Reflection: Qualitative Evaluations Reflecting on Thermodynamics - Content and Process - Section 4: Reflection on Thermodynamics


After collecting the student responses, I can make the following observations:

1) Students, by and large, were eager to respond to these prompts. Very few of the responses were abbreviated.

2) One trouble with narrative responses is that, for some students, deficiencies in writing can obscure their true science understanding. 

3) There is a fair amount of variation in the responses. Some students show deep insight into these questions while others have little to show.

4) On the other hand, these responses were solicited without any warning. Students had no chance to prepare for this and, thus, their responses represent a true measure of their understanding as developed by the three weeks of lessons and activities. 

5) Smaller concepts (like specific heat) show little variation while larger ideas (like the prompt about how to improve one's data set) comprise a greater range of insights. 

In the future, it might be wise to give one or two of these questions partway through instruction as a homework assignment. I could collect the thoughts in a document for class review (student names would be removed) and ask students to identify the strongest, most insightful comments. In this way, perhaps all students would develop a greater ability to express their thoughts about scientific concepts. 

  Student Responses
  Qualitative Evaluations: Student Responses
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Reflecting on Thermodynamics - Content and Process

Unit 1: Thermodynamics
Lesson 14 of 14

Objective: Students will look back at this unit on Thermodynamics and self-assess their understandings.

Big Idea: We set aside time to reflect upon our learning.

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