P125: Describing learning progressions for the chemical reactions of nitrogen and nuclear processes [WITHDRAWN]
This study evaluated the paths of learning of 10 sophomore level students (age 15-16) enrolled in a general high school chemistry course that met for 3 hours each week. The students were assigned 4-6 hours of independent work at home each week. The research was guided by two goals: a) to explore and elucidate learning progressions for student understanding of the chemical reactions of nitrogen and nuclear processes and b) to determine whether there is consistency in scientific reasoning between these two distinct conceptual areas. Student products were collected and analyzed over a 10 week period and included homework, formative and summative tests, laboratory notebooks, reflective journals, written presentations, and discussion board contributions via Edmodo (an online program). Learning progressions can inform curriculum, instruction, and assessment and offer a way to understand problems or challenges in scientific reasoning. Learning progressions are often described as successively more sophisticated ways of reasoning within a content domain based on research synthesis and conceptual analysis (Smith, Wiser, Anderson, &Krajcik, 2006). The constant comparative method described by Glaser (1984) was used for analysis. This method enables the researcher to analyze data, compare data with data, create categories, and compare the categories in an iterative process. Learning progression levels were designated from 0 to 4 and described as 0=missing, 1=novice, 2=intermediate, 3=proficient, and 4=expert.