Capstone/Dissertation Title

Assessing the effect on engagement in using science notebooks in a secondary life science course for students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders

Term

Fall 9-26-2014

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAT

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Bill Lindquist

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Krista Sivertson

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Katie Koessler

Abstract

The research question addressed for this capstone is, how does the use of science notebooks in a secondary life science classroom affect engagement for students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders? Through qualitative research design it explores the behavioral, emotional and cognitive engagement of eleven secondary students when using a science notebook in their biology course. Each of the eleven students has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention was paid to current levels of engagement considering specific challenges associated with their disability. The research showed this study group to have moderate levels of behavioral, emotional and cognitive engagement. While this may not seem significant, it suggests that with appropriate interventions students with ASD may be effectively engaged in using a science notebook.

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