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Take Ownership of Learning Outside Classroom

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Engineering Physics & Physics Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Engineering Physics & Physics

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1152.1 - 24.1152.10



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Paper Authors


Wenli Guo Queensborough Community College

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Dr. Wenli Guo is a professor of physics and her experiences include spectroscopy, pedagogy, etc.

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Take Ownership of Learning Outside Classroom: Reflection through Journal Writing in a Conceptual Physics CourseConceptual Physics course is a general education introductory physics course focusing onconcepts with minimum math requirements for non-science majors. The overwhelming majorityof students in this course intend to become licensed teachers. Schoolteachers play a critical rolein inspiring and training the next generation of students to join the STEM disciplines: science,technology, engineering, and mathematics. Improving the scientific knowledge, attitude towardscience and scientific communication skills of prospective teachers must be critical goals for thiscourse. On the other hand, for many students, Conceptual Physics will be the final science coursethey take for the rest of their lives. The quality of their physics education may therefore have alasting impact on their scientific literacy and their attitudes toward science. “Learners are awareof and control their learning by actively participating in reflective thinking – assessing what theyknow, what they need to know, and how they bridge that gap – during learning situations”. Inthis grant-funded research project, students were asked to perform reflections through journalwriting after each class. They needed to include date, list of activities done in class, what theyhave learned from today’s activities and questions/comments they still have. Journals werecollected randomly to students but regularly to the professor. The following data were collectedfor analysis: two rounds of a perception survey related to the learning of physics and a survey forfeedback about journal writing; a pre- and a post-force concept inventory test at the beginningand the end of the semester plus final exams. Reflection through journal writing is a wonderfulway for students to set their own goals, to guide their own learning. In other words, to thinkabout what they are learning. It provides an additional method of assessment beyondstandardized exams. This ongoing activity provides immediate feedback to both teachers andstudents; it gives teachers opportunities to gain insight into what their students are thinking andlearning about science content, therefore, to make changes in instructions. It also helps studentsto improve their conceptual understanding of physics and their basic communication skills inwritten format.

Guo, W. (2014, June), Take Ownership of Learning Outside Classroom Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23085

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