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Tuesday, March 2 • 2:30pm - 2:45pm
Talk Session 4: Measuring mindset: Developing the undergraduate lay theories of abilities (ULTrA) survey

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Students’ academic success is influenced by how they think about intelligence (termed “mindset”). Students who view intelligence as something they can improve tend to persist through challenges and realize better academic outcomes than students who view intelligence as an unchangeable trait. Although mindset beliefs are important for understanding student success, there is currently no high-quality survey to measure undergraduates’ mindset beliefs. The existing survey for measuring mindset was designed for use with elementary school children, and subsequently used with students of all ages, without rigorous validation. Our prior work suggests that this scale does not work well with undergraduates because it includes vague language. We are developing a new survey to measure mindset in undergraduate STEM students. First we interviewed a diverse, national sample of STEM students to identify language about intelligence that STEM undergraduates would interpret consistently. Based on these results, we drafted a set of items. Then, we collected revised the items based on feedback from STEM undergraduates and experts in mindset theory and survey design. We are currently collecting responses to the item set from a large, diverse national sample of STEM undergraduates to further evaluate and refine the survey. This new survey will be useful to instructors in understanding and responding to their students’ mindsets and to education researchers in studying mindset interventions. This work will have broad appeal to DBERs in any discipline because students’ mindset beliefs are relevant in all their fields of study.

avatar for Lisa Limeri

Lisa Limeri

Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Georgia
Lisa Limeri is a Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Associate at the University of Georgia. She earned her Ph.D. in 2017 from the University of Pittsburgh studying evolutionary biology and behavioral ecology by investigating butterfly wing color patterns and mating preferences. After... Read More →
avatar for Franchesca Lyra

Franchesca Lyra

Undergraduate Scholar, University of Texas at Austin
Franchesca Lyra is an undergraduate biology student and Ronald E. McNair Scholar at the University of Texas at Austin. Alongside biology, she is completing her secondary teaching certification and is a full-time high school anatomy teacher. She was previously an Undergraduate Biology... Read More →

Tuesday March 2, 2021 2:30pm - 2:45pm CST