I Am Sure There May Be a Planet There: Student articulation of uncertainty in argumentation tasks

Buck, Zoe E. and Lee, Hee-Sun and Flores, Joanna (2014) I Am Sure There May Be a Planet There: Student articulation of uncertainty in argumentation tasks. International Journal of Science Education, 36 (14). pp. 2391-2420. ISSN 0950-0693 (Print), 1464-5289 (Online)

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We investigated how students articulate uncertainty when they are engaged in structured scientific argumentation tasks where they generate, examine, and interpret data to determine the existence of exoplanets. In this study, 302 high school students completed 4 structured scientific arguments that followed a series of computer-model-based curriculum module activities simulating the radial velocity and/or the transit method. Structured scientific argumentation tasks involved claim, explanation, uncertainty rating, and uncertainty rationale. We explored (1) how students are articulating uncertainty within the various elements of the task and (2) the relationship between the way the task is presented and the way students are articulating uncertainty. We found that (1) while the majority of students did not express uncertainty in either explanation or uncertainty rationale, students who did express uncertainty in their explanations did so scientifically without being prompted explicitly, (2) students’ uncertainty ratings and rationales revealed a mix of their personal confidence and uncertainty related to science, and (3) if a task presented noisy data, students were less likely to express uncertainty in their explanations.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Astronomy Education Research
Depositing User: Dr Michael Fitzgerald
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2018 09:43
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2018 05:59
URI: http://istardb.org/id/eprint/1730

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