Freek Pols: "How can we effectively teach students how to engage in scientific inquiry?"

News - 17 February 2022 - Communication ImPhys

What does this entail and how can we assess whether students acquired the associated knowledge? These are questions addressed in our paper "Defining and assessing understandings of evidence with the assessment rubric for physics inquiry: Towards integration of argumentation and inquiry". The premise of this study is that an inquiry comes down to the building of a scientifically cogent argument where each decision and action undertaken is substantiated. 

Teaching scientific inquiry than revolves around the question: “What is the best next step in producing a convincing answer to the research question?”. To assess to what extent students are able to engage successfully in physics inquiry, we deconstructed ‘inquiry knowledge’ into a set of ‘Understandings of Evidence’ (UoE) - insights and views that an experimental researcher relies on in constructing and evaluating scientific evidence.

For each UoE, descriptors of various attainment levels have been provided. The combination of UoE and the indicators for attainment levels constitute the Assessment Rubric for Physics Inquiry (ARPI).

This rubric has been validated by consulting various experts. We consider ARPI a useful assessment tool to help students become researchers who use argumentation to improve and defend their work.

Defining and assessing understandings of evidence with the assessment rubric for physics inquiry: Towards integration of argumentation and inquiry
C. F. J. Pols, P. J. J. M. Dekkers, and M. J. de Vries

Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 18, 010111 – Published 15 February 2022

Link paper

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