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Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 3:10 PM


VAN DER HOEVEN KRAFT, Katrien J.1, STEMPIEN, Jennifer A.2, WILSON, Meredith J.3, WIRTH, Karl R.4, BYKERK-KAUFFMAN, Ann5, JONES, Megan H.6, VISLOVA, Tatiana7, BUDD, David A.2, GILBERT, Lisa A.8 and KNIGHT, Catharine9, (1)Physical Science Department, Mesa Community College at Red Mountain, 7110 East McKellips Road, Mesa, AZ 85207, (2)Department of Geological Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, 2200 Colorado Ave, Boulder, CO 80309, (3)Scottsdale Community College, 9000 E. Chaparral Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85256-2626, (4)Geology Department, Macalester College, Saint Paul, MN 55105, (5)Geological and Environmental Sciences, California State Univ, Chico, 400 W. 1st St, Chico, CA 95929-0205, (6)Geology, North Hennepin Community College, 7411 85th Ave. No, Brooklyn Park, MN 55445, (7)Earth Sciences, SUNY College at Oneonta, 885 Westview Drive, Shoreview, MN 55126, (8)Maritime Studies Program, Williams College and Mystic Seaport, 75 Greenmanville Ave, Mystic, CT 06355, (9)Educational Foundations and Leadership, The University of Akron, Akron, OH 44325,

The GARNET (Geoscience Affective Research Network) project examines the connection between student affect (attitudes, motivation, values, and regulation of learning) and geoscience learning outcomes. We examined how demographic characteristics relate to the motivation and learning strategies of under-represented students entering introductory geology courses at different institutions. Participating instructors used the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ; Pintrich et al., 1993) to investigate how aspects of the affective domain varied for students from under-represented populations.

One obstacle to understanding how to address increasing diversity in the geosciences is the dearth of data about the experience of students in introductory geoscience classes. Introductory courses are considered a gateway to recruiting majors. Student affect can influence ongoing student learning, enrollment in subsequent classes, and the potential for a student to select a geoscience major. Affect may be more critical for under-represented students due to stereotype impressions.

Students from under-represented populations reported lower intrinsic and extrinsic motivation when entering our classes. The implication of this finding is that under-represented students begin with a lower motivation to achieve and learn the content. In this analysis, we examine a larger number of under-represented students across a more diverse transect of institutions (large university, community college and private colleges) from beginning to the end of the semester. Preliminary results indicate that many of the factors that affect Caucasian students also affect under-represented students, however they start the course as distinctly different statistical populations. Across different student demographic groups a decline in self-efficacy (confidence in learning) during a semester occurs. Under-represented students begin the semester with a lower average self-efficacy than the Caucasian students. The amount of effort that students are willing to put into a class displays a similar trend, with under-represented students entering with lower scores. These findings have important implications for their success in the course as well as their decisions to enroll in future geoscience classes.

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