Using metacognitive prompts to explore student reasoning trajectories
Publication Name: Proceedings of the 2022 Physics Education Research Conference
Publication URL: https://doi.org/10.1119/perc.2022.pr.Sowles
Previous research has shown that students who demonstrate sufficient skills and conceptual understanding to reason productively may perform inconsistently on analogous questions. Such inconsistencies can be explained via dual process theories of reasoning (DPToR). To gain insight into students’ reasoning trajectories, we developed an exploratory sequence of DPToR-aligned metacognitive prompts and administered the sequence immediately after students answered a physics question containing salient distracting features. The metacognitive prompts asked students to: describe their first ideas, reflect on any doubts they had with respect to those ideas, compare their first ideas with their submitted responses, and characterize their reasoning approaches. In this paper, we describe how we use student responses to these prompts along with timing data to investigate students’ reasoning trajectories. Students who self-reported that they revised their thinking before submitting an answer spent significantly longer answering the question than those who did not. In addition, students who retained a correct provisional response reported fewer doubts and the use of a process-first approach, whereas students who retained an incorrect provisional response reported more doubts and the use of an answer-first approach. We anticipate that a more detailed understanding of students’ reasoning trajectories arising from investigations like the one reported here will be an important step in the development of effective, research-based instructional materials that better support student reasoning in physics.
Sowles, E., Rosen, D. J., & Stetzer, M. R. (2022). Using metacognitive prompts to explore student reasoning trajectories. In B. W. Frank, D. Jones, & Q. X. Ryan (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2022 Physics Education Research Conference, (pp. 438-443). Grand Rapids, MI. https://doi.org/10.1119/perc.2022.pr.Sowles