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Leah Scharlott

University of Iowa
Graduate Student
Iowa, USA

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POSTER TITLE: Characterizing learning environments using three-dimensional learning protocols to support students’ making sense of phenomena

Coined by the The Framework for K-12 Science Education, three-dimensional learning (3DL) describes a phenomena-based approach to teaching that grounds learning in three dimensions: disciplinary core ideas, scientific practices, and crosscutting concepts. In the cross-curricular study presented here, we characterize how instructional pedagogies, in-class curricular emphasis, and assessment emphasis supported students’ in making sense of atomic- and molecular-level phenomena using the 3DL framework. The analysis of video recordings and assessment documents was used to produce nuanced characterizations of the pedagogy, instructional, and assessment emphases in three first-semester general chemistry learning environments (Didactic, Active, and Three-Dimensional) producing various student outcomes. These data provide concrete examples of pedagogical and curricular reforms enacted across institutions. Evidence suggests focused alignment between assessments and instruction on making sense of chemical phenomena is critical for supporting student engagement. Implications for research include holistically attending to all aspects of a learning environment in order to understand how students are making sense of phenomena. Implications for educators relate to the role different types of intellectual work emphasized during active learning (or non-lecture) teaching methods and assessments throughout the course has in supporting students in applying fundamental disciplinary ideas and concepts to predict, model, and explain, chemical phenomena.

THEME: Educational tools and interventions

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