Colloquium: Writing for Physics - Integrating Language Instruction in Undergraduate

Lene Jaqua, Colorado Christian University
Friday, December 1, 2017 - 3:00pm
Location: 
PAS 220

Since the early 1980s science education research has advocated
field-specific science writing instruction in undergraduate
education. Informal reflective journal assignments as well as
and formal research paper writing assignments were integrated
into a combined physics lecture and laboratory course. Sections
of the research paper were introduced—one at a time—
via the progressive paper writing method. Groups of students
studied and imitated the format and style of sections of
contemporary research papers in science. The content of the
writing focused on the students’ own laboratory findings through
inquiry-based laboratory exercises. Students worked
collaboratively to write a Group Research Paper. Relatively
simple time-saving grading methods were employed. Assessment
revealed a quantitative gain in student scores on multiple choice
tests in terms of conceptual understanding (compared to
previous years’ student scores), as well as qualitative gains in
research paper writing skills, as measured from the start of the
semester to the end of the semester.