Correlating Student Attitudes With Student Learning Using The Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey

K. K. Perkins, W. K. Adams, S. J. Pollock, N. D. Finkelstein and C. E. Wieman
Department of Physics University of Colorado, Boulder

Abstract. A number of instruments have been designed to probe the variety of attitudes, beliefs, expectations, and epistemological frames taught in our introductory physics courses. Using a newly developed instrument – the CLASS – we examine the relationship between students’ attitudes and beliefs and other educational outcomes, such as conceptual learning and student retention. We report results from surveys of over 750 students in a variety of courses, including several courses modified to promote favorable student attitudes. We find positive correlations between particular student attitudes and conceptual learning gains, and between student retention and favorable attitudes and beliefs in select categories. We also note the influence of teaching practices on student attitudes.

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