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Abstract Title: Different student populations and the Lawson Test of Scientific Reasoning
Abstract: Anton Lawson's Revised Test of Scientific Reasoning consists of 12 paired multiple-choice items that have students answer questions in the first part and justify their responses in the second. Lawson himself noted that purely pencil-and-paper methods of testing reasoning may put some subjects at a disadvantage due to their reading and writing skills. Purdue University has one of the nation's largest freshmen-level, calculus-based physics courses and one of the highest international student enrollment rates which provides a unique opportunity to test this concern for native versus non-native English speakers. During the Fall 2012 semester, we administered the Test of Scientific Reasoning with matched pre/post tests for 378 self-reported native speakers and 211 self-reported non-native speakers. Analysis of these results uncovered multiple differences between these populations as well as other issues with the Lawson instrument itself.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Ethan C. Stanley
Department of Physics, Purdue University
525 Northwestern Ave
West Lafayette, IL 47907-2036
Phone: 765-494-2970
Fax: 765-494-0706
and Co-Presenter(s)
Jignesh Mehta, Department of Physics, Purdue University
Andrew Hirsch, Department of Physics, Purdue University
Rebecca Lindell, Department of Physics, Purdue University