P983: Use of argumentation to investigate students’ chemical thinking

Author: Alena Moon, Purdue University, USA

Co-Author: Marcy Towns, Purdue University, USA; Courtney Stanford and Renee Cole, University of Iowa, USA

Date: 8/7/14

Time: 11:30 AM11:50 AM

Room: MAK A1165

Related Symposium: S68

Engaging in argumentation that requires students to build concepts and defend them is an effective way of developing scientific reasoning skills in students. The POGIL physical chemistry curriculum serves as a platform for providing these argumentation opportunities in the classroom. This research aims to understand and evaluate students’ arguing skills and their chemical thinking as is demonstrated through such argumentation practices. Small groups and whole class interactions over the course of two months were videotaped and transcribed. These transcriptions will be analyzed and coded according to Toulmin’s model of argumentation, a model that identifies components of arguments. Further analysis characterized students’ chemical thinking by using a learning progression on chemical thinking developed by Sevian and Talanquer (2014). For six crosscutting chemical concepts, this learning progression describes five levels of thinking ranging from descriptive (lower bound) to multicomponent (upper bound). The results from this study identify how students’ chemical thinking progresses over the course of two months, compare the level of thinking represented in small groups and whole class discussions, and determine if explicitly teaching argumentation effectively promotes multi-component thinking.

P980: How instructors influence the development of scientific arguments in POGIL classrooms

Author: Courtney Stanford, University of Iowa, USA

Co-Author: Renee Cole, University of Iowa, USA; Marcy Towns and Alena Moon, Purdue University, USA

Date: 8/7/14

Time: 10:15 AM10:35 AM

Room: MAK A1165

Related Symposium: S68

POGIL centered classrooms are designed to help students learn chemistry while encouraging the development of process skills such as communication, critical thinking, and assessment. The POGIL materials guide the students though the chemistry concepts, but the facilitation can significantly influence the development of processes skills. To investigate the importance of facilitation, four POGIL classrooms were studied using the Toulmin Analysis and the Inquiry Oriented Discursive Moves frameworks. Analysis focused on two different instructors at different schools, both of whom used the POGIL curriculum in their Physical Chemistry courses. Data was collected by recording the small group and whole class conversations and interactions taking place in the POGIL classroom. Initial analysis of an individual instructor’s implementation of the POGIL curriculum provided data regarding the nature of small group and whole class interactions, and the nature and quality of student generated arguments. This analysis was used to provide formative feedback to the instructor as to how well the observed behaviors and arguments aligned with their desired learning goals. The instructor was then able to make modifications to the facilitation of their course for the next iteration of the course. Data was collected for this subsequent implementation, and the two sets of implementations were compared. It was found that slight changes in how a POGIL classroom is facilitated can lead to significant differences in the types of student interactions and the nature of students’ arguments.