Jun 13 – 19, 2015
University of Alberta
America/Edmonton timezone
Welcome to the 2015 CAP Congress! / Bienvenue au congrès de l'ACP 2015!

Helping Students to get a Better Understanding of Concepts; ‘Course Dossier Method’

Jun 18, 2015, 9:15 AM
CCIS L1-160 (University of Alberta)

CCIS L1-160

University of Alberta

Oral (Non-Student) / orale (non-étudiant) Physics Education / Enseignement de la physique (DPE-DEP) R1-8 Interactive Teaching - Teaching with Technology (DPE) / Enseignement interactif et à l'aide de la technologie (DEP)


Calvin Kalman (Concordia University)


It has been argued that for novice students to acquire a full understanding of scientific texts, they also need to pursue a recurrent construction of their comprehension of scientific concepts. The course dossier method has students examine concepts in multiple passes; first through reflective writing on text before it is considered in the classroom, next in a one page essay at the end of the week and finally through a final essay at the end of the term. Students are encouraged to relate to the text in their reflective writing and critiques in the manner of a hermeneutical circle. Students are further scaffolded in writing their final essay by the use of student reviewers. This study explored how the course dossier method is perceived and accomplished by students in a course for non-science students and in an upper-level physics course. It is found that students’ understanding of concepts improves as the course progresses.

Primary author

Mrs Wahidun Nahar Khanam (Concordia University)


Calvin Kalman (Concordia University)

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