From a systematic investigation of faculty-produced Think-Pair-Share questions to frameworks for characterizing and developing fluency-inspiring activities

Rica Sirbaugh French, Edward E. Prather

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

[This paper is part of the Focused Collection on Curriculum Development: Theory into Design.] Our investigation of 353 faculty-produced multiple-choice Think-Pair-Share questions leads to key insights into faculty members' ideas about the discipline representations and intellectual tasks that could engage learners on key topics in physics and astronomy. The results of this work illustrate that, for many topics, there is a lack of variety in the representations featured, intellectual tasks posed, and levels of complexity fostered by the questions faculty develop. These efforts motivated and informed the development of two frameworks: (i) a curriculum characterization framework that allows us to systematically code active learning strategies in terms of the discipline representations, intellectual tasks, and reasoning complexity that an activity offers the learner, and (ii) a curriculum development framework that guides the development of activities deliberately focused on increasing learners' discipline fluency. We analyze the faculty-produced Think-Pair-Share questions with our curriculum characterization framework, then apply our curriculum development framework to generate (i) fluency-inspiring questions, a more pedagogically powerful extension of a well-established instructional strategy, and (ii) Student Representation Tasks, a brand new type of instructional activity in astronomy that shifts the responsibility for generating appropriate representations onto the learners. We explicitly unpack and provide examples of fluency-inspiring questions and Student Representation Tasks, detailing their usage of pedagogical discipline representations coupled with novel question and activity formats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number020138
JournalPhysical Review Physics Education Research
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 4 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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