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Full-Text Articles in Science and Mathematics Education

A Dber Approach To Writing To Learn, Brian M. Waters Apr 2017

A Dber Approach To Writing To Learn, Brian M. Waters

DBER Speaker Series

Goals for today’s talk

My research shift into DBER

Pilot studies in Scientific Writing and Communication

Research interests

Scientific Writing Help Desk

Conclusions: • Student knowledge and skill in scientific writing improved after taking “Scientific Writing and Communication” • “Writing my drafts” and “Revising my drafts…” were ranked as the most effective activities. This feedback suggests that a full-semester course with multiple drafts, peer review, and revisions is more effective than a workshop or short course without writing practice • Student confidence in the ability to write scientific manuscripts increased after taking this course. This improvement could lead to increased success for ...


Creating And Managing Successful Groups, John Sangster Mar 2017

Creating And Managing Successful Groups, John Sangster

DBER Speaker Series

• Why is group work an essential component of our classes?

• What are the standard practices in forming groups, and what are the outcomes from this practice?

• What does the research say about forming successful groups?

• Case Study: group work in senior-level road design course


Assessing Evolutionary Reasoning Of Introductory Biology Students, Sarah Spier Mar 2017

Assessing Evolutionary Reasoning Of Introductory Biology Students, Sarah Spier

DBER Speaker Series

Question: Does proficiency in natural selection knowledge predict the quality of student reasoning of reproductive potential as a component of fitness?

Hypothesis: Students with higher scores on the Concept Inventory of Natural Selection (CINS) will have more accurate descriptions of reproductive potential as a part of fitness.

Goals: Assess student ability to reason about fitness and selection in a variety of contexts. Assess student reasoning of evolutionary implications of an ecological scenario


Social And Behavioral Science Research Support At Unl, Mindy Anderson-Knott Mar 2017

Social And Behavioral Science Research Support At Unl, Mindy Anderson-Knott

DBER Speaker Series

Mindy Anderson-Knott provides an overview of the various research support offerings at UNL related to the social and behavior sciences. The presentation will explain how the Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Consortium can help researchers with their social and behavior science needs, and will navigate participants through many of the support structures that exist on campus.


Knowing What Students Know: How Question Formats Differ In Their Abilities To Reveal Student Thinking, Brian Couch Mar 2017

Knowing What Students Know: How Question Formats Differ In Their Abilities To Reveal Student Thinking, Brian Couch

DBER Speaker Series

Instructors use assessment ubiquitously throughout undergraduate STEM courses to gauge student understanding of important concepts. The utility of an assessment can be partly judged by the degree to which it can detect the presence of correct and incorrect understandings. We will discuss a series of within-subjects controlled experiments to determine how student responses differ for questions posed in multiple-choice, multiple-true-false, or free-response formats as well as implications of this research for instructional practice.


A Case Study Of The Variables For Women’S Success In Engineering And Computing, Arefeh Mohammadi Feb 2017

A Case Study Of The Variables For Women’S Success In Engineering And Computing, Arefeh Mohammadi

DBER Speaker Series

There is a huge shortage of skilled workforce in the engineering and computing related industries. According to the BLS data women have consistently constituted less than 10% of the workforce in the construction industry, which exemplifies the under representation of women in this field. This qualitative research aims at helping women sustain in engineering workforce, empower them in the choices they make to enter and success in the industry, and look at ways to create a safe and encouraging environment for women to survive and thrive in the workforce. This is believed to be possible through creating platform to educate ...


“Thank God I’M Mexican”: Cognitive Racial Reappraisal Strategies Of Latino Engineering Students, Elvira Abrica Feb 2017

“Thank God I’M Mexican”: Cognitive Racial Reappraisal Strategies Of Latino Engineering Students, Elvira Abrica

DBER Speaker Series

Despite the fact that Latinos pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degrees as often as their peers, Latino degree completion rates lag behind those of other demographic groups. In an effort to better understand Latino persistence in STEM, this qualitative study explored the non-cognitive persistence strategies of Latino men pursuing engineering degrees at two highly selective, four-year institutions. Specifically, this study explored Latino engineering students’ understanding and responses to race and racism, with attention to ways in which understanding and responses differed by immigrant generation. A total of 37 semi-structured interviews were conducted and analyzed. Findings indicate that immigrant ...


The Potential Scientist’S Dilemma: How The Masculine Framing Of Science Shapes Friendships And Science Job Aspirations, G. Robin Gauthier, Julia Mcquillan, Patricia Wonch Hill, Amy Spiegel, Judy Diamond Feb 2017

The Potential Scientist’S Dilemma: How The Masculine Framing Of Science Shapes Friendships And Science Job Aspirations, G. Robin Gauthier, Julia Mcquillan, Patricia Wonch Hill, Amy Spiegel, Judy Diamond

DBER Speaker Series

In the United States, girls and boys have similar science achievement, yet fewer girls aspire to science careers than boys. This paradox emerges in middle school, when peers begin to play a stronger role in shaping adolescent identities. We use complete network data on a single middle school and theories of gender, identity, and social distance to explore how friendship patterns might influence this gender and science paradox. Three patterns highlight the social dimensions of gendered science persistence: 1) Boys and girls do not differ in self-perceived science potential and science career aspirations; 2) Consistent with gender-based norms, both middle ...


Mini-Symposium: Best Practices For Reu Programs And Unl, Mark A. Griep Jan 2017

Mini-Symposium: Best Practices For Reu Programs And Unl, Mark A. Griep

DBER Speaker Series

If you want to learn how to run an REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) program (or to make your REU program run more smoothly), then this is your opportunity to ask questions. The presentation will begin with 5-min talks from five REU program coordinators. These coordinators run a wide range of programs and have experience ranging from 1 year to 12 years. They will mention things such as how many applicants their program receives, how they review those files, an outline of the non-research portion of their summer program, and what sorts of outcomes they collect so they can report ...


Self-Regulated Learning In Engineering Labs, Presentacion Rivera Jan 2017

Self-Regulated Learning In Engineering Labs, Presentacion Rivera

DBER Speaker Series

Students’ task interpretation is a critical first step in the process of self-regulated learning and a key determinant in students setting their learning goals and selecting strategies to approach assigned work. Laboratory activities improve students’ conceptual understanding because of the cognitive demand when students integrate laboratory activities and theory. The purpose of this study is to investigate how students’ interpretation of the task assigned during laboratory work may change during the task process, and how it is related to their conceptual understanding. One-hundred and forty-three students enrolled in the course of Electronics participated in this study. Instruments used to measure ...


Collegiate Active Learning Calculus Survey (Calcs): Adapting An Instrument And Using Results, Wendy M. Smith Oct 2016

Collegiate Active Learning Calculus Survey (Calcs): Adapting An Instrument And Using Results, Wendy M. Smith

DBER Speaker Series

When we make changes to a course, we want to know if they "worked." There is often a desire to broaden the definition of success beyond student (passing) grades. We know from research that the further students go in mathematics, their attitudes toward and beliefs about mathematics get more and more negative. Thus, if we slow or even reverse that trend, we might then claim success for our reform efforts. Research teams at the University of Colorado Boulder created the CLASS: Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey; this was originally designed for undergraduate physics, then later adapted for use with ...


Benefits Of Using R For Dber, Jordan Harshman Oct 2016

Benefits Of Using R For Dber, Jordan Harshman

DBER Speaker Series

When carrying out quantitative discipline based educational research projects, researchers have a variety of choices when it comes to which statistical package s/he chooses to use. In this presentation, I will convey how one programming language, R, has not only provided an abundance of advantages, but has transformed the way I see data analysis. R is a free program with thousands of add-in packages capable of doing a majority of basic and advanced statistical techniques and graphics. By investigating a hypothetical data set through cluster analysis, I will present how 1) defining custom functions efficiently allows for iterative exploratory ...


Clicker Use In Introductory Biology: Impacts On Exam Performance, Joanna K. Hubbard Oct 2016

Clicker Use In Introductory Biology: Impacts On Exam Performance, Joanna K. Hubbard

DBER Speaker Series

In-class response systems, or clickers, are useful formative assessment tools that support learning by providing real-time feedback that can be used to correct misconceptions through peer discussion and instructor guidance. Previous research has shown that peer discussion improves conceptual understanding within a class period. In this study, we asked whether the benefits of peer discussion could be detected on a longer time scale. We asked exam questions that were isomorphic to in-class clicker questions and found students that participated in peer discussion scored higher than students that were not in class for the discussion. We also examined the effect of ...


Teaching And Research In Scil 101: Science And Decision-Making For A Complex World, Jenny Dauer Oct 2016

Teaching And Research In Scil 101: Science And Decision-Making For A Complex World, Jenny Dauer

DBER Speaker Series

SCIL 101 “Science and decision-making for a complex world” is the new introductory core class for all of the students in CASNR. The learning objectives are targeted toward developing students’ science literacy skills. The course will be described, as well as findings from on-going science literacy research that investigates indicators of formal and informal decision-making in the course.


Improving Science Student Retention: A Survey Tool To Measure First-Year Students’ Likelihood To Remain At Unl, Mark E. Burbach, Shannon Moncure Sep 2016

Improving Science Student Retention: A Survey Tool To Measure First-Year Students’ Likelihood To Remain At Unl, Mark E. Burbach, Shannon Moncure

DBER Speaker Series

Purpose

•Develop, test, and share a first-year college student retention instrument that can be used to both assess students’ likeliness to remain enrolled at UNL and the effectiveness of courses and instructional methods on student retention.

•Focus on those working most directly with students (i.e. advisors, instructors, etc.), less institutional focus


Spatial Skills & Introductory Computing, Steve Cooper Sep 2016

Spatial Skills & Introductory Computing, Steve Cooper

DBER Speaker Series

Our questions

Is there a correlation between a student's spatial abilities and her ability in programming? Spatial abilities are measured through the R-PSVT, and CS programming ability is measured the 2009 AP CS MC questions

If yes, can we increase programming success through the teaching of spatial skills?

Results

Spatial training seemed to be correlated with better CS gains, and in particular helped Hispanic women and students from low SES backgrounds

Caveats

We measured code reading, but taught code writing

Differing student demographics for the 2 sessions

Small n


Put Away Your Phone And Learn! How Technology Engages Or Disengages Students And… When It Is Good That Your Students Are Confused, Douglas K. Duncan Apr 2016

Put Away Your Phone And Learn! How Technology Engages Or Disengages Students And… When It Is Good That Your Students Are Confused, Douglas K. Duncan

DBER Speaker Series

Some technology increases student learning, some decreases it. I will show evidence of both and discuss what makes the difference. Approximately 70% of college students now text during class, and no faculty member we studied saw even as much as half of the texting that occurred. Is there any viable way to stop this? What should instructors do about the use of laptops in class?

The second part of the talk will address the uses of confusion, presenting interesting data showing the type of confusion that leads to increased student learning. Part of the discussion will be how demos – beloved ...


The Scientific Teaching Practices Survey For Undergraduate Stem Courses, Mary F. Durham, Jenny K. Knight, Brian Couch Apr 2016

The Scientific Teaching Practices Survey For Undergraduate Stem Courses, Mary F. Durham, Jenny K. Knight, Brian Couch

DBER Speaker Series

The National Academies Summer Institutes on Undergraduate Education (SI) is a faculty development workshop in which STEM instructors are trained in the Scientific Teaching (ST) pedagogy and encouraged to implement its practices at their home institutions. While participants generally report positive experiences at the SI, it remains unclear how these experiences affect instructors’ teaching practices and associated student outcomes. As part of a larger effort to evaluate the SI, we developed a survey to gauge the frequencies of ST practices that could occur in undergraduate STEM courses. The ST Practices Survey is derived from the observable teaching practices described in ...


Using Just-In-Time Teaching In A Flipped Undergraduate Biological Systems Engineering Course, Jeyamkondan Subbiah Apr 2016

Using Just-In-Time Teaching In A Flipped Undergraduate Biological Systems Engineering Course, Jeyamkondan Subbiah

DBER Speaker Series

This study analyzed the role of the evidence-based instructional practice of Just-in-time (JIT) teaching integrated with the flipped classroom in an undergraduate biological systems engineering course. In the present paper we provide a detailed overview of the course design, development, and implementation of JIT in a flipped approach to instruction by communicating the technologies used, pedagogy employed to integrate online and in-class activities, and the collaboration between the instructional design support and instructor. Based on the results, we provide recommendations for engineering faculty that want to explore the flipped approach to teaching, examples for online learning activities and how to ...


Using Interactive Engagement Strategies To Enhance Learning In College Science Courses, Bailey Z. Kreager, Leilani Arthurs Apr 2016

Using Interactive Engagement Strategies To Enhance Learning In College Science Courses, Bailey Z. Kreager, Leilani Arthurs

DBER Speaker Series

The number of decreasing science majors in U.S. institutions of higher education is connected to the quality of science instruction (Seymour, 1994; Daempfle, 2003) and resulted in nation-wide efforts to improve the quality of college-level science education (National Committee on Science Education Standards and Assessment et al., 1996; NGSS Lead States, 2013). This talk presents historical trends in the adoption of interactive engagement (IE) strategies in college-level science courses and presents one such IE strategy, lecture tutorials (LTs), in the context of sedimentology and stratigraphy.

To determine historical trends in the adoption of IE strategies, peer-reviewed journal articles accessible ...


A Retrospective On Student Learning And Acceptance Of Evolutionary Science, Lawrence C. Scharmann Mar 2016

A Retrospective On Student Learning And Acceptance Of Evolutionary Science, Lawrence C. Scharmann

DBER Speaker Series

In this presentation, I provide an analysis of my work (1985-present) with non-major biology students and science teacher candidates in developing strategies for teaching and enhancing learning with respect to Evolutionary Science.


Remember Embers: Model-Based Reasoning, Collaborative Teams And Much More!, David Gosselin Mar 2016

Remember Embers: Model-Based Reasoning, Collaborative Teams And Much More!, David Gosselin

DBER Speaker Series

Studies of interdisciplinary research teams indicate that team members struggle to achieve knowledge integration across disciplines. Knowledge integration across disciplines is at the heart of addressing important research challenges, such as impacts of global change, trade-offs between water, food, and energy production, and the need for sustainable cities. The EMBeRS Project is testing a new model for integrating knowledge across disciplines based on cognitive science theories of model-based reasoning. The project will create educational materials to train students to overcome the barriers to integrating knowledge across disciplines.

Issues arise due to the inability of team members to work collaboratively in ...


Enriching Student’S Online Homework Experience In Pre-Calculus Courses: Hints And Cognitive Supports, Nathan Wakefield Mar 2016

Enriching Student’S Online Homework Experience In Pre-Calculus Courses: Hints And Cognitive Supports, Nathan Wakefield

DBER Speaker Series

As part of reforming our Pre-Calculus courses we realized that reforms to instruction needed to be accompanied by reforms to the homework. Homework is completed online using an open-source homework system. In this study we investigated and implemented a new means of providing our students more support on missed questions. Utilizing a new WebWorK “hints” feature and leveraging our network of experienced high-school teachers we developed leading questions and helps to prompt student thinking over procedures. Preliminary data shows many students are using these hints and the hints are working as intended. In this presentation I will discuss the development ...


Student-Teacher Affect In Stem College Course Transformation, Matthew T. Patton, Leilani Arthurs Feb 2016

Student-Teacher Affect In Stem College Course Transformation, Matthew T. Patton, Leilani Arthurs

DBER Speaker Series

Despite federal efforts to support the propagation of active-learning strategies in introductory college science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses, instructor adoption of these strategies lags behind the published research that touts their efficacy for students’ learning. Possible reasons for this lag are varied and, herein, we investigate the potential role that students play in STEM instructors’ decisions on whether and how to adopt active-learning strategies. Our study was conducted at a large public university in the Midwest. Grounded in social cognitive theory, we use a mixed methods approach that combines 34 classroom observations, one-onone interviews with students (n=57 ...


A Case Of High School Earth And Space Science Education In The Great Plains, Elizabeth Lewis, Jia Lu Feb 2016

A Case Of High School Earth And Space Science Education In The Great Plains, Elizabeth Lewis, Jia Lu

DBER Speaker Series

While U.S. high school students’ access to Earth and space science (ESS) varies widely from state to state, nationally ESS content is the most neglected area of science education. States are in the process of formally adopting the Next Generation Science Standards, which have been carefully developed and articulated in conjunction with state educational leaders. However, researchers rarely address the challenge with which states, school districts, and teachers must grapple in order to enact ESS courses and concepts. This case study of one Great Plains state asks the questions: (a) How do school districts provide ESS education at the ...


Knowledge And Tasks Connecting Elementary, Secondary, And Disciplinary Mathematics, Yvonne Lai Feb 2016

Knowledge And Tasks Connecting Elementary, Secondary, And Disciplinary Mathematics, Yvonne Lai

DBER Speaker Series

A well-prepared teacher should be able to help her students see mathematics as ideas that develop over time. Mathematics courses designed specifically for prospective secondary teachers aim for prospective teachers to see and find connections across elementary, secondary, and disciplinary mathematics, and beyond that to be able to use those connections in their future teaching. While there is broad agreement with these aims, there is also little consensus around how to carry them out. Two challenges in meeting these aims are identifying content that lends itself to such connections and designing tasks that can be used to engage with that ...


Research‐Driven Facilitation Of Systems Thinking With Computational Models In Life Sciences Education, Heather E. Bergan-Roller, Nicholas Galt, Tomáš Helikar, Joseph T. Dauer Oct 2015

Research‐Driven Facilitation Of Systems Thinking With Computational Models In Life Sciences Education, Heather E. Bergan-Roller, Nicholas Galt, Tomáš Helikar, Joseph T. Dauer

DBER Speaker Series

Systems thinking, computational modeling, and simulating systems are examples of important skills stressed in life sciences education by Vision and Change. In response to these calls, we have designed a computational modeling and simulation‐driven intervention to supplement current instruction in the life sciences curriculum. As part of our pre‐intervention assessment we evaluated students on their systems thinking in the context of cellular respiration. For this assessment, we had students create conceptual models. We found that students with lecture instruction are able to recall more components associated with the cellular respiration process but are not better able to integrate ...


Nebraskamath: Sharing Findings From A Statewide Partnership, Wendy M. Smith Sep 2015

Nebraskamath: Sharing Findings From A Statewide Partnership, Wendy M. Smith

DBER Speaker Series

I will share findings from the NebraskaMATH statewide partnership, which was funded by the NSF for $9.2million, 2009-2014. This large Math Science Partnership project included professional development and research components that targeted K-3 (Primarily Math), algebra (Nebraska Algebra) and novice secondary teachers (New Teacher Network). The Primarily Math program was the main focus of the research, and I will share findings of teacher change and the associated student achievement gains. Overall, teachers who participated in Primarily Math gained in their mathematical knowledge for teaching, their attitudes toward mathematics, and their student-centered beliefs, while seeing decreases in their mathematical anxiety ...


Integrating Computational Creativity Exercises Into Classes, Leen-Kiat Soh, Duane F. Shell Sep 2015

Integrating Computational Creativity Exercises Into Classes, Leen-Kiat Soh, Duane F. Shell

DBER Speaker Series

Introduction | Creative Thinking, Computational Thinking

Exercises | Overall Design & Examples

Results | Brief Overview

Logistics | Tips, Support & Feedback

Aim to improve the learning of computational thinking by blending it with creative thinking Creative thinking? • Patterned in a way that tends to lead to creative results • Not limited to the arts • An integral component of human intelligence that can be practiced, encouraged and developed within any context

CREATIVITY THINKING Epstein’s Generativity Theory breaks creative thinking down to four core competencies • Capturing novelty • Challenging established thinking and behavior patterns • Broadening one’s knowledge beyond one’s discipline • Surrounding oneself with new social and ...


Transforming Precalculus Instruction: Evidence-Based Course Design, Wendy M. Smith Apr 2015

Transforming Precalculus Instruction: Evidence-Based Course Design, Wendy M. Smith

DBER Speaker Series

The UNL Mathematics Department has been focused on transforming precalculus instruction since 2012, with a goal of greater levels of student success. A short-term measure of student success is the passing rate (C or better), which has jumped from an average of 62% (2007-2011) to 80% for the past two falls. A longer-term measure of student success is recruiting and retaining undergraduates to STEM disciplines and careers. In this talk I will share specifics of the reform efforts (the who-what-when-where-why-and-how), and also share preliminary results from the research we have simultaneously been conducting into the reform efforts.