AN INSTRUMENT TO MEASURE STUDENT'S PERCEPTION OF THE AUTHENTICITY OF AN OUT OF SCHOOL LEARNING PLACE
One of the big opportunities offered by out-of-school learning places at research institutions is their authenticity, as they can provide insight into authentic research and work of scientists. Purpose: To what extent the students perceive this "authenticity of place" may however be individually different. In order to measure whether students indeed perceive a given out-of-school learning offer as an authentic learning place from their individual perspective an instrument is needed.
... ng: The Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) is a genuine research environment for natural and engineering sciences and can therefore be considered as an authentic out-of-school learning place. Students from 3 different cantons in Switzerland participated in a field trip to the PSI, including a guided tour to one of its research facilities (on renewable energies) and a hands-on workshop in its science outreach lab (iLab) related to that topic. Data about test characteristics were collected in a pilot and in a main study (n = 80, March 2018 and n = 94, May to September 2018). All the classes were taught by the same teacher to learn about the basics of the research being done in that particular field of research at PSI. The guided tour was done by the same scientist from PSI for all classes. Design and methods: The questionnaire consists of a 6 point Likert scale with 9 items. An item analysis was carried out, as well as a factor analysis testing for the dimensionality of the questionnaire. Results: In terms of content the items for authenticity of place can be divided into one group with a cognitive focus and another group with an emotional focus. The item analysis of the total instrument yields good to very good characteristics (Cronbach's Alpha as estimate of internal consistency αC = .91, average item-test-correlation rit = .71), similarly for the sub-tests with cognitive and emotional focus (αC = .80, rit = .63 and αC = .89, rit = .77) A performed confirmatory factor analysis proved compatible with a two-factor and [...]