GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 222-3
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-1:00 PM


CULLICOTT, Cathy1, SEMKEN, Steven2, CHI, Michelene T.H.1 and BOUCHER, Nicole1, (1)Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85281, (2)Arizona State University, School of Earth and Space Exploration, POB 871404, Tempe, AZ 85287-1404

We present a case study in which the ICAP theoretical framework was used to increase the level and frequency of student active learning in a place-based upper-division geoscience and sustainability course situated in the American Southwest. The ICAP framework states that student learning varies systematically depending on how deeply students cognitively engage with instruction, and this engagement can be Interactive, Constructive, Active, or Passive (Chi, 2021). Interactive mode is positioned first because Interactive (collaborative or co-generative) engagement leads to the greatest amount of learning, followed next by Constructive (generative) engagement, and then Active (manipulative) engagement. Students in Passive (attentive) mode have the lowest levels of learning. In other words, ICAP means that I > C > A > P for student learning outcomes. Students’ ICAP mode, which corresponds to their level of active learning, can be characterized as I, C, A, or P, depending on their visible behaviors and the work they produce.

The goal of this proof-of-concept study was to make modifications to the course without making drastic changes to the established curriculum and instruction or rendering the course less place-based. The instructor started by using the ICAP framework to characterize the instructional strategies and activities used in previous years and to analyze the types of questions asked during lectures. He then used ICAP to plan instruction to engage students in higher ICAP modes. Two strategies employed by the instructor were (1) guiding student notetaking and questioning with designed handouts, and (2) deliberate use of ICAP verbs (Chi et al., 2018) during lectures and in-class activities to prompt student engagement in targeted ICAP modes. The researcher was consulted on the course modifications and attended classes throughout the semester to make observations. Results indicate that the course became more Active and Constructive in comparison to previous years, students in general responded positively to the changes, and the ICAP framework is fully compatible with place-based geoscience teaching.