Bulletin of the American Physical Society
APS March Meeting 2018
Monday–Friday, March 5–9, 2018; Los Angeles, California
Session G60: Poster Session I
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
LACC Room: West Hall A
Abstract: G60.00085 : The value of out-of-class interactions: Attitudes vs. practice in introductory physics courses
From industry to government to academia, attracting and retaining science, technology, engineering, and mathematics majors is recognized as a key element of the 21st century knowledge economy. The ability to retain students seems to be intimately tied with understanding their immersion into the academic and social system of an institution. For instance, it has been noted that insufficient interactions with peers can lead to a low commitment to the university and, ultimately, affect one’s decision about whether to drop out. Since nearly half of first-time students who leave a university by the end of the freshman year never come back to college, the importance of understanding experiences in introductory courses as a means for improving students’ persistence is particularly pronounced. We investigate students’ experiences in an introductory physics courses, focusing on their self-reported perception of the values of and attitudes towards out-of-class collaborations. We find that, even though students consider the out-of-class collaborations to be important for success, it takes a relatively long time – basically an entire semester – before they start seeing benefits of collaborative learning and start translating their attitudes into practice.
The American Physical Society (APS) is a non-profit membership organization working to advance the knowledge of physics.
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