2011 GSA Annual Meeting in Minneapolis (912 October 2011)
Paper No. 97-14
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:00 PM

A TALE OF TWO CLASSROOMS: WHAT SHAPES THE CLASSROOM DYNAMICS?

VAN DER HOEVEN KRAFT, Katrien J., Physical Sciences, Mesa Community College at Red Mountain, 7110 East McKellips Road, Mesa, AZ 85207, vanderhoeven@mesacc.edu, STEMPIEN, Jennifer A., Department of Geological Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder, 2200 Colorado Ave, Boulder, CO 80309, MATHENEY, Ronald K., Dept. of Geology and Geological Engineering, University of North Dakota, MS 8358, Grand Forks, ND 58202-8358, and MCCONNELL, David A., Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695

In the spring of 2011, an instructor at a community college taught the same course on different days and times. Based on the instructor’s perception, the morning class (A) appeared to be more grade-motivated and have a higher degree of absenteeism. The afternoon class (B) had a high-energy student population with compelling questions. Each class participated in the GARNET project (Geoscience Affective Research NETwork), so we examined the pre and post data from the MSLQ (Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire; Pintrich, 1991), the modified GCI (Geoscience Concept Inventory, Libarkin, 2006), final course grades, and the GARNET survey to determine if there were statistically significant differences of attitude and performance between the two classes. Comparisons between the classes using these instruments suggest that the difference lies more with the affective domain than with the cognitive. On pre-GCI scores, students entered with no significant difference and completed the course with similar grades (Class A median = 88.4, Class B median = 94.5, Wilcoxon two sample, W=30, p = 0.16) based on the same class assessments.

Attitudinal differences between the sections were focused in students’ value of the course and subject matter. With incoming survey data (Class A, n = 21; Class B, n = 14), there is a significant difference in the self-reported interest level (Class B > A) of the students and their expectation of the teacher to be supportive (Class B > A). Comparing their motivation scores using a Wilcoxon two-sample rank sum test, Class B had a higher Intrinsic Goal Orientation and a higher Task Value for the course. By the end of the semester, Class B’s Task Value remained significantly higher than Class A’s. These affective factors lead to implications for recruiting majors and how we perceive our classroom interactions. Previous research (Harackiewicz et al., 2000; 2008) indicates that student interest is a greater predictor in continuing to take more courses, and continuing as a major than grade performance. In addition, when considering experimental designs in education, it is important to remember that students can be self-selecting in which class sections to take, and this can influence the “randomness” of our class populations.

2011 GSA Annual Meeting in Minneapolis (912 October 2011)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 97--Booth# 66
Geoscience Education (Posters) II
Minneapolis Convention Center: Hall C
9:00 AM-6:00 PM, Monday, 10 October 2011

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 43, No. 5, p. 255

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