons, multi-photon photoelectron emission and the work function in the photoelectric equation as being that associated with the collector rather than the emitter. We attempt to explain the intricacies of the related concepts in a way that is accessible to teachers and students at the Singapore GCE A-level or pre-university level.

Foong, S. K.; Lee, P.; Wong, D.; Chee, Y. P.

2010-07-01

269

Using Student-Led Seminars and Conceptual Workshops to Increase Student Participation  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This article examines the use of two strategies designed to increase student participation in a teacher education class: student-led seminars and conceptual workshops. Quantitative data, collected by a graduate student observer, showed increased student participation in classroom discussion and activities. Also, qualitative findings collected…

McMullen, Victoria Budzinski

2014-01-01

270

Investigating the students' understanding of surface phenomena  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

This study investigated students' understanding of surface phenomena. The main purpose for conducting this research endeavor was to understand how students think about a complex topic about which they have little direct or formal instruction. The motivation for focusing on surface phenomena stemmed from an interest in integrating research and education. Despite the importance of surfaces and interfaces in research laboratories, in technological applications, and in everyday experiences, no previous systematic effort was done on pedagogy related to surface phenomena. The design of this research project was qualitative, exploratory, based on a Piagetian semi-structured clinical piloted interview, focused on obtaining a longitudinal view of the intended sample. The sampling was purposeful and the sample consisted of forty-four undergraduate students at Kansas State University. The student participants were enrolled in physics classes that spanned a wide academic spectrum. The data were analyzed qualitatively. The main themes that emerged from the analysis were: (a) students used analogies when confronted with novel situations, (b) students mixed descriptions and explanations, (c) students used the same explanation for several phenomena, (d) students manifested difficulties transferring the meaning of vocabulary across discipline boundaries, (e) in addition to the introductory chemistry classes, students used everyday experiences and job-related experiences as sources of knowledge, and (f) students' inquisitiveness and eagerness to investigate and discuss novel phenomena seemed to peak about the time students were enrolled in second year physics classes.

Hamed, Kastro Mohamad

1999-11-01

271

Western Australian School Students' Understanding of Biotechnology.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Surveys (n=1116) 15-year-old students from 11 Western Australian schools to determine their understanding of and attitude towards recent advances in modern biotechnology. Discusses reasons for students' over-estimation of the use of biotechnology in society. Provides a rationale for the inclusion of biotechnology, a cutting edge science, in the…

Dawson, Vaille; Schibeci, Renato

2003-01-01

272

Improving Students' Understanding of Quantum Measurement  

SciTech Connect

We describe the difficulties advanced undergraduate and graduate students have with quantum measurement. To reduce these difficulties, we have developed research-based learning tools such as the Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorial (QuILT) and peer instruction tools. A preliminary evaluation shows that these learning tools are effective in improving students' understanding of concepts related to quantum measurement.

Zhu Guangtian; Singh, Chandralekha [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 15260 (United States)

2010-10-24

273

Gestures and metaphors as indicators of conceptual understanding of sedimentary systems  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Understanding the geometry and evolution of sedimentary systems and sequence stratigraphy is crucial to the development of geoscientists and engineers working in the petroleum industry. There is a wide variety of audiences within industry who require relatively advanced instruction in this area of geoscience, and there is an equally wide array of approaches to teaching this material in the classroom and field. This research was undertaken to develop a clearer picture of how conceptual understanding in this area of sedimentary geology grows as a result of instruction and how instructors can monitor the completeness and accuracy of student thinking and mental models. We sought ways to assess understanding that did not rely on model-specific jargon but rather was based in physical expression of basic processes and attributes of sedimentary systems. Advances in cognitive science and educational research indicate that a significant part of spatial cognition is facilitated by gesture, (e.g. giving directions, describing objects or landscape features). We aligned the analysis of gestures with conceptual metaphor theory to probe the use of mental image-schemas as a source of concept representation for students' learning of sedimentary processes. In order to explore image schemas that lie in student explanations, we focused our analysis on four core ideas about sedimentary systems that involve sea level change and sediment deposition, namely relative sea level, base level, and sea-level fluctuations and resulting basin geometry and sediment deposition changes. The study included 25 students from three U.S. Midwestern universities. Undergraduate and graduate-level participants were enrolled in senior-level undergraduate courses in sedimentology and stratigraphy. We used semi-structured interviews and videotaping for data collection. We coded the data to focus on deictic, iconic, and metaphoric gestures, and coded interview transcripts for linguistic metaphors using the rubric established by Lakoff (1987) and Lakoff and Johnson (1999). The results suggested that students attempted to make more iconic and metaphoric gestures when dealing with abstract concepts such as relative sea level, base level, and unconformities. Schemas that were evident in both gesture and linguistic expressions dominantly included container schemas, schemas that expressed a source-path-goal relationship, and schemas that represented linear scales of quantity, such as thickness or time. Based on the analysis of gestures that expressed these central ideas, we found that proper use of representational gestures likely indicates completeness in conceptual understanding. We concluded that students rely on image schemas to develop ideas about complex sedimentary systems. Our research also supports the hypothesis that gestures provide an independent and non-linguistic indicator of image-schemas serving as mental models that shape conceptual development. The implication is that instructors should encourage proper gesture use by students during instruction, and also that gesture and linguistic metaphor could potentially be used as tools to assess student understanding.

Riggs, E. M.; Herrera, J. S.

2012-12-01

274

Enhancing science teachers' understanding of ecosystem interactions with qualitative conceptual models  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

The project described in this article explores how a series of conceptual ecological models can be used to portray the improvement in ecological understanding over the span of a short course. The course involved high school teachers working collaboratively on ecological research projects. Teachers were asked to construct qualitative conceptual models (a diagram of important ecosystem components and the linkages between these components) and write explanatory essays at three points during their research experience. The progression in development of teachersĂÂ models spanned initial intuitive explanation, with misconceptions, to the post-test elaboration of a more complex and accurate understanding of ecological phenomenon. These results illustrate shifts in teachersĂÂ thinking and understanding. The models essentially provided them with a means to visualize their conceptions of ecosystem processes. Their understanding was further enhanced through collegial discussions. We present a series of models that support the restructuring of novice scientistsĂÂ ideas. Teachers and their students need the opportunity to engage in real world research, coupled with reflective use of qualitative modeling and ongoing collegial discussions, to be able to develop more appropriate reasoning about ecological concepts.

Elser, Monica

2011-03-09

275

Mechanisms influencing student understanding on an outdoor guided field trip  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Field trips are a basic and important, yet often overlooked part of the student experience. They provide the opportunity to integrate real world knowledge with classroom learning and student previous personal experiences. Outdoor guided field trips leave students with an increased understanding, awareness and interest and in science. However, the benefits of this experience are ambiguous at best (Falk and Balling, 1982; Falk and Dierking, 1992; Kisiel, 2006.) Students on an outdoor guided field trip to a local nature park experienced a significant increase in their understanding of the rock cycle. The changes in the pre-field trip test and the post-field trip test as well as their answers in interviews showed a profound change in the students' understanding and in their interest in the subject matter. The use of the "student's voice" (Bamberger and Tal, 2008) was the motivation for data analysis. By using the students' voice, I was able to determine the mechanisms that might influence their understanding of a subject. The central concepts emerging from the data were: the outdoor setting; the students' interest; the social interaction. From these central concepts, a conceptual model was developed. The outdoor setting allows for the freedom to explore, touch, smell and movement. This, in turn, leads to an increased interest in subject matter. As the students are exploring, they are enjoying themselves and become more open to learning. Interest leads to a desire to learn (Dewey, 1975). In addition to allowing the freedom to explore and move, the outdoor setting creates the condition for social interaction. The students talk to each other as they walk; they have in-depth discourse regarding the subject matter---with the teachers, each other and with the guides. The guides have an extremely important role in the students' learning. The more successful guides not only act as experts, but also adjust to the students' needs and act or speak accordingly. The interconnections of these three concepts---the outdoor setting, the students' interest, the social interaction---worked to provide the mechanisms by which the students increased their understanding of the rock cycle.

Caskey, Nourah Al-Rashid

276

Upper High School Students' Understanding of Electromagnetism  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Although electromagnetism is an important component of upper secondary school physics syllabuses in many countries, there has been relatively little research on students' understanding of the topic. A written test consisting of 16 diagnostic questions was developed and used to survey the understanding of electromagnetism of upper secondary school…

Saglam, Murat; Millar, Robin

2006-01-01

277

Understanding Nursing Home Worker Conceptualizations about Good Care  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This study explored how direct care workers in nursing homes conceptualize good care and how their conceptualizations are influenced by external factors surrounding their work environment and the relational dynamics between them and residents. Study participants were drawn from a local service employees' union, and in-depth interviews were…

Chung, Gawon

2013-01-01

278

Investigating Student Understanding of Control of Variables  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The concept of control of variables is fundamental to science. A practical understanding is especially important for science teachers, who must help students design experiments and learn to interpret the results. Findings from an extended study of student and teacher facility with the reasoning underlying control of variables will be reported. This research has involved precollege science teachers, liberal arts physics students, calculus-based introductory physics students, and college science faculty. The results suggest that while most participants are familiar with the idea of controlled experiments, many lack functional skill with the underlying reasoning. Results from interviews and written questions will be used to illustrate specific difficulties.

Boudreaux, Andrew; Heron, P. R.; Shaffer, P. S.

2006-12-01

279

Conceptual Change in Students' Molecular Biology Education: Tilting at Windmills?  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

A hands-on instructional approach with medium-achieving 10th-grade students (N = 294) successfully demonstrated the achievement of a conceptual change. Two teaching variations were applied (I-1, I-2), both dealing with a hands-on gene technology lesson in an out-of-school laboratory. I-2 additionally confronted the participants with alternative…

Franke, Gaitano; Bogner, Franz X.

2011-01-01

280

Exploring the Development of Students' Conceptual Profiles of Chemical Change.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Carries out a naturalistic small-scale study involving a class from a senior high school in Spain over two years. Analyzes students' essays on chemical change using text analysis techniques. Reports the development of four conceptual profiles and the implications of research for the process of teaching the concept of chemical change. (Author/KHR)

Solsona, Nuria; Izquierdo, Merce; de Jong, Onno

2003-01-01

281

Conceptualizing the Use of Online Technologies for Gifted Secondary Students  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

In an era where technology is advancing at a rapid pace, and where information is readily accessible on the World Wide Web, educators should be capitalizing on these resources for gifted students. This paper proposes a conceptual framework to support individualized and independent learning within a network of peers that will provide challenging…

Ng, Wan; Nicholas, Howard

2007-01-01

282

Using Multiple Representations to Promote Grade 11 Students' Scientific Understanding of the Particle Theory of Matter  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This study explored two groups of Grade 11 (age 16-17) students' conceptual understandings about aspects of particle theory before, immediately after, and 3 months after instruction with multiple representations (IMR) and instruction with verbal representations (IVR). Data sources included open-ended questionnaires, interviews, and student

Adadan, Emine

2013-01-01

283

Using Virtual Reality Computer Models to Support Student Understanding of Astronomical Concepts  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The purpose of this study was to examine how 3-dimensional (3-D) models of the Solar System supported student development of conceptual understandings of various astronomical phenomena that required a change in frame of reference. In the course described in this study, students worked in teams to design and construct 3-D virtual reality computer…

Barnett, Michael; Yamagata-Lynch, Lisa; Keating, Tom; Barab, Sasha A.; Hay, Kenneth E.

2005-01-01

284

High School Students' Understanding of Chromosome/Gene Behavior during Meiosis.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Investigates high school students' understanding of the physical relationship of chromosomes and genes as expressed in their conceptual models and in their ability to manipulate the models to explain solutions to dihybrid cross problems. Describes three typical models and three students' reasoning processes. Discusses four implications. (YP)

Stewart, Jim; Dale, Michael

1989-01-01

285

The Mismatch among Students' Views about Nature of Science, Acceptance of Evolution, and Evolutionary Science Understandings  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This study explored interrelationships among high school students' views about nature of science (NOS), acceptance of evolution, and conceptual understanding of evolution, and the extent to which these may have shifted from pre- to post-instruction on evolutionary theory. Eighty-one students enrolled in ninth-grade Biology responded to…

Cavallo, Ann M. L.; White, Kevin J.; McCall, David

2011-01-01

286

College Students' Use of Science Content during Socioscientific Issues Negotiation: Impact of Evolution Understanding and Acceptance  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The purpose of this study was to explore the evolution science content used during college students' negotiation of biology-based socioscientific issues (SSI) and examine how it related to students' conceptual understanding and acceptance of biological evolution. Specific research questions were, (1a) what specific evolutionary science content do…

Fowler, Samantha R.

2009-01-01

287

Spatial abilities, Earth science conceptual understanding, and psychological gender of university non-science majors  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Research has shown the presence of many Earth science misconceptions and conceptual difficulties that may impede concept understanding, and has also identified a number of categories of spatial ability. Although spatial ability has been linked to high performance in science, some researchers believe it has been overlooked in traditional education. Evidence exists that spatial ability can be improved. This correlational study investigated the relationship among Earth science conceptual understanding, three types of spatial ability, and psychological gender, a self-classification that reflects socially-accepted personality and gender traits. A test of Earth science concept understanding, the Earth Science Concepts (ESC) test, was developed and field tested from 2001 to 2003 in 15 sections of university classes. Criterion validity was .60, significant at the .01 level. Spearman/Brown reliability was .74 and Kuder/Richardson reliability was .63. The Purdue Visualization of Rotations (PVOR) (mental rotation), the Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT) (spatial perception), the Differential Aptitude Test: Space Relations (DAT) (spatial visualization), and the Bem Inventory (BI) (psychological gender) were administered to 97 non-major university students enrolled in undergraduate science classes. Spearman correlations revealed moderately significant correlations at the .01 level between ESC scores and each of the three spatial ability test scores. Stepwise regression analysis indicated that PVOR scores were the best predictor of ESC scores, and showed that spatial ability scores accounted for 27% of the total variation in ESC scores. Spatial test scores were moderately or weakly correlated with each other. No significant correlations were found among BI scores and other test scores. Scantron difficulty analysis of ESC items produced difficulty ratings ranging from 33.04 to 96.43, indicating the percentage of students who answered incorrectly. Mean score on the ESC was 34%, indicating that the non-majors tested exhibited many Earth science misconceptions and conceptual difficulties. A number of significant results were found when independent t-tests and correlations were conducted among test scores and demographic variables. The number of previous university Earth science courses was significantly related to ESC scores. Preservice elementary/middle majors differed significantly in several ways from other non-majors, and several earlier results were not supported. Results of this study indicate that an important opportunity may exist to improve Earth science conceptual understanding by focusing on spatial ability, a cognitive ability that has heretofore not been directly addressed in schools.

Black, Alice A. (Jill)

288

Research and Teaching: Student Understanding of Ionizing Radiation and Radioactivity  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Results from research into the teaching and learning of physics have shown that many college students have significant conceptual and reasoning difficulties relating to topics of radioactivity. Interviewing students from three different science background

Prather, Edward E.; Harrington, Randal R.

2001-10-01

289

A Longitudinal Study of the Impact of Curriculum on Conceptual Understanding in E&M  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

We have collected extensive data on upper-division Electricity and Magnetism (E&M) student performance at CU Boulder since we introduced the University of Washington's Tutorials in Introductory Physics in 2004 as part of our freshman curriculum. In the earliest semesters, all upper-division students had themselves taken a non-Tutorial introductory Physics, providing a baseline at this upper-division level surprisingly close to post-scores in our reformed introductory course. More recently, the population in the upper-division is mixed with respect to freshman experience, with over half having been taught with Tutorials as freshmen. We track those students and find that on average, their individual BEMA scores do not change significantly over time. However, we do find a significantly stronger performance at the upper division level for students who went through Tutorials compared to those who had other introductory experiences, and stronger scores still for students who taught in the introductory sequence as Learning Assistants, indicating a long-term positive impact of Tutorials on conceptual understanding.

Pollock, S. J.

2007-11-01

290

A conceptual physics class where students found meaning in calculations  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Prior to taking a translated version of the Maryland Open Source Tutorials (OSTs) as a stand-alone course, most students at Tokyo Gakugei University in Japan had experienced physics as memorizing laws and equations to use as computational tools. We might expect this reformed physics class, which emphasizes common sense and conceptual reasoning and rarely invokes equations, to produce students who see a disconnect between equation use and intuitive/conceptual reasoning. Many students at Gakugei, however, somehow learned to integrate mathematics into their âconstructivistâ epistemologies of physics, even though OSTs do not emphasize this integration. Tadao, for example, came to see that although a common-sense solution to a problem is preferable for explaining to someone who doesnât know physics, solving the problem with a quantitative calculation (that connects to physical meaning) can bring clarity and concreteness to communication between experts. How this integration occurred remains an open question for future research.

Hull, Michael M.; Elby, Andrew

2014-04-11

291

Student understanding of symmetry and Gauss's law of electricity  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

We investigate the difficulties that students in calculus-based introductory physics courses have with the concepts of symmetry, electric field, and electric flux which are important for applying Gauss's law. The determination of the electric field using Gauss's law requires determining the symmetry of a particular charge distribution and predicting the direction of the electric field everywhere if a high symmetry exists. Effective application of Gauss's law implicitly requires understanding the principle of superposition for electric fields. Helping students learn when Gauss's law can be readily applied to determine the strength of the electric field, and then helping them learn to determine the appropriate shape of Gaussian surfaces if sufficient symmetry exists, can help develop their reasoning and problem-solving skills. We administered free-response and multiple-choice questions and conducted interviews with individual students using a think-aloud protocol to elucidate the difficulties that students have with the concepts of symmetry, electric field, and electric flux. We also developed a multiple-choice test that targets these conceptual issues to obtain quantitative information about their difficulties and administered it to 541 students in the introductory calculus-based physics courses and to upper-level undergraduates in an electricity and magnetism course and to graduate students enrolled in a teaching assistant seminar course. We find that undergraduate students have many common difficulties with these concepts.

Singh, Chandralekha

2006-10-01

292

Student understanding of symmetry and Gauss's law of electricity  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

We investigate the difficulties that students in calculus-based introductory physics courses have with the concepts of symmetry, electric field, and electric flux which are important for applying Gauss's law. The determination of the electric field using Gauss's law requires determining the symmetry of a particular charge distribution and predicting the direction of the electric field everywhere if a high symmetry exists. Effective application of Gauss's law implicitly requires understanding the principle of superposition for electric fields. Helping students learn when Gauss's law can be readily applied to determine the strength of the electric field, and then helping them learn to determine the appropriate shape of Gaussian surfaces if sufficient symmetry exists, can help develop their reasoning and problem-solving skills. We administered free-response and multiple-choice questions and conducted interviews with individual students using a think-aloud protocol to elucidate the difficulties that students have with the concepts of symmetry, electric field, and electric flux. We also developed a multiple-choice test that targets these conceptual issues to obtain quantitative information about their difficulties and administered it to 541 students in the introductory calculus-based physics courses and to upper-level undergraduates in an electricity and magnetism course and to graduate students enrolled in a teaching assistant seminar course. We find that undergraduate students have many common difficulties with these concepts.

Singh, Chandralekha

2010-06-30

293

Do Students Conceptualize Energy as a Material Substance?  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

In this study, presented at the 2002 Physics Education Research Conference, the author discusses results of a study in which university students in a physics course for pre-service elementary school teachers answered a series of problems during and after instruction in which they were asked about the mass of objects after energy transfers, or about the balancing behavior of heated objects. The students' answers suggested that, while some students may conceptualize energy as a substance with mass and volume, this idea is not consistently applied.

Loverude, M. E.

2010-07-15

294

Coupling Conceptual and Quantitative Problems to Develop Expertise in Introductory Physics Students  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

We discuss the effect of administering conceptual and quantitative isomorphic problem pairs (CQIPP) back to back vs. asking students to solve only one of the problems in the CQIPP in introductory physics courses. Students who answered both questions in a CQIPP often performed better on the conceptual questions than those who answered the corresponding conceptual questions only. Although students often took advantage of the quantitative counterpart to answer a conceptual question of a CQIPP correctly, when only given the conceptual question, students seldom tried to convert it into a quantitative question, solve it and then reason about the solution conceptually. Even in individual interviews, when students who were only given conceptual questions had difficulty and the interviewer explicitly encouraged them to convert the conceptual question into the corresponding quantitative problem by choosing appropriate variables, a majority of students were reluctant and preferred to guess the answer to the conceptual question based upon their gut feeling.

Singh, Chandralekha

2009-01-24

295

Assessing student understanding of physical hydrology  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Our objective is to devise a mechanism to characterize and assess upper division and graduate student thinking in hydrology. We accomplish this through development and testing of an assessment tool for a physical hydrology class. The instrument was piloted in two sections of a physical hydrology course. Students were asked to respond to two questions that probed understanding and one question that assessed their ability to apply their knowledge, both prior to and after the course. Student and expert responses to the questions were classified into broad categories to develop a rubric to score responses. Using the rubric, three researchers independently blind-coded the full set of pre- and post-artifacts, resulting in 89% inter-rater agreement on the pre-tests and 83% agreement on the post-tests. The majority of responses made by students at the beginning of the class were characterized as showing only recognition of hydrology concepts from a non-physical perspective; post surveys indicated that the majority had moved to a basic understanding of physical processes, with some students achieving expert understanding. Our study has limitations, including the small number of participants who were all from one institution and the fact that the rubric was still under development. Nevertheless, the high inter-rater agreement from a group of experts indicates that the process we undertook is potentially useful for assessment of learning and understanding physical hydrology.

Marshall, J. A.; Castillo, A. J.; Cardenas, M. B.

2013-02-01

296

Students' Understanding of Stern Gerlach Experiment  

SciTech Connect

The Stern Gerlach experiment has played a central role in the discovery of spin angular momentum and it has also played a pivotal role in elucidating foundational issues in quantum mechanics. Here, we discuss investigation of students' difficulties related to the Stern Gerlach experiment by giving written tests and interviewing advanced undergraduate and graduate students in quantum mechanics. We also discuss preliminary data that suggest that the Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorial (QuILT) related to the Stern Gerlach experiment is helpful in improving students' understanding of these concepts.

Zhu Guangtian; Singh, Chandralekha [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, 15260 (United States)

2009-11-05

297

Overview and Comparison of Basic Teaching Techniques That Promote Conceptual Change in Students  

Microsoft Academic Search

For meaningful learning of physics to occur it is necessary that teachers address students' alternative conceptions during teaching, and help students overcome their conceptual difficulties. In other words, teaching should induce conceptual change in students. Four basic teaching techniques (cognitive conflict, concept substitution, bridging analogies and Socratic dialogue), that are known from physics education research to promote conceptual change in

Maja Planinic; Rudolf Krsnik; Planinka Pecina; Ana Susac

298

Surveying Students' Understanding of Quantum Mechanics  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Development of research-based multiple-choice tests about quantum mechanics is important for assessing students' difficulties and for evaluating curricula and pedagogies that strive to reduce the difficulties. We explore the difficulties that the undergraduate and graduate students have with non-relativistic quantum mechanics of one particle in one spatial dimension. We developed a research-based conceptual multiple-choice survey that targets these issues to obtain information about the common difficulties and administered it to more than a hundred students from seven different institutions. The issues targeted in the survey include the set of possible wavefunctions, bound and scattering states, quantum measurement, expectation values, the role of the Hamiltonian, time-dependence of wavefunction and time-dependence of expectation value. We find that the advanced undergraduate and graduate students have many common difficulties with these concepts and that research-based tutorials and peer-instruction tools can significantly reduce these difficulties. The survey can be administered to assess the effectiveness of various instructional strategies.

Singh, Chandralekha; Zhu, Guangtian

2011-03-01

299

Surveying Students' Understanding of Quantum Mechanics  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Development of research-based multiple-choice tests about quantum mechanics is important for assessing students' difficulties and for evaluating curricula and pedagogies that strive to reduce the difficulties. We explore the difficulties that the undergraduate and graduate students have with non-relativistic quantum mechanics of one particle in one spatial dimension. We developed a research-based conceptual multiple-choice survey that targets these issues to obtain information about the common difficulties and administered it to more than a hundred students from seven different institutions. The issues targeted in the survey include the set of possible wavefunctions, bound and scattering states, quantum measurement, expectation values, the role of the Hamiltonian, time-dependence of wavefunction and time-dependence of expectation value. We find that the advanced undergraduate and graduate students have many common difficulties with these concepts and that research-based tutorials and peer-instruction tools can significantly reduce these difficulties. The survey can be administered to assess the effectiveness of various intructional strategies.

Singh, Chandralekha; Zhu, Guangtian

2010-10-01

300

Understanding Student Preparation of Exam Note Sheets  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

In a previous study, I allowed introductory physics students to create a notecard (or sheet) for their midterm and final exams in an attempt to remove equation memorizing as a focus of the course. I hoped to use the study of these cards as an epistemological lens that would uncover their perceptions and attitudes about the course. Without follow-up questions, though, epistemology remained unclear. I have continued this line of research by adding anonymous survey questions that probe why students chose to include what they did, how (if at all) the notes were helpful, and how their card preparation changed throughout the semester. Through my analysis, I found cases where the survey questions reveal epistemological insight about students the note sheets alone would not. For example, one student with an equation-centered note sheet did not see equations as the most central course component, but he considered himself fluent enough in concepts that he felt he could leave conceptual statements out. I also discuss some of the more thoughtful survey answers I received, some future study possibilities, and efforts to discuss exam preparation in the classroom.

Mccaskey, Timothy L.

2014-01-31

301

Understanding of Acid-Base Concept by Using Conceptual Change Approach  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This study explores changes of the tenth-grade students' conceptions about acids and bases by using conceptual change text oriented instruction accompanied with analogies. Since conceptual change is viewed not only as a process of replacement of old concepts but also a process of learning to relate ideas to appropriate contexts, the instruction…

Cetingul, Puren Ipek; Geban, Omer

2005-01-01

302

Experiment to Help Students Understand Pulmonary Compliance  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Compliance is a difficult concept for students to grasp, and in partic-ular, pulmonary compliance is quite difficult because it involves an understanding of both lung and chest compliance. To help students understand pulmonary compliance characteristics, relaxation curves for the chest cage (Fig. 1A), lung (Fig. 1B), and combined lung-chest cage (Fig. 1C) are often presented to medical students. To facilitate an understanding of the relaxation curves, we demonstrate how the curves are generated by substituting a balloon for the lungs and a tennis ball for the chest cage. Students are told that when the lung is removed from the chest cage, it closely resembles a collapsed balloon. Subsequently, a collapsed balloon is connected to a pressure transducer that is coupled to a data acquisition system. The students observe that, when pressure inside the balloon equals outside pressure, or transmural pressure is zero, balloon volume is close to zero. Starting from essentially zero balloon volume, a measured volume of air is put into the balloon, and the recoil or relaxation pres-sure associated with the addition of that air volume is recorded. Additional measured volumes of air are added to the balloon, and the corresponding recoil or relaxation pressure is recorded. Compliance of the balloon is obtained by plotting balloon recoil or relaxation pressure on the x-axis and balloon volume on the y-axis. The slope of this plot is balloon compliance.

PhD Stephen M. DiCarlo (Wayne State Univ Sch Med Dept of Physiology); PhD Heidi L. Collins (Wayne State Univ. School of Medicine Dept. of Physiology); Mr. David W. Rodenbaugh (Wayne State University Department of Physiology)

2002-06-01

303

University StudentsUnderstanding of Chemical Thermodynamics  

Microsoft Academic Search

This study explored undergraduate studentsunderstanding of the chemistry topic of thermodynamics using a 4-tier diagnostic instrument, comprising 30 questions, and follow-up interviews. An additional objective of the study was to assess the utility of the 4-tier instrument for use in studies on alternative conceptions (ACs) as there has been no study done on it since its introduction in the

Bellam Sreenivasulu; R. Subramaniam

2012-01-01

304

Students' Different Understandings of Class Diagrams  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The software industry needs well-trained software designers and one important aspect of software design is the ability to model software designs visually and understand what visual models represent. However, previous research indicates that software design is a difficult task to many students. This article reports empirical findings from a…

Boustedt, Jonas

2012-01-01

305

Evaluating Students' Understanding of Chemical Bonding.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Outlines problems students have with understanding the abstract concept of chemical bonding as revealed in previous research. Describes the development of a two-tier multiple-choice diagnostic instrument for assessing alternative conceptions about chemical bonding held by 14-16 year olds. Discusses the instrument and its findings for a group of…

Tan, Kim-Chwee Daniel; Treagust, David F.

1999-01-01

306

Understanding maladaptive perfectionism in college students.  

PubMed

Admission to nursing programs is highly competitive. Students strive for excellence, but their pursuit of perfectionism may become unhealthy. The author explores current literature to help faculty understand differences in adaptive perfectionism versus maladaptive perfectionism, recognize the signs of maladaptive perfectionism, be aware of the influencing forces, distinguish common effects from critical manifestations, and explore intervention strategies. PMID:22914278

Christman, Elizabeth

2012-01-01

307

Teacher Development in Action: Understanding Language Teachers' Conceptual Change  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Bringing together multiple sources of data and combining existing theories across language teacher cognition, teacher education, second language motivation, and psychology, this empirically-grounded analysis of teacher development in action offers new insights into the complex and dynamic nature of language teachers' conceptual change. (Contains…

Kubanyiova, Magdalena

2012-01-01

308

Virtual worlds, conceptual understanding, and me: designing for consequential engagement  

Microsoft Academic Search

Purpose – This paper aims to advance the idea of consequential engagement, positioning it as a necessary complement to the more common practices of supporting procedural or conceptual engagement. More than a theoretical argument, this notion is grounded in examples from the authors' work in enlisting game-based methodologies and technologies for supporting such engagement. Design\\/methodology\\/approach – Through the presentation of

Melissa Gresalfi; Sasha Barab; Sinem Siyahhan; Tyler Christensen

2009-01-01

309

Using 'Rules of Thumb' practices to enhance conceptual understanding and scientific reasoning in project-based inquiry classrooms  

Microsoft Academic Search

With foundations in scientific argumentation\\/discourse literature and transfer literature, this study describes the potential of a new ritualized and repeated classroom activity, the Rules of Thumb practice, in developing the conceptual understanding, scientific reasoning, and transfer ability of physical science students in project-based inquiry classrooms (e.g., Learning By Design). Teachers employ an experimental Rules of Thumb practice with more or

Michael T. Ryan; Janet L. Kolodner

310

Consistency of students' conceptions of wave propagation: Findings from a conceptual survey in mechanical waves  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

We recently developed a multiple-choice conceptual survey in mechanical waves. The development, evaluation, and demonstration of the use of the survey were reported elsewhere [A. Tongchai , Developing, evaluating and demonstrating the use of a conceptual survey in mechanical waves, Int. J. Sci. Educ. 31, 2437 (2009)ISEDEB0950-069310.1080/09500690802389605]. We administered the survey to 902 students from seven different groups ranging from high school to second year university. As an outcome of that analysis we were able to identify several conceptual models which the students seemed to be using when answering the questions in the survey. In this paper we attempt to investigate the strength with which the students were committed to these conceptual models, as evidenced by the consistency with which they answered the questions. For this purpose we focus on the patterns of student responses to questions in one particular subtopic, wave propagation. This study has three main purposes: (1) to investigate the consistency of student conceptions, (2) to explore the relative usefulness of different analysis techniques, and (3) to determine what extra information a study of consistency can give about student understanding of basic concepts. We used two techniques: first, categorizing and counting, which is widely used in the science education community, and second, model analysis, recently introduced into physics education research. The manner in which categorizing and counting is used is very diverse while model analysis has been employed only in prescriptive ways. Research studies have reported that students often use their conceptual models inconsistently when solving a series of questions that test the same idea. Our results support their conclusions. Moreover, our findings suggest that students who have had more experiences in physics learning seem to use the scientifically accepted models more consistently. Further, the two analysis techniques have different advantages and disadvantages. Our findings show that model analysis can be used in more diverse ways, provides flexibility in analyzing multiple-choice questions, and provides more information about consistency and inconsistency of student conceptions. An unexpected finding is that studying waves in other contexts (for example, quantum mechanics or electromagnetism) leads to more consistent answers about mechanical waves. The suggestion is that studying more abstract topics may solidify studentsunderstanding of more concrete waves. While this might be considered to be intuitive, we have not actually found direct empirical studies supporting this conjecture.

Tongchai, Apisit; Sharma, Manjula Devi; Johnston, Ian D.; Arayathanitkul, Kwan; Soankwan, Chernchok

2011-12-01

311

Preconceptions of Japanese Students Surveyed Using the Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

We assess the preconceptions of Japanese students about force and motion. The Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation is a research-based, multiple-choice assessment of students' conceptual understanding of Newton's laws of motion and energy conservation. It is administered to determine the effectiveness of introductory mechanics curricula. In this study, the test was given to engineering students at the beginning of the first lecture of an introductory mechanics course for several years. Some students had minimal high school physics education, whereas the others had completed high school physics programs. To probe the students' preconceptions, we studied their test answers for each of the following categories: velocity, acceleration, Newton's first and second laws, Newton's third law, and energy conservation. We find that preconceptions, such as F ~ mv, are prevalent among the students, regardless of their level of high school physics education. In the case of a collision between two objects, two preconceptions-a mass-dependent model and an action-dependent model-are prevalent. Typically, students combine the two models, with action dependency outweighing mass dependency. In the case of a sled sliding down a hill without friction at two heights and inclinations, a quarter of students used the height-dependent model to answer questions regarding speed and kinetic energy.

Ishimoto, Michi

2010-07-01

312

5-Minute Demonstrations to Enhance the Conceptual Understanding of Engineering Lectures  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Introductory engineering classes are often taught in large lecture halls, but due to a lack of laboratory apparatus, professors use chalk or erasers to demonstrate physical principles. "Imagine this chalk is a Gaussian sphere" is a phrase underclassmen hear and are expected to learn by. Clearly, easily accessible, illustrative instructional aids could facilitate learning complex engineering concepts. This paper describes a set of 5-minute demonstrations that are simple to execute, require very little equipment, and can be used to increase students' conceptual understanding. Each activity demonstrates a basic engineering principle taken from courses, such as Differential Equations, Physics, Circuits, and Thermodynamics - topics that are required classes for all disciplines. Emphasis is placed on convenience and ease of use by the professor, with most equipment small enough to carry in a pocket or briefcase. These demonstrations introduce a laboratory element into the lecture without the necessity of having a laboratory onsite.

Perrin, Michele

2011-10-14

313

Comparing students' performance on research-based conceptual assessments and traditional classroom assessments  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

The use of concept inventories to investigate students' learning gains is common in physics education research. However, comparatively little research has compared students' learning gains on concept inventories with other more traditional assessments in the classroom. We present a study comparing second semester calculus-based physics students' performance on traditional classroom assessments including exams and homework with learning gains on SEMCO (Survey of Electricity, Magnetism, Circuits and Optics), which was previously created by combining questions on other conceptual surveys such as CSEM and DIRECT. We report on students' performance on specific items on SEMCO and corresponding traditional classroom assessments that are based on the same topic. Our results indicate that while the overall performance on SEMCO might correlate with aggregate performance on class exams, the performance on clusters of SEMCO items that assess conceptual understanding in various topical areas does not correlate as strongly with performance on corresponding traditional exams. These results raise some potentially interesting issues on the validity and usefulness of traditional classroom assessments and conceptual assessments that are often used to measure student learning in introductory physics.

Rebello, N. S.

2012-05-15

314

A Framework for Understanding Physics Students' Computational Modeling Practices  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

With the growing push to include computational modeling in the physics classroom, we are faced with the need to better understand students' computational modeling practices. While existing research on programming comprehension explores how novices and experts generate programming algorithms, little of this discusses how domain content knowledge, and physics knowledge in particular, can influence students' programming practices. In an effort to better understand this issue, I have developed a framework for modeling these practices based on a resource stance towards student knowledge. A resource framework models knowledge as the activation of vast networks of elements called "resources." Much like neurons in the brain, resources that become active can trigger cascading events of activation throughout the broader network. This model emphasizes the connectivity between knowledge elements and provides a description of students' knowledge base. Together with resources resources, the concepts of "epistemic games" and "frames" provide a means for addressing the interaction between content knowledge and practices. Although this framework has generally been limited to describing conceptual and mathematical understanding, it also provides a means for addressing students' programming practices. In this dissertation, I will demonstrate this facet of a resource framework as well as fill in an important missing piece: a set of epistemic games that can describe students' computational modeling strategies. The development of this theoretical framework emerged from the analysis of video data of students generating computational models during the laboratory component of a Matter & Interactions: Modern Mechanics course. Student participants across two semesters were recorded as they worked in groups to fix pre-written computational models that were initially missing key lines of code. Analysis of this video data showed that the students' programming practices were highly influenced by their existing physics content knowledge, particularly their knowledge of analytic procedures. While this existing knowledge was often applied in inappropriate circumstances, the students were still able to display a considerable amount of understanding of the physics content and of analytic solution procedures. These observations could not be adequately accommodated by the existing literature of programming comprehension. In extending the resource framework to the task of computational modeling, I model students' practices in terms of three important elements. First, a knowledge base includes re- sources for understanding physics, math, and programming structures. Second, a mechanism for monitoring and control describes students' expectations as being directed towards numerical, analytic, qualitative or rote solution approaches and which can be influenced by the problem representation. Third, a set of solution approaches---many of which were identified in this study---describe what aspects of the knowledge base students use and how they use that knowledge to enact their expectations. This framework allows us as researchers to track student discussions and pinpoint the source of difficulties. This work opens up many avenues of potential research. First, this framework gives researchers a vocabulary for extending Resource Theory to other domains of instruction, such as modeling how physics students use graphs. Second, this framework can be used as the basis for modeling expert physicists' programming practices. Important instructional implications also follow from this research. Namely, as we broaden the use of computational modeling in the physics classroom, our instructional practices should focus on helping students understand the step-by-step nature of programming in contrast to the already salient analytic procedures.

Lunk, Brandon Robert

315

Do the students understand the thermodynamics concepts?  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

In the last years, researchers have made efforts to evaluate how thermodynamical concepts and laws are being learned by students. In a previous study, we based our research on the answers to a test presented to a restrict number of university students. We have identified a number of specific difficulties such as the understanding of heat, temperature, work and internal energy concepts and applications of the first and second laws of thermodynamics to simple physical processes. In this work, we extend our study to students of other different university courses to realize how thermodynamics concepts and laws are being learned and understood. We are particularly interested how the university students are able to apply the first and second laws to irreversible processes. The methodology consists on the analysis of the results obtained with a questionnaire of multiple choice forms with only one correct answer. The investigation was carried in the University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, in Portugal, with students of several courses such as Forest, Environmental and Animal Science Engineering, Physics/Chemistry teaching among others. We found that many students had difficulties with the application of first and second laws to irreversible processes. Many others are misunderstanding the energy transfer signal convention.

Pereira, Mário; Caramelo, Liliana; Anacleto, Joaquim

2010-05-01

316

Factors influencing conceptual understanding in introductory college physics courses  

Microsoft Academic Search

The purpose of this study was to identify important factors that may have a predictive and correlational validity for the successful comprehension of physics principles in introductory college physics courses. A total of 163 students from three campuses of Miami-Dade Community College, taught by six different professors, participated in the study. Students with incomplete data were excluded, reducing the sample

Guillermina Damas

1994-01-01

317

Writing for understanding: The effect of using informational writing on student science achievement  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The purpose of this quantitative study was to investigate whether or not informational writing in the science curriculum would impact fifth grade students' science achievement and conceptual understanding. The population of this study came from a metropolitan school district in the state of Georgia for school year 2012-2013. The quantitative data included students' pretest, posttest, and writing assessment scores. Examination approaches for this study included (a) examining theories and research on learning views for children, (b) determining how writing across the curriculum has worked, and (c) developing a research design for the present study that was based on findings from previous studies. The study was designed to find (a) whether there is a significant differences in science achievement between fifth-grade students who use informational writing weekly during science instruction and ones that do not, and (b) whether there is a significant differences in conceptual understanding of fifth-grade science content for students who use informational writing weekly and fifth-grade students who do not. To answer these questions, students pretest and posttest results were compared to determine if a statistical significance existed after informational writing was implemented in the experimental group for 10 weeks. The results indicate that there was no significant difference in test scores between students receiving the informational writing intervention and students without this intervention. However, this study found that students receiving informational writing intervention had better performance scores on conceptual writing assessment than the students without the intervention.

Parson, Atiya

318

College students' conceptualizations of deficits involved in mild intellectual disability.  

PubMed

Precedential rulings in recent capital murder trials may, in some cases, leave it up to a jury to determine whether or not an individual meets criteria for an intellectual disability (ID) and should be spared from the death penalty. Despite the potential for misconceptions about ID to bias decisions, few empirical studies have examined the public's conceptualizations of individuals with ID. This study sought to examine 890 college students' conceptualizations of the deficits involved in mild ID. Students were asked to respond to two online surveys about the cognitive and adaptive behavior deficits that people with mild ID may experience. While most students were correct about basic facts, such as ID is not contagious and not curable, there was no clear consensus regarding beliefs about individuals with ID getting married, having children, or engaging in other mainstream activities of adult living. Students' responses are examined in light of results of studies that identify and examine bona fide deficits and areas of successful mainstreaming among persons with ID. Implications of misconceptions are discussed. PMID:22093668

Musso, Mandi W; Barker, Alyse A; Proto, Daniel A; Gouvier, Wm Drew

2012-01-01

319

Secondary Students' Understanding of Gravity and the Motion of Planets.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Examined are tenth-grade Western Australian students' conceptual knowledge of gravity and the motion of the planets. Students were interviewed with seven cards, and a four-item diagnostic test based on the interview data on the first four cards was developed. A total of 113 students' responses to the test are summarized. (YP)

Treagust, David F.; Smith, Clifton L.

1989-01-01

320

Investigating Student Understanding of Physics Concepts and the Underlying Calculus Concepts in Thermodynamics  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

In work on student understanding of concepts in advanced thermal physics, we are exploring student understanding of the mathematics required for productive reasoning about the physics. By analysis of student use of mathematics in responses to conceptual physics questions, as well as analogous math questions stripped of physical meaning, we find evidence that students often enter upper-level physics courses lacking the assumed prerequisite mathematics knowledge and/or the ability to apply it productively in a physics context. Our focus is in two main areas: interpretation of P-V diagrams, requiring an understanding of integration, and material properties and the Maxwell relations, involving partial differentiation. We have also assessed these mathematical concepts among students in multivariable calculus. Calculus results support the findings among physics students: some observed difficulties are not just with transfer of math knowledge to physics contexts, but seem to have origins in the understanding of the math concepts themselves.

Thompson, John; Christensen, Warren; Mountcastle, Donald

2010-03-01

321

Socioscientific Issues: A Path Towards Advanced Scientific Literacy and Improved Conceptual Understanding of Socially Controversial Scientific Theories  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

This thesis investigates the use of socioscientific issues (SSI) in the high school science classroom as an introduction to argumentation and socioscientific reasoning, with the goal of improving students' scientific literacy (SL). Current research is reviewed that supports the likelihood of students developing a greater conceptual understanding of scientific theories as well as a deeper understanding of the nature of science (NOS), through participation in informal and formal forms of argumentation in the context of SSI. Significant gains in such understanding may improve a student's ability to recognize the rigor, legitimacy, and veracity of scientific claims and better discern science from pseudoscience. Furthermore, students that participate in significant SSI instruction by negotiating a range of science-related social issues can make significant gains in content knowledge and develop the life-long skills of argumentation and evidence-based reasoning, goals not possible in traditional lecture-based science instruction. SSI-based instruction may therefore help students become responsible citizens. This synthesis also suggests that that the improvements in science literacy and NOS understanding that develop from sustained engagement in SSI-based instruction will better prepare students to examine and scrutinize socially controversial scientific theories (i.e., evolution, global warming, and the Big Bang).

Pinzino, Dean William

322

Toward a Conceptual Framework for Understanding Cosmopolitanism on the Ground  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

In this article, a continuum of resistance and receptivity constitutes a framework for understanding a cosmopolitan orientation "on the ground." Such a continuum is based on an understanding of the effects of globalization, when it comes to individual people, as both containing a potential for an active interest in other ways of life,…

Wahlström, Ninni

2014-01-01

323

Investigating Students' Understanding of the Dissolving Process  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

In a previous study, the authors identified several student misconceptions regarding the process of dissolving ionic compounds in water. The present study used multiple-choice questions whose distractors were derived from these misconceptions to assess students' understanding of the dissolving process at the symbolic and particulate levels. The symbolic-level questions were based on balanced equations, and the particulate-level questions used multiple-choice questions involving dynamic animations or static pictures. This paper analyzes students' responses to these questions to look for associations among four variables—Answer (the correct answer and three misconceptions), Representation (symbolic or particulate question), Visualization (static or animated pictures), and Representation Order (symbolic questions before or after the particulate questions). The results indicate that the correct answer and the acid-base misconception were more popular than the ion-pair or subscript error misconceptions, the ion-pair misconception was more popular for the particulate questions than the symbolic questions, and that participants were more likely to select the correct answer when viewing static particulate questions compared to animated particulate questions, especially if the particulate questions are seen first. These results suggest that the animated motion of dissolving these compounds in water may be distracting for students.

Naah, Basil M.; Sanger, Michael J.

2013-04-01

324

Middle school students' conceptual change in global climate change: Using argumentation to foster knowledge construction  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

This research examined middle school student conceptions about global climate change (GCC) and the change these conceptions undergo during an argument driven instructional unit. The theoretical framework invoked for this study is the framework theory of conceptual change (Vosniadou, 2007a). This theory posits that students do not simply correct incorrect ideas with correct ones, but instead weigh incoming ideas against already existing explanatory frameworks, which have likely served the learner well to this point. The research questions were as follows: (1) What are the patterns of students' conceptual change in GCC? (a) What conceptions are invoked in student learning in this arena? (b) What conceptions are most influential? (c) What are the extra-rational factors influencing conceptual change in GCC? This research took place in an urban public school in a medium sized city in the southeastern United States. A sixth grade science teacher at Central Middle school, Ms. Octane, taught a course titled "Research Methods I., which was an elective science course that students took as part of a science magnet program. A unit was designed for 6th grade instruction that incorporated an Argument-Driven Inquiry (ADI) approach, centered on the subject matter of Global Climate change and Global Warming. Students were immersed in three separate lessons within the unit, each of which featured an emphasis upon creating scientific explanations based upon evidence. Additionally, each of the lessons placed a premium on students working towards the development of such explanations as a part of a group, with an emphasis on peer review of the robustness of the explanations proposed. The students were involved in approximately a two week unit emphasizing global climate change. This unit was based on an argumentation model that provided data to students and asked them to develop explanations that accounted for the data. The students then underwent a peer-review process to determine if their explanations could be modified to better account for the data as pointed out by peers. As the students experienced the three lessons comprising the unit, data were taken of various modes, including pre-unit, mid-unit, post-unit, and delayed-post unit interviews, observer notes from the classroom, and artifacts created by the students as individuals and as members of a group. At the end of the unit, a written post-assessment was administered, and post-interviews were conducted with the selected students. These varied data sources were analyzed in order to develop themes corresponding to their frameworks of climate change. Negative cases were sought in order to test developing themes. Themes that emerged from the data were triangulated across the various data sources in order to ensure quality and rigor. These themes were then used to construct understandings of various students' frameworks of the content. Several findings emerged from this research. The first finding is that each student underwent some conceptual change regarding GCC, although of varying natures. The students' synthetic frameworks of GCC were more complex than their initial, or naive frameworks. Some characteristics of the naive frameworks included that the students tended to conflate climate change with a broader, generic category of environmental things. Examples of this conflation include the idea that climate change entails general pollution, litter, and needless killing of dolphins while fishing for tuna. This research suggests that students might benefit from explicit attention to this concept in terms of an ontological category, with the ideal synthetic view realizing that GCC is itself an example of an emergent process. Another characteristic of their naive frameworks includes some surprisingly accurate notions of GCC, including a general sense that temperatures and sea levels are rising. At the same time, none of the students were able to adequately invoke data to support their understandings of GCC. Instead, when data were invoked, students tended to include anecdotal informat

Golden, Barry W.

325

Development of Student Understanding of Outcomes Involving Two or More Dice  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Data from 154 interviews with students in grades 3 to 13 were analyzed to suggest a developmental progression of conceptual understanding associated with the sample space for two ordinary six-sided dice tossed simultaneously. The model was then considered in the light of responses to an extension task involving three six-sided dice with four sides…

Watson, Jane M.; Kelly, Ben A.

2009-01-01

326

Identifying Students Difficulties in Understanding Concepts Pertaining to Cell Water Relations: An Exploratory Study.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This study identified students' conceptual difficulties in understanding concepts and processes associated with cell water relationships (osmosis), determined possible reasons for these difficulties, and pilot-tested instruments and research strategies for a large scale comprehensive study. Research strategies used included content analysis of…

Friedler, Y.; And Others

327

The Effect of Guided Inquiry-Based Instruction on Middle School Students' Understanding of Lunar Concepts  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This study investigated the effect of non-traditional guided inquiry instruction on middle school students' conceptual understandings of lunar concepts. Multiple data sources were used to describe participants' conceptions of lunar phases and their cause, including drawings, interviews, and a lunar shapes card sort. The data were analyzed via a…

Trundle, Kathy Cabe; Atwood, Ronald K.; Christopher, John E.; Sackes, Mesut

2010-01-01

328

The Development of Four Fifth Grade Students' Understanding and Skill Representing Fractions as Quotients  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This dissertation investigated the conceptual schemes children constructed as they related division number sentences to various types of fractions: Proper fractions, improper fractions, and mixed numbers in both contextual and abstract symbolic forms. It was hypothesized that student's understanding depends heavily on the role played by factors…

Kim, Ahyoung

2009-01-01

329

College Physics Students' Epistemological Self-Reflection and Its Relationship to Conceptual Learning.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Explores self-reflection skills and views in the context of an introductory physics course for first-year engineering honors students. Measures students' conceptual learning gains using standard survey instruments. Finds that students with high conceptual gains tend to show reflection on learning that is more articulate and epistemologically…

May, David B.; Etkina, Eugenia

2002-01-01

330

A Conceptual Framework for Assessing Motivation and Self-Regulated Learning in College Students  

Microsoft Academic Search

A conceptual framework for assessing student motivation and self-regulated learning in the college classroom is presented. The framework is based on a self-regulatory (SRL) perspective on student motivation and learning in contrast to a student approaches to learning (SAL) perspective. The differences between SRL and SAL approaches are discussed, as are the implications of the SRL conceptual framework for developing

Paul R. Pintrich

2004-01-01

331

The Use of Conceptual versus Physical Models in Teaching Action Research to Culturally Diverse Student Populations: A Preliminary Analysis.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Graduate business administration students (n=55) were asked which model they used for action research projects: conceptual or a physical model visually depicting action research. The physical model was favored by 69%; most agreed that it helped them understand the process of action research, was easy to use, and flexibly applied to various…

McMurray, Adela J.

2002-01-01

332

The Effects of Conceptual Change Texts Accompanied with Animations on Overcoming 11th Grade Students' Alternative Conceptions of Chemical Bonding  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This paper aims to determine the effect of conceptual change texts accompanied with computer animations on 11th grade students' understanding and alternative conceptions related to chemical bonding. One experimental group (EG; N = 28) and one comparison group (CG; N = 30) were used in the study. While the comparison group taught traditional…

Ozmen, Haluk; Demircioglu, Hulya; Demircioglu, Gokhan

2009-01-01

333

Students with Severe Disabilities in the General Education Program: A Conceptual and Practical Framework for Rural School Administrators.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Adaptation of Bolman and Deal's conceptual framework of organizational theory and related research provides educational administrators with structural, political, human-resource, and symbolic frames for understanding current educational practices and for planning the integration of severely disabled students into the general education program of…

Capper, Colleen A.

1989-01-01

334

Computer Simulations and Clear Observations Do Not Guarantee Conceptual Understanding  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Evidence for cognitive benefits of simulated versus physical experiments is unclear. Seventh grade participants (n = 147) reported their understanding of two simple pendulum problems (1) before conducting an experiment, (2) immediately following experimentation, and (3) after a 12-week delay. "Problem type" was manipulated within…

Renken, Maggie D.; Nunez, Narina

2013-01-01

335

Teaching Care Ethics: Conceptual Understandings and Stories for Learning  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

An ethic of care acknowledges the centrality of the role of caring relationships in moral education. Care ethics requires a conception of "care" that differs from the quotidian use of the word. In order to teach care ethics more effectively, this article discusses four interrelated ways that teachers' understandings of care differ…

Rabin, Colette; Smith, Grinell

2013-01-01

336

Embedding Evolution: Exploring Changes in Students' Conceptual Development, Beliefs, and Motivations in a Population Ecology Unit  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The purpose of this study was to explore student changes in conceptual development, epistemology, and motivations when evolution concepts are embedded and explicit reflective discourse is used in a unit for population ecology. The two research problems were: (1) What changes are observed in student's conceptual development, epistemology, and motivations when there is explicit reflective discourse within a population ecology unit with embedded evolution?, and (2) In what ways does explicit reflection influence students' mental models within a population ecology unit with embedded evolution? This mixed-method, quasi-experimental study assessed two regular high school biology classes in a small, urban, Midwestern high school. Students in this study had not studied evolution within any formal chapters, but had been immersed in a curriculum with embedded evolution. The study was conducted over a four-week period in a population ecology unit near the beginning of second semester. Instruction emphasized basic conceptions in population ecology. Five key intervention activities included evolutionary concepts as part of an embedded curriculum. The independent variable was explicit reflective discourse with one or two intervention questions after completion of these activities. Data included pre- and posttest surveys measuring (a) evolutionary understanding of natural selection, (b) science beliefs, and (c) science motivations. Written artifacts included (a) explanations to scenarios, (b) pre- and post-argument reflections revealing student's science beliefs and science motivations resultant from two argumentations, and (c) three, pre-, post-, and 6-week final concept maps constructed from 12 concepts. All data sources provided descriptive data. Conceptual change was interpreted from an ontological, epistemological, and motivational perspective. The experimental class receiving explicit reflective discourse showed greater overall increases in conceptual development. Students in both classes constructed teleological and proximate explanations. Overall, the experimental class gave greater numbers of evolutionary explanations. Scored propositions from concept maps showed a mixture of synthetic and scientific conceptions in both classes, however the experimental group showed greater scientific quality. Students in both classes exhibited direct-process ontology. Both classes had high degrees of epistemological and motivational commitments demonstrated by their engagement and subsequent improvements in conceptual development in both evolutionary and ecological conceptions.

Rose, Nancy L.

337

Using Pictures to Enhance Students' Understanding of Bayes' Theorem  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Students often have difficulty understanding algebraic proofs of statistics theorems. However, it sometimes is possible to prove statistical theorems with pictures in which case students can gain understanding more easily. I provide examples for two versions of Bayes' theorem.

Trafimow, David

2011-01-01

338

An Information Processing Analysis of the Function of Conceptual Understanding in the Learning of Arithmetic Procedures.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Children learn arithmetic procedures by rote, rather than by constructing them with an understanding of numbers. Rote learning produces lack of flexibility, nonsensical errors, and other difficulties. Proposed is a theory of conceptual understanding and its role in learning and executing arithmetic procedures. The basic hypothesis is that…

Ohlsson, Stellan; Rees, Ernest

339

Student understanding of time in special relativity: Simultaneity and reference frames  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This article reports on an investigation of student understanding of the concept of time in special relativity. A series of research tasks are discussed that illustrate, step-by-step, how student reasoning of fundamental concepts of relativity was probed. The results indicate that after standard instruction students at all academic levels have serious difficulties with the relativity of simultaneity and with the role of observers in inertial reference frames. Evidence is presented that suggests many students construct a conceptual framework in which the ideas of absolute simultaneity and the relativity of simultaneity harmoniously co-exist.

Scherr, Rachel E.; Shaffer, Peter S.; Vokos, Stamatis

2005-11-23

340

Emerging Conceptual Understanding of Complex Astronomical Phenomena by Using a Virtual Solar System  

Microsoft Academic Search

This study describes high school students' conceptual development of the basic astronomical phenomena during real-time interactions\\u000a with a Virtual Solar System (VSS). The VSS is a non-immersive virtual environment which has a dynamic frame of reference that\\u000a can be altered by the user. Ten 10th grade students were given tasks containing a set of observe–explain questions without\\u000a mentoring. The findings

Elhanan Gazit; Yoav Yair; David Chen

2005-01-01

341

Career and Technical Education (CTE) Student Success in Community Colleges: A Conceptual Model  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Career and technical education (CTE) students pursuing occupational associate's degrees or certificates differ from students seeking academic majors at 2-year institutions in several ways. This article examines several theoretical models of student persistence and offers a conceptual model of student success focused on CTE students in community…

Hirschy, Amy S.; Bremer, Christine D.; Castellano, Marisa

2011-01-01

342

Peer collaboration and conceptual growth in physics: Task influences on children's understanding of heating and cooling  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Examined how task design influences the effectiveness of peer collaboration in facilitating students' conceptual change in physics. Subjects were 8- to 12-year olds studying heating and cooling. Results showed the general superiority of collaborative tasks that both facilitate critical testing and require rules; task designs deploying one feature in isolation were less helpful than designs deploying none.

Howe, Christine; Tolmie, Andy; Greer, Karen; Mackenzie, Mhairi

2006-06-09

343

Student performance on conceptual questions: Does instruction matter?  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

As part of the tutorial component of introductory calculus-based physics at the University of Washington, students take weekly pretests that consist of conceptual questions. Pretests are so named because they precede each tutorial, but they are frequently administered after lecture instruction. Many variables associated with class composition and prior instruction (if any) could, in principle, affect student performance on these questions. Nonetheless, the results are often found to be "essentially the same" in all classes. With data available from a large number of classes, it is possible to characterize the typical variation quantitatively. In this paper three questions for which we have accumulated thousands of responses, from dozens of classes representing different conditions with respect to the textbook in use, the amount of prior instruction, etc., serve as examples. For each question, we examine the variation in student performance across all classes. We also compare subsets categorized according to the amount of relevant prior instruction each class had received. A preliminary analysis suggests that the variation in performance is essentially random. No statistically significant difference is observed between results obtained before relevant instruction begins and after it has been completed. The results provide evidence that exposure to concepts in lecture and textbook is not sufficient to ensure an improvement in performance on questions that require qualitative reasoning.

Heron, Paula R.

2013-08-31

344

Student Understanding of Ionizing Radiation and Radioactivity  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This article describes how researchers identified specific difficulties students had with ionizing radiation and radioactivity using interviews. They also explore students' pre-instruction thoughts on these topics.

Prather, Edward E.; Harrington, Randal R.

2006-06-19

345

Enhancing Pre-Service Elementary Teachers' Conceptual Understanding of Solution Chemistry with Conceptual Change Text  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This paper reports on the use of a constructivist-based pedagogy to enhance understanding of some features of solution chemistry. Pre-service science teacher trainees' prior knowledge about the dissolution of salts and sugar in water were elicited by the use of a simple diagnostic tool. The test revealed widespread alternative conceptions. These…

Calik, Muammer; Ayas, Alipasa; Coll, Richard Kevin

2007-01-01

346

Systematic Study of Student Understanding of the Relationships between the Directions of Force, Velocity, and Acceleration in One Dimension  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

We developed an instrument to systematically investigate student conceptual understanding of the relationships between the directions of net force, velocity, and acceleration in one dimension and report on data collected on the final version of the instrument from over 650 students. Unlike previous work, we simultaneously studied all six possible…

Rosenblatt, Rebecca; Heckler, Andrew F.

2011-01-01

347

Enhancing Pre-service Elementary Teachers' Conceptual Understanding of Solution Chemistry with Conceptual Change Text  

Microsoft Academic Search

This paper reports on the use of a constructivist-based pedagogy to enhance understanding of some features of solution chemistry.\\u000a Pre-service science teacher trainees' prior knowledge about the dissolution of salts and sugar in water were elicited by the\\u000a use of a simple diagnostic tool. The test revealed widespread alternative conceptions. These evaluation data were used to\\u000a produce two segments of

Muammer Çalik; Alipasa Ayas; Richard Kevin Coll

2007-01-01

348

Conceptualizing, Understanding, and Predicting Responsible Decisions and Quality Input  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

In areas such as climate change, where uncertainty is high, it is arguably less difficult to tell when efforts have resulted in changes in knowledge, than when those efforts have resulted in responsible decisions. What is a responsible decision? More broadly, when it comes to citizen input, what is "high quality" input? And most importantly, how are responsible decisions and quality input enhanced? The aim of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of the different dimensions of "responsible" or "quality" public input and citizen decisions by comparing and contrasting the different predictors of those different dimensions. We first present different possibilities for defining, operationalizing and assessing responsible or high quality decisions. For example, responsible decisions or quality input might be defined as using specific content (e.g., using climate change information in decisions appropriately), as using specific processes (e.g., investing time and effort in learning about and discussing the issues prior to making decisions), or on the basis of some judgment of the decision or input itself (e.g., judgments of the rationale provided for the decisions, or number of issues considered when giving input). Second, we present results from our work engaging people with science policy topics, and the different ways that we have tried to define these two constructs. In the area of climate change specifically, we describe the development of a short survey that assesses exposure to climate information, knowledge of and attitudes toward climate change, and use of climate information in one's decisions. Specifically, the short survey was developed based on a review of common surveys of climate change related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors, and extensive piloting and cognitive interviews. Next, we analyze more than 200 responses to that survey (data collection is currently ongoing and will be complete after the AGU deadline), and report the predictors of reported use of climate information in one's personal and work-related decisions, as well as significant predictors of one's willingness to commit to attend a four-hour public meeting and discussion with city leaders and energy experts for the purposes of thinking about and discussing local energy-related decisions. Finally, in order to consider future directions for assessing "responsible" or "quality" input in the area of climate change, we report data and results from experimental studies conducted in a different area of science: nanotechnology. Specifically, we discuss our methods for assessing quality of written input on the future development and regulation of nanotechnology under different experimental conditions (e.g., written alone or after discussion with a group), and the compare and contrast the best predictors of those operational definitions to those that we have explored in the area of climate change outreach contexts. Discussion will focus on the pros and cons of different ways of assessing the quality of public input.

Wall, N.; PytlikZillig, L. M.

2012-12-01

349

Studentsâ Conceptual Understanding of Quantum Physics in College Level Classroom Environments  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

The purposes of the current study were to study the potential solutions of the common learning difficulties, insufficient teaching techniques and other significant instructional or conceptual problems encountered while teaching and learning an important branch of physical science, quantum physics (QP), at the senior or junior college year. Both quantitative and qualitative methodologies were utilized in this study. The participants included five physics faculty members with different levels of teaching experience who were teaching one of the quantum physics courses (e.g. Modern Physics, Quantum Physics, and Quantum Mechanics) and 43 senior or junior undergraduate students enrolled in their courses during fall and spring terms of 2006. The findings of this study revealed that students struggle in QP classes mainly because of (1) complex mathematical tools in QP, (2) abstract concepts and non-parallel construction of QP, (3) QP has a bad reputation that negatively affects students prior to taking it, and (4) the pace in curriculum of quantum physics courses is too fast for the students. In order to increase students' conceptualization of QP concepts, the faculty members who participated in this study suggested that: (1) more time on solving more abstract conceptual questions should be spent, (2) recitation hours for solving more numerical problems need to be dedicated, and (3) revision of curriculum is necessary.

Akarsu, Bayram

2010-01-18

350

Using cluster analysis to identify patterns in students' responses to contextually different conceptual problems  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

This study examined the evolution of student responses to seven contextually different versions of two Force Concept Inventory questions in an introductory physics course at the University of Arkansas. The consistency in answering the closely related questions evolved little over the seven-question exam. A model for the state of student knowledge involving the probability of selecting one of the multiple-choice answers was developed. Criteria for using clustering algorithms to extract model parameters were explored and it was found that the overlap between the probability distributions of the model vectors was an important parameter in characterizing the cluster models. The course data were then clustered and the extracted model showed that students largely fit into two groups both pre- and postinstruction: one that answered all questions correctly with high probability and one that selected the distracter representing the same misconception with high probability. For the course studied, 14% of the students were left with persistent misconceptions post instruction on a static force problem and 30% on a dynamic Newton’s third law problem. These students selected the answer representing the predominant misconception slightly more consistently postinstruction, indicating that the course studied had been ineffective at moving this subgroup of students nearer a Newtonian force concept and had instead moved them slightly farther away from a correct conceptual understanding of these two problems. The consistency in answering pairs of problems with varied physical contexts is shown to be an important supplementary statistic to the score on the problems and suggests that the inclusion of such problem pairs in future conceptual inventories would be efficacious. Multiple, contextually varied questions further probe the structure of students’ knowledge. To allow working instructors to make use of the additional insight gained from cluster analysis, it is our hope that the physics education research community will make these methods available though their Web sites.

Stewart, John; Miller, Mayo; Audo, Christine; Stewart, Gay

2012-12-01

351

Generalizing Levels of Students' Understandings about Conductivity: A SOLO Analysis  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This article describes a developmental sequence for students' understandings about conductivity. From written responses, a number of levels of understanding were identified and holistic descriptions of the increasingly complex way students explain conductivity are presented. Identifying distinct differences in student work samples is consistent…

McPhan, Greg

2008-01-01

352

Students' Understandings of Human Organs and Organ Systems.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Discusses students' understandings of their own internal structure. Analysis shows the extent to which student understanding increases with age and the degree to which students know more about some organs and organ systems than others. Gender differences in the drawings were generally not large and there were some intriguing differences in the…

Reiss, Michael J.; Tunnicliffe, Sue Dale

2001-01-01

353

Ninth Grade Students' Understanding of The Nature of Scientific Knowledge  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The purpose of this study was to investigate the 9th-grade students' understandings of the nature of scientific knowledge. The study also aimed to investigate the differences in students' understanding of the nature of scientific knowledge by gender, and school types. A total of 575 ninth grade students from four different school types (General…

Kilic, Kerem; Sungur, Semra; Cakiroglu, Jale; Tekkaya, Ceren

2005-01-01

354

Addressing Students' Difficulties in Understanding Two Different Expressions of Gravitational Potential Energy (I): mgh & -GMm/r  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

During our investigation of students' understanding of gravitational potential energy, we found some difficulties that students have with this topic. Many students who took upper-level mechanics courses had difficulties in understanding why there are two different expressions of gravitational potential energy. These students said they had some difficulties in understanding why there should be two different signs (+ & ?) and two different forms (g & 1/r) even though these expressions were considered as representing the same gravitational potential energy. To gain understanding of the sources of student difficulties, we used weekly reports and individual interviews. We analyzed student difficulties in terms of conceptual knowledge, procedural knowledge, and contextual knowledge. The results of these research have guided the development of teaching material that addresses students' difficulties in understanding gravitational potential energy. We will show the development process and contents of the material in the second paper on this topic.

Lee, Gyoungho; Yi, Jinseog

2007-11-25

355

Using Student Reasoning to Inform the Development of Conceptual Learning Goals: The Case of Quadratic Functions  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Despite the proliferation of mathematics standards internationally and despite general agreement on the importance of teaching for conceptual understanding, conceptual learning goals for many K-12 mathematics topics have not been well-articulated. This article presents a coherent set of five conceptual learning goals for a complex mathematical…

Lobato, Joanne; Hohensee, Charles; Rhodehamel, Bohdan; Diamond, Jaime

2012-01-01

356

Understanding and Motivating Today's Student Employees.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The first of a three-part series for college union and student activities managers and operators, provides information to managers about how to relate better to today's college student employees and make college unions more productive. (EV)

Knofla, Tracy A.

2001-01-01

357

Effect of Current Electricity Simulation Supported Learning on the Conceptual Understanding of Elementary and Secondary Teachers  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This study examined the impact of computer simulation and supported science learning on a teacher's understanding and conceptual knowledge of current electricity. Pre/Post tests were used to measure the teachers' concept attainment. Overall, there was a significant and large knowledge difference effect from Pre to Post test. Two interesting…

Kumar, David Devraj; Thomas, P. V.; Morris, John D.; Tobias, Karen M.; Baker, Mary; Jermanovich, Trudy

2011-01-01

358

Chinese and Australian Children's Understandings of the Earth: A Cross Cultural Study of Conceptual Development  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The purpose of this study was to explore Chinese and Australian primary children's conceptual understandings of the Earth. The research was conducted in the interpretive paradigm and was designed to be descriptive with comparative and cross sectional elements. Participants were Year 3 and Year 6 children from three schools in Hunan Province,…

Tao, Ying; Oliver, Mary; Venville, Grady

2013-01-01

359

Conceptual Understandings as Transition Points: Making Sense of a Complex Social World  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Teaching for conceptual understanding has been heralded as an effective approach within many curriculum frameworks internationally in an age of rapid and constant change around what counts as "knowledge". Drawing from research and experience within the social studies curriculum, this paper reflects on some of the largely unstated and unexplored…

Milligan, Andrea; Wood, Bronwyn

2010-01-01

360

The Development of a Conceptual Model of Student Satisfaction with Their Experience in Higher Education  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to introduce a conceptual model of student satisfaction with their higher education (HE) experience, based on the identification of the variable determinants of student perceived quality and the impact of those variables on student satisfaction and/or dissatisfaction with the overall student experience. The…

Douglas, Jacqueline; McClelland, Robert; Davies, John

2008-01-01

361

Student conceptualizations of the nature of science in response to a socioscientific issue  

Microsoft Academic Search

This study investigates student conceptualizations of the nature of science (NOS) and how students interpret and evaluate conflicting evidence regarding a socioscientific issue. Eighty?four high school students participated in the study by reading contradictory reports about the status of global warming and responding to questions designed to elicit ideas pertinent to the research goals. A subsample of 30 students was

Troy D. Sadler; F. William Chambers; Dana L. Zeidler

2004-01-01

362

Using Computer-Based Visualization Strategies to Improve Students' Understanding of Molecular Polarity and Miscibility  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

This study reports how instruction including visualization strategies associated with computer animations and electron density plots affected students' conceptual understanding of two chemistry topics. Two sets of students responded to several conceptual questions about molecular polarities and miscibilities and these responses were compared. One group received instruction including the use of wooden model kits and physical demonstrations; the other received similar instruction with the additional use of computer animations and electron-density plots. Students who viewed electron-density plots were more likely to identify symmetric molecules with polar bonds as being nonpolar and provided more complete descriptions of how soap molecules help remove grease from an object. Students who viewed computer animations and electron density plots were also more likely to explain that the intermolecular attractions among water molecules are responsible for the immiscibility of oil and water, and were more likely to recognize that water molecules are attracted to each other and to sodium and chloride ions but are not strongly attracted to hydrogen molecules. Although other studies have shown that computer animations can improve students' conceptual understanding of chemistry, this is the first to demonstrate that electron-density plots mapped with electrostatic potentials can also be an effective visualization strategy.

Sanger, Michael J.; Badger, Steven M., II

2001-10-01

363

Searching For Evidence Of Student Understanding  

Microsoft Academic Search

There is a strong emphasis in physics education research on the use of multiple representations to help students explain physical phenomena and to solve physics problems. In this paper, we report on students' use of multiple representations in the analysis of kinematics problems. The students learned kinematics using the Physics Union Mathematics curriculum*. When we examined pairs of representations in

Tara Bartiromo; James Finley; Eugenia Etkina

2010-01-01

364

Understanding student resistance as a communicative act  

Microsoft Academic Search

In the current era of ‘zero tolerance’, disciplinary practices including punishment, expulsion, physical and psychological surveillance, and confinement are a major part of resistant students’ lived experiences. This article is an ethnographic study of student resistance that is observed in an alternative high school in the USA, which serves students expelled from regular schools for their acts of resistance. The

Jeong-Hee Kim

2010-01-01

365

Understanding the Whole Student: Holistic Multicultural Education  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This book presents a holistic approach to multicultural educational issues by viewing them in terms of the student as a physical, psychosocial, cognitive, ethical, and spiritual being. Conversely, these levels of a student's being cannot be seen apart from the student's cultural identities. This unique book demonstrates that, in a pluralistic…

Cutri, Ramona Maile; Rogers, P. Clint; Montero, Fidel

2007-01-01

366

Helping Education Students Understand Learning Through Designing  

Microsoft Academic Search

This paper describes a course in which graduate students in education learn practical and theoretical aspects of educational design by creating technologies for learning. The course was built around three themes: Analyzing technologies in which students study state-of-the-art technologies and interview their designers, Design studio in which students design their own technologies using an instructional model that was developed in

Tamar Ronen Fuhrmann; Christopher Hoadley

367

Preservice Teachers' Assessment of Student Understanding: Processes and Their Development.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This study of eight elementary student teachers used stimulated recall interviews to investigate their knowledge and processes in reading their students, or informally assessing their students' understanding during instruction. By collecting data from four student teachers in each of two different programs at the same university, one of which was…

Heuwinkel, Mary K.

368

The Effects of Writing on Students' Understanding of Literary Texts.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

A study investigated the role that writing plays in eleventh grade students' understanding of literary texts. Classroom observations, collected student writing, interviews with the teacher, and interviews with six case study students--two from each of three classes--provided a portrait of teaching methods, writing tasks, and student responses to…

Marshall, James D.

369

How students aged 13-15 understand photosynthesis  

Microsoft Academic Search

Difficulties in the understanding of photosynthesis by Israeli junior high school students were examined. Thirty?three students were interviewed and asked about chemical and ecological issues of photosynthesis. Difficulties were found in their understanding of the living body as a chemical substance, lack of knowledge about the chemical elements that compose the living body, and difficulties in understanding that gas (CO2)

Ruth Stavy; Yehudit Eisen; Duba Yaakobi

1987-01-01

370

Understanding student computational thinking with computational modeling  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Recently, the National Research Council's framework for next generation science standards highlighted "computational thinking" as one of its "fundamental practices". 9th Grade students taking a physics course that employed the Arizona State University's Modeling Instruction curriculum were taught to construct computational models of physical systems. Student computational thinking was assessed using a proctored programming assignment, written essay, and a series of think-aloud interviews, where the students produced and discussed a computational model of a baseball in motion via a high-level programming environment (VPython). Roughly a third of the students in the study were successful in completing the programming assignment. Student success on this assessment was tied to how students synthesized their knowledge of physics and computation. On the essay and interview assessments, students displayed unique views of the relationship between force and motion; those who spoke of this relationship in causal (rather than observational) terms tended to have more success in the programming exercise.

Aiken, John M.; Caballero, Marcos D.; Douglas, Scott S.; Burk, John B.; Scanlon, Erin M.; Thoms, Brian D.

2013-02-21

371

Using Knowledge Space Theory to Assess Student Understanding of Stoichiometry  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The use of knowledge space theory (KST), to assess students' understanding and integration of the different representations in an introductory chemistry course are described. KST is a useful tool for revealing various aspects of students' cognitive structure in chemistry.

Arasasingham, Ramesh D.; Taagepera, Mare; Potter, Frank; Lonjers, Stacy

2004-01-01

372

Science Sampler: Enhancing student understanding of physical and chemical changes  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Students within the Findlay, Ohio, City School District, as well as students across the country, struggle with understanding physical and chemical changes. Therefore, in this article, the authors suggest some standards-based activities to clarify misconce

Mcintosh, Julie; Suter, Robert; White, Sandra

2009-10-01

373

Initial understanding of vector concepts among students in introductory physics courses  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

We report the results of an investigation into physics students' understanding of vector addition, magnitude, and direction for problems presented in graphical form. A seven-item quiz, including free-response problems, was administered in all introductory general physics courses during the 2000/2001 academic year at Iowa State. Responses were obtained from 2031 students during the first week of class. We found that more than one quarter of students beginning their second semester of study in the calculus-based physics course, and more than half of those beginning the second semester of the algebra-based sequence, were unable to carry out two-dimensional vector addition. Although the total scores on the seven-item quiz were somewhat better for students in their second semester of physics in comparison to students in their first semester, many students retained significant conceptual difficulties regarding vector methods that are heavily employed throughout the physics curriculum.

Nguyen, Ngoc-Loan; Meltzer, David E.

2003-06-01

374

Initial understanding of vector concepts among students in introductory physics courses  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

We report the results of an investigation into physics students' understanding of vector addition, magnitude, and direction for problems presented in graphical form. A seven-item quiz, including free-response problems, was administered in all introductory general physics courses during the 2000/2001 academic year at Iowa State. Responses were obtained from 2031 students during the first week of class. We found that more than one quarter of students beginning their second semester of study in the calculus-based physics course, and more than half of those beginning the second semester of the algebra-based sequence, were unable to carry out two-dimensional vector addition. Although the total scores on the seven-item quiz were somewhat better for students in their second semester of physics in comparison to students in their first semester, many students retained significant conceptual difficulties regarding vector methods that are heavily employed throughout the physics curriculum.

Nguyen, Ngoc-Loan; Meltzer, David E.

2005-10-27

375

Building Bridges: Understanding Student Transition to University  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This article explores challenges in ensuring effective student transition from school or college to university. It examines the complex liaison needed for students to progress to appropriate courses, settle into university life and succeed as higher education learners. Secondary data (international literature on transition and the formation of…

Briggs, A. R. J.; Clark, J.; Hall, I.

2012-01-01

376

Why Volunteer? Understanding Motivations for Student Volunteering  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The profile of volunteering in English Higher Education (HE) has been enhanced in recent years through various initiatives that have not only funded activities, but have sought to expand the range of volunteering opportunities available to students and recognise the contribution that volunteering can make to students' employability. This expansion…

Holdsworth, Clare

2010-01-01

377

Students' Understanding of Molecular Structure Representations  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The purpose of the investigation was to determine the meanings attached by students to the different kinds of molecular structure representations used in chemistry teaching. The students (n = 124) were from primary (aged 13-14 years) and secondary (aged 17-18 years) schools and a university (aged 21-25 years). A computerised "Chemical…

Ferk, Vesna; Vrtacnik, Margareta; Blejec, Andrej; Gril, Alenka

2003-01-01

378

Improving Student Understanding of Quantum Mechanics  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

We are investigating the difficulties that students have in learning upper-level quantum mechanics and designing quantum interactive learning tutorials (QuILTs). Our investigation includes interviews with individual students and the development and administration of free-response and multiple-choice tests. The preliminary results from the QuILTs are promising. Coauthors: Mario Belloni and Wolfgang Christian, Davidson College.

Singh, Chandralekha

2006-04-01

379

The EvoDevoCI: A Concept Inventory for Gauging Students' Understanding of Evolutionary Developmental Biology  

PubMed Central

The American Association for the Advancement of Science 2011 report Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education encourages the teaching of developmental biology as an important part of teaching evolution. Recently, however, we found that biology majors often lack the developmental knowledge needed to understand evolutionary developmental biology, or “evo-devo.” To assist in efforts to improve evo-devo instruction among undergraduate biology majors, we designed a concept inventory (CI) for evolutionary developmental biology, the EvoDevoCI. The CI measures student understanding of six core evo-devo concepts using four scenarios and 11 multiple-choice items, all inspired by authentic scientific examples. Distracters were designed to represent the common conceptual difficulties students have with each evo-devo concept. The tool was validated by experts and administered at four institutions to 1191 students during preliminary (n = 652) and final (n = 539) field trials. We used student responses to evaluate the readability, difficulty, discriminability, validity, and reliability of the EvoDevoCI, which included items ranging in difficulty from 0.22–0.55 and in discriminability from 0.19–0.38. Such measures suggest the EvoDevoCI is an effective tool for assessing student understanding of evo-devo concepts and the prevalence of associated common conceptual difficulties among both novice and advanced undergraduate biology majors.

Perez, Kathryn E.; Hiatt, Anna; Davis, Gregory K.; Trujillo, Caleb; French, Donald P.; Terry, Mark; Price, Rebecca M.

2013-01-01

380

Students' understanding of superposition of electric fields  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

In this article an analysis of the difficulties experienced by students when applying the principle of superposition to electric fields is presented. A study of university level students in France and Sweden revealed the existence of difficulties arising out of two issues: (1) a causal interpretation of some relationships, (2) the student's need for an effect, motion of some kind, to accept the existence of a field. The links between these obstacles and a lack of a unified view on electric phenomena are discussed from a pedagogical point of view.

Rainson, Sylvie; Transtră¶mer, G.; Viennot, Laurence

2005-10-24

381

Investigation of student understanding of the concept of acceleration in one dimension  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This paper describes a systematic investigation of the understanding of the concept of acceleration among students enrolled in a variety of introductory physics courses at the University of Washington. The criterion for assessing understanding of a kinematical concept is the ability to apply it successfully in interpreting simple motions of real objects. The main thrust of this study has been on the qualitative understanding of acceleration as the ratio Deltav/Deltat. The primary data source has been the individual demonstration interview in which students are asked specific questions about simple motions they observe. Results are reported for the success of different student populations in comparing accelerations for two simultaneous motions. Failure to make a proper comparison was due to various conceptual difficulties which are identified and described. Some implications for instruction are briefly discussed.

Trowbridge, David E.; Mcdermott, Lillian C.

2005-11-28

382

Meaningful Instruction through Understanding Student Values.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Discusses character education as a component of the middle school curriculum. Considers a character analysis technique that allows teachers to assess students' values and needs. Presents curriculum application strategies for implementing the program. (JPB)

Helms, Emory; Hunt, Gilbert; Bedwell, Lance

1999-01-01

383

Students' understanding of molecular structure representations  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The purpose of the investigation was to determine the meanings attached by students to the different kinds of molecular structure representations used in chemistry teaching. The students (n = 124) were from primary (aged 13-14 years) and secondary (aged 17-18 years) schools and a university (aged 21-25 years). A computerised 'Chemical Visualisation Test' was developed and applied. The research indicates that students' appreciation of three-dimensional molecular structures differs according to the kind of representation used. The best results were achieved with the use of concrete, and pseudo-concrete types of representations (e.g. three-dimensional models, their photographs, computer-generated models). However, the use of more abstract types (e.g. schematic representations, stereochemical formula) was less effective. A correlation between students' results on the Chemical Visualisation Test and their educational level, spatial visualisation, and spatial relations skills was shown statistically, but no statistically significant gender differences were observed.

Ferk, Vesna; Vrtacnik, Margareta; Blejec, Andrej; Gril, Alenka

2003-10-01

384

The Effects of Cognitive Conflict on Students' Conceptual Change in Physics.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The purpose of this research was to find the relation between the level of cognitive conflict and students' conceptual change. In this study, 30 Korean high school students were selected from 450 10th graders by examining the pretest results. To create students' cognitive conflicts, two different strategies were used to foster anomalous…

Kwon, Jaesool; Lee, Youngjick; Beeth, Michael E.

385

A Conceptual Framework for Assessing Motivation and Self-Regulated Learning in College Students  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

A conceptual framework for assessing student motivation and self-regulated learning in the college classroom is presented. The framework is based on a self-regulatory (SRL) perspective on student motivation and learning in contrast to a student approaches to learning (SAL) perspective. The differences between SRL and SAL approaches are discussed,…

Pintrich, Paul R.

2004-01-01

386

Conceptual Level of Development as an Assessment for Identifying Gifted Students.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

A study involving 233 junior and senior high school students pointed out the advantages of using conceptual level (CL) to identify gifted students (such as ease of administration and congruence with goals of gifted programs). CL was able to accurately differentiate students currently identified as gifted and nongifted. (CL)

Post-Kammer, Phyllis

1982-01-01

387

A Conceptual Model of Medical Student Well-Being: Promoting Resilience and Preventing Burnout  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Objective: This article proposes and illustrates a conceptual model of medical student well-being. Method: The authors reviewed the literature on medical student stress, coping, and well-being and developed a model of medical student coping termed the "coping reservoir." Results: The reservoir can be replenished or drained by various aspects of…

Dunn, Laura B.; Iglewicz, Alana; Moutier, Christine

2008-01-01

388

Student learning in modeling classrooms: Investigating the lasting impact of understanding  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

In this dissertation, I detail a perspective on what it means to understand in science. This perspective has developed out of a view of science as a modeling activity and years of empirical research into student reasoning and problem solving by members of the research group MUSE (Modeling for Understanding in Science Education). This group has developed and implemented innovative high school science curricula in three areas: Earth-Moon-Sun astronomy, genetics, and evolutionary biology. Previous research in these contexts has documented the extent to which students came to understand the in these classrooms. Here, I attempted to answer questions about the lasting impact of such understanding. To do this I interviewed high school students at six months and one to two years post instruction in two science disciplines---genetics or Earth-Moon-Sun astronomy. Of particular interest was how students used remembered ideas to solve problems. Findings indicated that not only did the students remember a large percentage of what they had demonstrated understanding of initially, but that they could use remembered ideas in two interesting ways. First, students used a core set of ideas to reconstruct details they had forgotten. For example, when asked the direction or duration of the Moon's motions, students used their knowledge of lunar phenomena and elements of the model of celestial motion they had learned to reconstruct the motions of the Moon. Second, remembered ideas served a generative function when students were presented with novel problems. That is, when asked to explain unfamiliar phenomena or to alter aspects of their models, the students were able to use what they remembered as a foundation from which to address the problems. Taken together these findings suggest that conceptual understanding, as developed in these contexts, persisted over time and could be used flexibly by students in problem solving situations.

Passmore, Cynthia Maie

389

Helping the International Student Understand the American University  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

To be successful in navigating the waters of American higher education, international students need to demonstrate proficiency in the English language and an understanding of the educational expectations of American academia. Unlike Americans who apply to a US university, international students must demonstrate that they understand enough English…

Chang, Mary

2011-01-01

390

Students' Understanding of the Particulate Nature of Matter  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The particulate nature of matter is identified in science education standards as one of the fundamental concepts that students should understand at the middle school level. However, science education research in indicates that secondary school students have difficulties understanding the structure of matter. The purpose of the study is to describe…

Singer, Jonathan E.; Tal, Revital; Wu, Hsin-Kai

2003-01-01

391

The Effect of Practical Work on Students' Understanding of Combustion  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Interviews of and questionnaires given to (n=299) 14- and 15-year-old students in England and Spain on their understanding of combustion and on the teaching and learning styles used with students found that the extensive use of practical work in English schools had only a marginal effect on their understanding of combustion. Includes questionnaire. (27 references)

Watson, Rod; Prieto, T.; Dillon, J.

2006-10-11

392

Student and Teacher Experiences of Assessing Different Levels of Understanding  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Examinations greatly influence course structures and student study strategies. A course for students in the civil and environmental engineering programme at Lulea University of Technology was reconstructed with the aim of increasing levels of understanding. A simple written test was designed to assess low levels of understanding (definitions,…

Lundberg, Angela

2004-01-01

393

Assessing Students' Levels of Understanding Multiplication through Problem Writing  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

When the word problems of forty-five sixth-grade students were examined, multiple levels of understanding and misunderstanding multiplication were exposed. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the potential of problem writing as a technique for assessing the depths of students' mathematical understandings. Discussions include sample…

Drake, Jill Mizell; Barlow, Angela T.

2008-01-01

394

Understanding the Coping Strategies of International Students: A Qualitative Approach  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

International students encounter a range of additional challenges as a part of their tertiary study experience. A qualitative approach was used to understand the challenges faced by international students, coping strategies that promoted their personal resilience and advice they have for future international students. Twenty-two international…

Khawaja, Nigar G.; Stallman, Helen M.

2011-01-01

395

Measuring Student Understanding in a Portfolio-Based Course  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The use of assessment methods is a widely discussed topic in education. Exams that are commonly used, however, may not necessarily assess student understanding at a high cognitive level. By implementing alternative assessment methods, instructors can influence student learning. Portfolio-based assessment (PBA) is a purposeful collection of student

Ziegler, Brittany; Montplaisir, Lisa

2012-01-01

396

Science Sampler: Enhancing Student Understanding of Physical and Chemical Changes  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Students within the Findlay, Ohio, City School District, as well as students across the country, struggle with understanding physical and chemical changes. Therefore, in this article, the authors suggest some standards-based activities to clarify misconceptions and provide formative assessments to measure your students' progress as they determine…

McIntosh, Julie; White, Sandra; Suter, Robert

2009-01-01

397

Standing in the Hallway Improves Students' Understanding of Conformity  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

To help beginning psychology students understand how they are influenced by social pressures to conform, we developed a demonstration designed to elicit their conformity to a small group of students standing in the hallway before class. Results showed the demonstration increased students' recognition of their own tendency to conform, knowledge of…

Lawson, Timothy J.; Haubner, Richard R.; Bodle, James H.

2013-01-01

398

Exploring Student Understanding of Grades and Report Cards  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This qualitative study was designed to identify how students from a single high school in the rural Midwest perceive grades and report cards. Stratified purposeful random sampling resulted in the inclusion of 14 students who provided journal entries and participated in one-on-one interviews for the purpose of exploring student understanding of…

Gwidt, Kathleen M.

2010-01-01

399

Characterizing Student Mathematics Teachers' Levels of Understanding in Spherical Geometry  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This article presents an exploratory study aimed at the identification of students' levels of understanding in spherical geometry as van Hiele did for Euclidean geometry. To do this, we developed and implemented a spherical geometry course for student mathematics teachers. Six structured, "task-based interviews" were held with eight student

Guven, Bulent; Baki, Adnan

2010-01-01

400

Interpretation of Students' Understanding of the Concept of Weightlessness.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Investigated students' understanding of the concept of weightlessness and found it to be influenced by the confusion between the concepts of weight and gravitational force. The causal structure of students' knowledge presents a platform for interpreting students' alternative ideas about weight and related physical concepts, which could guide…

Galili, Igal

1995-01-01

401

Working with Students to Help Them Understand Fractions  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

As a result of conversations with students, previous teaching experiences, and through reading relevant literature, this author was aware that many students struggle with understanding fraction concepts. In particular, she knew that students had difficulty with reading, renaming, ordering, interpreting, and applying common fractions, fraction…

Tanner, Karen

2008-01-01

402

University Students' Understanding of Electromagnetic Induction  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This study examined engineering and physical science students' understanding of the electromagnetic induction (EMI) phenomena. It is assumed that significant knowledge of the EMI theory is a basic prerequisite when students have to think about electromagnetic phenomena. To analyse students' conceptions, we have taken into account the…

Guisasola, Jenaro; Almudi, Jose M.; Zuza, Kristina

2013-01-01

403

Understanding the Atheist College Student: A Qualitative Examination  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The purpose of this study was to examine and understand atheist college students' views on faith and how they experience the college campus as a result. I conducted interviews with 16 undergraduate and graduate self-identified atheist college students. Students discussed losing faith and transitioning to atheism; making meaning of life, death, and…

Mueller, John A.

2012-01-01

404

Using the Science Writing Heuristic Approach to Enhance Student Understanding in Chemical Change and Mixture  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

This study investigated the effect of the Science Writing Heuristic (SWH) approach on grade 9 students' understanding of chemical change and mixture concepts. Four intact classes taught by two chemistry teachers from a Turkish public high school were selected for the study; one class was assigned as the treatment group, and the other class was assigned as the comparison group. Students in the treatment group were instructed by the SWH approach, while those in the comparison group were instructed with traditionally designed chemistry instruction. Tests measuring students' conceptual understanding in the units of chemical change and mixture were administered as pre- and posttest for both groups. At the end of the instruction, semistructured interviews were conducted with 13 students from the treatment group and eight students from the comparison group. ANCOVA results revealed that the SWH approach was superior to the traditional approach on students' understanding of chemical change and mixture concepts. Interview results indicated that students in the treatment group demonstrated better scientific understanding of chemical change and mixture concepts compared to those in the comparison group.

Kingir, Sevgi; Geban, Omer; Gunel, Murat

2013-08-01

405

Conceptualizing Matrix Multiplication: A Framework for Student Thinking, an Historical Analysis, and a Modeling Perspective  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Little is known about the variety of ways students conceptualize matrix multiplication, yet this is a fundamental part of most introductory linear algebra courses. My dissertation follows a three-paper format, with the three papers exploring conceptualizations of matrix multiplication from a variety of viewpoints. In these papers, I explore (1)…

Larson, Christine

2010-01-01

406

The Effect of Activity-Based Instruction on Conceptual Development of Seventh Grade Students in Probability  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The purpose of this study is to investigate and compare the effects of activity-based and traditional instructions on students' conceptual development of certain probability concepts. The study was conducted using a pretest-posttest control group design with 80 seventh graders. A developed "Conceptual Development Test" comprising 12 open-ended…

Gurbuz, Ramazan

2010-01-01

407

An Experiential Model for Developing Analytic Conceptual Skills in Management Students.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Analytic conceptual skills result when students learn to decipher the detailed facts of a given situation and then synthesize those facts into a logically compelling and recognizable meaning. The Dialectical Experiential Analytic Conceptual Development model addresses five areas of skill through eight sets of activities. (Author)

Osigweh, Chimezie A. B.; O'Daniel, Richard M.

1990-01-01

408

Addressing secondary school students' everyday ideas about freshwater springs in order to develop an instructional tool to promote conceptual reconstruction  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

"Water knowledge" has now become a socio-political and future-orientated necessity. Everyday ideas or preconceptions of hydrology can have a deleterious effect one people's understanding of the scientific facts and their interrelations that are of relevance to sustainable water management. This explorative pilot study shows that preconceived notions about the origin of freshwater springs are common at the lower secondary school level. The purpose of this study was two-fold: (1) to investigate the nature of everyday ideas about freshwater springs among 81 13-yr-old Swiss students, and (2) to develop an efficient instructional tool that promotes conceptual reconstruction in the learners' minds. To assess students' everyday ideas we conducted interviews, examined student work, and asked students to fill in a questionnaire. The results indicate that half of the students have some basic hydrological knowledge. However, several preconceived notions that can significantly impede the understanding of hydrological concepts have been found. A common preconception concerns the idea that solid rocks cannot be permeable and that large underground cavities constitute a necessary precondition for the formation of springs. While these ideas may well be true for karst springs they inhibit the understanding of the concept of other spring types due to their plausibility and intelligibility. We therefore chose the concept of the hillslope spring to construct an instructional tool that takes into account the findings of the psychology of learning aimed at promoting deep learning, thus facilitating a lasting conceptual reconstruction of the concept of springs.

Reinfried, S.; Tempelmann, S.; Aeschbacher, U.

2012-05-01

409

Contrasting students' understanding of electric field and electric force  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Students may have greater difficulties in understanding electric interactions because they have less day to day experience with them than with mechanics. There may also be differences in understanding of different electric concepts like electric force and field. This study presents the results of students' responses to two sequences of superposition principle isomorphic questions in which the only difference was that in one of the sequences, the electric force was used and in the other, the electric field. We administered one of the sequences to 249 students at a large private Mexican university after covering electrostatics in an Electricity and Magnetism class. The students' answers, reasoning and drawings were analyzed. We found that students who took the force sequence were better able to correctly answer the questions using the superposition principle than those students with the field sequence. The analysis of the students' reasoning and drawings helped us to examine their understanding of electric field and the use of electric field lines.

Garza, Alejandro; Zavala, Genaro

2013-01-01

410

Analyzing the Effect of Metaconceptual Teaching Practices on Students' Understanding of Force and Motion Concepts  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

This study investigated the effect of metaconceptual teaching interventions on studentsunderstanding of force and motion concepts. A multimethod research design including quasi-experimental design and case study designs was employed to compare the effect of the metaconceptual activities and traditional instruction and investigate students’ reactions to metaconceptual teaching interventions. The participants (45 high school students in the USA) were enrolled in one of the two physics classes instructed by the same science teacher. In the experimental group, students’ engagement in metaconceptual knowledge and processes was facilitated through various instructional activities, including poster drawing, journal writing, group debate, concept mapping, and class and group discussions. These activities were intended to facilitate students’ engagement in (a) becoming aware of their existing and past conceptions, associated beliefs, everyday experiences, and contextual differences, (b) monitoring their understanding of the new conception, the changes in ideas, and the consistency between existing and new conceptions, and (c) evaluating the relative ability of competing conceptions to explain a physical phenomenon. In the comparison group, the same content knowledge was explained by the teacher along with the use of laboratory experiments, demonstrations, and quantitative problem solving. Students’ reactions to the designed instructional activities indicated that metaconceptual teaching interventions were successful in facilitating students’ engagement in several types of metaconceptual functioning. The results showed that students in the experimental group had significantly better conceptual understanding than their counterparts in the comparison group and this positive impact remained after a period of 9 weeks.

Yuruk, Nejla; Beeth, Michael E.; Andersen, Christopher

2009-08-01

411

Results from a Pilot Study of a Curriculum Unit Designed to Help Middle School Students Understand Chemical Reactions in Living Systems  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Students often have trouble understanding key biology ideas because they lack an understanding of foundational chemistry ideas. AAAS Project 2061 is collaborating with BSCS in the development a curriculum unit that connects core chemistry and biochemistry ideas in order to help eighth grade students build the conceptual foundation needed for high…

Herrmann-Abell, Cari F.; Flanagan, Jean C.; Roseman, Jo Ellen

2012-01-01

412

Understanding adolescent student perceptions of science education  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

This study used the Relevance of Science Education (ROSE) survey (Sjoberg & Schreiner, 2004) to examine topics of interest and perspectives of secondary science students in a large school district in the southwestern U.S. A situated learning perspective was used to frame the project. The research questions of this study focused on (a) perceptions students have about themselves and their science classroom and how these beliefs may influence their participation in the community of practice of science; (b) consideration of how a future science classroom where the curriculum is framed by the Next Generation Science Standards might foster students' beliefs and perceptions about science education and their legitimate peripheral participation in the community of practice of science; and (c) reflecting on their school science interests and perspectives, what can be inferred about students' identities as future scientists or STEM field professionals? Data were collected from 515 second year science students during a 4-week period in May of 2012 using a Web-based survey. Data were disaggregated by gender and ethnicity and analyzed descriptively and by statistical comparison between groups. Findings for Research Question 1 indicated that boys and girls showed statistically significant differences in scientific topics of interest. There were no statistical differences between ethnic groups although. For Research Question 2, it was determined that participants reported an increase in their interest when they deemed the context of the content to be personally relevant. Results for Research Question 3 showed that participants do not see themselves as youthful scientists or as becoming scientists. While participants value the importance of science in their lives and think all students should take science, they do not aspire to careers in science. Based on this study, a need for potential future work has been identified in three areas: (a) exploration of the perspectives and interests of non-mainstream students and urban students whose representation in this study was limited; (b) investigation of topics where students expressed low interests topics; and (c) development and design of authentic communities of practice in the science classroom.

Ebert, Ellen Kress

413

Student understanding of Symmetry and Gauss's law  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Helping students learn why Gauss's law can or cannot be easily applied to determine the strength of the electric field at various points for a particular charge distribution, and then helping them learn to determine the shape of the Gaussian surfaces if sufficient symmetry exists can develop their reasoning and problem solving skills. We investigate the difficulties that students in calculus-based introductory physics courses have with the concepts of symmetry, electric field and electric flux that are pivotal to Gauss's law of electricity. Determination of the electric field using Gauss's law requires discerning the symmetry of a particular charge distribution and being able to predict the direction of the electric field everywhere if a high symmetry exists. It requires a good grasp of how to add the electric field vectors using the principle of superposition, and the concepts of area vector and electric flux. We administered free response and multiple-choice questions and conducted interviews with individual students using a think-aloud protocol to elucidate the difficulties students have with the concepts of symmetry, electric field and electric flux. Here we discuss student responses to some questions on a multiple-choice test administered to them. The test can be used both as a teaching and assessment tool.

Singh, Chandralekha

2010-01-18

414

Student understanding of Symmetry and Gauss's law  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Helping students learn why Gauss's law can or cannot be easily applied to determine the strength of the electric field at various points for a particular charge distribution, and then helping them learn to determine the shape of the Gaussian surfaces if sufficient symmetry exists can develop their reasoning and problem solving skills. We investigate the difficulties that students in calculus-based introductory physics courses have with the concepts of symmetry, electric field and electric flux that are pivotal to Gauss's law of electricity. Determination of the electric field using Gauss's law requires discerning the symmetry of a particular charge distribution and being able to predict the direction of the electric field everywhere if a high symmetry exists. It requires a good grasp of how to add the electric field vectors using the principle of superposition, and the concepts of area vector and electric flux. We administered free response and multiple-choice questions and conducted interviews with individual students using a think-aloud protocol to elucidate the difficulties students have with the concepts of symmetry, electric field and electric flux. Here we discuss student responses to some questions on a multiple-choice test administered to them. The test can be used both as a teaching and assessment tool.

Singh, Chandralekha

2005-09-01

415

Using Computer Simulations To Enhance Conceptual Change: The Roles of Constructivist Instruction and Student Epistemological Beliefs.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Investigates the effects of a constructivist versus objectivist learning environment on college students' conceptual change using a computer simulation of the human cardiovascular system as an instructional tool. Contains 33 references. (DDR)

Windschitl, Mark; Andre, Thomas

1998-01-01

416

Understanding childbirth practices as an organizational cultural phenomenon: a conceptual framework.  

PubMed

Understanding the main values and beliefs that might promote humanized birth practices in the specialized hospitals requires articulating the theoretical knowledge of the social and cultural characteristics of the childbirth field and the relations between these and the institution. This paper aims to provide a conceptual framework allowing examination of childbirth practices through the lens of an organizational culture theory. A literature review performed to extrapolate the social and cultural factors contribute to birth practices and the factors likely overlap and mutually reinforce one another, instead of complying with the organizational culture of the birth place. The proposed conceptual framework in this paper examined childbirth patterns as an organizational cultural phenomenon in a highly specialized hospital, in Montreal, Canada. Allaire and Firsirotu's organizational culture theory served as a guide in the development of the framework. We discussed the application of our conceptual model in understanding the influences of organizational culture components in the humanization of birth practices in the highly specialized hospitals and explained how these components configure both the birth practice and women's choice in highly specialized hospitals. The proposed framework can be used as a tool for understanding the barriers and facilitating factors encountered birth practices in specialized hospitals. PMID:24215446

Behruzi, Roxana; Hatem, Marie; Goulet, Lise; Fraser, William; Misago, Chizuru

2013-01-01

417

Understanding childbirth practices as an organizational cultural phenomenon: a conceptual framework  

PubMed Central

Understanding the main values and beliefs that might promote humanized birth practices in the specialized hospitals requires articulating the theoretical knowledge of the social and cultural characteristics of the childbirth field and the relations between these and the institution. This paper aims to provide a conceptual framework allowing examination of childbirth practices through the lens of an organizational culture theory. A literature review performed to extrapolate the social and cultural factors contribute to birth practices and the factors likely overlap and mutually reinforce one another, instead of complying with the organizational culture of the birth place. The proposed conceptual framework in this paper examined childbirth patterns as an organizational cultural phenomenon in a highly specialized hospital, in Montreal, Canada. Allaire and Firsirotu’s organizational culture theory served as a guide in the development of the framework. We discussed the application of our conceptual model in understanding the influences of organizational culture components in the humanization of birth practices in the highly specialized hospitals and explained how these components configure both the birth practice and women’s choice in highly specialized hospitals. The proposed framework can be used as a tool for understanding the barriers and facilitating factors encountered birth practices in specialized hospitals.

2013-01-01

418

The influence of formative assessments on student motivation, achievement, and conceptual change  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

This study connected research on formative assessment, motivation, and conceptual change. In particular, it examined three research questions: (1) Can formative assessment improve students' motivational beliefs? (2) Can formative assessment improve students' achievement in science and bring about conceptual change? and (3) Are students' science achievement and conceptual change correlated with their motivational beliefs? Formative assessment in this study refers to assessments embedded in an inquiry-based curriculum. To answer those questions, a randomized experiment was conducted. One thousand and two 6th or 7th graders of 12 teachers in 12 different schools in six states participated in the study. The 12 teachers were matched in pairs and randomly assigned to the experimental and control group. The experimental group employed embedded formative assessments while teaching a science curriculum unit and the control group taught the same unit without formative assessments. All the students were given a motivation survey and one or more achievement tests at pre- and posttest. By comparing the experimental and control students' motivation and achievement scores at pretest and posttest, I examined whether the formative assessment treatment affected students' motivation, learning, and conceptual change. By correlating students' posttest motivation, achievement as well as conceptual change scores, I examined whether students' motivation was related to their achievement and conceptual change. Analyses indicated that, the embedded assessments used by the experimental group did not significantly influence students' motivation, achievement, or conceptual change compared to students in the control group. Most motivation beliefs were correlated with students' achievement in a way similar to what has been reported in the literature. They were not correlated with students' conceptual change scores as hypothesized. Teachers, as well as some contextual factors associated with teachers, were extremely influential on students' motivation, achievement, and conceptual change; teacher effects overshadowed the treatment effect. This study revealed many of the challenges and problems teachers, researchers and randomized experiments are likely to encounter. It also highlighted the difficulty and importance of high-fidelity formative assessment implementation. Finally, it suggested that a cognitive approach in studying conceptual change still has great value to further research.

Yin, Yue

419

Student understanding of the ideal gas law, Part I: A macroscopic perspective  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Our findings from a long-term investigation indicate that many students cannot properly interpret or apply the ideal gas law after instruction in introductory physics and chemistry as well as more advanced courses. The emphasis in this paper is on the concepts of pressure, volume, and temperature at the macroscopic level. We describe some serious conceptual and reasoning difficulties that we have identified. Results from our research were applied in the design of a curriculum that has helped improve student understanding of the ideal gas law.

Kautz, Christian H.; Heron, Paula R.; Loverude, Michael E.; Mcdermott, Lillian C.

2012-07-12

420

How students combine resources to build understanding of complex topics  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

The field of Physics Education Research (PER) seeks to investigate how students learn physics and how instructors can help students learn more effectively. The process by which learners create understanding about a complex physics concept is an active area of research. My study explores this process, using solar cells as the context. To understand how a photovoltaic cell works involves drawing knowledge from many different areas of physics, so this provides a fertile area to study how students build understanding of complex ideas. I have used the "knowledge in pieces" theoretical framework to understand how students learn about solar cells by activating cognitive resources. In this framework, we can see learners building understanding out of more basic bits of knowledge, known as resources, that are derived from students' prior experience. This study seeks to learn more about how students combine multiple resources as they construct understanding of a complex physics topic. To achieve this goal, I have created instructional materials and assessment instruments used to collect written and spoken data on students' reasoning. The analysis of this data revealed that students are most likely to successfully build understanding when they activate multiple types of resource simultaneously. I propose possible explanations for this pattern and present ways this finding could impact instruction.

Richards, Alan J.

421

A Discussion Group Program Enhances the Conceptual Reasoning Skills of Students Enrolled in a Large Lecture-Format Introductory Biology Course  

PubMed Central

It has been well-established that discussion groups enhance student learning in large lecture courses. The goal of this study was to determine the impact of a discussion group program on the development of conceptual reasoning skills of students enrolled in a large lecture-format introductory biology course. In the discussion group, students worked on problems based on topics discussed in lecture. The program was evaluated using three assessment tools. First, student responses to pre- and posttests were analyzed. The test question asked the students to demonstrate the relationships between 10 different but related terms. Use of a concept map to link the terms indicated an advanced level of conceptual reasoning skills. There was a 13.8% increase in the use of concept maps from pre- to posttest. Second, the students took a Likert-type survey to determine the perceived impact of the program on their conceptual reasoning skills. Many of the students felt that the program helped them understand and use the main course concepts to logically solve problems. Finally, average exam grades increased as the semester progressed. The average final grade in the course was 75%. Students enrolled in the course the previous year (where the lecture component of the course did not assess or reflect student learning in the discussion group) had an average final grade of 69%. The results of this study demonstrate that the discussion group program improves the conceptual reasoning skills of students enrolled in a large lecture-format introductory biology course.

Peteroy-Kelly, Marcy A.

2007-01-01

422

Promoting fourth graders' conceptual change of their understanding of electric current via multiple analogies  

Microsoft Academic Search

For the past two decades, a growing amount of research has shown that the use of analogies in science teaching and learning promotes meaningful understanding of complex scientific concepts (Gentner, [1983]; Glynn, [1989]; Harrison & Treagust, [1993]; Wong, [1993]). This article presents a study in which multiple analogies were used as scaffolding to link students' prior understanding of daily life

Mei-Hung Chiu; Jing-Wen Lin

2005-01-01

423

Minority Students: Understanding a New Clientele.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Provides data on recruitment, family, academic background, attitudes, and extracurricular/cultural interests of 1288 minority engineering technology students. Indicates that although their high school achievement was superior to average freshmen, their limited finances and low self-esteem remain as problems. Recommendations for addressing the…

Tarmy Rudnick, Diane

1985-01-01

424

Enhancing Student Understanding of Environmental Sciences Research.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Presents an authentic semi-guided student research project. Studies the impact of a regional invasion of non-indigenous worm species on decomposition in forest soils. Describes the experimental design, data analysis, and interpretation of the data. (Contains 16 references.) (YDS)

Gurwick, Noel P.; Krasny, Marianne E.

2001-01-01

425

Using Psychological Models to Understand Student Motivation.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Efforts to enhance student motivation can be more effective if they are approached from the perspective of psychological models of what drives human behavior including social learning theory, personal growth as a primary goal, cognitive development theory, self-efficacy theory, and expectancy-value theory. (Author/MLW)

Lucas, Ann F.

1990-01-01

426

Student President Committed to Understanding, Honesty  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This article presents the author's profile. The author is an enrolled member of the Comanche Tribe and a descendant of the last leader of the Quahada Band. Currently, she attends Comanche Nation College in Lawton, Oklahoma, where she is a junior-level student majoring in both biology and chemistry with a minor in non-romance languages. From…

Steinmeyer, Allison Paige

2009-01-01

427

Do Students Understand Liberal Arts Disciplines?  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

The educational purpose of the curricular breadth encouraged at liberal arts institutions is for students to acquire a variety of skills and knowledge, but it is often claimed that most skills are taught "across the curriculum," and liberal arts colleges tend to downplay disciplinary information when listing their educational goals. In this…

Elmore, Donald E.; Prentice, Julia C.; Trosset, Carol

2006-01-01

428

The role of genetics in students' understandings of biological evolution  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

An important element of an education is an understanding of biology. Science education researchers have shown that both high school and college biology students finish their biology instruction with a poor understanding of evolution, an important unifying concept of the discipline. The goal of this study is to examine the role of genetics in students understanding of evolution. Eight introductory college biology students' understandings of evolutionary biology and their use of genetics concepts as they addressed problems in evolution were examined. Data collected included students' classwork and individual student interviews. Data analysis began with an examination of each students understanding of evolution concepts. The framework for this analysis was based on Mayr's (1982) description of Darwin's five theories: evolution as such, common descent, natural selection, gradualism, and multiplication of species. The descriptions of students' understandings of evolution are followed by an account of how students used genetics concepts to support their explanations of evolutionary processes. The data from this study illustrate how students used transmission genetics, molecular biology and population genetics to support their understandings of evolution. The students in this study constructed syntheses of genetics and evolution concepts that they employed to solve problems. These syntheses fell into three categories: productive, semi-productive and obstructive. Students who achieved a productive synthesis of genetics and evolution concepts also held appropriate understandings of common descent, natural selection, gradualism, and speciation. Students who constructed either a semi-productive or obstructive synthesis of genetics and evolution did not benefit in the same way. Productive synthesis students benefited from their syntheses of genetics and evolution concepts in three ways. They were able to construct complete problem solutions for evolutionary problems, to dismiss common misconceptions associated with natural selection, and to construct an appropriate understanding of evolutionary processes, particularly natural selection and speciation. The findings of this study suggest one way teachers can help their students to develop an understanding of evolution is to teach genetics first. Knowledge of genetics provided students in this study a tool to explain the origin of variations in populations, evidence for common descent, and strengthened their understandings of the mechanisms of evolution.

Rowe, Mary Frances

2001-10-01

429

Using conceptual metaphor and functional grammar to explore how language used in physics affects student learning  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This paper introduces a theory about the role of language in learning physics. The theory is developed in the context of physics students and physicists talking and writing about the subject of quantum mechanics. We found that physicistsâ language encodes different varieties of analogical models through the use of grammar and conceptual metaphor. We hypothesize that students categorize concepts into ontological categories based on the grammatical structure of physicistsâ language. We also hypothesize that students overextend and misapply conceptual metaphors in physicistsâ speech and writing. Using our theory, we will show how, in some cases, we can explain student difficulties in quantum mechanics as difficulties with language.

Brookes, David T.; Etkina, Eugenia

2008-07-23

430

Using conceptual metaphor and functional grammar to explore how language used in physics affects student learning  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

This paper introduces a theory about the role of language in learning physics. The theory is developed in the context of physics students and physicists talking and writing about the subject of quantum mechanics. We found that physicists’ language encodes different varieties of analogical models through the use of grammar and conceptual metaphor. We hypothesize that students categorize concepts into ontological categories based on the grammatical structure of physicists’ language. We also hypothesize that students overextend and misapply conceptual metaphors in physicists’ speech and writing. Using our theory, we will show how, in some cases, we can explain student difficulties in quantum mechanics as difficulties with language.

Brookes, David T.; Etkina, Eugenia

2007-06-01

431

Examining the construction process: A study of changes in level 10 students' understanding of classical mechanics  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

This study explored students' conceptual understanding and conceptual growth regarding classical mechanics in the natural context of a Grade-level 10 science classroom. The purpose of the study was to determine the pervasiveness of a pattern observed in an earlier study in which learners initially gave evidence of scientifically valid knowledge structures but then returned or regressed to an earlier, primitive level of understanding. In the current study, concept mapping and interview methods were used to capture students' construction of knowledge patterns across a survey course designed to focus on some big ideas in physics. The analyses of mean ratings of student-generated concept maps and interview transcripts over three data collections did not consistently reveal the progression-regression patterns across the instruction as observed in the earlier study. The students' knowledge structures remained stable across the 10 weeks and remained unchanged 4 weeks after instruction ceased, suggesting that very little construction or restructuring of knowledge was taking place, and possibly worse, that the students' existing knowledge was not challenged sufficiently to promote the construction or reconstruction process. Implications of the alternative interpretations are discussed.

Shymansky, James; Yore, Larry; Treagust, David; Thiele, R. B.; Harrison, A.; Waldrip, L. D.

2005-11-23

432

Exploring Grade 11 Students' Conceptual Pathways of the Particulate Nature of Matter in the Context of Multirepresentational Instruction  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

This study investigated the conceptual pathways of 19 Grade 11 introductory chemistry students (age 16-17) as they participated in a multirepresentational instruction on the particulate nature of matter (PNM). This study was grounded in contemporary conceptual change theory, in particular, research on students' conceptual pathways that focuses on…

Adadan, Emine; Trundle, Kathy Cabe; Irving, Karen E.

2010-01-01

433

Examining students' understanding of electrical circuits through multiple-choice testing and interviews  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Research has shown that both high school and university students have misconceptions about direct current resistive electric circuits. At present, there are no standard diagnostic examinations in electric circuits. Such an instrument would be useful in determining what conceptual problems students have either before or after instruction. The information provided by the exam can be used by classroom instructors to evaluate their instructional methods and the progress and conceptual problems of their students. It can be used to evaluate curricular packages and/or other supplemental materials for their effectiveness in overcoming students' conceptual difficulties. Two versions of a diagnostic instrument known as Determining and Interpreting Resistive Electric circuits Concepts Tests (DIRECT) were developed, each consisting of 29 questions. DIRECT was administered to groups of high school and university students in the United States, Canada and Germany. The students had completed their study of electrostatics and direct current electric circuits prior to taking the exam. Individual interviews were conducted after the administration of version 1.0 to determine how students were interpreting the questions and to uncover their reasoning behind their selections. The analyses indicate that students, especially females, tend to hold multiple misconceptions, even after instruction. The idea that the battery is a constant source of current was used most often in answering the questions. Although students tend to use different misconceptions for each question presented, they do use misconceptions associated with the global objective of the question. Students' definitions of terms used on the exam and their misconceptions were examined. Students tended to confuse terms, especially current. They assigned the properties of current to voltage and/or resistance. One of the major findings from the study was that students were able to translate easily from a "realistic" representation of a circuit to the corresponding schematic diagram. Results indicated that students do not have a clear understanding of the underlying mechanisms of electric circuit phenomena. Students had difficulty handling simultaneous changes of variable. Current was the main concept used in solving the problems. Some of the students who were interviewed reverted to formulas to answer the questions.

Engelhardt, Paula Vetter

434

"Surprisingly, there is an actual physical applicationâ¦" Student understanding in Math Methods  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Among the canonical physics core courses taken by most undergraduate majors is a course in mathematical methods. Physics education research has begun to explore upper division physics courses, as well as the use of mathematics throughout the physics curriculum. The math methods course is an especially opportune environment to study the development of conceptual understanding of key ideas in mathematics and physics as well as the development of broadly applicable skills and the sociocultural norms of physics. In this poster we will explore some of what happened in a particular math methods course, with attention to the development of student content understanding as well as the development of community norms.

Loverude, Michael E.; Li, Sissi L.

2014-02-01

435

Using a cognitive structural model to provide new insights into students' understandings of diffusion  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

In their paper, Martinez, Solanto, and Jiminez compared a number of methodologies used to describe students' understandings of scientific conceptions. One of the issues raised by the authors was the lack of a theoretical platform based in the area of cognition upon which the data were analysed. This paper investigates students' understandings of diffusion through the application of a cognitive structural perspective provided by the Structure of the Observed Learning Outcome model devised by Biggs and Collis. In this study, 60 senior secondary school and 120 first-year university science students were presented with two extended response questions regarding diffusion. Four months after the completion of the questionnaires, 30 students were interviewed. The responses obtained from the students were interpreted using the Structure of the Observed Learning Outcome model. The results from the study provided strong evidence of a pathway of conceptual understanding of diffusion from simple intuitive ideas about movement to highly abstract views in which students explained the random motion of molecules in terms of kinetic theory. These results were consistent for both the high school and university students. In addition, the pathway provided a means of interpreting previous research results and practical ways of improving instruction in the future.

Panizzon, Debra

2003-12-01

436

Promoting understanding of chemical representations: Students' use of a visualization tool in the classroom  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Many students have difficulty learning symbolic and molecular representations of chemistry. This study investigated how students developed an understanding of chemical representations with the aid of a computer-based visualizing tool, eChem, that allowed them to build molecular models and view multiple representations simultaneously. Multiple sources of data were collected with the participation of 71 eleventh graders at a small public high school over a 6-week period. The results of pre- and posttests showed that students' understanding of chemical representations improved substantially (p < .001, effect size = 2.68-. The analysis of video recordings revealed that several features in eChem helped students construct models and translate representations. Students who were highly engaged in discussions while using eChem made referential linkages between visual and conceptual aspects of representations. This in turn may have deepened their understanding of chemical representations and concepts. The findings also suggest that computerized models can serve as a vehicle for students to generate mental images. Finally, students demonstrated their preferences of certain types of representations and did not use all types of three-dimensional models interchangeably.

Wu, Hsin-Kai; Krajcik, Joseph S.; Soloway, Elliot

2001-09-01

437

Mapping for Conceptual Change  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Students' understanding of science develops through everyday experiences. As a result, they come to the science classroom with their own notions of how the world works. As teachers, we often must help students overcome their prior na�ve notions and move them toward a more scientific understanding. This process, known as conceptual change, is fundamental to student learning. It can be aided with strategies designed to help students rationalize their perceptions in light of accepted scientific understanding. This article outlines one such strategy: a process of recursive concept mapping the authors call "mapping for conceptual change."

Kern, Cindy; Crippen, Kent J.

2008-09-01

438

Standards-based grading with voice: Listening for students' understanding  

NSDL National Science Digital Library

Standards-based grading is gaining popularity at the high school level, including physics courses. The basic notion is to give your students a list of objectives upfront that they need to master. Students can reassess often and their final grade is determined solely by their last reassessment on each standard. It is the instructor's job to help students find ways of showing their mastery to you. I implemented this in a junior-level mechanics course where the small numbers allowed me to introduce a novel twist: all assessments had to include the student's voice. This meant that students turned in pencasts, screencasts, and in-person assessments. Several days were also set aside for collaborative oral assessments, where students offered up honest advice and scores were mutually determined. In this paper, I'll share my experience trying out this pedagogical experiment and try to convey how it has improved my own understanding of my students' understanding.

Rundquist, Andy

2012-05-15

439

Examining the Validity of Knowledge Mapping as a Measure of Elementary Students' Scientific Understanding. CSE Technical Report.  

ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

Knowledge mapping is expected to measure deep conceptual understanding and allow students to characterize relationships among concepts in a domain visually. This research examined the validity of knowledge mapping as an assessment tool in science. The approach to investigating this validity was three-pronged. First, a model was outlined for the…

Klein, Davina C. D.; Chung, Gregory K. W. K.; Osmundson, Ellen; Herl, Howard E.; O'Neil, Harold F., Jr.

440

When a Bilingual Child Describes Living Things: An Analysis of Conceptual Understandings from a Language Perspective  

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

With increasing numbers of students learning science through a second language in many school contexts, there is a need for research to focus on the impact language has on studentsunderstanding of science concepts. Like other countries, Brunei has adopted a bilingual system of education that incorporates two languages in imparting its curriculum. For the first three years of school, Brunei children are taught in Malay and then for the remainder of their education, instruction is in English. This research is concerned with the influence that this bilingual education system has on children’s learning of science. The purpose was to document the patterns of Brunei students’ developing understandings of the concepts of living and non-living things and examine the impact in the change in language as the medium of instruction. A cross-sectional case study design was used in one primary school. Data collection included an interview ( n = 75), which consisted of forced-response and semi-structured interview questions, a categorisation task and classroom observation. Data were analysed quantitatively and qualitatively. The results indicate that the transition from Malay to English as the language of instruction from Primary 4 onwards restricted the students’ ability to express their understandings about living things, to discuss related scientific concepts and to interpret and analyse scientific questions. From a social constructivist perspective these language factors will potentially impact on the students’ cognitive development by limiting the expected growth of the studentsunderstandings of the concepts of living and non-living things.

Salleh, Romaizah; Venville, Grady J.; Treagust, David F.

2007-07-01

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