How middle school students construct and critique graphs to explain cancer treatment

Camillia Matuk, Jiayuan Zhang, Marcia C. Linn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Using graphs in science is challenging as it requires both scientific and representational fluency. We examined how different graphing activities during science inquiry helped to develop these interrelated abilities in students. Grade 7 students (N=117) worked in pairs on a web-based cell biology unit to either generate or critique graphs of the effects of proposed cancer treatments on cell numbers. All students gained in their graph and science explanation abilities. While students who critiqued graphs gave better overall explanations within the unit, students who constructed graphs better applied their conceptual understanding of science to explain their graphs, both within the unit and later on the post test. We interpret these findings in terms of the relative affordances and constraints of critique and construction activities, and observe students’ common misunderstandings of graphs. This study has implications for designing instruction that supports students’ uses of graphs within science contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMaking a Difference
Subtitle of host publicationPrioritizing Equity and Access in CSCL - 12th International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, CSCL 2017 - Conference Proceedings
EditorsBrian K. Smith, Marcela Borge, Emma Mercier, Kyu Yon Lim
PublisherInternational Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS)
Pages375-382
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780990355007
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017
Event12th International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning - Making a Difference: Prioritizing Equity and Access in CSCL, CSCL 2017 - Philadelphia, United States
Duration: Jun 18 2017Jun 22 2017

Publication series

NameComputer-Supported Collaborative Learning Conference, CSCL
Volume1
ISSN (Print)1573-4552

Conference

Conference12th International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning - Making a Difference: Prioritizing Equity and Access in CSCL, CSCL 2017
CountryUnited States
CityPhiladelphia
Period6/18/176/22/17

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Education

Cite this

Matuk, C., Zhang, J., & Linn, M. C. (2017). How middle school students construct and critique graphs to explain cancer treatment. In B. K. Smith, M. Borge, E. Mercier, & K. Y. Lim (Eds.), Making a Difference: Prioritizing Equity and Access in CSCL - 12th International Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, CSCL 2017 - Conference Proceedings (pp. 375-382). (Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Conference, CSCL; Vol. 1). International Society of the Learning Sciences (ISLS).