Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: STEM Research
- Bethune-Cookman University, Daytona Beach, Florida
Co-Author(s): Vivek Karki, Raphael Isokpehi and Claudette McFadden, Bethune-Cookman University, Daytona Beach, FL; Ahkinyala Cobb-Abdullah, Virginia Union University, Richmond, VA; Jonathon Grooms, The George Washington University, Washington DC; Dana Zeidler, Reginald Lee and George McDonald, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Argumentation (argumentative discourse) in scientific topics is defined as the connection between claims and data through justifications or the evaluation of knowledge claims in light of evidence, either empirical or theoretical. The major goal of this Broadening Participation Research (BPR) in STEM Education project entitled ‘Investigating the Effects of Socioscientific Argumentation Development on Student Academic Success’ is to investigate how to produce Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) graduates with argumentation expertise to address ill-structured problems that require scientific, evidence-based reasoning to inform decisions. The research questions for the project are (1) What socioscientific argumentation strategies do the students currently use? (2) What gaps exist in effective socioscientific argumentation? (3) Does socioscientific argumentation instruction influence student outcomes? The accomplishments of the project include the identification of 95 students that were grouped into low (22); moderate (55) and high (18) argumentativeness scores. Additional data collection and analytics are in progress. In collaboration with STEM Central, a two part outreach webinar series was delivered in August 2017. The webinar topics were (1) Generate an Argument: An Instructional Model (https://stem-central.net/webinars/34) and (2) Socioscientific Issues as a Curriculum Emphasis: Theory, Research and Practice (https://stem-central.net/webinars/35). The expertise aspect of the project is guided by (1) the evaluative skill [attending to relevant aspects of the situation and decide what needs to be done] is the basic cognitive ability that characterizes all these areas of expertise; and (2) expertise can be developed in the four categories of expert instruction [evaluation + communication], expert judgement [evaluation + qualitative or quantitative expression], expert performance [evaluation + execution]; and expert prediction [evaluation + projection]. Therefore, a key product from the project is an argumentation expertise development system that will prepare students and faculty in the four categories of expertise with socioscientific issues as sources of data. Measures of student academic success are being assessed from the dimensions of academic achievement, career success, attainment of learning outcomes, persistence, acquisition of skills and competencies, and satisfaction. The research will produce information needed to develop intervention models for improving scientific argumentation expertise development of STEM students.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): National Science Foundation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities - Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) HRD-1435186; Tania Siemens and team at STEM Central (https://stem-central.net/)
Faculty Advisor: None Listed,