NARST 2013

Rio Grande, PR
April 6-9, 2013
Conference Website

The National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) is a worldwide organization of professionals committed to the improvement of science teaching and learning through research. NARST promotes research in science education and the communication of knowledge generated by the research. The ultimate goal of NARST is to help all learners achieve science literacy.

Sunday, April 7

Charles XieAn Efficacy Study of Computer-Aided Design Learning Tools in High School Engineering

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Charles Xie
Helen Zhang
Saeid Nourian
Amy Pallant
Ed Hazzard

10:15am-11:45am, Pelican Room

We are developing a performance assessment tool based on time series analysis to shed light on how students solve design challenges and develop their design thinking using a CAD tool. Time series analysis comprises methods for analyzing a time sequence of data in order to reveal characteristics of the data. In this talk, we will present our methodology, technology and results from a pilot study in which high school students were challenged to undertake an urban solar design project.

Monday, April 8

Amy PallantMeasuring Students’ Scientific Argumentation Associated with Uncertain Current Science

Amy Pallant, The Concord Consortium
Ou Lydia Liu
, Educational Testing Service

8:30am-10:00am, San Cristobal

We describe how students’ claim, justification, uncertainty qualifier and conditions of rebuttal contribute to the measurement of their overall scientific argumentation ability. We designed a new assessment tool—explanation-certainty item sets—and conducted Rasch analysis on the Partial Credit model. We will discuss how this tool provides a new analytic assessment model for studying learning progressions of scientific argumentation across science topics and disciplines, and explore the role students’ interpretations of uncertainty play in formulating scientific arguments.

Carolyn StaudtA Randomized Trial of Open Source STEM Education Software (SmartGraphs)

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Carolyn Staudt
Rachel Kay
Andrew Zucker

2:15pm-3:45pm, Caribbean Salon 1

SmartGraphs is new, free, open-source software, designed to help students learn about graphs and the concepts conveyed in graphs. This presentation will share results from a two-year randomized trial of the SmartGraphs software. Overall results show that students who used SmartGraphs had significantly greater learning gains than students using the same textbooks for the same topics, but without the use of SmartGraphs software.

Tuesday, April 9

Integrating Online and Face-to-Face: A Social Networking Approach to Professional Development

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Carolyn Staudt
Rachel Kay

10:15am-11:45am, Sea Gull Room

While online professional development courses are becoming more and more common, the ability to create a community with meaningful connections to teacher and student learning is still a challenge. The Innovative Technology in Science Inquiry Scale Up project (ITSI-SU) has attempted to meet this challenge through a blended professional development course that includes an online component with social networking capabilities. Details of the program’s success over the past three years will be shared.

Dan DamelinSupporting Student Understanding of Submicroscopic Interactions Using Technology Infused Materials: A Curriculum Design Study

Dan Damelin, The Concord Consortium
Shawn Y. Stevens, University of Michigan
Sung-Youn Choi, Michigan State University
Richard T. Russell
, Michigan State University

1:00pm-2:30pm, Río Mar Salon 3

Many core ideas cited in the Framework for K-12 Science Education (NRC, 2012) can be understood and linked together through the emergent properties of atoms and molecules. An essential element for bridging the macro and sub-micro worlds, and for applying fundamental science across multiple topics, is the use of computational models and simulations, which allow students to explore and experiment at the atomic level. This talk will discuss techniques for designing and integrating curriculum materials of this type, and look at results from our first pilot study.

Promoting Students’ Scientific Argumentation with Computational Model-Based Investigations

Amy Pallant

1:00pm-2:30pm, Río Mar Salon 3

Scientific argumentation involves both scientific reasoning to draw inferences and critical thinking to sort out evidence. In this talk we will describe curriculum in frontier science, in which students use model-based experimentation with argumentation tools that focus on claims, justification and sources of uncertainty. We will present our argumentation construct and our results.

Kimberle KoileEvaluating the Benefits of Technology-Enabled, Real-Time Feedback in the Science Classroom

Kimberle Koile

1:00pm-2:30pm, Río Mar Salon 3

Computer-based activities can provide students with innovative resources such as digital sensors and computational models and can give students opportunities to engage in thoughtful and engaging inquiry, write explanations using the data they have explored, and reflect on the results. When students work with such activities, however, teachers often find it difficult to gauge student understanding, progress, or level of effort expended. The goal of the LOOPS project is to build and evaluate the effectiveness of technology that supplies teachers with timely formative feedback that provides insight into student learning. With today’s technological developments, “timely” can truly mean “in real time,” right when students are first learning a particular concept. This paper reports on research on the impact of our real-time formative feedback system on teacher practice and student learning using a motion and graphing curriculum for middle school.

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