Proposal Title

Measuring student beliefs, attitudes and dispositions relative to experts in science and mathematics: the C-LASS survey and its derivatives.

Session Type

Presentation

Room

PAB 148

Start Date

10-7-2013 1:15 PM

Keywords

Attitude survey, expert-novice differences, beliefs

Primary Threads

Evaluation of Learning

Abstract

As part of the Science Education Initiatives under the directorship of Carl Wieman at the University of British Columbia (CWSEI) and the University of Colorado at Boulder (CUSEI), a suite of survey instruments has been developed to measure student orientation to expert-like attitudes and dispositions in each of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Earth Sciences, Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science. The surveys, usually administered online, consist of 35-50 statements each, with a 5-point Likert scale, and may be completed quickly as opinions are measured rather than content knowledge or skills (e.g. "To learn biology, I only need to memorize facts and definitions", "Nearly everyone is capable of understanding math if they work at it."). Students are scored relative to the "expert" response for each statement (i.e. the one chosen by a strong majority of instructors and researchers in the discipline); some early validation found that students were able to identify the expert response choice but would respond with their own opinion as instructed. The result is a quick assessment of attitudes, including motivation and understanding of the nature of the discipline, which are known to be related to learning.

We will present the development process, involving iteration between survey data and statement validation stages with students and experts, as well as findings from the different disciplines in (primarily early) university courses. These include common trends, such as a tendency to see a decrease in overall expert orientation in the first year and alignment of expert attitudes with course performance, as well as some unique disciplinary outcomes. We hope to further discuss the implications for instruction with those who attend.

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Jul 10th, 1:15 PM

Measuring student beliefs, attitudes and dispositions relative to experts in science and mathematics: the C-LASS survey and its derivatives.

PAB 148

As part of the Science Education Initiatives under the directorship of Carl Wieman at the University of British Columbia (CWSEI) and the University of Colorado at Boulder (CUSEI), a suite of survey instruments has been developed to measure student orientation to expert-like attitudes and dispositions in each of Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Earth Sciences, Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science. The surveys, usually administered online, consist of 35-50 statements each, with a 5-point Likert scale, and may be completed quickly as opinions are measured rather than content knowledge or skills (e.g. "To learn biology, I only need to memorize facts and definitions", "Nearly everyone is capable of understanding math if they work at it."). Students are scored relative to the "expert" response for each statement (i.e. the one chosen by a strong majority of instructors and researchers in the discipline); some early validation found that students were able to identify the expert response choice but would respond with their own opinion as instructed. The result is a quick assessment of attitudes, including motivation and understanding of the nature of the discipline, which are known to be related to learning.

We will present the development process, involving iteration between survey data and statement validation stages with students and experts, as well as findings from the different disciplines in (primarily early) university courses. These include common trends, such as a tendency to see a decrease in overall expert orientation in the first year and alignment of expert attitudes with course performance, as well as some unique disciplinary outcomes. We hope to further discuss the implications for instruction with those who attend.