Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Do Different Levels of Inquiry Affect Student Achievement in an Introductory Astronomy Lab?
by Eleby, Johnae S., M.S., California State University, Long Beach, 2019, 57; 22582982
Abstract (Summary)

Learning is fundamental, and instructors and lecturers alike have learning objectives and outcomes that they would like for their students to achieve. The issue is that these learning outcomes sometimes may not be met and not always at the hands of the instructor but by the materials and methods that the instructor is utilizing. Within the physics lab community confirmatory lab curricula have been used historically but many instructors have not been too pleased with the outcome of using this type of curriculum. Some instructors looked to employ curriculum with higher levels of inquiry. The department of Physics and Astronomy at California State University, Long Beach was looking to do just that in the introductory astronomy lab course. With the change in the lab curriculum, the department wanted to see whether there was a difference between students’ achievement for students who were in a confirmation level inquiry lab and those who are in a higher level inquiry lab, as measured by the Astronomy Diagnostic Test (ADT) and final exam scores. The ADT was administered in the beginning of the semester and again at the end and the students were given common final exam questions. The two groups in question were then compared using the results from the ADT and final exam scores. Instructors were interviewed to better understand their experiences with the lab curriculum and the students. Findings suggest that students performed better with the higher level inquiry curriculum and the role of the instructor is also an important factor.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Pickett, Galen
Commitee: Henriques, Laura, Kwon, Chuhee
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Physics and Astronomy
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 81/4(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Physics
Keywords: Astronomy, Lab, Physics Education
Publication Number: 22582982
ISBN: 9781687913432
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