Conceptualizing Pedagogical Change: Evaluating the Effectiveness of the EPS Model by Using Concept Mapping to Assess Student Conceptual Change

Iuli, Richard J. and Himangshu, Sumitra (2006) Conceptualizing Pedagogical Change: Evaluating the Effectiveness of the EPS Model by Using Concept Mapping to Assess Student Conceptual Change. In: Concept Maps: Theory, Methodology, Technology. Proc. of the Second Int. Conference on Concept Mapping. Universidad de Costa Rica, San José, Costa Rica, pp. 136-143. ISBN 9977-15-148-2

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The research presented here is from a three-year study that uses concept mapping to assess change in student conceptual understanding in science at the undergraduate level. The fundamental question being addressed is, “To what extent do pedagogical changes such as adaptation of an environmental problem-solving (EPS) model influence student understanding in undergraduate science?” This study is part of a National Science Foundation (NSF)-initiative to improve the teaching of science at the undergraduate level, and to study changes in teaching practice and student learning that result from this improvement. NSF-funded regional summer workshops (RWP) trained 400 faculty in facilitating local environmental problem-solving experiences, field/laboratory exercises, and cooperative learning environments for students at their home universities. One and two years following workshop attendance, eight faculty members were selected from this pool of attendees for in-depth analysis of student learning in a selected course they taught. The study used qualitative and quantitative analysis of concept mapping data to assess student conceptual understanding across a wide range of institutions and academic disciplines. The sample population consisted of a total of 79 students, 59 science majors and 20 non-majors. Results suggest that the adaptation of the EPS model was effective in increasing student conceptual understanding, as measured by concept maps. The greatest determinant of increased conceptual understanding over the course of a semester was the student’s self-report of approaches to learning and studying. Approaches to learning, in turn, were reflective of differences in the quality of student concept maps. Concomitantly, the student concept maps reflected student gains in content and depth over a semester with respect to an expert map. The results also suggest that teaching styles, particularly the level of faculty-student interaction, are associated with student gains in depth of understanding.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Paper, CMC2006
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Depositing User: Mr. Ernest Prats
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2012 09:36
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2012 21:03

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