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Supporting Student Learning, Attitude And Retention Through Critical Class Reflections

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1149.1 - 15.1149.18



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Paper Authors


Jacquelyn Kelly Arizona State University

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Jacquelyn Kelly, Arizona State University
Jacquelyn Kelley has an M.S. in Materials Science and is a Ph.D. student in the College of Education at Arizona State University. Her BS degree is in Physics and Chemistry. Her principle research areas are inquiry-based learning and development and assessment of inquiry-based modules in materials science and engineering. She teaches physics, chemistry and mathematics in a local arts high school.

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Aaron Graham Arizona State University

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Aaron Graham, Arizona State University
Aaron Graham is an undergraduate at Arizona State University in the School of Materials at Arizona State University. He has a B.S. in Psychology and is working toward his BS in Materials Science and Engineering after which he will work in industry. He has been working as an undergraduate teaching assistant in the Introductory Materials course for the past half year.

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Andrea Eller Arizona State University

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Andrea Eller, Arizona State University
Andrea Eller is an undergraduate major in Materials Science and Engineering at Arizona State University. She has been working as an undergraduate research assistant for the past year in the area of engineering education.

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Dale Baker Arizona State University

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Dale Baker, Arizona State University
Dale R. Baker is a Professor of Science Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at ASU and is the Co-Editor of The Journal of Research in Science Teaching. She teaches courses in science curricula, teaching and learning, and assessment courses with an emphasis on constructivist theory and issues of equity. Her research focuses on issues of gender, science, and science teaching. She has won two awards for her research in these areas. In this work she is responsible for developing assessments and overseeing data collection, analysis, and feedback to the project.

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Amaneh Tasooji Arizona State University

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Amaneh Tasooji, Arizona State University
Amaneh Tasooji is an Associate Research Professor in the School of Materials at ASU and has been teaching and developing new content for materials science and engineering classes and laboratories. She has developed new content and contextual teaching methods from her experience as a researcher and General Manager at Honeywell Inc. She is currently working to develop new assessments to reveal and address student misconceptions in introductory materials engineering classes.

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Stephen Krause Arizona State University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Supporting Student Learning, Attitude, and Retention Through Critical Class Reflections Abstract

Students may have preformed ideas about learning and the role of the student and the instructor in the classroom. These types of misconceptions may impede student learning just as topical misconceptions do. In this research, we redefine the role of student and instructor, as well as how students can reflect on their progress in learning. They are informed of the need for their shifting of self image from dependent passive learner in the classroom to an independent, well-spoken, reflective learner. In doing so, learning, attitude, and student retention can be improved. Overall, daily reflections provide formative feedback to the instructor and allow reflection on teaching and pedagogy. Students can self regulate, or monitor their learning. Students can reflect on their role in class see they are active participants in their learning. We report here on the research question of, “How can we use class reflections to support student learning, attitude, and retention?” Assessment of the Class Reflection Points through emergent themes coding indicates that responses to the Most Interesting Point show students' quite active engagement in content, activities, and team member interactions. The Muddiest Point shows confusion, uncertainty, or lack of self efficacy on sometimes a narrow content slice, sometimes scattered concepts of confusion, and sometimes no muddiest point at all. The instructor is frequently surprised that his perception of his clarity of content concept and presentation that do not always align with student comments. Analysis of the Take Away Point indicates responses are strongly content focused and need to be broadened to better reflect self awareness of as value of class to their own learning, future impact of knowledge and skills, communication effectiveness, and other important affective skills. It was found that by utilizing the Classroom Reflection Points, students learning was supported, students felt their learning was supported, student attitude was raised, and percentage of student retention increased. Details of student comments, analysis and conclusions will be described and presented in the paper.


Class reflection points are not frequently used in engineering courses. Documenting reflective thoughts are more often recorded in diaries or journals for liberal arts and science courses. The reflections are normally about a specific topic and are simply assignments. However, these critical class reflection points are designed to provide formative feedback for the instructor allowing adjustments in teaching and pedagogy to be made specifically for a class. Using critical class reflection points can also help the student to understand their role as students, create a more positive learning attitude and increase retention of students. Self-efficacy of students can increase because the class is designed so that the new information is being based on their prior knowledge which they should already feel confident with and motivate them to learn. The critical class reflections provide a clear easy way to track the attitudes, understanding, and learning methods of the students in the class.

The goal of this research is aimed at answering the question, "How can we use class reflections to support student learning, attitude, and retention?" We purpose that by asking students questions after each class period about what interests them, what they find confusing, as well as

Kelly, J., & Graham, A., & Eller, A., & Baker, D., & Tasooji, A., & Krause, S. (2010, June), Supporting Student Learning, Attitude And Retention Through Critical Class Reflections Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16351

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