Importance Of Student Learning In Science-Based Classroom Environments

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Student Learning in Science-Based Classroom Environments As a learning assistant for the analytical physics laboratory course, I have learned a great deal about how students learn and how to effectively use that knowledge to teach students. In the context of lab activities and open-ended research, several different pedagogical areas of interest have been extremely applicable to how I interact with students during my lab session and to what I believe is the best way for students to learn and retain new information in experimental settings. The use of the Investigative Science Learning Environment (ISLE) Cycle, classroom discourse, and the impact of undergraduate research experiences all have directly influenced how I can properly assist students …show more content…
Students who spend more time in undergraduate research will gain more “perceived benefits … in the areas of communication; data collection; professional development; personal development; professional advancement; information literacy; responsibility; and knowledge” (Salsman et al., 2013). Relevant tasks such as developing a theory or a conceptual model, interpreting findings, and writing reports are all associated with higher levels of critical thinking and improvements in skills that are highly useful in the science and engineering industry. The research environment and the physics lab environment are similar in regards to performing similar open-ended activities and enhancing pertinent skills that lecture-based courses do not utilize. These experiences are vital to building skills for teaching students how to properly learn material, work and communicate with others, and become proficient professionals in science and engineering fields. From my own personal experience, I have performed experiments testing the relationship between various parameters involved with rotary calciners such as angle of incline, speed of rotation, and feed rate. The experiments have to be designed such that one variable is changed while the others are kept constant. This kind of experimental design is important in testing certain physics phenomena in the lab. In coordination with my learning assistant assignment, I try to guide students to participate in these kinds of activities and thought processes so that they can learn more from the experience and directly apply it to other engineering projects that they might be working on. Many undergraduates desire positions in research laboratories so that they can learn more about their major. Learning to think critically in the physics lab course will be a great asset to help them become more effective researchers and

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