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Measuring How Students Evaluate Evidence

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Randi Zimmerman

on 16 December 2013

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Transcript of Measuring How Students Evaluate Evidence

What we know is how we begin.
Problem based learing (PBL) and Inquiry is common form of instruction.

Authentic science requires evaluating evidence. "...evaluating evidence quality is also a core epistemic practice in science." Chinn, et al., 2013
Why Is Epistemic Cognition Important for Teaching Science?
Results Observed and Tabulated
Chinn & Malhotra, 2002
Chinn, Buckland, & Samarapungavan, 2011
National Academy of Sciences (Bransford ed.) 2000
Vosnaidou & Brewer, 1992
What this study does:
Understand the mechanisms by which students evaluate evidence.

(500 7th graders in 20 classrooms, taught by 5 teachers. Our results reflect a small subset of this large population, N=75.)

Life science unit about cells.
Why Is Epistemic Cognition Important for Learning?
Come with pre-existing knowledge (valid or not valid) to all new situations/learning.

Will build on existing knowledge even if that evidence is wrong, or hold two conflicting schemas at the same time.

Conceptual change in a classroom setting often requires guidance.
Measuring How Students Evaluate Evidence
by Randi M. Zimmerman

Create re-usable model to understand how students evaluate evidence.

Create models that scaffold evidence evaluation.

Evaluate whether collaboration may be a factor in evidence evaluation.
For Further Research
"...knowledge about knowledge, especially knowledge about fundamental issues of justification and associated matters of objectivity, subjectivity, rationality, and truth." Dr. David Moshman, Educational Psychology, Univ. of Nebraska
Me: why we think we know what we know.
Epistemic Cognition
Cooperating teachers used model-based inquiry designed by the research team.

Students evaluated and were guided to write about evidence of varying quality.
Methodology of the Study
Pick three open ended questions from three different subjects in the same topic that specifically asked students about evidence quality.

Code the data according to Chinn, Buckland, Samarapungavan, 2011.

Added finer grain analysis to reliable processes
Methodology of Analysis
Students gave detailed reasons to justify their responses.

Overall evaluations by students were positive.
Students tended to focus on "good" science practices and may have given some pieces of evidence better evaluation than deserved because of this perception.
Students looked at conclusions rather than processes. While this is not the kind of evaluation that is valid, scientists sometimes evaluate a study to be good "in part because it has clear-cut, compelling results..." Chinn, et al., 2013.
Students offered detailed reasons why methodology was either good or bad. Table 1.
This form of study provides helpful insights into students evaluation of evidence.

Statistically, these results can be pooled.
Full transcript