Maximizing students' working memory: How we write questions and why it helps cognition

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 – 3:30pm
Regents 109
Dedra Demaree
CNDLS, Georgetown University

Collaborating with the University of Cape Town, the work discussed here has centered on studying what impacts how a student responds to a physics question, leading to the development of a cognitive model for activation of resources and effective use of working memory during problem solving. This talk will share research findings from a few projects where the same physics content was presented, in the same context, but with subtle wording changes that attended to affective factors such as a feeling of personal involvement in the problem context. These projects include the wording of a lab worksheet, the words said when giving a clicker question, and the wording of FCI (Force Concept Inventory) questions. Our findings indicate that attending to affect changes how students respond, and applying our cognitive model to improve question wording positively impacts student engagement and performance.

Refreshments at 3:20pm in Regents 109.

HostAmy Liu