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Abstract Title: The analysis of student interactions with open-ended lab experiments: Integration of past knowledge and new thinking
Abstract: The lab sections of introductory physics courses provide opportunities for students learn the practices of experimental physics.   However, traditional labs focus on a step-by-step approach to confirming theory, rather than critical thinking.  Researchers are currently reforming the labs to focus on critical thinking, by combining open-ended investigations with invention tasks in which students invent the statistics they need to analyze their own data.  While these reformed labs have been shown to develop students' critical thinking, little research has been done on how students actually engage in the process of critical thinking. In our research we looked at video data of students as they interacted with these new labs. When we focused on their discussions with the new lab experiments we found critical thinking occured when each student had a different approach to solving the theory.  In their ensuing discussions, students integrating their past knowledge with new thinking.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session I
Poster Number: A54

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Samantha Malboeuf
Salem State University
and Co-Presenter(s)
Luke Conlin- Salem State University