Student Research Poster Honored

Rutgers Graduate School of Education (GSE) Physics Education student Elana Resnick has been honored with the Poster of the Year in the Social Sciences award by the Aresty Research Center for Undergraduates at Rutgers.  A recent graduate of the Rutgers Physics program, Elana worked with GSE Faculty member Dr. Eugenia Etkina and fellow student Robert Zisk on the poster entitled “Why is this Sentence True?”  The poster illustrated the research being conducted by the team regarding how students interpret science texts with a particular focus on the interrogation method.

When students are prompted questions such as "Why is this true?" they are required to further utilize their ability to interpret text. Elana and her team found the importance of choosing the right sentences used for interrogation by instructors based on the level of interrogatability. The team used subjects comprised of teaching assistants (TA) and learning assistants (LA) in an introductory physics class for non-physics majors. When it came to comparing the differences in materials chosen by instructors versus TA's and LA's, instructors utilized texts that that require a deeper understanding for the material therefore are more interrogable. Furthermore to expand on their findings, they highlighted that when students are given interrogable sentences, instructors need to be aware of the different epistomologies that students may include in their answer.    

For future studies and projects, the team hopes to focus on analyzing the responses of the students when prompted questions based on selected texts and also designing training to help instructors choose productive materials to interrogate.  

View Elana’s winning poster here.

Learn more about the Aresty Research Center at their website