ERIC Number: EJ1180208
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Abstractor: As Provided
Consideration of Learning Orientations as an Application of Achievement Goals in Evaluating Life Science Majors in Introductory Physics
Mason, Andrew J.; Bertram, Charles A.
Physical Review Physics Education Research, v14 n1 p010125-1-010125-15 Jan-Jun 2018
When considering performing an Introductory Physics for Life Sciences course transformation for one's own institution, life science majors' achievement goals are a necessary consideration to ensure the pedagogical transformation will be effective. However, achievement goals are rarely an explicit consideration in physics education research topics such as metacognition. We investigate a sample population of 218 students in a first-semester introductory algebra-based physics course, drawn from 14 laboratory sections within six semesters of course sections, to determine the influence of achievement goals on life science majors' attitudes towards physics. Learning orientations that, respectively, pertain to mastery goals and performance goals, in addition to a learning orientation that does not report a performance goal, were recorded from students in the specific context of learning a problem-solving framework during an in-class exercise. Students' learning orientations, defined within the context of students' self-reported statements in the specific context of a problem-solving-related research-based course implementation, are compared to pre-post results on physics problem-solving items in a well-established attitudinal survey instrument, in order to establish the categories' validity. In addition, mastery-related and performance-related orientations appear to extend to overall pre-post attitudinal shifts, but not to force and motion concepts or to overall course grade, within the scope of an introductory physics course. There also appears to be differentiation regarding overall course performance within health science majors, but not within biology majors, in terms of learning orientations; however, health science majors generally appear to fare less well on all measurements in the study than do biology majors, regardless of learning orientations.
Descriptors: Biological Sciences, Physics, Science Instruction, Majors (Students), College Students, Goal Orientation, Student Attitudes, Performance, Mastery Learning, Problem Solving, Pretests Posttests, Science Tests, Surveys, Attitude Measures, Attitude Change, Scientific Concepts, Grades (Scholastic), Introductory Courses, Statistical Analysis
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arkansas
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A