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Abstract Title: Assessing Student Discourse In A Reformed Physics Class: A Window Into Student Sense-Making
Abstract: In the reformed physics class at UC Davis, students work through structured activities in small groups where they are encouraged to talk to each other as they reason through and make sense of various physical phenomena. A method for analyzing student discourse to tease out the various approaches that students use in sense-making can help inform the design of small group activities.  This paper reports on the development of a discourse analysis tool that codes the sense-making approaches that students use by monitoring their language and interaction patterns. The code utilizes a lexical-grammatical approach that identifies specific word markers. This approach is grounded in systemic functional linguistics theory. We present an example of this approach by analyzing discourse when students were asked to make sense of various thermal concepts. Assessing student discourse in this way can directly inform the design of small group activities.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Antoinette Stone
University of California, Davis
2193 Autinori Court
Livermore, CA 94550
Phone: 8313255359
and Co-Presenter(s)
Wendell Potter
David Webb