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Wednesday afternoon
2:20-2:30 p.m. Investigating the Metacognitive Calibra-
tion of Students in Introductory Courses
Contributed – Beth A. Lindsey, Penn State Greater Allegheny, Mc Keesport,
PA 15131-7644;
Megan L. Nagel, Penn State Greater Allegheny
“Calibration” is an aspect of metacognition that describes how well stu-
dents assess their own knowledge. We have been engaged in a multi-year
project to investigate the metacognitive calibration of students enrolled in
introductory physics and chemistry courses at a small campus of a large
public university. When assessed at the end of the semester, we found
a large disparity between students’ confidence in their ability to answer
questions compared to their actual ability to provide the correct answer on
a large number of questions that spanned the course material. We further
investigated student calibration in a series of interviews designed to ex-
amine which question features and student behaviors might lead students
to assess their knowledge more accurately. Data from written questions
and one-on-one student interviews will be presented, and the implications
these have for future investigations into student metacognition will be
2:30-2:40 p.m. Identifying Blended Ontologies for Energy
Contributed – Benjamin W. Dreyfus, University of Maryland, Department of
Physics, College Park, MD 20742;
Ayush Gupta, Edward F. Redish, University of Maryland, College Park
Energy is an abstract concept, but students and experts alike reason about
energy using ontological metaphors: metaphors that indicate what kind of
a thing energy is. These metaphors include energy as a substance (“This
object has a lot of energy”) and energy as a vertical location (“It dropped
down to a lower energy”). Both of these metaphors can be productive, but
each one has its limitations. In our previous work, we have shown that
students and experts can productively combine the substance and location
metaphors for energy and coordinate them coherently. Here, we examine
instances in which students are using both metaphors, and argue that,
in some cases, students blend these two separate metaphors into a single
ontology for energy. To determine this, we employ an integrated methodol-
ogy, analyzing both the verbal metaphors and the gestures that the students
2:40-2:50 p.m. Exploring Blended Ontologies via
Contributed – Ayush Gupta, University of Maryland, College Park, Room
1320 Physics Building, College Park, MD 20742;
Benjamin W. Dreyfus, Edward F. Redish, University of Maryland, College
In recent years there has been increased interest in understanding the
ontological metaphors in play in experts’ and novices’ reasoning about en-
ergy. By ontological metaphors we mean metaphors that indicate what kind
of a thing energy is. These metaphors include energy as a substance (“This
object has a lot of energy”) and energy as a vertical location (“It dropped
down to a lower energy”). We are investigating how experts and novices
might (or might not) coordinate and/or blend these two metaphors when
reasoning about energy. In this talk, we will focus on how to use gestures to
understand such ontological blending.
2:50-3 p.m. Educational Data Mining: Results from in
Vivo Experiments to Teach Different Physics Topics
Contributed – Daniel Sanchez-Guzman, Cicata - Legaria, Instituto Politécnico
Nacional Legaria, Del. Miguel Hidalgo, Mexico City, Mexico; dsanchezgzm@
Alejandro Ballesteros-Roman, Cicata - Legaria, Instituto Politécnico Nacional
Educational Data Mining (EDM) uses different algorithms for analyze re-
sponse and behavior in the teaching-learning process, these algorithms let
researches to analyze and classify students’ behavior or state of knowledge
from different concepts; most of these algorithms have not been tested in
Physics Education Research, this work presents the results obtained from
1:50-2 p.m. Do Individual Thinking Strategies
Consistently Inform Reasoning Approaches?*
Contributed – Mila Kryjevskaia, North Dakota State University, Department of
Physics, Fargo, ND 58108-6050;
MacKenzie R. Stetzer, University of Maine
This study was motivated by research findings suggesting that student
conceptual and reasoning competence demonstrated on one task often fails
to be exhibited on another. Even after targeted instruction, many under-
graduate physics students fail to build reasoning chains from fundamental
principles even though they possess the required knowledge and skills to
do so. Instead, they often rely on a variety of intuitive reasoning strategies.
In this study, we examined the extent to which students employ intuitive
reasoning across multiple contexts (both related and unrelated). In addi-
tion, we wanted to see if the tendency to use a particular class of reasoning
approaches (e.g., intuitive or formal) may be attributed to individual stu-
dent thinking strategies in general. Data from introductory calculus-based
physics courses will be presented and implications for instruction will be
*This work is supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos.
DUE-1245313, DUE-1245999, and DUE-0962805.
2-2:10 p.m. Metacognition and Epistemic Games in IPLS
Problem Solving
Contributed – Charles Bertram, University of Central Arkansas, Lewis Sci-
ence Center, Conway, AR 72035-0001;
Andrew Mason, University of Central Arkansas
A metacognitive exercise in problem solving was given to an introductory
physics for life sciences (IPLS) class over the course of the fall 2013 and
spring 2014 semester. The exercise featured scaffolding in the form of a
rubric students could use to note where they struggled in a group problem
solving effort. One of the concerns was that students who are not physics
majors do not necessarily have the same epistemic framework as physics
majors would for the classroom. As such, we examine written artifacts
from the students’ reflection activities for evidence of different epistemic
games. We also describe a comparison of written artifacts to pre-post data
from the FCI, MPEX, and CLASS surveys.
2:10-2:20 p.m. Exploring the Role of Metacognition in
Qualitative Reasoning*
Contributed – Thanh K. Le, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04473-4462;
MacKenzie R. Stetzer, University of Maine
Mila Kryjevskaia, North Dakota State University
Metacognition, the monitoring and regulation of one’s thinking, plays an
important role in developing conceptual understanding and facilitating
effective problem solving. To date, relatively little work has focused on the
role of student metacognition in qualitative inferential reasoning. We have
collected audio, video, and real-time written data in order to identify in-
stances of socially mediated metacognition
that occur while introductory
physics students work through qualitative problems. In particular, we use
multi-part questions that tend to elicit inconsistencies in student reason-
ing, even when students possess the requisite conceptual understanding.
This work is part of a broader effort to identify methods for improving stu-
dents learning in physics by explicitly supporting and enhancing students’
metacognitive abilities. Preliminary findings as well as specific examples
will be presented.
*This work is supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos.
DUE-1245313, DUE-1245999, and DUE-0962805.
1. M. Goos, P. Galbraith, & P. Renshaw, “Socially mediated metacognition: Creating
collaborative zones of proximal development in small group problem solving,”
tional Studies in Math.
(2), 193-223 (2002).
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