Teaching and Assessing Discipline-Independent and Discipline ...

Teaching and Assessing Discipline-Independent and Discipline ...

Teaching and Assessing DisciplineIndependent and Discipline-Specific Metacognitive Strategies Laura Wenk Assistant Professor of Cognition and Education Hampshire College Goals of this talk Examples of learning challenges and metacognitive strategies Discipline-independent examples Discipline-specific examples Teaching example for each Assessment Discipline-independent examples

Intention (goal setting) Reading comprehension (Reciprocal Teaching, PQ4R) Writing to transform ideas (rather than knowledge telling) e.g. Building explanation Building argument Genre Checking for confirmation bias and pre-mature closure Discipline-specific examples Scientific inquiry, including: Explanatory reasoning in science Empirical confirmation

Interpreting evidence to distinguish among knowledge claims Research design The helix of inquiry Theories, models, hypotheses Thinking with them Where from & where to? Primary research literature skills Reading and understanding Writing about My courses this semester CS 122T: Inquiring Minds: Find out what other students think and do (social research and

psychology) Understand social research Use primary research literature Conduct a study, manage and analyze data, write it up CS 208: How People Learn: Introduction to cognition and education Write an argument using the literature (and own research data) Why use primary research literature? Engages students schemas about:

Epistemological change What makes for a well-designed study What qualifies as evidence Distinction between data and interpretation How data are interpreted Theory-based explanations are inherently uncertain Results hinge on the details of the research process Preparation for students own research Challenges to using primary literature Students cant find it/evaluate it Arent interested in it (at first) Cant understand it

New genre, vocabulary, assumptions, etc. Difficult to draw the larger lessons from it Its about more than just understanding this study Some ideas to meet the challenges Going slowly Breaking primary literature skills into components Metacognitive explicitness Rubric Using the project to maintain motivation Questions assigned with a research article:

1) 2) 3) 4) What question is addressed? Explain the relevant past research and ideas that led to it What hypothesis was investigated? Explain how it is related to the research question you discussed in #1 above. How was the study set up? Explain why it was set up this way. What data were collected? Explain why the authors chose these particular data to collect. Questions assigned with a research article: 5) 6) 7) 8) What were the results? Explain how well the results do (or do not) support the hypothesis.

Explain any alternative explanations for the findings What further research does this study suggest? Explain why it should be conducted. In-class activity Students compare answers in expert groups by question Groups present best responses All discuss what makes for strong answers, what is appropriate level of detail Meta-conceptual conversations on the nature of science, design issues, underlying assumptions, interpretation, etc. Students receive feedback via rubric Question 1 through 8 Articulate and explain

conceptual issues (well elaborated) Articulate conceptual issues (no elaboration) Miss important conceptual issues and/or confused about the science Subsequent assignments Additional common articles Answer questions Student self-assesses with rubric I assess with rubric

We compare assessments Multiple opportunities for modeling and practice with feedback Sample Student Responses and Assessments Question Sample responses Assessment and explanation What data were collected? Explain why the authors chose these particular data to collect. The data collected were the BDI and HOME scores. They chose these tests because they would show no t only cognitive development, but also the way in which the environment was affecting them. The BDI tests various levels, thus it gives results in many areas of developmentIt was also used because it was standardized on 800 children from a wide spectrum of socioeconomic backgrounds, has high correlation coefficients for test-retest

reliability, and acceptable content validity. Test developers of the BDI intended it to be used to identify children at risk for developmental handicaps, meaning this test was targeting exactly what the study wanted to see. (Cocaine article, paper #3106) At 6 to 30 months, children were tested under the Bayley Scales of Infant development. At 30 months, the Preschool Language Scale was used. At 4 years, the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Revised provided intelligence quotients. At 3 and 5 years, the Battelle Developmental Inventory was used for evaluation of the subjects. It is broken up in five categories: Personal-Social, Adaptive, Motor, Communication, and Cognitive. At 4 years, the home environ ment was assessed using the Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment (HOME) test. (Cocaine article, paper #3004) At the three-year test the control children weighed more than the cocaine exposed children, and at the 5 year test the control group was slightly younger. Also, at both intervals less of the cocaine exposed kids were in the care of their biological mothers. Both the cocaine-exposed and non-exposed children scored similarly on the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, the Preschool Languag e

Scale, and the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence Revised. (Cocaine article, paper # 3037) Elaboratedexplains data discussing design considerations. In this response, the student goes beyond reporting simply what data were collected. This student articulates what the different tests are measuring, why these tests are the correct tests to use (sound psychometric properties such as reliability, validity, and standardization and they measure multiple facets of development), and also notes the importance of the environmental measure to compar e its effect versus the effect of cocaine exposure. Unelaboratedtells data without elaborating on design considerations. In this response, the student mentions all of the important data that were collected. There is no explanation of the significance of using these particular measures. Misunderstoodconfuses data with results. This response calls into question whether

the student understands the distinction between the data that were collected and the analyses performed on those data. Study Results - 100 Level Natural Science Classes Question Level of Answer Prescore Postscore Pre-post Difference Research Question/Importance Explanatory Mentions Misconception 24 107 22 29 117

20 5 10 -2 Hypothesis Explanatory Mentions Misconception 7 76 34 10 115 12 2 39* -22* Set-up (design) Explanatory Mentions Misconception

5 120 15 24 85 12 20* -34* -2 Data collected Explanatory Mentions Misconception 7 78 29 27 66 10 20* -12

-20* Results supporting hypothesis Explanatory Mentions Misconception 0 105 56 29 56 34 29** -49** 22 Alternative explanations Explanatory Mentions Misconception 5 39 76

10 41 54 5 2 -22 Future research suggestions Explanatory Mentions Misconception 2 59 61 5 51 61 2 -7 0 Totals

Explanatory Mentions Misconception 7 83 42 19 76 29 12* -7 -13* N=42 pre-post matched pairs First year students can Read primary research Improve understanding of research design Improve understanding of data interpretation

Improve in distinction between data and interpretation My courses this semester CS 122T: Inquiring Minds: Find out what other students think and do (social research and psychology) Understand social research Use primary research literature Conduct a study and write it up CS 208: How People Learn: Introduction to cognition and education Write an argument using the literature (and own research data) Expectations for student writing

Hampshire courses are writing intensive All students complete a senior thesis (Division III) Most course projects and the Div III are on negotiated topics Often requires interdisciplinary arguments Some challenges to writing an argument Students dont know what an argument is Why do we have to argue :-) Early college students writing tends to be descriptive rather than analytical

It lacks transitions It lacks explanation of why they are citing someone It ignores complexity The main point is often reached in the concluding paragraph Some challenges to writing an argument Students fear redundancy I already wrote what they found Students dont feel qualified to have an opinion Students strategies support descriptive writing Strategies students tend to use Reading articles/chapters and outlining them

Independent judgments about importance of each fact or idea Not transformative Reading everything before writing Sitting down to write, going back to things they had read before, and extracting the part they thought was interesting Stringing ideas together in an order suggested by an outline of topics Leaving little time for revision Some strategies to meet the challenge Write AS you read (micro-writing)

Do a number of these; have an epiphany Write across the shorter pieces (macro-writing) Read out loud (maybe to a friend) About specific ideas as they occur to you Use your own words Include important details (elaboration) Stop when you find you need to explain something/why it was there and write that explanation down Hand in for feedback Keep revising with feedback (peer and professor) Assignments to support new strategies Critical response papers (articles I assign)

Develop a thesis Engage with the article and details of the points made (of interest) Consider questions raised by the reading Portfolio of response papers Periodically engage in: Selection of best piece Assessing its strengths and weaknesses Revising Assignments to support new strategies Receive feedback from me (on portfolio and self-assessment) For final paper

Students must write critical response papers for 5 articles they find and select on their topic No study yet - but Im happier with the writing They know what I mean when I ask for elaboration or transitions, etc. Seem more able to make connections across articles Assessment - Both examples Formative feedback Explicit criteria (discussed in class/rubric) Timely feedback - adjust Both teacher and self-assessment (helps

students internalize criteria) Use same criteria on multiple assignments Use the same criteria to judge their projects Success on project requires use of target skills

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