Listerman, Thomas W.
We have restructured our algebra-based general physics course to increase peer instruction. For the last three years each lecture has been followed by a recitation class. In recitation class students break up into small groups to work on "study guides" concerning the previous lecture. The recitation instructor is available to answer questions and to provide encouragement. The study guides ask qualitative and quantitative questions to lead students step-by-step through the material. Two completed study guides and a homework assignment are submitted each week for grading and the solutions are available later on the internet. Student surveys show the majority of students have a good attitude about the course, like to work in groups with their friends, and like the ready availability of the instructor for help. Both students and faculty seem to like the more frequent one-to-one contact of this format. We have also noticed that one student in each group tends to ask most of the questions and then "translates" the instructor's response into words the others understand. Lest you think "the millenium has arrived," student performance on multiple-choice tests has not improved markedly, some students strongly resist cooperation with others, and many students still think this is the hardest course they have ever taken.
The algebra-based physics course is taken by Biology students, Pre-Pharmacy, Pre-Medical, and other health related majors such as medical imaging, physical therapy, and so on. Nearly 500 students take the course each Semester. Student learning is adversely impacted by poor math backgrounds as well as extensive work schedules outside of the classroom. We have been researching the use of an intensive flipped-classroom approach where students spend one to two hours each week preparing for class by reading the book, completing a series of conceptual problems, and viewing videos which describe the material. In class, the new response system Learning Catalytics is used which allows much richer problems to be posed in class and includes sketching figures, numerical or symbolic entries, short answers, highlighting text, etc in addition to the standard multiple choice questions. We make direct comparison of student learning for 1200 sudents who have taken the same tests, 25% of which used the flipped classroom approach, and 75% who took a more standard lecture. There is significant evidence of improvements in student learning for students taking the flipped classroom approach over standard lectures. These benefits appear to impact students at all math backgrounds.
I will describe methods used at the University of Cincinnati to enhance student success in an algebra-based physics course. The first method is to use ALEKS, an adaptive online mathematics tutorial engine, before the term begins. Approximately three to four weeks before the beginning of the term, the professor in the course emails all of the students in the course informing them of the possibility of improving their math proficiency by using ALEKS. Using only a minimal reward on homework, we have achieved a 70% response rate with students spending an average of 8 hours working on their math skills before classes start. The second method is to use a flipped classroom approach. The class of 135 meets in a tiered classroom twice per week for two hours. Over the previous weekend students spend approximately 2 hours reading the book, taking short multiple choice conceptual quizzes, and viewing videos covering the material. In class, students use Learning Catalytics to work through homework problems in groups, guided by the instructor and one learning assistant. Using these interventions, we have reduced the student DWF rate (the fraction of students receiving a D or lower in the class) from an historical average of 35 to 40% to less than 20%.
Smith, Rachel Clara
The field of physics is heavily male dominated in America. Thus, half of the population of our country is underrepresented and underserved. The identification of factors that contribute to gender disparity in physics is necessary for educators to address the individual needs of students, and, in particular, the separate and specific needs of female students. In an effort to determine if any correlations could be established or strengthened between sex, gender identity, social network, algebra skill, scientific reasoning ability, and/or student attitude, a study was performed on a group of 82 students in an introductory algebra based physics course. The subjects each filled out a survey at the beginning of the semester of their first semester of algebra based physics. They filled out another survey at the end of that same semester. These surveys included physics content pretests and posttests, as well as questions about the students' habits, attitudes, and social networks. Correlates of posttest score were identified, in order of significance, as pretest score, emphasis on conceptual learning, preference for male friends, number of siblings (negatively correlated), motivation in physics, algebra score, and parents' combined education level. Number of siblings was also found to negatively correlate with, in order of significance, gender identity, preference for male friends, emphasis on conceptual learning, and motivation in physics. Preference for male friends was found to correlate with, in order of significance, emphasis on conceptual learning, gender identity, and algebra score. Also, gender identity was found to correlate with emphasis on conceptual learning, the strongest predictor of posttest score other than pretest score.
Smith, Leigh; Sousa, Alexandre
Transferring existing active classroom educational efforts to new faculty is a challenge that must be met to ensure sustainability of changes. We describe a flipped class approach to teaching algebra-based Physics being transferred to a new faculty member. This flipped class includes extensive video and reading-based preparation materials outside of class, and the use of Learning Catalytics for in-class work is developed and tested by one of the authors. These materials are of course idiosyncratic to the style of the developer. Student results using the new materials are compared with students in more standard classes which suggest significant positive benefit over several years. A faculty member decided to use these materials in his own section of the same course. Our experience shows that it takes some time for the new faculty member to use and adapt the materials in a way which matches his own style, which in the end results in equivalently enhanced results. Lessons learned from this transfer process will be discussed. We acknowledge the financial support of the NSF through DUE 1544001 and 1431350.
Advanced Placement (AP) credit was always designed to represent good college courses. After a call from the NRC, the College Board undertook a redesign of the AP Science courses to improve the quality of teaching and learning in the nation's high schools, modeling best practices at the college level. The Physics Redesign has focused on the AP Physics B course, the equivalent of the algebra-based introductory college physics course. This talk will focus on the background to this undertaking, the process that was followed, and the resulting courses. The impact these changes will have on current teaching practices will be discussed. Currently, Physics B is supposed to follow a preparatory course. Now, the material is divided up and deepened to make each year a stand-alone, rigorous, conceptual and problem-solving course. The significantly deeper conceptual level for the newly designed course allows teachers more time for inquiry-based, student-centered learning. Because of the two-course design, the first year will be accessible to more students. These can be placed flexibly into a school's curriculum; examples will be discussed. Examples from the new curriculum framework for these courses will be presented.
McBride, Krista K.
Generally, cohorts or learning communities enrich higher learning in students. Learning communities consist of conventionally separate groups of students that meet together with common academic purposes and goals. Types of learning communities include paired courses with concurrent student enrollment, living-learning communities, and faculty learning communities. This article discusses a learning community of 21 students that I created with a colleague in the English department. The community encompasses two general education courses: an algebra-based physics course entitled "Intro to Physics" and a literature course entitled "Science Fiction, Science Fact." Students must enroll in both of these courses during the same semester. Additionally, I highlight advantages to linking these courses through surveying the assignments and course materials that we used in our learning community. Figure 1 shows the topics that are covered in both physics and literature courses.
Beeby, J. L.
Two physics courses which serve as alternatives to general college courses in physics are outlined: physics with astrophysics and physics with electronics. Details are given of the structure of the courses and third year options are specified. (DT)
Lee, J.; Munn, R. W.
This is a guide to the chemical physics major. The scope of chemical physics is presented, along with the general features of course contents and possible course structures. This information was derived from a survey of British universities and colleges offering undergraduate degree courses in chemical physics. (BB)
Newfoundland and Labrador Dept. of Education.
A description of the physics 3204 course in Newfoundland and Labrador is provided. The description includes: (1) statement of purpose, including general objectives of science education; (2) a list of six course objectives; (3) course content for units on sound, light, optical instruments, electrostatics, current electricity, Michael Faraday and…
Wood, Roy C.
There has been a desire in recent years to introduce physics to students at the middle school, or freshmen high school level. However, traditional physics courses involve a great deal of mathematics, and this makes physics unattractive to many of them. In the last few decades, courses have been developed with a focus that is more conceptual than mathematical, and is generally referred to as conceptual physics. These two types of courses emphasize two methods that physicist use to solve physics problems. However, there is a third, graphical method that is also useful, and complements mathematical and verbal reasoning. A course emphasizing graphical methods would deal with quantitative graphical diagrams, as well as qualitative diagrams. Examples of quantitative graphical diagrams are scaled force diagrams and scaled optical ray-tracing diagrams. A course based on this type of approach would involve measurements and uncertainties, and would involve active (hands-on) student participation suitable for younger students. This talk will discuss a graphical physics course, and its benefits to younger students.
Mylott, Elliot; Kutschera, Ellynne; Dunlap, Justin C.; Christensen, Warren; Widenhorn, Ralf
We will describe a one-quarter pilot algebra-based introductory physics course for pre-health and life science majors. The course features videos with biomedical experts and cogent biomedically inspired physics content. The materials were used in a flipped classroom as well as an all-online environment where students interacted with multimedia…
Di Stefano, Maria C.
The last two decades or so have witnessed intense efforts to improve the teaching and learning of physics. Scholarly studies have provided the grounding for many projects which reform the structure of introductory courses. A number of these innovations, however, are resource intensive, or depend on the ability to introduce changes in areas which are beyond the control of the faculty (e.g., scheduling), thus inhibiting their implementation. An alternative strategy that overcomes these obstacles is to modify the nature of the laboratory experience (a component that practically nobody disputes is an essential part of the introductory course), to provide hands-on learning opportunities that differ from the traditional "follow-this-recipe-to-verify-this-law" approach. I have chosen to implement a variety of activities that support the overall objectives of the course: developing conceptual understanding and transferable skills, and providing practice in the ways scientists actually do science. Given the audience in this two-semester, algebra-based course, mostly biology majors and pre-professionals (health-related careers, such as medicine, physical therapy, and veterinary), these goals were identified as the most important and lasting contribution that a physics course can make to the students intellectual development. I offer here examples of the types of hands on activities that I have implemented, organized for the sake of this presentation in four rather loose categories, depending on which subset of the course objectives the activities mostly address: self-designed lab activities, discussion of demo-type activities, building concepts from simple to complex, and out-of-lab physical phenomena.
The department of physics at the University of Illinois has systematically restructured its introductory calculus and algebra based physics courses. These changes were based on work from the physics education research community, including Peer Instruction, Just In Time Teaching, Tutorials and Context Rich Problem Solving. I will discuss the issues involved in institutionalizing these changes to the courses that have now been taught by more then 50 faculty members within the department. I will also show qualitative and quantitative results of the impact changes have had.
I have explored the instructional value of using multiple-possibility problems (MPPs) in introductory physics courses. MPPs are different from problems we most often encounter in textbooks. They are different from regular problems since (1) they have missing information, vaguely defined goals or unstated constrains, (2) they possess multiple solutions with multiple criteria for evaluating the solutions, (3) they present uncertainty about which concepts, rules, and principles are necessary for the solution or how they are organized. Real-life problems and professional problems are MPPs. Students rarely encounter such problems in introductory physics courses. Kitchener (1983) proposed a three-level model of cognitive processing to categorize the thinking steps one makes when faced with such problems (cognition, metacognition, epistemic cognition). The critical and distinctive component of MPP solving is epistemic cognition. At that level individuals reflect on the limits of knowing, the certainty of knowing, the underlying assumptions made. It is an important part of thinking in real life. Firstly, I developed and tested a coding scheme for measuring epistemic cognition. Using the coding scheme I compared the epistemic cognition level of experts and novices by conducting think-aloud problem-solving interviews with them. Although experts had higher epistemic cognition level than novices, I documented some instances where a novice showed an expert-like epistemic cognition. I found that prompting question during interviews were 50% effective for students. Secondly, I tested the following two hypotheses by conducting two experimental design and one pre-post treatment design investigations in an algebra-based physics course at Rutgers University: Hypothesis 1: Solving MPPs enhances students' epistemic cognition; Hypothesis 2: Solving MPPs engages students in more meaningful problem solving and thus helps them construct a better conceptual understanding of physics. I found
New York Inst. of Tech., Old Westbury.
Samples of the Self-Paced Physics Course materials are presented in this collection for dissemination purposes. Descriptions are included of course objectives, characteristics, structures, and content. As a two-semester course of study for science and engineering sophomores, most topics are on a level comparable to that of classical physics by…
Laws, Priscilla W.
Describes interdisciplinary team teaching of an environmental studies course at Dickinson College which involves a physicist, a philosopher, an anthropologist, a theologian, and 15 community members. Physical scientist's roles and students' responses to the course are discussed. (CC)
Pearce, J. M.; O'Brien, R.
Describes a college-level physics course which focuses on both physics knowledge/skills and use of microcomputers. Types of experiments done with the computers and how students use the computers to treat data are considered. (JN)
Poduska, Ervin L.; Lunetta, Vincent N.
Examines the extent to which technology and applied physics should be included in introductory physics courses. Areas explored include the meaning of applied physics, the nature of pure and applied physics, and applied physics as viewed by a scientist, an educator, and society. Implications for the physics curriculum are addressed. (JN)
Wall, Jesse D.
At City College, we follow our mother institution, the University of California at Berkeley, in that we require high school physics as a prerequisite for general college physics and then provide a one-semester prep physics course as an alternative to meet this prerequisite. Many people have asked me how they can start such a course. In traveling about on my sabbatical, doing Physics Of Magic (1) at various schools, I have observed how various schools implement this prerequisite course. I will discuss my observations.
The World Wide Web will be utilized to deliver instructional materials in physics courses in two cases. In one case, a set of physics courses will be entirely taught using WWW for high school science and mathematics teachers in the physics certification program. In the other case, the WWW will be used to enhance the linkage between the laboratory courses in medical physics, human physiology and clinical nursing courses for nursing students. This project links three departments in two colleges to enhance a project known as Integrated Computer System across the Health Science Curriculum. Partial support for this work was provided by the National Science Foundation's Division od Undergraduate Education through grant DUE # 9650793.
Mitchell, G. E.
Provides the outline of an introductory college-level physics course which combines astronomy, astrophysics, relativity and communications with a study of civilizations and the conditions necessary for life. Student comments and an informal evaluation of the course are included. (CP)
Kortemeyer, Gerd; Westfall, Catherine
We organized and led a European study course for American undergraduate university students to explore the early history of relativity and quantum theory. We were inspired by The Physical Tourist articles published in this journal on Munich, Bern, Berlin, Copenhagen, and Göttingen. We describe this adventure both for others wishing to teach such a course and for anyone wishing to walk in the footsteps of the physicists who revolutionized physics in the early decades of the twentieth century.
Turley, R. Steven; Hatch, Dorian; Boerio-Goates, Juliana; Griffen, Dana; Mason, Grant; Hendrix, Suzanne
We present the results of our efforts to incorporate the latest developments in Web technology and pedagogical techniques into an introductory conceptual physical science course. The course is a freshman general education course which teaches principles of physics, chemistry, and geology. The work combines the efforts from faculty in each of these departments. Web presentation of the material uses email, FLASH, Java applets, Director animations, electronic quizzes with remedial correction, and digital video. The frustrations and the thrills that go with developing such a course are discussed and examples of lessons which incorporate the philosophy of the course and our pedagogical approach are shown. We have tested a sample of these lessons in two sections of the class alternating between web-based and paper-based assignments in each section. We present student reactions to using these resources and a statistical assessment of how they influenced student learning.
Mylott, Elliot; Kutschera, Ellynne; Dunlap, Justin C.; Christensen, Warren; Widenhorn, Ralf
We will describe a one-quarter pilot algebra-based introductory physics course for pre-health and life science majors. The course features videos with biomedical experts and cogent biomedically inspired physics content. The materials were used in a flipped classroom as well as an all-online environment where students interacted with multimedia materials online and prior to engaging in classroom activities. Pre-lecture questions on both the medical content covered in the video media and the physics concepts in the written material were designed to engage students and probe their understanding of physics. The course featured group discussion and peer-lead instruction. Following in-class instruction, students engaged with homework assignments which explore the connections of physics and the medical field in a quantitative manner. Course surveys showed a positive response by the vast majority of students. Students largely indicated that the course helped them to make a connection between physics and the biomedical field. The biomedical focus and different course format were seen as an improvement to previous traditional physics instruction.
The problem examined in this study deals with students' attitude toward physics among the freshmen and sophomore students who were taking first introductory physics course. In the study there were 176 students, and they were chosen sample of convenience from Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Florida. 125 subjects were male students, and…
Thomas, D. H.; Venkataraman, T. S.
This paper describes the results of a major experiment in undergraduate engineering curriculum reform and, in particular, focuses upon the physics course content that has evolved after this 5-year experiment. In 1988, Drexel University's College of Engineering was awarded grants by the National Science Foundation and the General Electric Foundation to undertake a major educational experiment involving its undergraduate engineering curriculum. The objective was to develop an entirely restructured, unified and integrated curriculum, covering the entire first two years of the regular undergraduate engineering curriculum. The experiment was successful and led to a dramatic improvement in the retention of students in engineering, enhanced academic performance on engineering and science course content, and a refined sense among the students of what engineering is about; also, the students seem to be having fun in spite of working very hard in their courses. This revamped engineering curriculum includes Physical Foundations of Engineering (PFE) as one of its major components. The PFE course covers mechanics as well as electricity and magnetism, and it emphasizes the importance of utilizing engineering applications as a method by which physics is introduced to engineering students. PFE differs from the traditional physics courses in a number of ways. This paper discusses the innovative nature of this course in detail and, in addition, brings out the importance of team work and collaborative learning that is essential to the practice of engineering.
Brecha, Robert; Tuss, Alex
Works of literature have often contained elements of physics either as an integral part of plot development or as a minor character. Several examples from a course offered at the University of Dayton will be presented to illustrate how literary works can be used as a way of discussing physics principles. Works read in the course include the plays ``Proof'' by David Auburn, ``Oedipus Rex'' by Sophocles, ``Arcadia'' by Tom Stoppard and ``Copenhagen'' by Michael Frayn, as well as Thomas Pynchon's novel ``The Crying of Lot 49.'' Students learn not only the theoretical principles needed to understand more fully the literary works, but perform experiments and keep a journal of observations and questions.
Swetman, T. P.
To communicate the relevance and excitement of science activity to students, the use of more imaginative, and even openly speculative, case studies in physics courses is suggested. Some useful examples are Magnetic Monopoles, Constants, Black Holes, Antimatter, Zero Mass Particles, Tachyons, and the Bootstrap Hypothesis. (DF)
Presents selected environmental references with comparatively detailed descriptions for the purpose of helping high school and college physics teachers in selecting materials for their course. The topics include thermal pollution, space heating and cooling, atmospheric temperature distribution, radiation balance of the earth, sound and noises, and…
Scott, Michael Lee
This dissertation details a classroom intervention that supplements assigned in-class problems in weekly problem sets with reflective activities that are aimed to assist in knowledge integration. Using the framework of cognitive load theory, this intervention should assist in schema acquisition leading to (1) students recognizing the use and appropriately applying physical concepts across different problem contexts, and (2) enhanced physics understanding of students resulting in improved class performance. The intervention was embedded in the discussion component of an introductory, university physics course, and spanned a 14-week period. Evaluation of the intervention was based on the relative performance between a control and treatment group. Instruments used in this study to assess performance included the Force Concept Inventory (FCI), a physics problem categorization test, and four class exams. A full discussion of this implementation and the accompanying measures will be given. Possible limitations to this study and lines of future research will be proposed.
Staiano, Amanda E; Calvert, Sandra L
Digital games combining exercise with game play, known as exergames, can improve youths' health status and provide social and academic benefits. Exergame play increases caloric expenditure, heart rate, and coordination. Psychosocial and cognitive impacts of exergame play may include increased self-esteem, social interaction, motivation, attention, and visual-spatial skills. This article summarizes the literature on exergames, with a special emphasis on physical education courses and the potential of exergames to improve students' physical health, as well as transfer effects that may benefit related physical, social, and academic outcomes.
Staiano, Amanda E.; Calvert, Sandra L.
Digital games combining exercise with game play, known as exergames, can improve youths’ health status and provide social and academic benefits. Exergame play increases caloric expenditure, heart rate, and coordination. Psychosocial and cognitive impacts of exergame play may include increased self-esteem, social interaction, motivation, attention, and visual–spatial skills. This article summarizes the literature on exergames, with a special emphasis on physical education courses and the potential of exergames to improve students’ physical health, as well as transfer effects that may benefit related physical, social, and academic outcomes. PMID:22563349
Tebbutt, M. J.
Summarizes results of a survey on teachers' views of the Nuffield A-level physics course (NAP) including, among others, course content, philosophy, examinations, organization, and individual units. Suggests that most teachers surveyed were satisfied with their NAP course. (SK)
Lin, Shih-Yin; Singh, Chandralekha
In this study, we examine introductory physics students' ability to perform analogical reasoning between two isomorphic problems which employ the same underlying physics principles but have different surface features. Three hundred sixty-two students from a calculus-based and an algebra-based introductory physics course were given a quiz in the…
Alinea, Allan L.; Naylor, Wade
Since October 2010, the Chemistry-Biology Combined Major Program, an international course taught in English at Osaka University, has been teaching small classes (no more than 20 in size). We present data from the Force Concept Inventory (FCI) given to first-year classical mechanics students (N = 47 students over three years) pre and post score, for a class that predominantly uses interactive engagement, such as MasteringPhysics. Our findings show a G-factor improved score of about ˜0.18, which is marginally about the average of a traditional-based course. Furthermore, we analyze in detail a set of six questions from the FCI, involving the identification of forces acting on a body. We find that student answers tend to cluster about ‘polarizing choices’—a pair of choices containing the correct choice and a wrong choice, with the latter corresponding to a superset of forces in the former. Our results are suggestive that students have a good idea of the right set of forces acting on a given system, but the inclusion of extra force(s) brings about confusion; something that may be explained by misleading ontological categorization of forces. In an appendix A we also comment on possible correlations between the pre/post score and the level of English ability on entry to the course.
Frahm, Charles P.; Young, Robert D.
The administration of a Personalized System of Instruction (PSI) for junior-senior level courses in mechanics, electricity and magneturn, atomic physics, mathematical physics, physics and computers, astrophysics, and relativity is described. (CP)
Duran, Lena Ballone; McArthur, Julia; Van Hook, Stephen
The purpose of this study was to examine middle childhood students' perceptions of the learning environment in a reform-based physics course. A lecture-style, introductory physics course was modified into an inquiry-based course designed for preservice middle childhood teachers through the collaborative efforts of faculty in the Colleges of…
Jenkins, Jayne M.; Jenkins, Patience; Collums, Ashley; Werhonig, Gary
Conceptual physical education (CPE) courses are typically included in university course work to provide students knowledge and skills to engage in physical activity for life. The purpose of this study was to identify CPE course characteristics that contributed to positive and negative student perceptions. Participants included 157 undergraduates…
Holbrow, C. H.
Describes a course using the prospect of living in space for motivating students to learn basic physics as well as differences between pure science and technology. Includes course content and a sample final examination. (Author/JN)
Van Ness, G. R.; Widenhorn, Ralf
We report on the development of an undergraduate biomedical physics course at Portland State University, motivated by both student interest and the desire of the university's Physics Department to provide an interdisciplinary intermediate-level physics course. The course was developed through the community engagement of physicians, clinical researchers, and basic science researchers. Class meetings were a combination of regular and guest lectures, hands-on exercises, web-based activities, class discussions, and a student poster information session for patrons at a local science museum. The course inspired students to engage in research projects in biomedical physics that enhance their understanding of science and education as well as benefit the learning of future students. Furthermore, this course offers an opportunity for traditionally underrepresented groups in physics courses, such as women, to gain additional exposure to physics.
Yoder, Garett; Cook, Jerry
The Department of Physics at EKU [Eastern Kentucky University] with support from the National Science Foundations Course Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement Program has successfully converted our entire introductory physics sequence, both algebra-based and calculus-based courses, to an activity-based format where laboratory activities,…
Hendry, L. B.; Whiting, H. T.A.
Physical Education students tended to be mesomorphic, stable extroverts, with driving, aggressive social responses and authoritarian attitudes as compared with general course college students. (Authors/MB)
Marston, Edwin H.
Presents a physics course for social scientists. Physics problems are presented within the context of several urban and environmental case studies. The problems considered include transportation, air pollution, thermal pollution of water, and scarcity of resources. (LS)
Discusses a two-semester noncalculus general physics course which emphasizes the teaching of physical knowledge in biology, biophysics, and medicine. Included are a table of major biophysical examples, an outline of lectures, and a list of references. (CC)
Henderson, B. J.; Henderson, M. A.
An introductory biophysics course for science students who have previously taken two quarters of noncalculus physics is described. Material covered emphasizes the physical principles of sound, light, electricity, energy, and information. (Author/CP)
Multnomah County Intermediate Education District, Portland, OR.
This document on course goals in physical education is one part of a critique series dealing with the development and evaluation of course goals in six subject matter areas for grades K-12. The series provides an initial pool of course-level goals that are expected to be of considerable value in assisting educators with goal definition related to…
Center for Occupational Research and Development, Inc., Waco, TX.
This technical specialty course is one of thirty-five courses designed for use by two-year postsecondary institutions in five nuclear technician curriculum areas: (1) radiation protection technician, (2) nuclear instrumentation and control technician, (3) nuclear materials processing technician, (4) nuclear quality-assurance/quality-control…
Technical Education Research Center, Waco, TX.
This technical specialty course is one of thirty-five courses designed for use by two-year postsecondary institutions in five nuclear technician curriculum areas: (1) radiation protection technician, (2) nuclear instrumentation and control technician, (3) nuclear materials processing technician, (4) nuclear quality-assurance/quality-control…
James, Wendy Michelle
Science and engineering instructors often observe that students have difficulty using or applying prerequisite mathematics knowledge in their courses. This qualitative project uses a case-study method to investigate the instruction in a trigonometry course and a physics course based on a different methodology and set of assumptions about student…
Ramlo, Susan E.
Nationally, many public universities have started to move into the online course and program market that is most often associated with for-profit institutions of higher education. Administrators in public universities make statements regarding benefits to students' desire for flexibility and profit margins related to online courses. But do students attending a large public university want to take courses online especially science courses perceived to be difficult such as freshmen-level physics courses? This study took place at a large, public, Midwestern university and involved students enrolled in the first semester of a face-to-face, flipped physics course for engineering technology majors. Statements were collected from comments about online courses made by the university's administration and students in the course. Twenty students sorted 45 statements. Two student views emerged with one rejecting online courses in general and the other primarily rejecting online math, science, and technology courses, including physics. Students' descriptions of their previous online course experiences were used to inform the analyses and to assist in describing the two views that emerged in conjunction with the distinguishing statements. Consensus among the two views is also discussed. Overall, the results indicate a potential divergence between student views and what university administrators believe students want.
Teodorani, M.; Nobili, G.
A project for an advanced course in physics at the master level, is presented in great detail. The goal of this project is to create a specific and rigorous training for those who want to carry out experimental and theoretical research on "anomalies" in physical science, especially from the point of view of atmospheric physics, plasma physics, photonic physics, biophysics, astronomy and astrophysics. A specific training in powering mental skills is planned as well. The planned teaching program is presented as a two-year course where the following subjects are intended to be taught: cognitive techniques (I and II), radiation physics (I and II), biophysics (I and II), bioastronomy (I and II), history of physics (I and II), didactics of physics, physics of atmospheric plasmas, physics of non-stationary photonic events, physics of non-linear processes, complements of quantum mechanics, quantum informatics, research methodology in physics and astronomy, computer science methods in physics and astronomy, optoelectronics, radioelectronics. Detailed teaching programs, didactics methods, and performance evaluation, are presented for each subject. The technical content of this project is preceded by an ample introduction that shows all the reasons of this kind of physics course, particularly aimed at innovation in physical science.
Considers questions relating to the introduction of particle physics into post-GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) courses. Describes a project that is producing teacher and student materials to support the teaching of particle physics at this level. Presents a proposed syllabus for a particle physics module. (KR)
McBride, Krista K.
Generally, cohorts or learning communities enrich higher learning in students. Learning communities consist of conventionally separate groups of students that meet together with common academic purposes and goals. Types of learning communities include paired courses with concurrent student enrollment, living-learning communities, and faculty…
Alinea, Allan L.; Naylor, Wade
Since October 2010, the Chemistry-Biology Combined Major Program, an international course taught in English at Osaka University, has been teaching small classes (no more than 20 in size). We present data from the Force Concept Inventory (FCI) given to first-year classical mechanics students (N = 47 students over three years) pre and post score,…
Hewitt, Paul G.
How physics can be made interesting is a question that needs no answer. That's because physics is interesting! It's a field of study jam-packed with fascination and wonder. The general public has an enormous thirst for physics knowledge, as indicated by the great numbers who purchase science magazines and books and watch NOVA and other science specials. A related question, how to make a physics course interesting, is something that we can answer. All we have to do is present physics at a proper pace in the language of the learner. My adage has always been that if the first course in physics is delightful, the rigor of a follow-up course will be welcomed.
Schmidt, William L.
Poetry writing in the context of physics is a student-centered activity that enables students to view the world through the window of physics and make connections to everyday life scenarios. Poetry assignments provide a creative and atypical challenge to students, creating more student-centered class discussions and a fun, light-hearted approach…
Orear, Jay; Salpeter, E. E.
Discusses the phenomenon of formation of white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes from dying stars for the purpose of providing college teachers with materials usable in the introductory physics course. (CC)
Hobbie, Russell K.
Reviews properties of nerves, analogous networks in propagation of electrical signals in axons, and regenerative changes in membrane permeability due to propagation of the action potential, which can be explained in the noncalculus physics course. (CC)
WORTHINGTON, ROGER G.; AND OTHERS
TEACHERS DEVELOPING LESSON PLANS FOR A COURSE IN BASIC PRINCIPLES AND CONCEPTS OF PHYSICS CAN USE THIS OUTLINE. IT WAS DEVELOPED BY A COMMITTEE OF TEACHERS AND WAS BASED ON EXPERIENCE AND CLASSROOM USE. THE OBJECTIVE OF THE COURSE IS TO HELP STUDENTS ACQUIRE AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE SCIENTIFIC APPROACH AND A WORKING KNOWLEDGE OF BASIC LABORATORY…
Gibbons, Sandra L.
The purpose of this investigation was to gain insight into the features of 32 senior physical education courses from 22 school districts in British Columbia that have successfully maintained high enrollments of female students. Analysis of course outlines, interviews with teachers, and student questionnaires were used to collect data. The…
Rader, Martha C.; Clendenin, Martha A.
A survey of 225 primarily female participants in a 2-week physical therapy refresher course received 182 responses indicating that 75 percent sought knowledge updating and 25 percent prepared for licensing. Refresher courses were considered appropriate for addressing labor shortages and enabling inactive professionals, often women, to reenter…
Describes a course on environmental pollution which stresses physical and chemical principles. Course presents a unified discussion of air and water pollution and solid waste with special treatment of pesticides, thermal pollution, radioactivity, and electric power generation. Uses historical and current statistics extensively to set pollution…
Dunlap, Joanna C.; Furtak, Thomas E.; Tucker, Susan A.
The calculus-based, introductory physics course is the port of entry for any student interested in pursuing a college degree in the sciences, mathematics, or engineering. There is increasing demand for online delivery options that make the course more widely available, especially those that use best practices in student engagement. However,…
Cordes, Albert E.
This report describes the development, use, and evaluation of an interactive video lesson for a community college level algebraic-based general physics class that could be used to demonstrate Newton's laws and the conservation of momentum. The lesson consisted of five mini-lessons including an introduction, a presentation of Newton's laws, a…
Presenting an introduction to the mathematics of modern physics for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, this textbook introduces the reader to modern mathematical thinking within a physics context. Topics covered include tensor algebra, differential geometry, topology, Lie groups and Lie algebras, distribution theory, fundamental analysis and Hilbert spaces. The book also includes exercises and proofed examples to test the students' understanding of the various concepts, as well as to extend the text's themes.
Schmidt, William L.
Poetry writing in the context of physics is a student-centered activity that enables students to view the world through the window of physics and make connections to everyday life scenarios. Poetry assignments provide a creative and atypical challenge to students, creating more student-centered class discussions and a fun, light-hearted approach to learning what is often perceived as a purely logical subject. In order to write poetry in the context of a physics concept, students actively unify their worldview with an expression of physical concepts, personalizing their connection to the topic. Physics and poetry are two of the great human intellectual endeavors, each producing deep insights on self-created models of the universe. Each attempts to get beneath the surface of events and actions through different domains. Just as poets create a perspective of the world, scientists and researchers use their creativity to come up with new ideas, tests, and explanations. Creative thinking is one of the most important skills scientists have, whether that creativity is used to develop an alternative hypothesis, to devise a new way of testing an idea, or to look at old data in a new light. Scientific analysis often involves alternating among different modes of reasoning and creative brainstorming. Creative thinking is becoming an increasingly valuable skill for students. A 2006 comprehensive study done by job placement professionals concluded that creative thinking has become one of the most important skill sets for recent college graduates.
For the past four years, a course on flow visualization has been offered to mixed teams of engineering and fine arts photography students at the University of Colorado. The course has significant technical content on flow visualization and photographic techniques, and includes some emphasis on documentation and the interpretation of results, particularly with respect to atmospheric dynamics as revealed by clouds. One unusual aspect of the course is that all students are expected to demonstrate both aesthetic sensibility and scientific discipline. Another is that students are not constrained to study specific phenomena or use specific techniques; instead, creativity is required. A major outcome from this course is a series of stunning images which challenge the mind and delight the eye. In addition, anecdotal evidence suggests that this course has a lasting impact on students' perception of fluid physics, which can be contrasted to the effect of traditional introductory fluids courses.
Fox, Laura J.; Roehrig, Gillian H.
A nationwide survey of the undergraduate physical chemistry course was conducted to investigate the depth and breadth of content that is covered, how content is delivered, how student understanding is assessed, and the experiences and beliefs of instructors. The survey was administered to instructors of physical chemistry (N = 331) at American…
Barrell, G. V.; Holt, D.
A longitudinal investigation of the attitudes towards physical activity of specialist students of physical education was undertaken during a course of training teachers. Significant changes of attitude with time were noted, particularly in the Vertigo and Ascetic dimensions. (Author)
"It was the best of times; it was the worst of times" is the way Dickens begins the Tale of Two Cities. The line is appropriate to our time in particle physics. It is the best of times because we are in the midst of a revolution in understanding, the third to occur during my career. It is the worst of times because accelerator facilities are shutting down before new ones are opening, restricting the opportunity for experiments, and because of great uncertainty about future funding. My task today is to give you a view of the most important opportunities for our field under a scenario that is constrained by a tight budget. It is a time when we cannot afford the merely good, but must give first priority to the really important. The defining theme of particle physics is to learn what the universe is made of and how it all works. This definition spans the full range of size from the largest things to the smallest things. This particle physics revolution has its origins in experiments that look at both.
''It was the best of times; it was the worst of times'' is the way Dickens begins the Tale of Two Cities. The line is appropriate to our time in particle physics. It is the best of times because we are in the midst of a revolution in understanding, the third to occur during my career. It is the worst of times because accelerator facilities are shutting down before new ones are opening, restricting the opportunity for experiments, and because of great uncertainty about future funding. My task today is to give you a view of the most important opportunities for our field under a scenario that is constrained by a tight budget. It is a time when we cannot afford the merely good, but must give first priority to the really important. The defining theme of particle physics is to learn what the universe is made of and how it all works. This definition spans the full range of size from the largest things to the smallest things. This particle physics revolution has its origins in experiments that look at both.
Kohl, Patrick B.; Rosengrant, David; Finkelstein, Noah D.
Good use of multiple representations is considered key to learning physics, and so there is considerable motivation both to learn how students use multiple representations when solving problems and to learn how best to teach problem solving using multiple representations. In this study of two large-lecture algebra-based physics courses at the…
Lin, Shih-Yin; Singh, Chandralekha
In this study, we examine introductory physics students' ability to perform analogical reasoning between two isomorphic problems which employ the same underlying physics principles but have different surface features. 382 students from a calculus-based and an algebra-based introductory physics course were administered a quiz in the recitation…
Overduin, James; Molloy, Dana; Selway, Jim
Electromagnetic induction is probably one of the most challenging subjects for students in the introductory physics sequence, especially in algebra-based courses. Yet it is at the heart of many of the devices we rely on today. To help students grasp and retain the concept, we have put together a simple and dramatic classroom demonstration that…
Baublitz, Millard; Goldberg, Bennett
A one-semester algebra-based physics course is being offered to Boston University students whose major fields of study are in allied health sciences: physical therapy, athletic training, and speech, language, and hearing sciences. The classroom instruction incorporates high-engagement learning techniques including worksheets, student response devices, small group discussions, and physics demonstrations instead of traditional lectures. The use of pre-session exercises and quizzes has been implemented. The course also requires weekly laboratory experiments in mechanics or electricity. We are using standard pre- and post-course concept inventories to compare this one-semester introductory physics course to ten years of pre- and post-course data collected on students in the same majors but who completed a two-semester course.
Hall, Nicholas; Webb, David
The role of autonomy in the student experience in a large-enrollment undergraduate introductory physics course was studied from a self-determination theory perspective. A correlational study investigated whether certain aspects of the student experience correlated with how autonomy supportive (versus controlling) students perceived their instructors to be. An autonomy-supportive instructor acknowledges students' perspectives and feelings and provides students with information and opportunities for choice while minimizing external pressures (e.g., incentives or deadlines). It was found that the degree to which students perceived their instructors as autonomy supportive was positively correlated with student interest and enjoyment in learning physics (β =0.31***) and negatively correlated with student anxiety about taking physics (β =-0.23**). It was also positively correlated with how autonomous (versus controlled) students' reasons for studying physics became over the duration of the course (i.e., studying physics more because they wanted to versus had to; β =0.24***). This change in autonomous reasons for studying physics was in turn positively correlated with student performance in the course (β =0.17*). Additionally, the degree to which students perceived their instructors as autonomy supportive was directly correlated with performance for those students entering the course with relatively autonomous reasons for studying physics (β =0.25**). In summary, students who perceived their instructors as more autonomy supportive tended to have a more favorable motivational, affective, and performance experience in the course. The findings of the present study are consistent with experimental studies in other contexts that argue for autonomy-supportive instructor behaviors as the cause of a more favorable student experience.
Discusses four topics presented in the science foundation course of the Open University that exemplify current developments in particle physics, in particular, and that describe important issues about the nature of science, in general. Topics include the omega minus particle, the diversity of quarks, the heavy lepton, and the discovery of the W…
Hall, Nicholas; Webb, David
The role of autonomy in the student experience in a large-enrollment undergraduate introductory physics course was studied from a self-determination theory perspective. A correlational study investigated whether certain aspects of the student experience correlated with how autonomy supportive (versus controlling) students perceived their…
Baily, Charles; Finkelstein, Noah D.
Just as expert physicists vary in their personal stances on interpretation in quantum mechanics, instructors vary on whether and how to teach interpretations of quantum phenomena in introductory modern physics courses. In this paper, we document variations in instructional approaches with respect to interpretation in two similar modern physics…
This paper reports the results of an investigation on the effect of cooperative learning on academic achievement of physics course. Cooperative learning was employed to experimental group and conventional teaching method was used for control group. Sampling of the study consists of 15-16 years old 220 students at high school in Iran. The progress…
Logan, James David
Discusses a course, centered around 32 experiments taught for advanced students, designed to develop a laboratory strongly suggestive of contemporary research using relatively sophisticated apparatus. Its unique advantage lies in enriching advanced physics curriculum. (DF)
South Seattle Community Coll., Washington.
This publication contains materials for three courses in Applied Physics in the Applied Academics program at South Seattle Community College. It begins with the article, "Community College Applied Academics: The State of the Art?" (George B. Neff), which describes the characteristics, model, courses, and coordination activity that make…
Milner-Bolotin, Marina; Antimirova, Tetyana; Noack, Andrea; Petrov, Anna
This paper examines the results of the repeated administration of the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey (CLASS) in a large introductory physics course at a midsize, metropolitan Canadian university. We compare the results to those obtained previously in comparable courses at the University of British Columbia (Canada) and the…
van Zee, Emily H.; Jansen, Henri; Winograd, Kenneth; Crowl, Michele; Devitt, Adam
The ability to listen closely, speak clearly, write coherently, read with comprehension, and to create and critique media offerings in science contexts is essential for effective science teaching. How might instructors develop such abilities in a physics course for prospective elementary and middle school teachers? We describe here such a course,…
Over the past 30 years, physics education research has guided the development of instructional strategies that can significantly enhance students' functional understanding of concepts in introductory physics. Recently, attention has shifted to instructional goals that, while widely shared by teachers of physics, are often more implicit than explicit in our courses. These goals involve the expectations and attitudes that students have about what it means to learn and understand physics, together with the behaviors and actions students think they should engage in to accomplish this learning. Research has shown that these ``hidden'' elements of the curriculum are remarkably resistant to instruction. In fact, traditional physics courses tend to produce movement away from expert-like behaviors. At Western Washington University, we are exploring ways of promoting metacognition, an aspect of the hidden curriculum that involves the conscious monitoring of one's own thinking and learning. We have found that making this reflective thinking an explicit part of the course may not be enough: adequate framing and scaffolding may be necessary for students to meaningfully engage in metacognition. We have thus taken the basic approach of developing metacognition, like conceptual understanding, through guided inquiry. During our teaching experiments, we have collected written and video data, with twin goals of guiding iterative modifications to the instruction as well as contributing to the knowledge base about student metacognition in introductory physics. This talk will provide examples of metacognition activities from course assignments and labs, and will present written data to assess the effectiveness of instruction and to illustrate specific modes of students' reflective thinking.
Iverson, Heidi Louise
Over the last several decades, the efficacy of the traditional lecture-based instructional model for undergraduate physics courses has been challenged. As a result, a large number of reform-oriented instructional innovations have been developed, enacted, and studied in undergraduate physics courses around the globe---all with the intended purpose of improving student learning. This thesis satisfies the need for a comprehensive synthesis of the effectiveness of these course innovations by analyzing: (1) the types of innovations that have been enacted, (2) the impact of these innovations on student learning, and (3) the common features of effective innovations. An exhaustive literature search for studies published after 1990 on undergraduate physics course innovations yielded 432 articles which were then coded with respect to the characteristics of the innovations used as well as the methodological characteristics of the studies. These codes facilitated a descriptive analysis which characterized the features of the pool of studies. These studies were then meta-analyzed in order to evaluate the effect of innovations on student learning. Finally, a case-study analysis was conducted in order to identify the critical characteristics of effective innovations. Results indicate that most innovations focus on introductory mechanics and use some combination of conceptually oriented tasks, collaborative learning, and technology. The overall effect of course innovations has been positive, but with the caveat that a large number of studies suffer from poor methodological designs and potential threats to validity. In addition, over half of the studies had to be eliminated from the meta-analysis because they did not report the data necessary for an effect size to be calculated. Despite these limitations the results of the meta-analysis indicated that there was one innovation which had particularly high effect sizes---Workshop/Studio Physics---an innovation which involves an
Martinuk, Mathew; Kotlicki, Andrzej; Rieger, Georg
In 2007, motivated by research showing many students don't make connections between classroom physics and real-world phenomena, we fundamentally changed the curriculum and pedagogy of Phys 100, a large introductory course for non-physics majors at UBC. Our goal was to enable our students to use scientific knowledge to critically think about real world problems such as transportation and climate change. All topics in the course are now taught with strong connections to applications in the real world. For example conservation of energy is explored using models of home heating and the Earth's energy balance. Real-world connections are reinforced through weekly tutorials where students apply physics to context-rich real world problems, and through explicit discussion of real world analogues to lab experiments. These examples increase students' ability to see physics happening in the real world and encourage them to use their knowledge outside the classroom. This talk will discuss the evolution of the course over the first two years of implementation and results from exams and research on student attitudes.
de la Garza, Jorge; Alarcon, Hugo
Considering the benefits of modeling instruction in improving conceptual learning while students work more like scientists, an implementation was made in an introductory Physics course in a Mexican University. Recently Brewe, Kramer and O'Brien have observed positive attitudinal shifts using modeling instruction in a course with a reduced number of students. These results are opposite to previous observations with methodologies that promote active learning. Inspired in those results, the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey (CLASS) was applied as pre and post tests in two Mechanics courses with modeling. In comparison to the different categories of the CLASS, significant positive shifts have been determined in Overall, Sophistication in Problem Solving, and Applied Conceptual Understanding in a sample of 44 students.
Hu, Ben Yu-Kuang
I describe a method of evaluating the integral of 1/r[superscript 2] with respect to r that uses only algebra and the concept of area underneath a curve, and which does not formally employ any calculus. This is useful for algebra-based introductory physics classes (where the use of calculus is forbidden) to derive the work done by the force of one…
In upper division physics courses, an overarching educational goal is to have students think about and use the material much as a practicing physicist in the field does. Specifically, this would include knowledge (such as concepts, formalism, and instruments), approaches, and metacognitive skills that physicists use in solving ``typical'' (research context) problems to both understand and predict physical observations and accompanying models. Using an interactive instructional approach known as deliberate practice (described earlier in this session) we will discuss our work on how to provide students with the necessary practice and feedback to achieve these skills in a core DAMOP course of modern optics. We present the results of a direct and explicit comparison between this approach and traditional lecture-based instruction revealing evidence that a significant improvement of the students' mastery of these skills occurs when deliberate practice is employed. Our work was supported by the University of British Columbia through the CWSEI.
Loats, Jeff; Schwarz, Cindy; Krane, Ken
Physics education researchers have developed a rich variety of research-based instructional strategies that now permeate many introductory courses. Carrying these active-engagement techniques to upper-division courses requires effort and is bolstered by experience. Instructors interested in these methods thus face a large investment of time to start from scratch. This NSF-TUES grant, aims to develop, test and disseminate active-engagement materials for nuclear and particle physics topics. We will present examples of these materials, including: a) Conceptual discussion questions for use with Peer Instruction; b) warm-up questions for use with Just in Time Teaching, c) ``Back of the Envelope'' estimation questions and small-group case studies that will incorporate use of nuclear and particle databases, as well as d) conceptual exam questions.
Drago, Antonino; Esposito, Salvatore
We analyze in some detail the course of Theoretical Physics held by Ettore Majorana at the University of Naples in 1938, just before his mysterious disappearance. In particular we present the recently discovered "Moreno Paper", where all the lecture notes are reported. Six of these lectures are not present in the collection of the original manuscripts conserved at the Domus Galilaeana in Pisa, consisting of only ten lectures.
Hagedorn, Eric; Suskavcevic, Milijana
The undergraduate science course described uses the themes of polymers and composites, as used in sports materials, to teach some key concepts in introductory chemistry and physics. The course is geared towards students who are interested in science, but are still completing prerequisite mathematics courses required for science majors. Each class is built around a laboratory activity. Atoms, molecules and chemical reactions are taught in reference to making polyvinyl acetate (white glue) and polyvinyl alcohol (gel glue). These materials, combined with borax, form balls which are subsequently used in physics activities centered on free-fall and the coefficient of restitution. These activities allow the introduction of kinematics and dynamics. A free fall activity involving ice pellets, with and without embedded tissue paper, illustrates the properties of composites. The final series of activities uses balls, shoes, racquets and bats to further illustrate dynamics concepts (including friction, momentum and energy). The physical properties of these sports objects are discussed in terms of the materials of which they are made. The evaluation plan to determine the effectiveness of these activities and preliminary results are also presented.
Baski, A. A.; Hunnicutt, S.
We have developed a physical science content course for elementary education majors that is aligned with state standards. The course incorporates several hands-on activities related to the Virginia Standards of Learning that have already been implemented as one-hour lessons in elementary classrooms. Topics include measurement, properties of matter, motion & energy, electricity & magnetism, sound & light, chemical & physical processes, weather, and the solar system. In addition to the hands-on activities, course content is discussed in a small lecture format with questions posed throughout the material. The students discuss these questions in assigned groups and then answer them using remote answer devices (see www.einstruction.com). Lastly, conceptual ideas in class are reinforced using online LON-CAPA homework questions that are individually randomized for each student and provide immediate feedback (see loncapa.org). Those questions which indicate a high degree-of-difficulty are reassigned during following weeks to provide multiple opportunities for practice. All of these active learning approaches reinforce basic concepts necessary to teach physical science at the elementary level.
Hilton, John Martin
This study investigates why physical therapy assistant majors engage and perform better than elementary education majors in an inquiry-based conceptual physics course at Mid-Atlantic Community College. The students from each major are demographically similar, both courses are similar in depth and structure, and each course supports the students' program. However, there is an observed difference in the levels of engagement with the curriculum and performance on writing-based assessments between the two groups. To explore possible explanations for the difference, I examine students' affinity for science, their beliefs about the nature of science and scientific knowledge in the classroom, and their perception of the usefulness of science to their program. During semi-structured interviews, students from both majors displayed nearly identical weak affinities for science, epistemological beliefs, and uncertainty about the usefulness of the class. However, the physical therapy majors' ability to see the relevance of the physics course experience to their program enhanced their interest and motivation. In contrast, the elementary education students do not see connections between the course and their program, and do not see a purpose for their learning of physics content. To improve the program, I propose a two-pronged approach - designing a faded-scaffolded-inquiry approach for both classes, and developing a field-based/seminar class for the elementary education majors. The scaffolded inquiry will help both groups develop better orientations toward lab activities, and the structured observations and reflection will help the elementary group connect the material to their program.
Ridenour, J.; Feldman, G.; Teodorescu, R.; Medsker, L.; Benmouna, N.
Developing competency in problem solving and enhancing conceptual understanding are primary objectives in introductory physics, and many techniques and tools are available to help instructors achieve them. Pedagogically, we use an easy-to-implement intervention, the ACCESS protocol, to develop and assess problem-solving skills in our SCALE-UP classroom environment for algebra-based physics. Based on our research and teaching experience, an important question has emerged: while primarily targeting improvements in problem-solving and cognitive development, is it necessary that conceptual understanding be compromised? To address this question, we gathered and analyzed information about student abilities, backgrounds, and instructional preferences. We report on our progress and give insights into matching the instructional tools to student profiles in order to achieve optimal learning in group-based active learning. The ultimate goal of our work is to integrate individual student learning needs into a pedagogy that moves students closer to expert-like status in problem solving.
Pritchard, David E.
We will describe several of the currently available Massive Open Online Courses in Physics-the topics, level, author, and special features of each. Then we will discuss the interesting demographics of the students taking them, presenting evidence showing that students of widely different initial skills and students of all major demographic groups learn at least as much conceptual knowledge as students in a traditional classroom. We will present MOOC research on student habits, use of eTexts and other resources, and indicate what resources impart measured learning. We'll describe a collectivistic MOOC where you can help develop instructional and assessment resources that will be in a library for future use by you and other teachers. Many of these resources are designed for blending with on-campus introductory courses in college or Advanced Placement courses in High School. They will ultimately be displayed in a searchable library with lots of useful information from which you can assemble your own course in the free and open edX.org platform (or simply download them for in-class use). We Acknowledge support from NSF, a Google Faculty Award, and MIT.
van Zee, Emily H.; Jansen, Henri; Winograd, Kenneth; Crowl, Michele; Devitt, Adam
The ability to listen closely, speak clearly, write coherently, read with comprehension, and to create and critique media offerings in science contexts is essential for effective science teaching. How might instructors develop such abilities in a physics course for prospective elementary and middle school teachers? We describe here such a course, involving collaboration among physics, science education, and literacy faculty members and two graduate assistants. Meeting twice a week for 10 weeks, the course emphasized questioning, predicting, exploring, observing, discussing, writing, and reading in physical science contexts. We report common themes about aspects that fostered or hindered science and literacy learning, changes in views about science teaching and learning, and positive shifts in interest in science and intended teaching practices.
Woolnough, J. A.; Cameron, R. S.
This paper reports an evaluation of the physics course at Dickson College (ACT) looking at students' high school experience, their expectations before beginning and their impressions and feelings during the course. In general, students seem to have a fairly negative approach to physics, enrolling for a variety of often vague utilitarian reasons but with little expectation of enjoyment or interest. These opinions were most prevalent in girls who tend to find the content difficult and the course as a whole uninteresting. There is also a significant difference between girls and boys in their response to different types of assessment items. In an attempt to enhance the level of interest and enjoyment in students we have been phasing in a more ‘conceptual’ approach to the teaching of physics.
Bruhweiler, F. C.; Verner, E.; Long, T.; Montanaro, E.
At The Catholic Univ. of America, we teach an experimental physics course entitled Physics 240: The Sun-Earth Connection, which is designed for the undergraduate education major. The emphasis is on providing hands-on experience and giving the students an exciting experience in physics. As part of this course, in the Spring 2013 semester, we instituted a project to plan, build, launch, and retrieve a small (~1.3 kg) research balloon payload. The payload flown was a small GPS unit that sent its position to an Internet site, a small wide-angle high-resolution video camera, and an analog refrigerator thermometer placed in the field of view of the camera. All data were stored on the camera sim-card. Students faced the problems of flying a small research balloon in the congested, densely populated Northeast Corridor of the US. They used computer simulators available on the Web to predict the balloon path and flight duration given velocities for the Jet Stream and ground winds, as well as payload mass and amount of helium in the balloon. The first flight was extremely successful. The balloon was launched 140 km NW of Washington DC near Hagerstown, MD and touched down 10 miles (16 km) NW of York, PA, within 1.6 km of what was predicted. The balloon reached 73,000 ft (22,000 m) and the thermometer indicated temperatures as low as -70 degrees Fahrenheit (-57 C) during the flight. Further balloon flights are planned in conjunction with this course. Additional exercises and experiments will be developed centered around these flights. Besides learning that science can be exciting, students also learn that science is not always easily predictable, and that these balloon flights give an understanding of many of problems that go into real scientific space missions. This project is supported in part by an educational supplement to NASA grant NNX10AC56G
The quality of K-12 education leaves something to be desired and presents higher education faculty with the challenge of instructing under-prepared students. However, by their own admission, students from many institutions inform us that laboratory sections in science classes, including physics, consist mostly of showing up, going through the motions, and getting grades that boost their overall grade. This work presents laboratories that challenge students to take their laboratory work more seriously including specific rubrics enforcing SOLVE and Bloom's Taxonomy, pre-lab preparation work, and quizzes on pre-lab preparation. Early results are encouraging revealing greater student progress with better integration of laboratory with the rest of a complete physics course.
Although anthropogenic climate change is generally accepted in the scientific community, there is considerable skepticism among the general population and, therefore, in undergraduate students of all majors. Students are often asked by their peers, family members, and others, whether they ``believe'' climate change is occurring and what should be done about it (if anything). I will present my experiences and recommendations for teaching the physics of climate change to both physics and non-science majors. For non-science majors, the basic approach is to try to develop an appreciation for the scientific method (particularly peer-reviewed research) in a course on energy and the environment. For physics majors, the pertinent material is normally covered in their undergraduate courses in modern physics and thermodynamics. Nevertheless, it helps to review the basics, e.g. introductory quantum mechanics (discrete energy levels of atomic systems), molecular spectroscopy, and blackbody radiation. I have done this in a separate elective topics course, titled ``Physics of Climate Change,'' to help the students see how their knowledge gives them insight into a topic that is very volatile (socially and politically).
West, Emily Lincoln Ashbaugh
Prior research across hundreds for introductory physics courses has demonstrated that traditional physics instruction does not generally lead to students learning physics concepts in a meaningful way, but that interactive-engagement physics courses do sometimes promote a great deal more student learning. In this work I analyze a reform effort in a…
Ilie, Carolina; Lee, Kevin
We discuss collaborative problem solving computer-based recitation style. The course is designed by Lee , and the idea was proposed before by Christian, Belloni and Titus [2,3]. The students find the problems on a web-page containing simulations (physlets) and they write the solutions on an accompanying worksheet after discussing it with a classmate. Physlets have the advantage of being much more like real-world problems than textbook problems. We also compare two protocols for web-based instruction using simulations in an introductory physics class . The inquiry protocol allowed students to control input parameters while the worked example protocol did not. We will discuss which of the two methods is more efficient in relation to Scientific Discovery Learning and Cognitive Load Theory. 1. Lee, Kevin M., Nicoll, Gayle and Brooks, Dave W. (2004). ``A Comparison of Inquiry and Worked Example Web-Based Instruction Using Physlets'', Journal of Science Education and Technology 13, No. 1: 81-88. 2. Christian, W., and Belloni, M. (2001). Physlets: Teaching Physics With Interactive Curricular Material, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ. 3. Christian,W., and Titus,A. (1998). ``Developing web-based curricula using Java Physlets.'' Computers in Physics 12: 227--232.
Madsen, Martin John
There is ongoing interest in how and what we teach in physics courses for non-science students, so-called "physics for poets" courses. Art Hobson has effectively argued that teaching science literacy should be a key ingredient in these courses. Hobson uses Jon Millers definition of science literacy, which has two components: first, "a basic…
Taskin Ekici, Fatma; Kara, Izzet; Ekici, Erhan
In this study we present an overview of the undergraduate blended Physics course that has been supported by the Moodle platform. The course that has been applied is a basic physics course for primary student teachers. The aim of Moodle is to create an online learning environment which helps students to have a virtual space where they can share…
Sibley, Benjamin A; Bergman, Shawn M
The current research examined the relationships among exercise goal contents, behavioral regulation, physical activity, and aerobic fitness within the context of eight-week university physical education courses. Participants were undergraduate students (M age = 20.2 year, SD = 2.3) enrolled in activity courses (N = 461) during the 2010 Fall semester. At pretest, participants completed a demographic survey, Behavioral Regulation in Exercise Questionnaire and the Goal Contents in Exercise Questionnaire. At eight-week posttest, participants completed the Physical Activity Questionnaire for Adults and the PACER aerobic fitness test. Relative intrinsic goal content was found to predict physical activity indirectly and aerobic fitness via behavioral regulation. Specific goal contents related to health management and skill development were found to predict physical activity and aerobic fitness via a fully mediated path through identified and intrinsic regulation. Results supported the efficacy of goal contents and self-determination theory in describing physical activity behavior and fitness. Examining specific types of goal contents and behavioral regulations revealed relationships that were masked by the utilization of omnibus scoring protocols.
Rodriguez, Idaykis; Potvin, Geoff; Kramer, Laird H.
[This paper is part of the Focused Collection on Gender in Physics.] Active-learning approaches to teaching introductory physics have been found to improve student learning and affective gains on short-term outcomes [S. Freeman et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 111, 8410 (2014)]; however, whether or not the benefits of active learning impact women to the same degree as men has been a point of concern [A. Madsen, S. B. McKagan, and E. C. Sayre, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 9, 020121 (2013)]. Further, the long-term impacts of active-learning experiences are also understudied. At Florida International University, a Hispanic-majority institution, we have implemented Modeling Instruction (MI) and the Integrated Science Learning Environment (ISLE) in introductory physics classes for the past decade. In this empirical paper, we report on a longitudinal investigation of student performance and persistence in upper level physics courses after having previously experienced MI or ISLE in their introductory physics courses, and disaggregate students by gender. Using survival analysis methods, we find women who declare physics as a major are more likely than men to graduate with a physics degree. Women are also just as likely as men to pass through the upper division courses, with the highest failure risk for both men and women occurring in the first semester of upper-division course taking. These results reinforce the need to expand considerations of performance outcomes to be longitudinal to measure the effectiveness of the entire physics experience.
de Winter, J.
This article aims to explore some of the experiences of participants on the Science as an Additional Specialism (SASP) physics course. It draws from feedback, assignment work and course evaluations from all of the 22 teachers who were participants on the course at the Science Learning Centre East of England at Bayfordbury, in the 2009-10 academic…
Inglis, Michael; Mallaburn, Andrea; Tynan, Richard; Clays, Ken; Jones, Robert Bryn
A recent Government response to shortages of new physics and chemistry teachers is the extended subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) course. Graduates without a physics or chemistry bachelor degree are prepared by an SKE course to enter a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) programme to become science teachers with a physics or chemistry…
Evenson, Kelly R.; Brown, David R.; Pearce, Emily; Camplain, Ricky; Jernigan, Jan; Epping, Jacqueline; Shepard, Dennis M.; Dorn, Joan M.
Purpose: From 1996 to 2013, a 6-day Physical Activity and Public Health Course for Practitioners has been offered yearly in the United States. An evaluation was conducted to assess the impact of the course on building public health capacity for physical activity and on shaping the physical activity and public health careers of fellows since taking…
Diedrich, K. C.; Diedrich, Nick
Physical activity and sport programs offer great opportunities for youth to develop important life skills, including leadership. High school physical education leadership courses are one way to develop leadership and pedagogy skills in students. Leadership courses are also a great way for aspiring physical education teachers in training to gain…
Filho, Paulo Jose Barbosa Gutierres; Monteiro, Maria Dolores Alves Ferreira; da Silva, Rudney; Hodge, Samuel R.
The purpose of this study was to analyze adapted physical education instructors' views about the application of the theory of planned behavior (TpB) in teaching physical education undergraduate courses. Participants ("n" = 17) were instructors of adapted physical activity courses from twelve randomly selected institutions of higher…
van Zee, Emily H.; Jansen, Henri; Winograd, Kenneth; Crowl, Michele; Devitt, Adam
We designed a physics course for prospective elementary and middle school teachers to foster aspects of scientific thinking recommended in reform documents. Because the elementary school curriculum focuses heavily on literacy, we also explicitly integrated physics and literacy learning in this course. By integrating physics and literacy learning,…
Martinuk, Mathew ``Sandy''; Moll, Rachel F.; Kotlicki, Andrzej
Throughout North America the curriculum of introductory physics courses is nearly standardized. In 1992, Tobias wrote that four texts dominate 90% of the introductory physics market and current physics education research is focusing on how to sustain educational reforms.2 The instructional team at the University of British Columbia (UBC) recently implemented some key curriculum and pedagogical changes in Physics 100, their algebra-based introductory course for non-physics majors. These changes were aimed at improving their students' attitudes toward physics and their ability to apply physics concepts to useful real-life situations. In order to demonstrate that physics is relevant to real life, a theme of energy and environment was incorporated into the course.
de Winter, J.
This article aims to explore some of the experiences of participants on the Science as an Additional Specialism (SASP) physics course. It draws from feedback, assignment work and course evaluations from all of the 22 teachers who were participants on the course at the Science Learning Centre East of England at Bayfordbury, in the 2009-10 academic year. An accompanying article by Peter Campbell describes the genesis and nature of the course together with experiences, mainly from a tutor's perspective.
Springer, Kristen W
Although prior research has established that childhood abuse adversely affects midlife physical health, it is unclear how abuse continues to harm health decades after the abuse has ended. In this project, I assess four life course pathways (health behaviors, cognition, mental health, and social relation) that plausibly link childhood physical abuse to three midlife physical health outcomes (bronchitis diagnosis, ulcer diagnosis, and general physical health). These three outcomes are etiologically distinct, leading to unique testable hypotheses. Multivariate models controlling for childhood background and early adversity were estimated using data from over 3000 respondents in the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, USA. The results indicate that midlife social relations and cognition do not function as pathways for any outcome. However, smoking is a crucial pathway connecting childhood abuse with bronchitis; mental health is important for ulcers; and BMI, smoking, and mental health are paramount for general physical health. These findings suggest that abuse survivors' coping mechanisms can lead to an array of midlife health problems. Furthermore, the results validate the use of etiologically distinct outcomes for understanding plausible causal pathways when using cross-sectional data.
Bowden, Rodney G; Rust, Dawnella M; Dunsmore, Sarah; Briggs, Jeffrey
Social physique anxiety represents a discomfort or apprehension about body proportions, especially during social exercise. The purpose of this study was to describe the relationship for such anxiety with selection of differing types of physical activity courses, assess changes in social physique anxiety after a 16-wk. physical activity session, and examine sex differences in social physique anxiety. Data from 315 undergraduate students (217 women, 98 men) enrolled in either physical activity courses or an emergency care course showed those in a fitness course had higher anxiety scores. Such scores differed by sex, and showed improvement between 8 and 16 wk.
Asiksoy, Gülsüm; Özdamli, Fezile
This study aims to determine the effect on the achievement, motivation and self-sufficiency of students of the flipped classroom approach adapted to Keller's ARCS (Attention, Relevance, Confidence and Satisfaction) motivation model and applied to a physics course. The study involved 66 students divided into two classes of a physics course. The…
Giancoli, Douglas C.
Describes an interdisciplinary course for advanced undergraduates in the physical and biological sciences. The goal is to understand a living cell from the most basic standpoint possible. The ideas of physics, chemistry, and molecular biology are all essential to the course, which leads to a unified view of the sciences. (PR)
Ellis, Joshua Charles
Regular physical activity contributes to decreasing health risk factors. With the intent of establishing long-term behavioral changes that attribute to overall physical wellbeing, many U.S. universities offer fitness and wellness courses. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of a postsecondary fitness and wellness course on physical…
Lorente-Catalán, Eloisa; Kirk, David
There is widespread consensus on the need for assessment for learning (AfL) in both university courses and school programmes. Given the prevalence of traditional practices in school physical education where assessment is basic or non-existent, we might ask whether AfL is present in physical education teacher education (PETE) courses. Where it is,…
Kallunki, Veera; Karppinen, Seija; Komulainen, Kauko
This article examines a physics course for pre-service primary teachers in which physics, crafts and drama were taught together by connecting the standpoints of crafts and drama. The study was carried out by three university educators from these disciplines during an advanced optional course for student-teachers at the University of Helsinki in…
Simpson, Ian A.; Singer, Kevin P.; Treagust, David; Zadnik, Marjan G.
This paper describes the development and evaluation of a course in physiotherapy whereby the physics fundamental to the modalities of cold, heat and ultrasound therapies was integrated in lectures and actual physiotherapy activities. The design of the course is described together with the perceptions of physiotherapy students regarding the organisation of the course, safety aspects and how well the integration contributed to their understanding of the physics involved in electrotherapy.
We designed and implemented curriculum intended to be used by students in an algebra-based introductory physics laboratory course. Our curricular goal was to foster, through observations in the lab, a coherent framework in students' understanding of general principles presented in the introductory mechanics course, while addressing known student difficulties. The research that guided our curriculum development efforts, however, was previously implemented in an intervention setting which was quite different from ours, and was conducted on students enrolled in calculus-based physics courses who were generally academically better prepared than our students. We describe the development of laboratory materials, designed to fit the specific curricular constraints of a lab course at NMSU. We present some results from post-testing of our labs, which were not as favorable as results obtained by researchers at other institutions implementing similar curricula in their courses. We attempted to quantify differences in preparation among our introductory physics student populations who use these laboratory materials. We developed a short proportional reasoning pretest, which we found to be a relatively efficient predictor of student success in our courses. We investigated the effect of context variations on performance by various student populations on this pretest, and found that the effect of context variation was not the same for all of our student populations. Results from our calculus-based population showed a small but significant increase in performance when we modified the context of our pretest, while the performance of our algebra- based population showed very little sensitivity to the variation in pretest context. Finally, when considering students' gender, we found in both algebra-based and calculus-based physics courses that female students were significantly affected by context variation, while male students' performance remained relatively unchanged when we varied
Bihari, James; White, Arthur
Pre and posttests were given over a three year period to students in an introductory university physics course, a two-quarter, hands-on, laboratory-based, science literacy course with a focus on energy. Attitude items on the tests related to student anxiety and efficacy, discovery, relevance, enjoyment, and interest. Knowledge items on the tests related to course subject matter. Quantitative analysis was used to study relationships between attitude variables, age, gender, subject matter knowledge, and performance in the course.
Improving the scientific literacy of non-scientists is an important aim, both because of the ever-increasing impact of science on our lives and because understanding science enriches our experience of the natural world. One route to improving scientific literacy is via general education undergraduate courses--i.e. courses for students not majoring…
Piletic, Cindy K.; Davis, Ron
The purpose of this study was to describe the profile, content, delivery mechanism, and application of teaching standards, National Association of Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) and Adapted Physical Education National Standards (APENS), within the Introduction to Adapted Physical Education (APE) course for college/university PETE preparation…
Johansson, Anders; Andersson, Staffan; Salminen-Karlsson, Minna; Elmgren, Maja
Educating new generations of physicists is often seen as a matter of attracting good students, teaching them physics and making sure that they stay at the university. Sometimes, questions are also raised about what could be done to increase diversity in recruitment. Using a discursive perspective, in this study of three introductory quantum physics courses at two Swedish universities, we instead ask what it means to become a physicist, and whether certain ways of becoming a physicist and doing physics is privileged in this process. Asking the question of what discursive positions are made accessible to students, we use observations of lectures and problem solving sessions together with interviews with students to characterize the discourse in the courses. Many students seem to have high expectations for the quantum physics course and generally express that they appreciate the course more than other courses. Nevertheless, our analysis shows that the ways of being a "good quantum physics student" are limited by the dominating focus on calculating quantum physics in the courses. We argue that this could have negative consequences both for the education of future physicists and the discipline of physics itself, in that it may reproduce an instrumental "shut up and calculate"-culture of physics, as well as an elitist physics education. Additionally, many students who take the courses are not future physicists, and the limitation of discursive positions may also affect these students significantly.
Moreira, Marco Antonio
Compares the Ausubelian approach and the traditional one to the content organization of an introductory course in electromagnetism. States the differences between these approaches in terms of the student's ability to apply, relate, and differentiate electromagnetic concepts. (GA)
THE REAL STUFF is an Expanded Media Physics Course aimed at students still in the formative early years of secondary school. Its consists of a working script for an interactive multimedia study unit in basic concepts of physics. The unit begins with a prologue on the Big Bang that sets the stage, and concludes with a lesson on Newton's first law of motion. The format is interactive, placing the individual student in control of a layered hypermedia'' structure that enables him or her to find a level of detail and difficulty that is comfortable and meaningful. The intent is to make physics relevant, intellectually accessible and fun. On-screen presenters and demonstrators will be females and males of various ages, ethnicities and backgrounds, and will include celebrities and physicists of note. A lean, layered design encourages repeated, cumulative study and makes the material useful for self-directed Teaming even by college students. THE REAL STUFF introduces a new science teaching paradigm, a way to teach science that will engage even students who have declined'' to be interested in science in the past. Increased participation in science by women, African-Americans and Spanish-speaking students is a particular goal.
Burke, Christopher J.; Atherton, Timothy J.
We describe a project-based computational physics course developed using a backwards course design approach. From an initial competency-based model of problem solving in computational physics, we interviewed faculty who use these tools in their own research to determine indicators of expert practice. From these, a rubric was formulated that enabled us to design a course intended to allow students to learn these skills. We also report an initial implementation of the course and, by having the interviewees regrade student work, show that students acquired many of the expert practices identified.
Hewitt, Paul G.
How physics can be made interesting is a question that needs no answer. That's because physics is interesting! It's a field of study jam-packed with fascination and wonder. The general public has an enormous thirst for physics knowledge, as indicated by the great numbers who purchase science magazines and books and watch "NOVA" and other…
Redish, Edward F.
Mathematics is an essential element of physics problem solving, but experts often fail to appreciate exactly how they use it. Math may be the language of science, but math-in-physics is a distinct dialect of that language. Physicists tend to blend conceptual physics with mathematical symbolism in a way that profoundly affects the way equations are…
Knop, R. A.
The New Faculty Workshop provided a wealth of techniques as well as an overriding philosophy for the teaching of undergraduate Physics and Astronomy courses. The focus of the workshop was active learning, summarized in ``Learner-Centered Astronomy Teaching" by Slater & Adams: it's not what you do in class that matters, it's what the students do. Much of the specific focus of the New Faculty Workshop is on teaching the large, introductory Physics classes that many of the faculty present are sure to teach, both algebra-based and calculus-based. Many of these techniques apply directly and with little modification to introductory Astronomy courses. However, little direct attention is given to upper-division undergraduate, or even graduate, courses. In this presentation, I will share my experience in attempting to apply some of the techniques discussed at the New Faculty Workshop to an upper-division course in Galactic Astrophysics at Vanderbilt University during the Spring semester of 2004.
Evenson, Kelly R.; Dorn, Joan M.; Camplain, Ricky; Pate, Russell R.; Brown, David R.
Background Since 1995, an 8-day Physical Activity and Public Health Course for Researchers has been offered yearly in the United States. Methods In 2013, an evaluation quantified time that fellows spent in different course offerings, surveyed fellows on course impact, documented grant funding, and identified fellow participation on leading physical activity-related journals. Results The number of fellows that attended the course ranged from 20–35/year. Fellows who participated in the web survey (n=322) agreed that the course: met their expectations (99%), had a positive impact on the physical activity research or practice work they did (98%), and helped increase their professional networking in the field (93%). Following the course, 73% of fellows had further contact with course faculty and 71% had further contact with other fellows. From the National Institutes of Health, 117 grants were awarded to 82 fellows (21% of eligible fellows). Out of 14 journals reviewed, 11 had at least one fellow on their staff as editor, associate editor, or editorial board member. Conclusion The Physical Activity and Public Health Course for Researchers helps address a training need by providing instruction and building capacity in the US and abroad for conducting research on physical activity and public health. PMID:25271475
Larkin, Douglas B.
This article examines the process of shifting to a "Physics First" sequence in science course offerings in three school districts in the United States. This curricular sequence reverses the more common U.S. high school sequence of biology/chemistry/physics, and has gained substantial support in the physics education community over the…
Piccioni, R. G.
Too often, students in introductory courses are left with the impression that Einstein's special theory of relativity comes into play only when the relative speed of two objects is an appreciable fraction of the speed of light ("c"). In fact, relativistic length contraction, along with Coulomb's law, accounts quantitatively for the force on a…
Nagel, Megan L.; Lindsey, Beth A.
This paper describes an interdisciplinary investigation of students' usage of ideas about energy from physics in the context of introductory chemistry. We focus on student understanding of the idea that potential energy is a function of distance between interacting objects, a concept relevant to understanding potential energy in both physical and…
Shakov, Khazhgery; Shakov, Zalimgery
Making the material presented interesting and exciting for the students has always been one of the main challenges in teaching introductory physics to students who have little or no background in physics (e.g. K-12 or undergraduate college). Many of the traditional teaching strategies consider physical systems (real or fictional) where the ``level of distraction'' is intentionally minimized or eliminated for the sake of better clarity. While it certainly allows a student to focus on important principles, it often leads to an impression that physics (and science in general) mostly operates with ``artificial'' systems that are not immediately relevant to everyday life. One of the ways to address this problem is to incorporate different forms of media that would ``bring physics to life''. We discuss how one can use fragments of popular movies to enhance students' interest in the subject.
Schwartz, Joseph; Ragir, Sonia
Discusses an interdisciplinary course offered to senior students in physical, biological, and social sciences, with emphases on explaining the character of scientific work and the mechanisms underlying biological evolution. Included is a bibliography of available materials. (CC)
Gurses, Ahmet; Acikyildiz, Metin; Dogar, Cetin; Sozbilir, Mustafa
The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a problem-based learning (PBL) approach in a physical chemistry laboratory course. The parameters investigated were students' attitudes towards a chemistry laboratory course, scientific process skills of students and their academic achievement. The design of the study was one group…
Strand, Brad; Egeberg, James; Mozumdar, Arupendra
The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence and characteristics of health-related fitness (HRF) and physical activity (PA) courses at U.S. institutions of higher learning. Data were obtained from 116 two- and four-year colleges and universities. The results show that health-related fitness courses were offered at many 2-year (89.2%)…
O'Malley, Patrick J.; Agger, Jonathan R.; Anderson, Michael W.
An analysis is presented of the experience and lessons learned of running a MOOC in introductory physical chemistry. The course was unique in allowing students to conduct experimental measurements using a virtual laboratory constructed using video and simulations. A breakdown of the student background and motivation for taking the course is…
Los Angeles Unified School District, CA. Office of Secondary Instruction.
Introductory Physical and Earth Science 8AB, a required course in the Los Angeles Unified School District, covers skills and concepts related to matter, energy, space science, weather, and oceanography with particular emphasis on the investigative approach. This instructional outline contains teacher guidelines and course content information.…
Mohr, Derek J.; Sibley, Benjamin A.; Townsend, J. Scott
Limited research exists on effective teaching methods in university physical activity instruction (PAI) program courses. The purpose of this study was to evaluate PAI courses taught utilizing a sport education curriculum and instructional model. The Individual Development and Educational Assessment (IDEA) teaching evaluation was administered to…
Li, Kin-Kit; Cardinal, Bradley J.; Settersten, Richard A., Jr.
This article illustrates how a life-course perspective can be infused more fully into the research field of physical activity promotion. A life-course perspective is particularly promising in connecting, organizing, and supplementing current knowledge and can potentially stimulate and direct future research and intervention efforts by using a…
Purvis-Roberts, Kathleen L.; Edwalds-Gilbert, Gretchen; Landsberg, Adam S.; Copp, Newton; Ulsh, Lisa; Drew, David E.
A new interdisciplinary, introductory science course was offered for the first time during the 2007-2008 school year. The purpose of the course is to introduce students to the idea of working at the intersections of biology, chemistry, and physics and to recognize interconnections between the disciplines. Interdisciplinary laboratories are a key…
Several major factors which affect students' learning are assessed (curricula, different teaching approaches, assessment methods, engagement, and motivation). Direct connection between motivation, attitudes, self-confidence and achievement was established. It was demonstrated that improvement of motivation and self-confidence among students (particularly females, minorities and low achievers) is essential. Effectiveness of different instructional methods and motivational approaches was analyzed and evaluated in algebra-based Physics course for Biology pre-med undergraduate students.
The aim of this study is to state the points when choosing a method in studies concerning physics course new curriculum by evaluating researches whose topics are secondary physics course curriculum (in Turkey) in terms of subject, objective, method and consequences. 24 researches conducted within the lines of secondary physics course curriculum…
Marton, F.; McCrary, M.
Bergen Community College (BCC) is a two-year college in the New York City metropolitan area with a diverse student body and total enrollment of approximately 17,000. Most students have a gen-ed requirement of two lab science courses which employ numerous methods of assessment, including tests. Traditionally, students take tests individually and often, once they get back the graded tests, glance over the results and file the tests away. In addition to individual test-taking, we have begun using and comparing two types of procedures to see how their understanding of the material may improve in introductory-level geology and physics classes. The first procedure explored the benefit of group work to reinforce concepts, worth 20% of the overall test grade. Conceptual and algebra-based physics classes took short group tests, consisting of open-ended challenge questions, preceding their traditional, individual exam. We found the group testing significantly helped the physics students; in some cases, counting for more than 20% of their overall test grade. Because those problems were done at the beginning of the test, it helped many students reinforce their understanding of the physics concepts through intense group discussion, which allowed them to be more relaxed and confident when they did their individual problems. In geology, the students re-did the T/F, MC, and fill-in questions that they answered independently first. By consulting with their fellow students, they were able to talk over the concepts and correct their answers if they felt they were initially wrong. Overall, when the questions were re-done during the group testing, the median improvement in correct answers was 16-24%. Moreover, students generally felt either confident in their answers or, if they changed them, understood the concepts better. For the second type of test procedure, students in a geology class were able to make corrections to the T/F, MC, and fill-in questions that they got wrong. If they
Until the 1980s, it is well known and practiced in Indonesian Basic Physics courses, to present physics by its effective technicalities: The ideally elastic spring, the pulley and moving blocks, the thermodynamics of ideal engine models, theoretical electrostatics and electrodynamics with model capacitors and inductors, wave behavior and its various superpositions, and hopefully closed with a modern physics description. A different approach was then also experimented with, using the Hobson and Moore texts, stressing the alternative aim of fostering awareness, not just mastery, of science and the scientific method. This is hypothesized to be more in line with the changed attitude of the so-called Millenials cohort who are less attentive if not interested, and are more used to multi-tasking which suits their shorter span of attention. The upside is increased awareness of science and the scientific method. The downside is that they are getting less experience of the scientific method which intensely bases itself on critical observation, analytic thinking to set up conclusions or hypotheses, and checking consistency of the hypotheses with measured data. Another aspect is recognition that the human person encompasses both the reasoning capacity and the mental- spiritual-cultural capacity. This is considered essential, as the world grows even smaller due to increased communication capacity, causing strong interactions, nonlinear effects, and showing that value systems become more challenging and challenged due to physics / science and its cosmology, which is successfully based on the scientific method. So students should be made aware of the common basis of these two capacities: the assumptions, the reasoning capacity and the consistency assumption. This shows that the limits of science are their set of basic quantifiable assumptions, and the limits of the mental-spiritual-cultural aspects of life are their set of basic metaphysical (non-quantifiable) assumptions. The
Overholt, Michelle Jungst
The goal of this evaluation repor t is to provide the informa tion necessary to improve the effectiveness of the ITC provided to the In ternational Atomic Energy Agency Member States. This report examines ITC-25 training content, delivery me thods, scheduling, and logistics. Ultimately, this report evaluates whether the course pr ovides the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the students' needs in the protection of nuclear materials and facilities.
Anderson, Brenda; Nix, Elizabeth; Norman, Bilinda; McPike, H Dawn
Physical assessment is an important component of professional nursing practice. New nurse graduates experience difficulty transitioning the traditional head to toe physical assessment into real world nursing practice. This study was conducted to provide current data concerning physical assessment competencies utilized consistently by registered nurses. This quantitative study used a 126 item survey mailed to 900 Registered Nurses. Participants used a Likert-type scale to report frequency of use for physical assessment competencies. Thirty seven competencies were determined to be essential components of the physical assessment, 18 were determined supplemental, and 71 were determined to be non-essential. Transition of the new graduate nurse into professional practice can be enhanced by focusing content in physical assessment practicum courses on the essential competencies of physical assessment. Faculty for the university has analyzed data from this study to support evidence based changes to the undergraduate nursing program physical assessment practicum course.
O’Shea, Brian; Terry, Laura; Benenson, Walter
We present outcomes from curricular changes made to an introductory calculus-based physics course whose audience is primarily life sciences majors, the majority of whom plan to pursue postbaccalaureate studies in medical and scientific fields. During the 2011–2012 academic year, we implemented a Physics of the Life Sciences curriculum centered on a draft textbook that takes a novel approach to teaching physics to life sciences majors. In addition, substantial revisions were made to the homework and hands-on components of the course to emphasize the relationship between physics and the life sciences and to help the students learn to apply physical intuition to life sciences–oriented problems. Student learning and attitudinal outcomes were assessed both quantitatively, using standard physics education research instruments, and qualitatively, using student surveys and a series of postsemester interviews. Students experienced high conceptual learning gains, comparable to other active learning–based physics courses. Qualitatively, a substantial fraction of interviewed students reported an increased interest in physics relative to the beginning of the semester. Furthermore, more than half of students self-reported that they could now relate physics topics to their majors and future careers, with interviewed subjects demonstrating a high level of ability to come up with examples of how physics affects living organisms and how it helped them to better understand content presented in courses in their major. PMID:23737630
O'Shea, Brian; Terry, Laura; Benenson, Walter
We present outcomes from curricular changes made to an introductory calculus-based physics course whose audience is primarily life sciences majors, the majority of whom plan to pursue postbaccalaureate studies in medical and scientific fields. During the 2011-2012 academic year, we implemented a Physics of the Life Sciences curriculum centered on a draft textbook that takes a novel approach to teaching physics to life sciences majors. In addition, substantial revisions were made to the homework and hands-on components of the course to emphasize the relationship between physics and the life sciences and to help the students learn to apply physical intuition to life sciences-oriented problems. Student learning and attitudinal outcomes were assessed both quantitatively, using standard physics education research instruments, and qualitatively, using student surveys and a series of postsemester interviews. Students experienced high conceptual learning gains, comparable to other active learning-based physics courses. Qualitatively, a substantial fraction of interviewed students reported an increased interest in physics relative to the beginning of the semester. Furthermore, more than half of students self-reported that they could now relate physics topics to their majors and future careers, with interviewed subjects demonstrating a high level of ability to come up with examples of how physics affects living organisms and how it helped them to better understand content presented in courses in their major.
Uretsky, Jack L.
Describes a community-college curriculum that incorporates Socratic Dialogue Inducing (SDI) laboratories into a new calculus-based preengineering physics sequence. SDI allows for group discussion labs that emphasize the concepts being taught in the lectures. (ZWH)
Berthier, L.; Viasnoff, V.; White, O.; et al.
Experiments performed on a wide range of glassy materials display many interesting phenomena, such as aging behavior. In recent years, a large body of experiments probed this nonequilibrium glassy dynamics through elaborate protocols, in which external parameters are shifted, or cycled in the course of the experiment. We review here these protocols, as well as experimental and numerical results. Then, we critically discuss various theoretical approaches put forward in this context. Emphasis is put more on the generality of the phenomena than on a specific system. Experiments are also suggested.
McKagan, S. B.; Perkins, K. K.; Wieman, C. E.
We have reformed a large lecture modern physics course for engineering majors by radically changing both the content and the learning techniques implemented in lecture and homework. Traditionally this course has been taught in a manner similar to the equivalent course for physics majors, focusing on mathematical solutions of abstract problems. Based on interviews with physics and engineering professors, we developed a syllabus and learning goals focused on content that was more useful to our actual student population: engineering majors. The content of this course emphasized reasoning development, model building, and connections to real world applications. In addition we implemented a variety of PER-based learning techniques, including peer instruction, collaborative homework sessions, and interactive simulations. We have assessed the effectiveness of reforms in this course using pre/post surveys on both content and beliefs. We have found significant improvements in both content knowledge and beliefs compared with the same course before implementing these reforms and a corresponding course for physics majors.
In Fall 1992, at Michigan State University we first offered online homework to one section of an introductory physics course; students received randomized assignments as printouts and entered answers through Telnet sessions, frequently using text terminals. Now, over two decades later, all of our introductory physics courses have significant online components, and students can chose between different formats, including hybrid courses with free online textbook materials, as well as courses that are completely online. What have we learned over the years about which formats are most effective for which students? What are the respective learning outcomes? Which logistical models work best for homework, exams, videos, and textbook materials? What about academic integrity? In our talk we will reflect on how our courses have been developing over the years, report educational research results, relate anecdotes and experiences, and point out pitfalls that we have encountered.
Kelly, Angela M.; Sheppard, Keith
High school physics is a gateway course for post-secondary study in science, and an essential component in the formation of students' scientific literacy. The opportunity to study physics is not universally available for children in U.S. schools, particularly in urban areas. Restricted science opportunities result in inequitable participation and a barrier to future participation in STEM-related fields. Although the national trend in physics enrollment has recently shown an increase, the percentage of participation is much lower for students in urban schools. We examined the availability of physics in New York City, and whether access was related to academic achievement measures, such as prior science performance, and graduation and college attendance percentages. High schools that offered physics were compared to those that did not, and patterns in types of available physics courses were examined. The findings substantiate the compelling need to explore the barriers to increased physics access and participation for urban youth.
Journal of Chemical Education, 1985
Part l (SE 538 305) covered application of classical thermodynamics, polymer crystallinity, and phase diagrams to teaching physical chemistry. This part covers statistical thermodynamics, conformation, molecular weights, rubber elasticity and viscoelasticity, and kinetics of polymerization. Eight polymer-oriented, multiple-choice test questions…
This report was produced by the Sedro-Woolley Project which has the goal of infusing environmental education into the whole curriculum of a school district. Included are assumptions which the author believes are appropriate to environmental education; a relating of these assumptions to some topics of chemistry and physics; an outline of specific…
Pickar, Arnold D.
Reported is the second phase of the development of a two-year college core science course for science majors. Materials were combined from introductory college courses in biology, chemistry, and physics. A revised lecture and laboratory syllabus was prepared incorporating improvements suggested after a pilot study of the first year course.…
Tynan, Richard; Mallaburn, Andrea; Jones, Robert Bryn; Clays, Ken
During extended subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) courses, graduates without chemistry or physics bachelor degrees prepared to enter a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) programme to become chemistry or physics teachers. Data were gathered from the exit survey returned by Liverpool John Moores University SKE students about to start…
Burko, Lior M.
Introductory calculus-based physics textbooks state that electromagnetic waves are transverse and list many of their properties, but most such textbooks do not bring forth arguments why this is so. Both physical and theoretical arguments are at a level appropriate for students of courses based on such books, and could be readily used by…
Keiner, Louis E.; Gilman, Craig
This study measures the effects of increased faculty-student engagement on student learning, success rates, and perceptions in a Physical Oceanography course. The study separately implemented two teaching methods that had been shown to be successful in a different discipline, introductory physics. These methods were the use of interactive…
Barrett, Sarah Elizabeth; Hazari, Zahra; Fatholahzadeh, Baharak; Harrison, David M.
Many students enrolled in university physics have little interest in the subject matter, a trend more pronounced in females. This study assesses students' conceptual understanding and interest during the electrochemistry unit of a physics course for nonphysics majors that was revised in light of consistently low ratings from its students. The…
O'Shea, Brian; Terry, Laura; Benenson, Walter
We present outcomes from curricular changes made to an introductory calculus-based physics course whose audience is primarily life sciences majors, the majority of whom plan to pursue postbaccalaureate studies in medical and scientific fields. During the 2011-2012 academic year, we implemented a Physics of the Life Sciences curriculum centered on…
Antonellis, Jessica Christel
This research is an exploration of students' meaning making around physical concepts through connections to students' funds of knowledge. This qualitative case study, influenced by Indigenous methodologies, focused on two Native students in a tribal college introductory physics course, exploring the personal, cultural, and philosophical…
KLAUS, DAVID J.; LUMSDAINE, ARTHUR A.
THE INITIAL PHASES OF A STUDY OF SELF-INSTRUCTIONAL AIDS FOR A TELEVISED PHYSICS COURSE WERE DESCRIBED. THE APPROACH, EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN, PROCEDURE, AND TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF THE STUDY PLAN WERE INCLUDED. THE MATERIALS WERE PREPARED TO SUPPLEMENT THE SECOND SEMESTER OF HIGH SCHOOL PHYSICS. THE MATERIAL COVERED STATIC AND CURRENT ELECTRICITY,…
Imashev, Gizatulla; Abykanova, Bakytgul T.; Rakhmetova, Mairagul T.; Tumysheva, Anar A.; Moldasheva, Raushan N.; Ilyasova, Sandugash S.; Shahimova, Aliya A.
In this article one of aspects of physics course studying improvement at high schools--the problem of the development of polytechnic knowledge and abilities in modern conditions--is revealed. In this research, the role and place of polytechnic education in the improvement of teaching physics at high schools are revealed, the main pedagogical…
Kim, Insook; Lee, Yun Soo; Ward, Phillip; Li, Weidong
Despite increasing policy emphasis on improving teacher quality, little is known about how teachers acquire their movement content knowledge in physical education teacher education (PETE). To address this question we examined: (a) movement content courses designed to teach K-12 physical education content in the PETE curriculum, (b) the purpose of…
Use of digital video motion analysis as a teaching tool in an introductory physics course is presented. The focus of the presentation is the application of digital video technology in a Physics for Movement Science course geared towards Physical Education, Athletic Training and Exercise Science majors. The Dickinson movie set was found to be the most applicable for in-class activities, homework assignments, and projects. Some of the movie clips chosen for analysis are focused on human motion and sports. Additionally, students are starting to capture and analyze their own movie clips.
Bobroff, Julien; Bouquet, Frédéric
We describe an undergraduate course where physics students are asked to conceive an outreach project of their own. This project-based-learning course alternates between the project conception and teaching activities about outreach. It ends in a public show. Students decide the topic and format on their own. An analysis of the students’ productions over three years shows that all physics fields were equally covered, and various formats were used (experimental devices, animation or fiction movies, games, live events, photography). Some typical examples are described. We also analyse the benefits of this approach from the students’ perspective, through a survey done over three classes. Students showed an overall very good assessment of the course (average of 4.5(0.6) on an appreciation scale from 1 to 5) and recognised having developed outreach skills but also project-management and group-work know-how. They acknowledged this course to be a unique opportunity to share with an audience their interest in physics compared to other courses. They further mentioned that it served as an intermission in a classical academic curriculum. They also point out some challenges, especially the time-consuming issue. This survey together with the practical description of the course implementation should help other universities develop similar courses.
Perkins, Katherine K.; Turpen, Chandra
A growing number of faculty are using clicker questions and peer instruction in introductory physics courses at institutions across the US; however, this approach is rarely used in upper-division physics courses. At the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU), faculty have been incorporating clicker questions in upper-division courses since 2004—clickers have now been used 24 times in 10 different upper-division courses by 14 different faculty. We surveyed students in 16 of these classes (including 2 classes of a graduate course), soliciting their perspectives on and recommendations for using clickers in upper-division courses. We find that 77% of the students recommend using clickers at this level. In all classes, a majority of students favor clickers and there are few negative responses. Through analysis of students' responses, we identify what they value about the use of clickers and the perceived mechanisms by which clickers support their learning. Finally, we find broad student agreement on how to best implement clickers in these courses (i.e. 2-5 challenging conceptual questions interspersed with lecture where peer instruction is encouraged). For upper-division clicker questions used at CU, see: http://www.colorado.edu/physics/EducationIssues/cts/index.htm.
Sharma, S.; Sastri, O.; Ahluwalia, P. K.
It is well known that most of the undergraduate study in India is conducted through the affiliate system in which affiliated colleges run the courses prescribed by a Board of Studies of the affiliating University in the form of a syllabus, which happens to be the only academic link between the students, teachers and the examiners. This document is limited only to defining the contents of the course without any hint about the instructional/learning objectives. Given these limitations of the existing course structure an attempt has been made to define the instructional/learning objectives for an undergraduate course of study in Solid State Physics prescribed in B. Sc. (Honours and Pass Course) in Physics of Himachal Pradesh University, India. It is not only the first step to enhance learning but to make teaching research based as well, as has been practiced in US and West as a foundation of Physics Education Research. The instructional objectives/learning objectives are written using Mager's approach and classified using Bloom's taxonomy. An effort has also been made to make it ready for adoption in the classroom.
There is a growing concern that the number of students graduating with a STEM major in the U.S. is insufficient to fill the growing demand in STEM careers. In order to fulfill that demand, it is important to increase student retention in STEM majors and also to attract more students to pursue careers in those areas. Previous research has indicated that children start losing interest in science at the elementary level because science is taught with a focus on learning vocabulary and ideas rather than learning through inquiry-based techniques. A factor that affects the quality of science education at the elementary level is the preparation of elementary teachers. Many elementary teachers feel unprepared to teach science because they lack adequate content knowledge as well as the pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) for teaching the subject. Previous studies of teacher preparation in science identified some areas with which pre-service teachers need assistance. One of these areas is understanding children's ideas of science. To address that issue, this dissertation investigates whether the use of an instructional approach that teaches physics phenomena along with an understanding of how children think about the physical phenomena promotes changes in students' knowledge of children's ideas and use of those ideas in instructional and assessment strategies. Results indicated that students who were explicitly exposed to knowledge of children's ideas more often incorporated those ideas into their own microteaching and demonstrated higher levels of sophistication of knowledge of children's ideas, instructional strategies, and assessment strategies that incorporated those ideas. This research explores an instructional model for blending physics content and pedagogical content knowledge.
Touger, Jerold S.
A single course to introduce physics to both nonscience and physics majors has been developed, dealing with light, sound, and signal, transmission and reception, and emphasizing wave aspects of these phenomena. Themes such as the observational basis of physics, the progression from qualitative observation to measurement, physical models, mathematical modeling, and the utility of models in developing technology are stressed. Modes of presentation, consistent with the notion of a spiral syllabus, are explained with reference to the cognitive and educational theories of Bruner and Piaget. Reasons are discussed for choosing this subject matter in preference to Newtonian mechanics as a starting point for physics majors.
Blue, Jennifer Marie
On a national level, boys and men score higher than girls and women on science and math tests. There have been several investigations into the reasons for these differences, with some believing that they are caused by innate biological sex differences and some that they are caused by social and cultural gender differences. In addition, women who plan to major in science and engineering drop out of those majors at higher rates than men do. This study was designed to contribute to the ongoing discussion about why these differences between women and men exist. This study compared post-test physics scores of a matched sample of men and women to see whether there were differences in how much physics had been learned at the end of a course when there were few differences at the beginning of the course. The study also looked at the ratings that men and women gave to the problem solving method and the sections of the course that used cooperative grouping. It was found that, although the population of students taking Physics 1251 showed differences in performance on physics tests both at the beginning and at the end of the course, when students were matched according to their high school background and their physics pretest scores there was no difference in their post-test scores. It was also found that women liked the relevant aspects of the course more than men did. Implications of these results are discussed.
Juuti, Kalle; Lavonen, Jari
Background: In developed countries, it is challenging for teachers to select pedagogical practices that encourage students to enrol in science and technology courses in upper secondary school. Purpose: Aiming to understand the enrolment dynamics, this study analyses sample-based data from Finland's National Assessment in Science to determine whether pedagogical approaches influence student intention to enrol in upper secondary school physics courses. Sample: This study examined a clustered sample of 2949 Finnish students in the final year of comprehensive school (15-16 years old). Methods: Through explorative factor analysis, we extracted several variables that were expected to influence student intention to enrol in physics courses. We applied partial correlation to determine the underlying interdependencies of the variables. Results: The analysis revealed that the main predictor of enrolment in upper secondary school physics courses is whether students feel that physics is important. Although statistically significant, partial correlations between variables were rather small. However, the analysis of partial correlations revealed that pedagogical practices influence inquiry and attitudinal factors. Pedagogical practices that emphasise science experimentation and the social construction of knowledge had the strongest influence. Conclusions: The research implies that to increase student enrolment in physics courses, the way students interpret the subject's importance needs to be addressed, which can be done by the pedagogical practices of discussion, teacher demonstrations, and practical work.
Sagendorf, Kenneth; Noyd, Robert K.; Morris, D. Brent
An institution-wide focus on deep learning has made significant changes in the biology and physics core course curriculum at the U.S. Air Force Academy. The biology course director has reworked course objectives to reflect the learning-focused approach to teaching, while the physics curriculum has adopted new learning outcomes and ways to…
Harlow, Jason J.?B.; Harrison, David M.; Meyertholen, Andrew
We have studied the correlation of student performance in a large first year university physics course with their reasons for taking the course and whether or not the student took a senior-level high school physics course. Performance was measured both by the Force Concept Inventory and by the grade on the final examination. Students who took the…
Despite the advances made in various fields, women are still considered as minorities in the fields of science and mathematics. There is a gender gap regarding women's participation and achievement in physics. Self-efficacy and attitudes and beliefs toward physics have been identified as predictors of students' performance on conceptual surveys in physics courses. The present study, which used two-way analysis of variance and multiple linear regression analyses at a community college in California, revealed there is no gender gap in achievement between male and female students in physics courses. Furthermore, there is an achievement gap between students who are enrolled in algebra-based and calculus-based physics courses. The findings indicate that attitudes and beliefs scores can be used as predictors of students' performance on conceptual surveys in physics courses. However, scores of self-efficacy cannot be used as predictors of students' performance on conceptual surveys in physics courses.
Zwolak, Justyna; Brewe, Eric
Society is constantly in flux, which demands the continuous development of our educational system to meet new challenges and impart the appropriate knowledge/skills to students. In order to improve student learning, among other things, the way we are teaching has significantly changed over the past few decades. We are moving away from traditional, lecture-based teaching towards more interactive, engagement-based strategies. A current, major challenge for universities is to increase student retention. While students' academic and social integration into an institution seems to be vital for student retention, research on the effect of interpersonal interactions is rare. I use of network analysis to investigate academic and social experiences of students in and beyond the classroom. In particular, there is a compelling case that transformed physics classes, such as Modeling Instruction (MI), promote persistence by the creation of learning communities that support the integration of students into the university. I will discuss recent results on pattern development in networks of MI students' interactions throughout the semester, as well as the effect of students' position within the network on their persistence in physics.
Esslinger, Keri A.; Grimes, Amanda R.; Pyle, Elizabeth
In this study, we investigated students' attitudes toward physical activity (PA) when including a required PA component in a university-required personal wellness class. The study included (a) an experimental group of students enrolled in a personal wellness course in which there was a required PA requirement and (b) a control group of students…
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville won funding from the federal interagency competition, Leadership Opportunity in Science and Humanities Education, which supported interdisciplinary courses combining the natural sciences and the humanities. The author analyses her experiences developing a very successful and popular interdisciplinary course, entitled The Atomic Era, which features a unique combination of physics, sociology and German studies taught jointly by a Physicist, a Sociologist and a Germanist. The objectives of the course, the laboratories and demonstrations, instructional goals, assignments, organization, testing, student and faculty assessment, expenses and the special challenges of coordinating three faculty members and a wide variety of topics and perspectives are addressed and analysed.
Laws, P. W.
Early in his career Robert Millikan experimented with a laboratory-based method of teaching introductory physics that bears close resemblance to Workshop Physics.® In this talk, key elements of Workshop Physics are summarized. Some Workshop Physics activities are described which involve apparati that are used for rapid observations of conceptual aspects of physical phenomena as well as for equation verification experiments. Challenges are discussed that must be faced if recently developed activity-based approaches to teaching based on the outcomes of physics education research are to provide a foundation for a major paradigm shift in physics teaching.
Cochran, Geraldine L.; Sabella, Mel S.
Anecdotal evidence from the introductory physics classrooms at Chicago State University suggests that our students view collaboration as an important tool in their learning. Despite this, students often need additional instruction and support in order for collaboration to be effective. In order to aid students in establishing effective collaborations we may be able to capitalize on the fact that students at CSU readily accept the inquiry approach to instruction. In this paper, we present the initial stage of this work. Specifically, we have begun to videotape student interactions in the classroom, interview students about the nature of learning, and develop and administer instruments that assess the value students place on the use of guided inquiry. By utilizing a specific criteria and analyzing the occurrence of specific behaviors in the classroom we can determine the effectiveness of collaboration during group work. Responses regarding how students value the use of questions in instruction indicate the level of feasibility in utilizing peer questioning to promote effective collaboration.
Hunt, Andrew P; Orr, Robin M; Billing, Daniel C
This study aimed to develop minimum standards for physical capability assessments (vertical jump, sit and reach, push-ups, seven-stage sit-ups, heaves, agility, 20-m shuttle run, loaded 5-km pack march, and 400-m swim) that candidates must pass before they can commence Australian Army Special Forces (SF) selection courses. Soldiers (Part A: n = 104; Part B: n = 92) completed the physical capability assessments before commencing a SF selection course. At the beginning of these selection courses, participants attempted two barrier assessments (3.2-km battle run and 20-km march). Statistical analysis revealed several physical capability assessments were associated with performance on the barrier assessments and selection course outcome (Part A); however, these statistical models were unable to correctly classify all candidates as likely to pass or fail the selection course. Alternatively, manual analysis identified a combination of physical capability standards that correctly classified 14% to 18% of candidates likely to fail, without excluding any candidates able to pass (Part A). The standards were applied and refined through Part B and included completing the 5-km pack march in ≤45:45 minutes : seconds, achieving ≥level five on the sit-up test, or completing ≥66 push-ups. Implementation of these standards may reduce attrition rates and enhance the efficiency of the SF recruitment process.
Gaffney, Jon D. H.; Gaffney, Amy L. Housley
Interactive engagement-based (IE) physics classes have the potential to invigorate and motivate students, but students may resist or oppose the pedagogy. Understanding the major influences on student satisfaction is a key to successful implementation of such courses. In this study, we note that one of the major differences between IE and traditional physics classes lies in the interpersonal relationships between the instructor and students. Therefore, we introduce the interpersonal communication constructs of instructor credibility and facework as possible frameworks for understanding how instructors and students navigate the new space of interactions. By interpreting survey data (N =161 respondents in eight sections of an IE introductory algebra-based physics course), we found both frameworks to be useful in explaining variance in student ratings of their satisfaction in the course, although we are unable to distinguish at this point whether instructor credibility acts as a mediating variable between facework and course satisfaction.
Physics from Planet Earth (PPE) is a one-semester, calculus-based introductory course in classical mechanics intended for first year students of physics, chemistry, astronomy and engineering. Most of the core topics in mechanics are included, but many of the examples and applications are drawn from astronomy, space science, and astrophysics. The laws of physics are assigned the task of exploring the heavens - the same task addressed by Newton over 300 years ago at the birth of classical mechanics. How do we know the distance to the Moon, Sun, or other galaxies? How do we know the masses of the Earth, Sun, and other planets and stars, and why do we believe in "missing” mass? As a physics course, PPE concentrates on how we know rather than what we know. Examples and applications include those of historical importance (the Earth-Moon distance, the Earth-Sun distance, Ptolemaic vs. Copernican models, weighing the Earth) as well as those of contemporary interest (Hubble's Law, rocket propulsion, spacecraft gravity boosts, the Roche limit, search for extrasolar planets, orbital mechanics, pulsars, galactic rotation curves). The course has been taught successfully at Colgate for over a decade, using materials that have been developed and refined during the past 15 years. Developers of PPE are eager to enrich the course by identifying other topics in contemporary astronomy that can be adapted for the first year physics audience.
Hernandez, Andrea C.
This dissertation analyzes differences found in Spanish-speaking middle school and high school students in algebra-based problem solving. It identifies the accuracy differences between word problems presented in English, Spanish and numerically based problems. The study also explores accuracy differences between each subgroup of Spanish-speaking…
Harlow, Danielle B.; Swanson, Lauren H.; Otero, Valerie K.
We investigated how prospective teachers used physics content knowledge when analyzing the talk of elementary children during special activities in an undergraduate physics content course designed for prospective teachers. We found that prospective teachers used content knowledge to reflect on their own learning and to identify students' science ideas and restate these ideas in scientific terms. Based on this research, we inferred that analyzing children's ideas through videos provides a meaningful context for applying conceptual physics knowledge in physics courses. Activities that are embedded within a disciplinary curriculum, such as those studied here, may help prospective teachers learn to use disciplinary knowledge in exactly the type of activity in which their content knowledge will be most useful: listening to and interpreting children's science ideas.
The study of embryos with the tools and mindset of physics, started by Wilhelm His in the 1880s, has resumed after a hiatus of a century. The Embryo Physics Course convenes online allowing interested researchers and students, who are scattered around the world, to gather weekly in one place, the virtual world of Second Life®. It attracts people from a wide variety of disciplines and walks of life: applied mathematics, artificial life, bioengineering, biophysics, cancer biology, cellular automata, civil engineering, computer science, embryology, electrical engineering, evolution, finite element methods, history of biology, human genetics, mathematics, molecular developmental biology, molecular biology, nanotechnology, philosophy of biology, phycology, physics, self-reproducing systems, stem cells, tensegrity structures, theoretical biology, and tissue engineering. Now in its fifth year, the Embryo Physics Course provides a focus for research on the central question of how an embryo builds itself.
Rogers, Michael; Pfaff, Tom; Hamilton, Jason; Erkan, Ali
As educators we are facing an unprecedented challenge to prepare our students not only for traditional careers but also for future careers that don't exist today. Many of these careers will require a firm grounding in disciplines such as physics, along with multidisciplinary, Global, and systems thinking skill sets. Our Multidisciplinary Sustainability Education (MSE) project is addressing this challenge by creating sustainability-themed modules where a variety of courses in a range of disciplines tackle relevant, real-world problems from each discipline's perspective. Each course involved in a module, which addresses an overarching question, has students write technical reports, using their discipline knowledge to address the question, and they are expected to read and synthesize reports from other discipline-based courses. This paper discusses one of our modules, "What Are the Current and Future Impacts of Global Climate Change on Polar Bears?" and how students studying thermal physics can help answer this question.
I'll describe an intermediate-level course on ``Physical Models of Living Systems.'' The only prerequisite is first-year university physics and calculus. The course is a response to rapidly growing interest among undergraduates in several science and engineering departments. Students acquire several research skills that are often not addressed in traditional courses, including: basic modeling skills, probabilistic modeling skills, data analysis methods, computer programming using a general-purpose platform like MATLAB or Python, dynamical systems, particularly feedback control. These basic skills, which are relevant to nearly any field of science or engineering, are presented in the context of case studies from living systems, including: virus dynamics; bacterial genetics and evolution of drug resistance; statistical inference; superresolution microscopy; synthetic biology; naturally evolved cellular circuits. Publication of a new textbook by WH Freeman and Co. is scheduled for December 2014. Supported in part by EF-0928048 and DMR-0832802.
Traxler, Adrienne; Gavrin, Andrew; Lindell, Rebecca
Large introductory science courses tend to isolate students, with negative consequences for long-term retention in college. Many active learning courses build collaboration and community among students as an explicit goal, and social network analysis has been used to track the development and beneficial effects of these collaborations. Here we supplement such work by conducting network analysis of online course discussion forums in two semesters of an introductory physics class. Online forums provide a tool for engaging students with each other outside of class, and offer new opportunities to commuter or non-traditional students with limited on-campus time. We look for correlations between position in the forum network (centrality) and final course grades. Preliminary investigation has shown weak correlations in the very dense full-semester network, so we will consider reduced ''backbone'' networks that highlight the most consistent links between students. Future work and implications for instruction will also be discussed.
Gorsky, Paul; Caspi, Avner; Smidt, Samantha
This study investigated the kinds of dialogic behavior engaged in by students while studying a difficult physics course at the Open University, UK. Research objectives were twofold: (1) to document what dialogue types, mediated through which resources, were utilized by students to overcome conceptual difficulties that emerged while reading the…
Schellenberg, John Patrick
The purpose of this study was to determine the relative effectiveness of two laboratory approaches in a general education physical science course: (1) the experimental method called the contemporary topics, and (2) the control method called the standard topics. The criterion instruments were an investigator-constructed subject content test, the…
Reilly, John T.; Strickland, Michael
A writing-across-the-curriculum and ethics component is presented for a second-semester, physical chemistry course. The activity involves introducing ethical issues pertinent to scientists. Students are asked to read additional material, participate in discussions, and write essays and a paper on an ethical issue. The writing and discussion…
Daubenfeld, Thorsten; Zenker, Dietmar
We designed, implemented, and evaluated a game-based learning approach to increase student motivation and achievement for an undergraduate physical chemistry course. By focusing only on the most important game aspects, the implementation was realized with a production ratio of 1:8 (study load in hours divided by production effort in hours).…
Hernandez, Carola; Ravn, Ole; Forero-Shelton, Manu
This article identifies and analyses some of the challenges that arose in a development process of changing from a content-based teaching environment to a student-centred environment in an undergraduate physics course for medicine and biology students at Universidad de los Andes. Through the use of the Critical Research model proposed by Skovsmose…
Stillman, Paula L.; And Others
In 1976-77 a physical examination course taught by nurse practitioners (NPs) at the University of Arizona College of Medicine was implemented. In 1977-78 a research project examined whether students' ability to perform varied according to whether they were taught by NPs, residents, or physicians; no significant differences were found. (Author/MLW)
Kalman, Calvin S.; Rohar, Shelley
This paper presents a set of activities, which scaffolds students to succeed in the standard Physics gateway course. The set of instructional activities that were designed included four distinct components: reflective writing, collaborative groups, critiques, and an essay question on the examination. Each activity was designed to lead into and…
Castelli, Darla M.; Woods, Amelia M.; Lambdin, Dolly; Hall, Tina; Webster, Colin
The intent of teacher education is to develop a person's skill, knowledge and ability to foster learning in pre-K-12 education settings. Preparation in this field of education carries added complexities, in that physical educators must address psychomotor, cognitive and affective goals. An introductory course for undergraduates should overview the…
Liu, Jingwen; Shangguan, Rulan; Keating, Xiaofen D.; Leitner, Jessica; Wu, Yigang
Purpose: Conceptual physical education (CPE) classes have been widely offered to promote a healthy lifestyle in higher education settings. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of a CPE course on health-related fitness (HRF) levels among college freshmen. Design/methodology/approach: A pre- and post-test research design was used. In…
Jaeger, Mads Meier
This article analyzes the effect of three aspects of physical attractiveness (facial attractiveness, Body Mass Index and height) on socio-economic and marital success over the life course. In a sample of high school graduates from Wisconsin followed from their late teens and until their mid-60s, I find that (1. taller men have higher earnings than…
Gullu, Mehmet; Temel, Cenk
The purpose of this study is to examine the opinions of physical education teacher candidates on the school experience course. The qualitative case study design was adopted for this study. The research group was composed of 67 teacher candidates. A semi-structured questionnaire was used in the study. The collected questionnaires were analyzed with…
Moore, J. Christopher; Rubbo, Louis J.
We have found that non-STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) majors taking either a conceptual physics or astronomy course at two regional comprehensive institutions score significantly lower preinstruction on the Lawson's Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning (LCTSR) in comparison to national average STEM majors. Based on…
Mack, Michael R.; Towns, Marcy H.
We report the results of a phenomenographic analysis of faculty beliefs about the purposes for teaching upper-division physical chemistry courses in the undergraduate curriculum. A purposeful sampling strategy was used to recruit a diverse group of faculty for interviews. Collectively, the participating faculty regularly teach or have taught…
Miller, Larry E.
The course of study represents the second of six modules in advanced crop and soil science and introduces the agriculture student to the subject of physical features of the soil. Upon completing the two day lesson, the student will be able to determine the texture and structural types of soil, list the structural classes of the soil and where they…
Rogers, James W.; Cox, James R.
A tablet PC is a versatile computer that combines the computing power of a notebook with the pen functionality of a PDA (Cox and Rogers 2005b). The authors adopted tablet PC technology in order to improve the process and product of the lecture format in their chemistry, engineering, and physics courses. In this high-tech model, a single tablet PC…
Priest, Simon; Montelpare, William
This study identified the highest heart rates attained on a ropes course for a corporate population; examined relationships between highest heart rate and other physical measures (basal heart rate, blood pressure, height, weight, body girths, cholesterol, maximum number of pushups, and heart rate after brisk walk); and developed an equation for…
Harlow, Jason J. B.; Harrison, David M.; Meyertholen, Andrew
We have studied the types of student teams that are most effective for collaborative learning in a large freshman university physics course. We compared teams in which the students were all of roughly equal ability to teams with a mix of student abilities, we compared teams with three members to teams with four members, and we examined teams with…
Nadeau, Jay L.
This article describes a 3-week intensive molecular biology methods course based upon fluorescent proteins, which is successfully taught at the McGill University to advanced undergraduates and graduates in physics, chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, and medicine. No previous knowledge of biological terminology or methods is expected, so…
Kohnle, Antje; Brown, C. Tom A.; Rae, Cameron F.; Sinclair, Bruce D.
This article describes problem-based labs and analytical and computational project work we have been running at the University of St Andrews in an introductory physics course since 2008/2009. We have found the choice of topics, scaffolding of the process, timing in the year and facilitator guidance decisive for the success of these activities.…
Vernadakis, Nikolaos; Antoniou, Panagiotis; Giannousi, Maria; Zetou, Eleni; Kioumourtzoglou, Efthimis
The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of information literacy on students' perception toward the educational services offered by an asynchronous course management system (e-Class) for the support of the traditional instruction method in tertiary physical education (PE) institutions. Participants were 211 PE students between the…
Aksakalli, Ayhan; Salar, Riza; Turgut, Umit
In this research, the negative perceptions of undergraduate students regarding modern physics course and the causes of their negative perceptions have been investigated. For this investigation, a qualitative and quantitative method (mix method) was chosen for data collection and analysis. The study group of the research consists of a total of 169…
A battery of questionnaires and interviews with teachers and students experienced in RNAP, produced statistical data on many aspects of the course that leads to some guidelines and suggestions for better use of the course design and materials. The patterns described in this article relate to the responses of almost 200 teachers and about 100 students who were teaching and studying RNAP course during school year 1987/8. Though many of them criticised some aspects of the course, generally they were very enthusiastic about it and most of the information they gave us was accurate and reliable. The A-level physics teachers can choose either a `traditional' course or RNAP. We found that most of them don't like to change from one course to another. In the few cases it was done, the reasons generally were like `changing of school', `decreasing number of A-level physics students' or similar reasons. Most of RNAP teachers were keen about the course, its objectives and the way it prepares the students toward higher education as physicists or in other areas. Though pointing out its weaknesses, when comparing it with a `traditional' course, they stress much upon its advantages. We found a tendency to favour the course for the able student than for the weak or the average one. There was more than a feeling among teachers that the less motivated student can better succeed in a `traditional' course. This feeling became even stronger along the interviews where some teachers pointed out the high proportion of the selective schools doing RNAP, which made it more difficult (according to their feeling) for the average student to get an A or B grade. In some of the teachers' opinions RNAP is less suitable for girls who prefer a more `straightforward' course. It is interesting to point out that more than 50% of the students found the course more difficult than they expected it to be. Only 5% found it to be easier than they had suggested. Another point to think about is that almost one
Payne, John G.
The development of an individualized course at Plano High School, Texas, is described. The first attempt, using only suggested guidelines, was considered unsuccessful. The second structure adopted included: (1) specific, measurable behavioral objectives, (2) both basic and advanced required assignments, (3) tests to measure achievement of the…
Sezgin Selcuk, Gamze
This study investigates the relationship between multiple predictors of physics achievement including reported use of four learning strategy clusters (elaboration, organization, comprehension monitoring and rehearsal), attitudes towards physics (sense of care and sense of interest) and a demographic variable (gender) in order to determine the…
Klemetti, M; Santavirta, N; Sarvimäki, A; Björvell, H
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a physical training course in a group of patients (n = 74) suffering from chronic tension neck. All participants in the course were employed by a bank corporation in Helsinki, Finland. A comparable control group (n = 77) consisted of office workers with tension neck from the same bank corporation who did not attend any training course. The outcome was analysed 6 months after the course. Pain and disability in the neck and shoulder region did not vary significantly between the group which participated in the training course and the control group. The experimental group had increased the amount of physical workout compared to the control group (83.7% vs 69.0%, P = 0.0448). Also, regarding the frequency of relaxation and stretching exercises the two groups differed significantly: the experimental group had continued to perform exercises more often (P = 0.0434). The frequency of sick leave days did not significantly differ between the groups, but the office workers in the experimental group had more periods of extended sick leave (> 10 days) and the controls had more frequent short sick leaves. The experimental group did increase their physical workout significantly compared with the controls, but no differences were detected regarding pain and disability. In order to gain more benefit more attention should be paid to the educational part of the training courses in order to enhance the patients' self-care abilities. Also, strategies to alleviate psychosocial problems and organized relaxation exercises could decrease muscle tension in the neck in office workers.
At the University of Colorado at Boulder, successful reforms of our freshmen and sophomore-level physics courses are now being extended to upper-division courses, including Mechanics, Math Methods, QM, E&M, and Thermal Physics. Our course reforms include clicker questions (ConcepTests) in lecture, peer instruction, and an added emphasis on conceptual understanding and qualitative reasoning on homework assignments and exams. Student feedback has been strongly positive, and I will argue that such conceptual training improves rather than dilutes, traditional, computationally-intensive problem-solving skills. In order for these reforms to be sustainable, reform efforts must begin with department-wide consensus and agreed-upon measures of success. I will discuss the design of good clicker questions and effective incorporation into upper-level courses, including examples from materials science. Condensed matter physics, which by nature involve intelligent use of approximation, particularly lends itself to conceptual training. I will demonstrate the use of a clicker system (made by iClicker) with audience-participation questions. Come prepared to think and interact, rather than just sit there!
Karim, S.; Saepuzaman, D.; Sriyansyah, S. P.
This study is initiated by low achievement of prospective teachers in understanding concepts in introductory physics course. In this case, a problem has been identified that students cannot develop their thinking skills required for building physics concepts. Therefore, this study will reconstruct a learning process, emphasizing a physics concept building. The outcome will design physics lesson plans for the concepts of particle system as well as linear momentum conservation. A descriptive analysis method will be used in order to investigate the process of learning reconstruction carried out by students. In this process, the students’ conceptual understanding will be evaluated using essay tests for concepts of particle system and linear momentum conservation. The result shows that the learning reconstruction has successfully supported the students’ understanding of physics concept.
Wahlström, Lars; Michélsen, Hans; Schulman, Abbe; Backheden, Hans; Keskinen-Rosenqvist, Riitta
Background After disaster, physical symptoms are common although seldom recognized due to lack of knowledge of the course of symptoms and relation to more studied psychological symptoms. Objective This study aimed to investigate the change in the reporting of different physical symptoms after a disaster, including possible factors for change, and whether psychological symptoms predict physical symptoms reporting at a later point in time. Method A longitudinal study of citizens of Stockholm who survived the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. A total of 1,101 participants completed questionnaires on somatic symptoms, general distress, posttraumatic stress, exposure, and demographic details 14 months and 3 years after the disaster. Physical symptoms occurring daily or weekly during the last year were investigated in four symptom indices: neurological, cardiorespiratory, gastrointestinal, and musculoskeletal. We used generalized estimating equations (GEE) analysis to determine odds ratios for a change in symptoms, and pathway analysis to predict the influence of psychological symptoms on physical symptoms. Results There was a general decrease of reporting in all physical symptom indices except the musculoskeletal symptom index. The change in the neurological symptom index showed the strongest association with exposure, and for women. General distress and posttraumatic stress at 14 months postdisaster predicted physical symptoms at 3 years. Conclusion Physical symptoms were predicted by psychological symptoms at an earlier time point, but in a considerable proportion of respondents, physical symptoms existed independently from psychological symptoms. Physicians should be observant on the possible connection of particular pseudoneurological symptoms with prior adversities. PMID:24379941
Online courses are a new paradigm in education. Many universities have adopted these courses to provide instruction to a diverse population. There were numerous issues that were addressed when delivering online courses. However, there were not many case studies conducted to take into account the students' reactions and perceptions of online learning. A qualitative case study was designed to bring out the details from the viewpoint of the students by using multiple sources of data. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected in the fall of 1999. Data sources included surveys, email messages between the students and the instructor, interviews and field notes from observations and informal meetings. Qualitative data were analyzed using grounded theory principles. Content analysis was applied to find out the type of email interaction between the students and the instructor. One Sample t-test was applied to find out the difference between successful students and less successful students. Fifteen students who enrolled in an introductory College Physics course at the large midwestern university participated in this study. This study focused on the students' experiences with an online course as taught via the Internet. To attain deeper understanding of student learning experiences with the course, the study looked at the elements of how students respond to the instructional system delivering the materials online, the learning environments created online by the instructor, the learning materials provided online or offline, the nature of interactions, sources of motivation, advantages and issues associated with online learning and technology-mediated learning. The findings indicated that the online learning puts a high premium on the students becoming independent learners. Therefore, the students needed to have a specific study guideline that provides direction on how to approach the subject and physics problems including some highlights pertaining to the subject
Lin, Shih-Yin; Singh, Chandralekha
Identifying the relevant physics principles is a central component of problem solving. A major goal of most introductory physics courses is to help students discern the deep similarities between problems based upon the physics principles so that they can transfer what they learned by solving one problem to solve another problem which involves the same principle. We conducted an investigation in which 251 calculus- and algebra-based introductory physics students were asked explicitly in the recitation quiz to learn from a solved problem and then solve another problem that has different surface features but the same underlying physics principles. We find that many students were able to discern the deep similarities between the problems. When the solved problem was provided, students were likely to invoke the correct principles; however, more scaffolding is needed to help students apply these principles correctly.
Research suggests that students benefit from peer interaction and active engagement in the classroom. The quality, nature, effect of these interactions is currently being explored by Physics Education Researchers. Spelman College offers an introductory physics sequence that addresses content and research skills by engaging students in open-ended research projects, a form of Project-Based Learning. Students have been surveyed at regular intervals during the second semester of trigonometry-based course to determine the frequency of interactions in and out of class. These interactions can be with current or past students, tutors, and instructors. This line of inquiry focuses on metrics of Social Network analysis, such as centrality of participants as well as segmentation of groups. Further research will refine and highlight deeper questions regarding student performance in this pedagogy and course sequence.
In undergraduate research experiences, student development of an identity as a scientist is coupled to their sense of ownership of their research projects. As a first step towards studying similar connections in physics laboratory courses, we investigate student ownership of projects in a lasers-based upper-division course. Students spent the final seven weeks of the semester working in groups on final projects of their choosing. Using data from the Project Ownership Survey and weekly student reflections, we investigate student ownership as it relates to students' personal agency, self-efficacy, peer interactions, and complex affective responses to challenges and successes. We present evidence of students' project ownership in an upper-division physics lab. Additionally, we propose a model for student development of ownership through cycles of frustration and excitement as students progress on their projects. This work was supported by NSF Grant Nos. DUE-1323101 and DUE-1334170.
Tomilson, R W; Clack, G B; Pettingale, K W; Anderson, J; Ryan, K C
The performance of 209 students in the 2nd MBBS, first clinical year and final MBBS examinations has been compared retrospectively with their grades in chemistry, physics and biology at "A" level. The mean grade has also been determined for students from different social classes and secondary education. Significant differences in marks for biology were found between successful and not so successful students, especially in the pre-clinical part of the course. Significnat differences in marks and significant correlations were also found for physics but not to any great extent for chemistry. The relative role of these three basic sciences in the medical course is discussed. The suggestion is made that there is a need for a re-appraisal of the privleged position of chemistry and an unquestioned science requirement for entry to medical school.
Riegler, Peter; Simon, Andreas; Prochaska, Marcus; Kautz, Christian; Bierwirth, Rebekka; Hagendorf, Susan; Kortemeyer, Gerd
We describe the implementation of Tutorials in Introductory Physics in a German university course. In particular, we investigate if the conceptual challenges that gave rise to the development of Tutorials are also found among German students, which hurdles to the implementation of Tutorials are encountered in a German context, and how Tutorials are perceived in this different context. To that end, video recordings from workgroup sessions and guided group discussions with students and teaching assistants, as well as interviews with faculty are analysed. It was found that German students enter introductory physics courses with a different set of prior knowledge than their US-American counterparts, which together with implementation hurdles and negative perceptions by students, teaching assistants, and faculty led to the discontinuation of Tutorials after only one semester.
The purpose of this study is to determine the influence of gymnastics training integrated with physical education courses on selected motor performance variables in seven year old girls. Subjects were divided into two groups: (1) control group (N=15, X=7.56 plus or minus 0.46 year old); (2) gymnastics group (N=16, X=7.60 plus or minus 0.50 year…
With a few notable exceptions, there is a standard structure of U.S. graduate programs in physics designed to produce students with a PhD. This program is based on taking a few standard physics courses and then having a research apprenticeship culminating in writing a dissertation. However, most PhDs employed in academia, industry, or government agencies are expected to be leaders and teachers for which they often have little experience. The goal of this presentation is to open a discussion of how a graduate program can help their graduate students in this regard without adding time to the PhD process.
This poster proposes a research-based science-and-pedagogy course that will combine the learning of fundamental physics concepts with methods of how to teach these concepts. Entitled “Understanding the Cosmos: From Antiquity to the Modern Day,” the course will explore how people learn science concepts through the ages, and from childhood through adulthood. This course will use the historical-constructivist approach to illustrate how our understanding of scientific phenomena advanced as we progressed from simple 2-dimensional thinking (starting with the flat Earth concept) to 3-D thinking (learning about the structure of the solar system) to 4-D thinking (understanding space-time and theories about the Big Bang). While transitioning from Impetus to Aristotelian to Newtonian to Einsteinian thinking, students will learn the essence of scientific thinking and inquiry. The overall goal of this course is to excite students in the process of scientific discovery, help them develop scientific reasoning skills, and provide them with fulfilling experiences of truly understanding science concepts. This will be done by employing active engagement techniques (e.g., peer tutoring, Socratic dialogue, and think/pair/share methods) and by challenging students to articulate their thoughts clearly and persuasively. This course could be of value for anybody wanting to enter the teaching profession or simply for anybody who would like to deepen their science understanding.
Herrmann, D; Hebestreit, A; Ahrens, W
Physical activity and exercise are important determinants for metabolic and cardiovascular health. They also play an important role for bone health in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. This review summarizes results from observational and intervention studies which evaluated the association between physical activity/exercise and bone health in different life course stages. In childhood and adolescence, physical activity and exercise induce improved bone accrual. In adulthood, mainly in postmenopausal women, long-term exercise programs reduce age-related bone loss. Especially weight-bearing activities seem to have an important osteogenic effect. Children and adolescent show a higher bone accrual until 5 years after cessation of an exercise program compared to their peers, who do not participate in an exercise program. In contrast, adults who quit exercising have a higher decrease in bone stiffness compared to adults who never exercised. This effect was particularly seen in postmenopausal women. Continuous physical activity and exercise over the life course and the implementation of exercise programs in schools and community-based intervention programs can help prevent or even reduce osteoporosis and osteoporosis-related fractures. Due to the lack of prospective longitudinal studies, the supposed long-term sustainable protective effect of physical activity and exercise in childhood and adolescent on bone health in later adulthood is not well established.
Matthews, Megan; Goldman, Daniel I.
Due to the widespread availability and technological capabilities of modern smartphones, many biophysical systems can be investigated using easily accessible, low-cost, and/or ``homemade'' equipment. Our survey course is structured to provide students with an overview of research in the physics of living systems, emphasizing the interplay between measurement, mechanism, and modeling required to understand principles at the intersection of physics and biology. The course proceeds through seven modules each consisting of one week of lectures and one week of hands-on experiments, called ``microlabs''. Using smartphones, Arduinos, and 3D printed materials students create their own laboratory equipment, including a 150X van Leeuwenhoek microscope, a shaking incubator, and an oscilloscope, and then use them to study biological systems ranging in length scales from nanometers to meters. These systems include population dynamics of rotifer/algae cultures, experimental evolution of multicellularity in budding yeast, and the bio- & neuromechanics involved in animal locomotion, among others. In each module, students are introduced to fundamental biological and physical concepts as well as theoretical and computational tools (nonlinear dynamics, molecular dynamics simulation, and statistical mechanics). At the end of the course, students apply these concepts and tools to the creation of their own microlab that integrates hands-on experimentation and modeling in the study of their chosen biophysical system.
Hill, N. B.; Riha, S. J.; Wysocki, M. W.
Coursework in physics provides a framework for quantitative reasoning and problem solving skill development in budding geoscientists. To make physical concepts more accessible and relevant to students majoring in environmental science, an environmental physics course was developed at Cornell University and offered for the first time during spring 2014. Principles of radiation, thermodynamics, and mechanics were introduced and applied to the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere to describe energy and mass transfers in natural and built environments. Environmental physics was designed as a flipped course where students viewed online material outside of class and worked in groups in class to solve sustainability problems. Experiential learning, just-in-time teaching, and peer collaboration strategies were also utilized. In-class problems were drawn from both local and global environmental sustainability concerns. Problems included an investigation of Cornell's lake source cooling system, calculations on the energy consumed in irrigation with groundwater in the southwestern United States, and power generated by wind turbines at various locations around the world. Class attendance was high, with at least 84% of students present at each meeting. Survey results suggest that students enjoyed working in groups and found the in-class problems helpful for assimilating the assigned material. However, some students reported that the workload was too heavy and they preferred traditional lectures to the flipped classroom. The instructors were able to actively engage with students and quickly identify knowledge and skill gaps that needed to be addressed. Overall, the integration of current environmental problems and group work into an introductory physics course could help to inspire and motivate students as they advance their ability to analyze problems quantitatively.
Churukian, Alice D.
At Kansas State University we have altered our calculus-based introductory physics course to create the New Studio format for teaching fundamental physics to large undergraduate classes. This format retains the large lecture component but combines recitation and laboratory instruction into the New Studio. Studio is composed of 40 students working in groups of four at tables equipped with modern instructional technology and other apparatus. The group setting allows for peer instruction and development of group skills. Each sequence of the course begins with a traditional lecture to economically introduce students to new ideas, with an emphasis on physics concepts, followed the next day by Studio, an integration of simple experiments/demonstrations with corresponding problems from the previous night's homework set. This sequence occurs twice each week. In this way, problem solving and analysis activities are built into the context of the real, hands-on demonstrations. The purpose of this study was to ascertain the perceptions of the students and instructors concerning the change from the traditional format to an interactive-engagement format as well as to determine the conceptual gains that the students may have made. To address these questions, open-ended and Lickert scale question surveys were developed and administered to all students enrolled in the courses in the new format. In addition, students volunteered to be interviewed, on an individual basis, throughout the semester, and all instructors involved in the teaching of the courses were interviewed. Finally, conceptual surveys were administered, pre- and post-instruction to evaluate learning gains. The results of this study show that the students find the interactive-engagement method of learning physics to be a positive experience. They liked the integration of homework and laboratory activities, working in groups, and having the opportunity to interact, individually, with instructors. The instructors also
Didiş Körhasan, Nilüfer; Eryılmaz, Ali; Erkoç, Şakir
Mental models are coherently organized knowledge structures used to explain phenomena. They interact with social environments and evolve with the interaction. Lacking daily experience with phenomena, the social interaction gains much more importance. In this part of our multiphase study, we investigate how instructional interactions influenced students’ mental models about the quantization of physical observables. Class observations and interviews were analysed by studying students’ mental models constructed in a modern physics course during an academic semester. The research revealed that students’ mental models were influenced by (1) the manner of teaching, including instructional methodologies and content specific techniques used by the instructor, (2) order of the topics and familiarity with concepts, and (3) peers.
Jost, T.; Dearborn, M.; Chun, F.; McHarg, G.
As documented in the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2010, space situational awareness (SSA) is a high priority for the DoD and intelligence community. A fundamental understanding of the technical issues involved with SSA requires knowledge in many different scientific areas. The mission of the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) is to educate, train, and inspire men and women to become officers of character motivated to lead the United States Air Force in service to our Nation. The physics department is implementing the USAFA mission and the need for technically competent officers in SSA through a comprehensive SSA Initiative. As part of the Initiative, we are developing a course to provide junior or senior cadets with the scientific background necessary to understand the challenges associated with SSA missions and systems. This presentation introduces the planned course objectives and includes a discussion of topics to be covered. Examples of topics include, optically resolved imaging, radiometry and photometry, radar detection and tracking, orbital prediction, debris and collision avoidance, detection of proximity operations and modeling and simulation tools. Cadets will have hands-on opportunities to collect metrics of a designated object using Academy assets such as the 41 cm telescope. Cadets will convert telescope gimbal angles into an orbital data. Cadets will synthesize what they learned in the course by completing the semester with a final project where the collected data is merged with a notional scenario to present a mock decision briefing. This class will be open to cadets of any academic major, since the intent is to prepare officers with basic technical competence in SSA applications. This is critical since graduates of the Academy become commissioned officers in the military and serve in a large variety of leadership positions -- from the researcher to the warfighter. Since we are currently developing the course, the SSA
Kanal, K; Hoff, M; Dickinson, R; Zamora, D; Stewart, B
Purpose: Our purpose is to evaluate the effectiveness of our two year physics course in preparing radiology residents for the American Board of Radiology (ABR) diagnostic radiology exam. Methods: We designed a new two-year physics course that integrates radiology clinical content and practice and is primarily based on the AAPM curriculum and RSNA/AAPM physics modules. Biweekly classes focus on relevant concepts from assigned reading and use audience response systems to encourage participation. Teaching efficiency is optimized through lecturer rotations of physicists, radiologists, and guest speakers. An emphasis is placed on clinical relevance by requiring lab work and providing equipment demonstrations. Periodic quiz were given during the course. The course website was also redesigned for usability, and physics review lectures were conducted two weeks before the board exam to refresh key concepts. At the completion of our first two-year course, we conducted a confidential evaluation of the faculty and course. The evaluation assessed metrics such as overall organization, clinical relevance of content, and level of difficulty, with a rating scale from poor to excellent. Results: Our evaluation indicated that the redesigned course provided effective board exam preparation, with most responses between good and excellent. There was some criticism on the course length and on chronological discontinuity, but the review lectures were appreciated by the residents. All of our residents passed the physics component of the ABR exam with scores exceeding the minimum passing score by a significant margin. Conclusion: The course evaluation and board exam results indicate that our new two-year course format provides valuable board exam preparation. This is possible thanks to the time and effort taken by the physics faculty on ensuring the residents get quality physics education.
Toback, David; Mershin, Andreas; Novikova, Irina
Teaching students in our large, introductory, calculus-based physics courses to be good problem-solvers is a difficult task. Not only must students be taught to understand and use the physics concepts in a problem, they must become adept at turning the physical quantities into symbolic variables, translating the problem into equations, and "turning the crank" on the mathematics to find both a closed-form solution and a numerical answer. Physics education research has shown that students' poor math skills and instructors' lack of pen-and-paper homework grading resources, two problems we face at our institution, can have a significant impact on problem-solving skill development.2-4 While Interactive Engagement methods appear to be the preferred mode of instruction,5 for practical reasons we have not been able to widely implement them. In this paper, we describe three Internet-based "teaching-while-quizzing" tools we have developed and how they have been integrated into our traditional lecture course in powerful but easy to incorporate ways.6 These are designed to remediate students' math deficiencies, automate homework grading, and guide study time toward problem solving. Our intent is for instructors who face similar obstacles to adopt these tools, which are available upon request.7
Willett, Gilbert M.
Background and purpose. Use of computer based instruction (CBI) in physical therapy (P.T.) education is growing. P.T. educators have reported few studies regarding the effectiveness of CBI compared to lecture based instruction, and none have specifically addressed the area of neuroscience. The purpose of this study was to determine whether CBI would be a better alternative than lecture for teaching introductory neuroscience information to first year P.T. students. Subjects. This study was conducted over two years, with 28 participants in 2003 and 34 in 2004. Methods. A randomized, cross-over design was employed for this investigation. The course in which the study took place was divided into two sections with an exam after each. Both sections included 5 one hour lectures (or 5 equivalent CBI modules) and a two hour laboratory experience. Exams consisted of 30 multiple choice questions. Students in one group participated in CBI during the first half of the course and lecture during the second half. The order of participation was reversed for students in the other group. A review exam (60 multiple choice questions) was also taken by participants six months post-participation in the course. Exam scores, study time, course development costs, and student opinions regarding teaching methods were collected after each section of the course and analyzed using quantitative and qualitative methods. Results. There were no statistically significant differences in "within course" or review exam scores between participant groups based on instructional method, however, CBI taught students spent less time studying. Student opinions did not distinguish a major preference for either instruction method. Many students preferred that CBI be used as a complimentary rather than mutually exclusive instructional method. Lecture based instruction was clearly more cost effective than CBI. Conclusion. In this study, lecture based instruction was clearly the better choice of teaching method in
Kulik, Keri S.; Brewer, Hannah; Windish, Lance; Carlson, Hollie
The new SHAPE America standards and grade level outcomes for high-school physical education focus exclusively on physical activities that are suitable for lifelong participation. Some of the fastest-growing physical activities for adults in the United States are non-traditional multi-sport events and obstacle course races. As "Healthy People…
Hudson, H. T.
Separate tests of mathematics skills, proportions and translations between words, and mathematical expression given the first week of class were correlated with performance for students who completed a college physics course (completes) and students who dropped the course (drops). None of the measures used discriminated between completes and drops as groups. However, the correlations between score on the test of math skills and on both of the measures involving mathematical reasoning (proportions, and translations) were dramatically different for the two groups. For the completes, these correlations were slightly negative, but not significant. For the drops, the correlation was positive and signficant at the p < 0.01 level. This suggests the possibility that the students who complete the course tend to have independent cognitive skills for the mechanical mathematical operations and for questions requiring some degree of reasoning, while, in contrast, the same skills for students at high risk for dropping overlap significantly. The study also found that when students are given the results of mathematics skills tests in a diagnostic mode, with feedback on specific areas of weakness and time to remediate with self study, the correlation between mathematics and physics is lower than previously reported values.Received: 2 April 1985
I will describe my experience in developing an interdisciplinary biophysics course addressed to students at the upper undergraduate and graduate level, in collaboration with colleagues in physics and biology. The students had a background in physics, biology and engineering, and for many the course was their first exposure to interdisciplinary topics. The course did not depend on a formal knowledge of equilibrium statistical mechanics. Instead, the approach was based on dynamics. I used diffusion as a universal ``long time'' law to illustrate scaling concepts. The importance of statistics and proper counting of states/paths was introduced by calculating the maximum accuracy with which bacteria can measure the concentration of diffuse chemicals. The use of quantitative concepts and methods was introduced through specific biological examples, focusing on model organisms and extremes at the cell level. Examples included microtubule dynamic instability, the search and capture model, molecular motor cooperativity in muscle cells, mitotic spindle oscillations in C. elegans, polymerization forces and propulsion of pathogenic bacteria, Brownian ratchets, bacterial cell division and MinD oscillations.
Price, Edward; Goldberg, Fred; Robinson, Steve; McKean, Michael
Constructing and evaluating explanations are important science practices, but in large classes it can be difficult to effectively engage students in these practices and provide feedback. Peer review and grading are scalable instructional approaches that address these concerns, but which raise questions about the validity of the peer grading process. Calibrated Peer Review (CPR) is a web-based system that scaffolds peer evaluation through a "calibration" process where students evaluate sample responses and receive feedback on their evaluations before evaluating their peers. Guided by an activity theory framework, we developed, implemented, and evaluated CPR-based tasks in guided-inquiry, conceptual physics courses for future teachers and general education students. The tasks were developed through iterative testing and revision. Effective tasks had specific and directed prompts and evaluation instructions. Using these tasks, over 350 students at three universities constructed explanations or analyzed physical phenomena, and evaluated their peers' work. By independently assessing students' responses, we evaluated the CPR calibration process and compared students' peer reviews with expert evaluations. On the tasks analyzed, peer scores were equivalent to our independent evaluations. On a written explanation item included on the final exam, students in the courses using CPR outperformed students in similar courses using traditional writing assignments without a peer evaluation element. Our research demonstrates that CPR can be an effective way to explicitly include the science practices of constructing and evaluating explanations into large classes without placing a significant burden on the instructor.
I'll describe an intermediate-level course on ``Physical Models of Living Systems.'' The only prerequisite is first-year university physics and calculus. The course is a response to rapidly growing interest among undergraduates in a broad range of science and engineering majors. Students acquire several research skills that are often not addressed in traditional courses:
Enhancing the scientific literacy of non-scientists is an important goal, both because of the ever-increasing impact of science and technology on people's lives, and because understanding contemporary science enables enriching insights into the workings of nature. One route to improving scientific literacy is via general education undergraduate courses - i.e. courses intended for students not majoring in the sciences or engineering - which in many cases provide these students' last formal exposure to science. I describe here a course on biophysics for non-science-major undergraduates recently developed at the University of Oregon. Biophysics, I claim, is a particularly useful vehicle for addressing scientific literacy. It involves important and general scientific concepts, demonstrates connections between basic science and tangible, familiar phenomena related to health and disease, and illustrates how scientific insights proceed not in predictable paths, but rather by applying tools and perspectives from disparate fields in creative ways. In addition, it highlights the far-reaching impact of physics research. I describe the general design of this course and the specific content of a few of its modules, as well as noting aspects of enrollment and evaluation. This work is affiliated with the University of Oregon's Science Literacy Program, supported by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Lopez, Ramon E.
Science education in this country is in its greatest period of ferment since the post-Sputnik frenzy a generation ago. In that earlier time, however, educators' emphasis was on producing more scientists and engineers. Today we recognize that all Americans need a good science background. The ability to observe, measure, think quantitatively, and reach logical conclusions based on available evidence is a set of skills that everyone entering the workforce needs to acquire if our country is to be competitive in a global economy. Moreover, as public policy increasingly crystallizes around scientific issues, it is critical that citizens be educated in science so that they may provide informed debate and on these issues. In order to develop this idea more fully, I proposed to teach a historically based course about space physics as an honors course at the University of Maryland-College Park (UMCP). The honors program at UMCP was established to foster broad-based undergraduate courses that utilize innovative teaching techniques to provide exemplary education to a select group of students. I designed an introductory course that would have four basic goals: to acquaint students with geomagnetic and auroral phenomena and their relationship to the space environment; to examine issues related to the history of science using the evolution of the field as an example; to develop familiarity with basic skills such as describing and interpreting observations, analyzing scientific papers, and communicating the results of their own research; and to provide some understanding of basic physics, especially those aspect that play a role in the near-earth space environment.
Mack, Michael Ryan
Chemistry education researchers have not adequately studied teaching and learning experiences at all levels in the undergraduate chemistry curriculum leaving gaps in discipline-based STEM education communities understanding about how the upper- division curricula works (National Research Council, 2012b; Towns, 2013). This study explored faculty approaches to teaching in upper-division physical chemistry course settings using an interview-based methodology. Two conceptualizations of approaches to teaching emerged from a phenomenographic analysis of interview transcripts: (1) faculty beliefs about the purposes for teaching physical chemistry and (2) their conceptions of their role as an instructor in these course settings. Faculty who reported beliefs predominantly centered on helping students develop conceptual knowledge and problem-solving skills in physical chemistry often worked with didactic models of teaching, which emphasized the transfer of expert knowledge to students. When faculty expressed beliefs that were more inclusive of conceptual, epistemic, and social learning goals in science education they often described more student-centered models of teaching and learning, which put more responsibilities on them to facilitate students' interactive engagement with the material and peers during regularly scheduled class time. Knowledge of faculty thinking, as evinced in a rich description of their accounts of their experience, provides researchers and professional developers with useful information about the potential opportunities or barriers that exist for helping faculty align their beliefs and goals for teaching with research-based instructional strategies.
Rodriguez, Idaykis; Potvin, Geoff; Kramer, Laird H.
Active-learning approaches to teaching introductory physics have been found to improve student learning and affective gains on short-term outcomes [S. Freeman et al., "Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 111," 8410 (2014)]; however, whether or not the benefits of active learning impact women to the same degree as men has been a point of…
Antonellis, Jessica Christel
This research is an exploration of students' meaning making around physical concepts through connections to students' funds of knowledge. This qualitative case study, influenced by Indigenous methodologies, focused on two Native students in a tribal college introductory physics course, exploring the personal, cultural, and philosophical connections that were voiced in dialogic interactions among the students and instructor. The data were collected through audio recordings of class sessions and reflective journaling by the instructor/researcher. Analysis identified dialogues in which meaning making took place, and the funds of knowledge that students brought to bear on these dialogues. The results of the analysis of these meaning-making occasions are presented by physical concept. For both students, the cultural connections they brought in were ways for them to incorporate their out-of-class identities and to consider their cultures from a scientific perspective. The influence of the students' personal connections was just as important as that of the cultural connections; the shared classroom context was also a valuable resource in the for collaborative meaning making. Both students both enjoyed examining the philosophical and spiritual implications of physical ideas; these dialogues provided windows into students' thinking that would not have been accessible in other ways. The students also made meanings about the nature of science that meshed with their identities and created a space for them to identify as scientists, and both came to view science as part of their cultural heritage. Allowing students free reign to make connections and empowering them to make decisions about their own learning were means of encouraging students to develop meaningful conceptual understanding. By investigating the meanings students made around physical content, we can learn about what motivates them, what is important to them, and potentially how to structure curricula that will
Yu, David U. L.
Computer-assisted instruction supplements traditional methods in a non-calculus physics course offered at Seattle Pacific College. Thirty-five science majors enrolled in the first quarter and 32 continued in the second term. The hardware for the course consists of a PDP-11/20 computer and eight teletype terminals; additional peripheral equipment…
Harlow, Danielle B.
This paper reports the results of an investigation of how a professional development content course based on the Physics and Everyday Thinking (PET) curriculum affected the teaching practices of five case study elementary school teachers. The findings of this study highlight different ways that teachers use what they learn in content courses to…
Grissom, April N.; Czajka, C. Douglas; McConnell, David A.
The introductory physical geology laboratory courses taught at North Carolina State University aims to promote scientific thinking and learning through the use of scientific inquiry-based activities. A rubric describing five possible levels of inquiry was applied to characterize the laboratory activities in the course. Two rock and mineral…
Goldberg, Fred; Price, Edward; Robinson, Stephen; Boyd-Harlow, Danielle; McKean, Michael
We report on the adaptation of the small enrollment, lab and discussion based physical science course, Physical Science and Everyday Thinking (PSET), for a large-enrollment, lecture-style setting. Like PSET, the new Learning Physical Science (LEPS) curriculum was designed around specific principles based on research on learning to meet the needs of nonscience students, especially prospective and practicing elementary and middle school teachers. We describe the structure of the two curricula and the adaptation process, including a detailed comparison of similar activities from the two curricula and a case study of a LEPS classroom implementation. In LEPS, short instructor-guided lessons replace lengthier small group activities, and movies, rather than hands-on investigations, provide the evidence used to support and test ideas. LEPS promotes student peer interaction as an important part of sense making via “clicker” questions, rather than small group and whole class discussions typical of PSET. Examples of student dialog indicate that this format is capable of generating substantive student discussion and successfully enacting the design principles. Field-test data show similar student content learning gains with the two curricula. Nevertheless, because of classroom constraints, some important practices of science that were an integral part of PSET were not included in LEPS.
Baily, Charles; Finkelstein, Noah D.
[This paper is part of the Focused Collection on Upper Division Physics Courses.] Most introductory quantum physics instructors would agree that transitioning students from classical to quantum thinking is an important learning goal, but may disagree on whether or how this can be accomplished. Although (and perhaps because) physicists have long debated the physical interpretation of quantum theory, many instructors choose to avoid emphasizing interpretive themes; or they discuss the views of scientists in their classrooms, but do not adequately attend to student interpretations. In this synthesis and extension of prior work, we demonstrate the following: (i) instructors vary in their approaches to teaching interpretive themes; (ii) different instructional approaches have differential impacts on student thinking; and (iii) when student interpretations go unattended, they often develop their own (sometimes scientifically undesirable) views. We introduce here a new modern physics curriculum that explicitly attends to student interpretations, and provide evidence-based arguments that doing so helps them to develop more consistent interpretations of quantum phenomena, more sophisticated views of uncertainty, and greater interest in quantum physics.
Zuza, Kristina; Garmendia, Mikel; Barragués, José-Ignacio; Guisasola, Jenaro
Frequently, in university-level general physics courses, after explaining the theory, exercises are set based on examples that illustrate the application of concepts and laws. Traditionally formulated numerical exercises are usually solved by the teacher and students through direct replacement of data in formulae. It is our contention that such strategies can lead to the superficial and erroneous resolution of such exercises. In this paper, we provide an example that illustrates that students tend to solve problems in a superficial manner, without applying fundamental problem-solving strategies such as qualitative analysis, hypothesis-forming and analysis of results, which prevents them from arriving at a correct solution. We provide evidence of the complexity of an a priori simple exercise in physics, although the theory involved may seem elementary at first sight. Our aim is to stimulate reflection among instructors to follow these results when using examples and solving exercises with students.
O'Brien, James; Rueckert, Franz; Sirokman, Greg
Undergraduate research has become more and more integral to the functioning of higher educational institutions. At many institutions undergraduate research is conducted as capstone projects in the pure sciences, however, science faculty at some schools (including that of the authors) face the challenge of not having science majors. Even at these institutions, a select population of high achieving engineering students will often express a keen interest in conducting pure science research. Since a foray into science research provides the student the full exposure to the scientific method and scientific collaboration, the experience can be quite rewarding and beneficial to the development of the student as a professional. To this end, the authors have been working to find new contexts in which to offer research experiences to non- science majors, including a new undergraduate research class conducted by physics and chemistry faculty. An added benefit is that these courses are inherently interdisciplinary. Students in the engineering and computer science fields step into physics and chemistry labs to solve science problems, often invoking their own relevant expertise. In this paper we start by discussing the common themes and outcomes of the course. We then discuss three particular projects that were conducted with engineering students and focus on how the undergraduate research experience enhanced their already rigorous engineering curriculum.
Carifio, James; Doherty, Michael
The Take-away Technique was used in High School Physics and Physical Science courses for the unit on Newtonian mechanics in a teacher (6) by grade level (4) partially crossed design (N = 272). All classes received the same IE instructional treatment. The experimental group (classrooms) did a short Take-away after each class summarizing the key…
Thompson, John R.; Christensen, Warren M.; Wittmann, Michael C.
We describe courses designed to help future teachers reflect on and discuss both physics content and student knowledge thereof. We use three kinds of activities: reading and discussing the literature, experiencing research-based curricular materials, and learning to use the basic research methods of physics education research. We present a general…
Dwyer, Jessica Hewitt
Regardless of discipline, a decades-long battle has ensued within nearly every classroom in higher education: instructors getting students to come to class prepared to learn. In response to this clash between teacher expectations and frequent student neglect, a group of four physics education researchers developed a reformed instructional strategy called Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT). This dissertation investigates the following three areas: 1) the fidelity with which undergraduate physics instructors implement JiTT, 2) whether student performance predicts student perception of their instructor's fidelity of JiTT implementation, and 3) whether student perception of their instructor's fidelity of JiTT implementation correlates with student views of their physics course. A blend of quantitative data (e.g., students grades, inventory scores, and questionnaire responses) are integrated with qualitative data (e.g., individual faculty interviews, student focus group discussions, and classroom observations). This study revealed no statistically significant relationship between instructors who spent time on a predefined JiTT critical component and their designation as a JiTT user or non-user. While JiTT users implemented the pedagogy in accordance with the creators' intended ideal vision, many also had trouble reconciling personal concerns about their role as a JiTT adopter and the anticipated demand of the innovation. I recommend that this population of faculty members can serve as a JiTT model for other courses, disciplines, and/or institutions. Student performance was not a predictor of student perception instructor fidelity of JiTT implementation. Additionally, the majority of students in this study reported they read their textbook prior to class and that JiTT assignments helped them prepare for in-class learning. I found evidence that exposure to the JiTT strategy may correlate with a more favorable student view of their physics course. Finally, according to students
The purpose of this study was to determine the predictors of student grades in introductory physics courses utilizing problem-based learning (PBL) approach and traditional lecturing. The study employed correlational/predictive methods to investigate and describe/explain relationships of students' physics grades with their expectations, attitudes,…
Boyle, Jennifer; Mattern, Craig O.; Lassiter, Jill W.; Ritzler, Julia A.
There are few physical activity (PA) interventions in higher education, and they have been only minimally effective. Objective: To determine if a course-based, peer education intervention was associated with increases in PA and physical fitness. Participants: Participants were 178 students enrolled in a personal health class during the 2007-2008…
Leinonen, Risto; Asikainen, Mervi A.; Hirvonen, Pekka E.
As has been shown by previous research, students may possess various misconceptions in the area of thermal physics. In order to help them overcome misconceptions observed prior to instruction, we implemented a one-hour lecture-based intervention in their introductory thermal physics course. The intervention was held after the conventional lectures…
Harlow, Danielle B.; Swanson, Lauren H.; Otero, Valerie K.
We investigated how prospective teachers used physics content knowledge when analyzing the talk of elementary children during special activities in an undergraduate physics content course designed for prospective teachers. We found that prospective teachers used content knowledge to reflect on their own learning and to identify students'…
We give an example of cross coursing in which a subject or approach in one course in undergraduate mathematics is used in a completely different course. This situation crosses falling body modelling in an upper level differential equations course into a modest discrete dynamical systems unit of a first-year mathematics course. (Contains 1 figure.)
Kuh, Diana; Karunananthan, Sathya; Bergman, Howard; Cooper, Rachel
Research on healthy ageing lacks an agreed conceptual framework and has not adequately taken into account the growing evidence that social and biological factors from early life onwards affect later health. We conceptualise healthy ageing within a life-course framework, separating healthy biological ageing (in terms of optimal physical and cognitive functioning, delaying the onset of chronic diseases, and extending length of life for as long as possible) from changes in psychological and social wellbeing. We summarise the findings of a review of healthy ageing indicators, focusing on objective measures of physical capability, such as tests of grip strength, walking speed, chair rises and standing balance, which aim to capture physical functioning at the individual level, assessing the capacity to undertake the physical tasks of daily living. There is robust evidence that higher scores on these measures are associated with lower rates of mortality, and more limited evidence of lower risk of morbidity, and of age-related patterns of change. Drawing on a research collaboration of UK cohort studies, we summarise what is known about the influences on physical capability in terms of lifetime socioeconomic position, body size and lifestyle, and underlying physiology and genetics; the evidence to date supports a broad set of factors already identified as risk factors for chronic diseases. We identify a need for larger longitudinal studies to investigate age-related change and ethnic diversity in these objective measures, the dynamic relationships between them, and how they relate to other component measures of healthy ageing. Robust evidence across cohort studies, using standardised measures within a clear conceptual framework, will benefit policy and practice to promote healthy ageing.
Hubbard, Paula; Abell, Sandra
We examined the beliefs about science teaching and learning held by elementary preservice teachers in a science methods course, comparing students who had experienced an inquiry-based physics course with those who had not. Students who had taken the physics course prior to the methods semester were better equipped to recognize and learn from…
Harlow, Jason J. B.; Harrison, David M.; Meyertholen, Andrew
We have studied the types of student teams that are most effective for collaborative learning in a large freshman university physics course. We compared teams in which the students were all of roughly equal ability to teams with a mix of student abilities, we compared teams with three members to teams with four members, and we examined teams with only one female student and the rest of the students male. We measured team effectiveness by the gains on the Force Concept Inventory and by performance on the final examination. None of the factors that we examined had significant impact on student learning. We also investigated student satisfaction as measured by responses to an anonymous evaluation at the end of the term, and found small but statistically significant differences depending on how the nine teams in the group were constructed.
Price, Edward; Goldberg, Fred; Patterson, Scott; Heft, Paul
Writing tasks are one way students can apply science concepts, yet evaluating students' writing can be difficult in large classes. With the web-based Calibrated Peer Review (CPR) system, students submit written work and evaluate each other. Students write a response to a prompt, read and evaluate responses prepared by the curriculum developers, and receive feedback on their evaluations, allowing students to "calibrate" their evaluation skills. Students then evaluate their peers' work and their own work. We have used CPR for two semesters in conceptual physics courses with enrollments of ˜100 students. By independently assessing students' responses, we evaluated the CPR calibration process and compared students' peer reviews with expert evaluations. Students' scores on their essays correlate with our independent evaluations. This poster describes these findings and our experiences with implementing CPR assignments.
Huda, C.; Siswanto, J.; Kurniawan, A. F.; Nuroso, H.
This research is aimed at designing a learning tool based on multi-representation that can improve problem solving skills. It used the research and development approach. It was applied for the course of Fundamental Physics at Universitas PGRI Semarang for the 2014/2015 academic year. Results show gain analysis
Leo, Jennifer; Goodwin, Donna
Disability simulations have been used as a pedagogical tool to simulate the functional and cultural experiences of disability. Despite their widespread application, disagreement about their ethical use, value, and efficacy persists. The purpose of this study was to understand how postsecondary kinesiology students experienced participation in disability simulations. An interpretative phenomenological approach guided the study's collection of journal entries and clarifying one-on-one interviews with four female undergraduate students enrolled in a required adapted physical activity course. The data were analyzed thematically and interpreted using the conceptual framework of situated learning. Three themes transpired: unnerving visibility, negotiating environments differently, and tomorrow I'll be fine. The students described emotional responses to the use of wheelchairs as disability artifacts, developed awareness of environmental barriers to culturally and socially normative activities, and moderated their discomfort with the knowledge they could end the simulation at any time.
Nadeau, Jay L
This article describes a 3-week intensive molecular biology methods course based upon fluorescent proteins, which is successfully taught at the McGill University to advanced undergraduates and graduates in physics, chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, and medicine. No previous knowledge of biological terminology or methods is expected, so the material could readily be adapted to earlier undergraduates or students in other fields. The course emphasizes hands-on experience with one half-hour of lecture and 3 and a half hours of laboratory 4 days per week, for a total of 39 hours. The materials are simple and low in cost and all software used is free, making the budget accessible to small universities and community colleges that possess basic teaching wet labs. Conceptual understanding is reinforced with lab reports and an independent final paper on a subject of the student's choice. The final paper describes a possible thesis project, not necessarily the student's own, with assessment based upon grasping of key concepts and methods of molecular biology.
In thirty years of teaching a capstone ``Science, Technology, and Society'' course to undergraduate students of all majors, I have found that, upon entering STS, to most of them the Manhattan Project seems about as remote as the Civil War; few can describe the difference between nuclear and large non-nuclear weapons. With similar lack of awareness, many students seem to think the Big Bang was dreamed up by science sorcerers. One might suppose that a basic mental picture of weapons that held entire populations hostage should be part of informed citizenship. One might also suppose that questions about origins, as they are put to nature through evidence-based reasoning, should be integral to a culture's identity. Over the years I have found the history of physics to be an effective tool for bringing such subjects to life for STS students. Upon hearing some of the history behind (for example) nuclear weapons and big bang cosmology, these students can better imagine themselves called upon to help in a Manhattan Project, or see themselves sleuthing about in a forensic science like cosmology. In this talk I share sample student responses to our class discussions on nuclear weapons, and on cosmology. The history of physics is too engaging to be appreciated only by physicists.
Joiner, Michael C; Tracey, Monica W; Kacin, Sara E; Burmeister, Jay W
This article provides a summary and status report of the ongoing advanced education program IBPRO - Integrated course in Biology and Physics of Radiation Oncology. IBPRO is a five-year program funded by NCI. It addresses the recognized deficiency in the number of mentors available who have the required knowledge and skill to provide the teaching and training that is required for future radiation oncologists and researchers in radiation sciences. Each year, IBPRO brings together 50 attendees typically at assistant professor level and upwards, who are already qualified/certified radiation oncologists, medical physicists or biologists. These attendees receive keynote lectures and activities based on active learning strategies, merging together the clinical, biological and physics underpinnings of radiation oncology, at the forefront of the field. This experience is aimed at increasing collaborations, raising the level and amount of basic and applied research undertaken in radiation oncology, and enabling attendees to confidently become involved in the future teaching and training of researchers and radiation oncologists.
The student diversity in a university conceptual physic course presents a challenge to sustain the interest of all the students, to provide a solid conceptual basis for students continuing in science or engineering and to present science as an active subject rather than as vocabulary lists, rules and book knowledge. Combining ideas from the literature for teaching large lecture calculus based physics and science leary education majors in small class settings has resulted in a large (120 student) class format that mixes low cost (< $1,000 for term) hands-on activities, demonstrations, summary discussions and lectures. Hands-on activities are done in small groups which allows the diversity to become an asset. Several of these activities will be described in detail. The effectiveness of this teaching approach will be presented based on results of pre and post Force Concept Inventory test scores for this class and a comparison class that just used lecture and demonstrations for mechanics. The classes under comparison were taught by the same instructor, from the same book, were of similar size and neither had any additional teaching staff.
Moore, J. Christopher; Rubbo, Louis J.
We have found that non-STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) majors taking either a conceptual physics or astronomy course at two regional comprehensive institutions score significantly lower preinstruction on the Lawson’s Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning (LCTSR) in comparison to national average STEM majors. Based on LCTSR score, the majority of non-STEM students can be classified as either concrete operational or transitional reasoners in Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, whereas in the STEM population formal operational reasoners are far more prevalent. In particular, non-STEM students demonstrate significant difficulty with proportional and hypothetico-deductive reasoning. Prescores on the LCTSR are correlated with normalized learning gains on various concept inventories. The correlation is strongest for content that can be categorized as mostly theoretical, meaning a lack of directly observable exemplars, and weakest for content categorized as mostly descriptive, where directly observable exemplars are abundant. Although the implementation of research-verified, interactive engagement pedagogy can lead to gains in content knowledge, significant gains in theoretical content (such as force and energy) are more difficult with non-STEM students. We also observe no significant gains on the LCTSR without explicit instruction in scientific reasoning patterns. These results further demonstrate that differences in student populations are important when comparing normalized gains on concept inventories, and the achievement of significant gains in scientific reasoning requires a reevaluation of the traditional approach to physics for non-STEM students.
The purpose guiding this research has been to learn about and describe the phenomena of interactivity from the learners' perspectives and to learn which of the interactivity affordances and practices were actually used by students and why in the process of learning physics using an interactive multimedia distance learning course system. The bigger purpose behind learning about and describing interactivity has been to gain knowledge and perspective for its instructional design to benefit the learner, the school as curriculum implementer, and instructional media designers to create better products. Qualitative methodology in the interpretivist tradition was used, that is, in-depth interviews and on-site observations, to gain understanding of interactivity from the learners' perspective and to gain understanding of the student learning context impacting and shaping the students' interactivity experiences. NVivo was used to sort, organize and index data. All data were read on three levels: literally, interpretively, and reflexively; and were read comparatively to other perspectives to get descriptions and interpretations that were holistic to the implementation and had potential insight to improve practice for instructional designers, teachers, administrators, specifically to improve the learning experience for students. Site-Specific Findings: Students watched videos, resisted using phone and e-mail, and worked math problems to demonstrate learning, which resulted in very little interactivity, virtually no dialogue about physics, no physical activity, one-way communication, multifaceted dissatisfaction, student need for teacher involvement in the learning enterprise, student appreciation for interactivity, and expressed desire for a real, live teacher. I also found that some students did experience the system as interactive, did experience learner control and self-directed learning, and despite dissatisfaction, liked and appreciated the course. Wider Applications
Solie, D. J.; Spencer, V. K.
Bush Physics for the 21st Century brings physics that is engaging to modern youth, and mathematically rigorous, to high school and college students in the remote and often road-less villages of Alaska where the opportunity to take a physics course has been nearly nonexistent. The primary goal of the course is to prepare rural (predominantly Alaska Native) students for success in university science and engineering degree programs and ultimately STEM careers. The course is delivered via video conference and web based electronic blackboard tailored to the needs of remote students. Kinetic, practical and culturally relevant place-based examples from traditional and modern northern life are used to engage students, and a rigorous and mathematical focus is stressed to strengthen problem solving skills. Simple hands-on-lab experiment kits are shipped to the students. In addition students conduct a Collaborative Research Experiment where they coordinate times of sun angle measurements with teams in other villages to determine their latitude and longitude as well as an estimate of the circumference of the earth. Connecting abstract mathematical symbols and equations to real physical objects and problems is one of the most difficult things to master in physics. We introduce Inuktitut symbols to complement the traditional Greek symbols in equations to strengthen the visual/conceptual connection with symbol and encourage an indigenous connection to the physical concepts. Results and observations from the first three pilot semesters (spring 2008, 2009 and 2010) will be presented.
Guynn, David Tyler
The Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) has implemented interactive-engagement in its introductory physics curriculum for students majoring in both the life sciences and the physical sciences. As a measure of teaching effectiveness, UNC-CH has been administering both the Force Concept Inventory (FCI) and Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism (CSEM) to students in introductory courses since Fall 2007. This project examines students' performance on both the FCI ( N=7863) and CSEM (N=5222) using several established metrics for determining learning gains. This study finds that the implementation of interactive-engagement has a statistically significant increase of learning gains, independent of student gender or ethnicity. Furthermore, it was observed that learning gaps between genders narrowed for students enrolled in courses for physical science majors. Finally, further opportunities for study and data analysis are described for future use within UNC-CH's research program.
Purpose: To improve the ability of graduate students to learn medical physics concepts through the incorporation of active learning techniques. Methods: A traditional lecture-based radiological physics course was modified such that: (1) traditional (two-hour) lectures were provided online for students to watch prior to class, (2) a student was chosen randomly at the start of each class to give a two minute synopsis of the material and its relevance (two-minute drill), (3) lectures were significantly abbreviated and remaining classroom time used for group problem solving, and (4) videos of the abbreviated lectures were made available online for review. In the transition year, students were surveyed about the perceived effects of these changes on learning. Student performance was evaluated for 3 years prior to and 4 years after modification. Results: The survey tool used a five point scale from 1=Not True to 5=Very True. While nearly all students reviewed written materials prior to class (4.3±0.9), a minority watched the lectures (2.1±1.5). A larger number watched the abbreviated lectures for further clarification (3.6±1.6) and found it helpful in learning the content (4.2±1.0). Most felt that the two-minute drill helped them get more out of the lecture (3.9±0.8) and the problem solving contributed to their understanding of the content (4.1±0.8). However, no significant improvement in exam scores resulted from the modifications (mean scores well within 1 SD during study period). Conclusion: Students felt that active learning techniques improved their ability to learn the material in what is considered the most difficult course in the program. They valued the ability to review the abbreviated class lecture more than the opportunity to watch traditional lectures prior to class. While no significant changes in student performance were observed, aptitude variations across the student cohorts make it difficult to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of active
Pillay, Seshini; Buffler, Andy; Lubben, Fred; Allie, Saalih
An evaluation of a course aimed at developing university students' understanding of the nature of scientific measurement and uncertainty is described. The course materials follow the framework for metrology as recommended in the "Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement" (GUM). The evaluation of the course is based on…
Liu, Xiaolai; Li, Qinghuai
It has been the hotspot to reconstruct the education course based on the research-based learning in the course reform in many countries in recent years. The new course standard of China insists that the teaching is the interactive process that teachers and students communicate and develop together. In the teaching, the relationship between…
Lipkowitz, Kenny B.
Describes a graduate-level course in physical-organic chemistry in which students learn to solve problems using computer programs available through the Quantum Chemistry Program Exchange. Includes condensed syllabus and time line showing where various computational programs are introduced. (Author/JN)
Martin, F. P.
This course is intended for representatives of countries where nuclear power is being developed and whose responsibilities include the preparation of regulation and the design and evaluation of physical protection systems. This is the second of two volumes; the first volume is SAND-79-1090. (DLC)
Hake, Richard R.
A survey of pre/post test data using the Halloun-Hestenes Mechanics Diagnostic test or more recent Force Concept Inventory is reported for 62 introductory physics courses enrolling a total number of students N=6542. A consistent analysis over diverse student populations in high schools, colleges, and universities is obtained if a rough measure of…
The study compares the work habits of two student groups in an introductory physics course, one in traditional and one in online sections. Both groups shared the same online materials and online homework, as well as the same discussion boards and examinations, but one group in addition had traditional lectures. The groups were compared with…
Collagan, Robert B.
Discusses the construction and evaluation of a programed course in mathematics designed to provide remedial instruction to college freshmen who scored below the 25th percentile on the ACT examination. The study involved 200 students at Morgan State College, Maryland. Dependent variables were scores on several mathematics and physics tests given…
Anderson, Steven W.; Libarkin, Julie C.
Nationwide pre- and posttesting of introductory courses with the Geoscience Concept Inventory (GCI) shows little gain for many of its questions. Analysis of more than 3,500 tests shows that 22 of the 73 GCI questions had gains of <0.03, and nearly half of these focused on basic physics and chemistry. We also discovered through an assessment of…
Vieira, Rodrigo Drumond; Kelly, Gregory J.
In this paper, we present and apply a multi-level method for discourse analysis in science classrooms. This method is based on the structure of human activity (activity, actions, and operations) and it was applied to study a pre-service physics teacher methods course. We argue that such an approach, based on a cultural psychological perspective,…
Thorsland, Martin Nils
The purposes of this study were: (1) to evaluate the effectiveness of audio-tutorial (A-T) instruction and (2) to identify, classify and study differences in problem solving approach using a theoretical framework derived from the ideas of D. P. Ausubel. Seventy of 420 students taking a college introductory non-calculus physics course used A-T…
Zavala, Genaro; Alarcón, Hugo; Benegas, Julio
In this contribution we describe a short development course for in-service physics teachers. The course structure and materials are based on the results of educational research, and its main objective is to provide in-service teachers with a first contact with the active learning strategy “Tutorials in Introductory Physics,” developed by the Physics Education Research Group at the University of Washington. The course was organized in a constructivist, active learning environment, so that teachers have first to experience, as regular students, the whole Tutorial sequence of activities: Tutorial pre-test, Tutorial, and Tutorial Homework. After each Tutorial, teachers reflect on, and recognize their own students’ learning difficulties, discussing their teaching experiences with their colleagues in small collaborative groups first and the whole class later. Finally they read and discuss specific Physics Education Research literature, where these learning difficulties have been extensively studied by researchers. At the beginning and at the end of the course the participants were given the conceptual multiple-choice test Force Concept Inventory (FCI). The pre-/post-instruction FCI data were presented as a practical example of the use of a research-based test widely used in educational research and in formative assessment processes designed to improve instruction.
This study was carried out to determine high school students' perceptions of the courses of Physics and the factors influential on their perceptions with respect to gender. The research sample included 154 high school students (F:78; M:76). In the study, as the data collection tool, a structured interview form was used. The data collected in the…
Kurki-Suonio, T.; Hakola, A.
In the present paper, we propose an alternative, based on constructivism, to the conventional way of teaching basic physics courses at the university level. We call this approach "coherent teaching" and the underlying philosophy of teaching science and engineering "need-based learning". We have been applying this philosophy in…
Adamuti-Trache, Maria; Bluman, George; Tiedje, Thomas
This paper considers school factors that contribute to a successful transition from high school to first-year university Physics courses at the University of British Columbia by employing a two-level hierarchical model. It is assumed that there is a relationship between student performance and the high school they graduated from. It is shown that…
Watanabe, Erick James
This study tracks the shifts in attitudes of students in a large, entry level physics course at CSU Long Beach (PHYS 151 - Mechanics and Heat). Intriguing differences in attitude shifts of A, B, and C students are observed using the CLASS (Colorado Learning about Science Survey) instrument. The CLASS is a tool designed to measure the attitudes and approaches used in physics. The survey is used to measure experts and novices in the field. Expert and novice-like beliefs are calculated for the A, B, and C students. We found that the Problem Solving Sophistication category had the most differences in students' responses between A and C students. With A students having had three expert shifts (moving toward expert-like beliefs) and no novice shifts in this category, and C students having six novice shifts (moving toward novice-like beliefs). An ANOVA test and a t-test were performed to ensure the data was significant. One category emerged as being statistically significant, the Problem Solving Sophistication Unfavorable score, with a p-value of 0.039 when comparing the A and C students, and a p-value of 0.044 when the A and B students are grouped together and compared to the C students. With the t-test findings this infers that the C students are missing something that the A and B students are not. The intriguing question for further study is: can the C students be turned into A-B students by explicit pedagogy and curriculum aimed at transmitting both content and attitudes?
Chen, Yin-Quan; Liu, Yi-Shiuan; Liu, Yu-An; Wu, Yi-Chang; del Álamo, Juan C.; Chiou, Arthur; Lee, Oscar K.
Cellular biophysical properties are novel biomarkers of cell phenotypes which may reflect the status of differentiating stem cells. Accurate characterizations of cellular biophysical properties, in conjunction with the corresponding biochemical properties could help to distinguish stem cells from primary cells, cancer cells, and differentiated cells. However, the correlated evolution of these properties in the course of directed stem cells differentiation has not been well characterized. In this study, we applied video particle tracking microrheology (VPTM) to measure intracellular viscoelasticity of differentiating human mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (hMSCs). Our results showed that osteogenesis not only increased both elastic and viscous moduli, but also converted the intracellular viscoelasticity of differentiating hMSCs from viscous-like to elastic-like. In contrast, adipogenesis decreased both elastic and viscous moduli while hMSCs remained viscous-like during the differentiation. In conjunction with bio- chemical and physical parameters, such as gene expression profiles, cell morphology, and cytoskeleton arrangement, we demonstrated that VPTM is a unique approach to quantify, with high data throughput, the maturation level of differentiating hMSCs and to anticipate their fate decisions. This approach is well suited for time-lapsed study of the mechanobiology of differentiating stem cells especially in three dimensional physico-chemical biomimetic environments including porous scaffolds. PMID:27526936
Macho-Stadler, Erica; Jesús Elejalde-García, Maria
Active learning methods can be appropriate in engineering, as their methodology promotes meta-cognition, independent learning and problem-solving skills. Problem-based learning is the educational process by which problem-solving activities and instructor's guidance facilitate learning. Its key characteristic involves posing a 'concrete problem' to initiate the learning process, generally implemented by small groups of students. Many universities have developed and used active methodologies successfully in the teaching-learning process. During the past few years, the University of the Basque Country has promoted the use of active methodologies through several teacher training programmes. In this paper, we describe and analyse the results of the educational experience using the problem-based learning (PBL) method in a physics course for undergraduates enrolled in the technical telecommunications engineering degree programme. From an instructors' perspective, PBL strengths include better student attitude in class and increased instructor-student and student-student interactions. The students emphasised developing teamwork and communication skills in a good learning atmosphere as positive aspects.
Nossal, S. M.; Jacob, A. T.
The Physics Learning Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison provides small group, academic and mentoring support for students enrolled in algebra-based introductory physics courses. Those students accepted into our program are potentially at-risk academically in their physics course or for feeling isolated at the University. They include, among others, students who have not taken high school physics, returning adults, minority students, students with disabilities, and students with English as a second language. A core component of the program is the peer-lead teaching and mentoring groups that match upper level undergraduate physics majors with students potentially at-risk in introductory physics. The tutors receive ongoing training and supervision throughout the year. The program has expanded over the years to include staff tutors, the majority of whom are scientists who seek additional teaching experience. The Physics Peer Mentor Tutor Program is run in collaboration with a similar chemistry program at the University of Wisconsin's Chemistry Learning Center. We will describe our Physics Learning Programs and discuss some of the challenges, successes, and strategies used to work with our tutors and students.
Solie, D. J.; Spencer, V.
Bush Physics for the 21st Century brings physics that is culturally connected, engaging to modern youth, and mathematically rigorous, to high school and college students in the remote and often road-less villages of Alaska. The primary goal of the course is to prepare rural (predominantly Alaska Native) students for success in university science and engineering degree programs and ultimately STEM careers. The course is currently delivered via video conference and web based electronic blackboard tailored to the needs of remote students. Practical, culturally relevant kinetic examples from traditional and modern northern life are used to engage students, and a rigorous and mathematical focus is stressed to strengthen problem solving skills. Simple hands-on-lab experiments are delivered to the students with the exercises completed on-line. In addition, students are teamed and required to perform a much more involved experimental study with the results presented by teams at the conclusion of the course. Connecting abstract mathematical symbols and equations to real physical objects and problems is one of the most difficult things to master in physics. Greek symbols are traditionally used in equations, however, to strengthen the visual/conceptual connection with symbol and encourage an indigenous connection to the concepts we have introduced Inuktitut symbols to complement the traditional Greek symbols. Results and observations from the first two pilot semesters (spring 2008 and 2009) will be presented.
Moran, J. E.
The wide range of abilities in the student population at California State University East Bay, with a significant fraction of students under-prepared and requiring mathematics remediation, is a challenge to including mathematical concepts and exercises in our introductory geoscience courses. Student expectations that a geoscience course will not include quantitative work may result in math-phobics choosing the course and resisting quantitative work when presented with it. Introductory courses that are required for Geology and Environmental Science majors are also designated as General Education, which gives rise to a student group with a wide range of abilities and expectations. This presentation will focus on implementation of a series of online math tutorials for students in introductory geoscience courses called 'The Math You Need' (TMYN; http://serc.carleton.edu/mathyouneed/index.html). The program is implemented in a Physical Geology course, in which 2/3 of the students are typically non-majors. The Physical Geology course has a three hour lab each week and the lab exercises and lab manual offer several opportunities for application of TMYN. Many of the lab exercises include graphing, profiling, working with map scales, converting units, or using equations to calculate some parameter or solve for an unknown. Six TMYN modules covering topics using density calculations as applied to mineral properties and isostasy, graphing as applied to rock properties, earthquake location, and radiometric dating, and calculation of rates as applied to plate movement, stream discharge, and groundwater flow, are assigned as pre-labs to be completed before lab classes. TMYN skills are reinforced during lectures and lab exercises, as close in time as possible to students' exposure via TMYN. Pre- and post-tests give a measure of the effectiveness of TMYN in improving students' quantitative literacy.
Chen, Jean Chi-Jen
Physics is fundamental for science, engineering, medicine, and for understanding many phenomena encountered in people's daily lives. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between student success in college-level introductory physics courses and various educational and background characteristics. The primary variables of this study were gender, high school mathematics and science preparation, preference and perceptions of learning physics, and performance in introductory physics courses. Demographic characteristics considered were age, student grade level, parents' occupation and level of education, high school senior grade point average, and educational goals. A Survey of Learning Preference and Perceptions was developed to collect the information for this study. A total of 267 subjects enrolled in six introductory physics courses, four algebra-based and two calculus-based, participated in the study conducted during Spring Semester 2002. The findings from the algebra-based physics courses indicated that participant's educational goal, high school senior GPA, father's educational level, mother's educational level, and mother's occupation in the area of science, engineering, or computer technology were positively related to performance while participant age was negatively related. Biology preparation, mathematics preparation, and additional mathematics and science preparation in high school were also positively related to performance. The relationships between the primary variables and performance in calculus-based physics courses were limited to high school senior year GPA and high school physics preparation. Findings from all six courses indicated that participant's educational goal, high school senior GPA, father's educational level, and mother's occupation in the area of science, engineering, or computer technology, high school preparation in mathematics, biology, and the completion of additional mathematics and science courses were
Mingie, Walter; And Others
In keeping with the Department of Education's course content in physical education, this supplement to the Physical Education Course of Study was prepared. Suggestions for teaching and organizing classes in 16 "Self to Nature" activities are outlined. Activities are: backpacking, bicycling, boating, camping, canoeing, fishing, hebertisme (an…
As part of the undergraduate curriculum, the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) requires all students to take an undergraduate course in physical activity, health and wellness in their third year of study. This capstone course allows students to integrate concepts from their program regarding physical activity,…
The purpose of this study was to identify the perceptions of pre-service science teachers about using vee diagrams and preparing electronic portfolios in physics laboratuary course. 103 first grade pre-service science teachers who took general physics laboratuary course were the participants of the study. Pre-service teachers constructed vee…
Physics degrees are not only for physicists. Our department believes that it would be healthy if attorneys, physicians, journalists, politicians, businesspeople, and others had undergraduate degrees in physics. Thus, we have begun offering a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics, for students who want to study physics as a background for other fields such as law (patents, environmental law), medical school, business (high-tech firms), journalism (science reporting, environmental reporting), music (accoustics, electronic music), and essentially any other profession. The program reaches outward, outside of physics, rather than pointing toward further work in physics. It begins with the algebra-based introductory course rather than the calculus-based course for future physicists and engineers. Two new courses are being created to provide these pre-professional students with broad science literacy and knowledge of physics-related technologies. The program is more flexible and less technical than the traditional Bachelor of Science program, allowing students time for outside electives and professional requirements in other fields.
The study compares the work habits of two student groups in an introductory physics course, one in traditional and one in online sections. Both groups shared the same online materials and online homework, as well as the same discussion boards and examinations, but one group in addition had traditional lectures. The groups were compared with respect to amount and frequency of access to different online course resources. It was found that with few exceptions, both groups exhibited very similar work habits. Students in the online sections more frequently accessed content pages and more frequently contributed to course discussions. It was also found that regular access of the materials throughout the week, rather than only on homework deadline nights, is a predictor of success on examinations, and that this indicator is more reliable for students in the online sections. Overall, though, the effect of traditional lectures is minimal.
White, Susan; Tesfaye, Casey Langer
In the fall of 2008, the authors contacted a representative sample of over 3,600 high schools in the U.S., both public and private, to determine whether or not physics was taught there. They received responses from over 99% of the schools. For the schools which indicated they were offering physics, they obtained contact information for the…
Nossal, S. M.; Jacob, A. T.
The University of Wisconsin's Physics Peer Mentor Tutor Program matches upper level undergraduate physics students in small study groups with students studying introductory algebra-based physics. We work with students who are potentially at-risk for having academic trouble with the course. They include students with a low exam score, learning disabilities, no high school physics, weak math backgrounds, and/or on academic probation. We also work with students from groups under represented in the sciences and who may be feeling isolated or marginal on campus such as minority, returning adult, and international students. The tutors provide a supportive learning environment, extra practice problems, and an overview of key concepts. In so doing, they help our students to build confidence and problem solving skills applicable to physics and other areas of their academic careers. The Physics Peer Mentor Tutor Program is modeled after a similar program for chemistry created by the University of Wisconsin's Chemistry Learning Center. Both programs are now run in collaboration. The tutors are chosen for their academic strength and excellent communication skills. Our tutors are majoring in physics, math, and secondary-level science education. The tutors receive ongoing training and supervision throughout the year. They attend weekly discipline-specific meetings to discuss strategies for teaching the content currently being discussed in the physics course. They also participate in a weekly teaching seminar with science tutors from chemistry and biochemistry to discuss teaching methods, mentoring, and general information relating to the students with whom we work. We will describe an overview of the Physics Peer Mentor Tutor Program with a focus on the teacher training program for our undergraduate tutors.
Erdmann, Martin; Fischer, Robert; Glaser, Christian; Klingebiel, Dennis; Krause, Raphael; Kuempel, Daniel; Müller, Gero; Rieger, Marcel; Steggemann, Jan; Urban, Martin; Walz, David; Weidenhaupt, Klaus; Winchen, Tobias; Weltermann, Birgitta
Bachelor of physics lectures on ‘Particle Physics and Astrophysics’ were complemented by exercises related to data analysis and data interpretation at the RWTH Aachen University recently. The students performed these exercises using the internet platform VISPA, which provides a development environment for physics data analyses. We describe the platform and its application within the physics course, and present the results of a student survey. The students’ acceptance of the learning project was positive. The level of acceptance was related to their individual preference for learning with a computer. Furthermore, students with good programming skills favour working individually, while students who attribute themselves as having low programming abilities favour working in teams. The students appreciated approaching actual research through the data analysis tasks.
To a large extent, undergraduate physical-science curricula remain firmly rooted in pencil-and-paper calculation, despite the fact that most research is done with computers. To a large extent, undergraduate life-science curricula remain firmly rooted in descriptive approaches, despite the fact that much current research involves quantitative modeling. Not only does our pedagogy not reflect current reality; it also creates a spurious barrier between the fields, reinforcing the narrow silos that prevent students from connecting them. I'll describe an intermediate-level course on ``Physical Models of Living Systems.'' The prerequisite is first-year university physics and calculus. The course is a response to rapidly growing interest among undergraduates in a broad range of science and engineering majors. Students acquire several research skills that are often not addressed in traditional undergraduate courses: •Basic modeling skills; •Probabilistic modeling skills; •Data analysis methods; •Computer programming using a general-purpose platform like MATLAB or Python; •Pulling datasets from the Web for analysis; •Data visualization; •Dynamical systems, particularly feedback control. Partially supported by the NSF under Grants EF-0928048 and DMR-0832802.
Moore, E. Neal
Describes a course, without laboratory, using rudimentary algebra and covering such topics as gravitation, orbital mechanics, atomic structure, geomagnetism, electromagnetic spectrum, theory of relativity, extraterrestrial life, and interstellar travel. (GH)
Meschel, Susan V.
Describes a course that covers such topics as the archeological dating processes and methods that enable the identification and authentication of artifacts, including X-ray diffraction, optical emission spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, and neutron activation analysis. (MLH)
White, Susan; Tesfaye, Casey Langer
This report examines enrollments in high school physics during the 2012-13 school year. Based on data from the most recent survey (which includes both public and private high schools in the U.S.), it is estimated that 39% of the class of 2013 took high school physics before graduating. During the 2012-13 school year, 1.38 million students were…
Kohl, Patrick B.; Rosengrant, David; Finkelstein, Noah D.
Good use of multiple representations is considered key to learning physics, and so there is considerable motivation both to learn how students use multiple representations when solving problems and to learn how best to teach problem solving using multiple representations. In this study of two large-lecture algebra-based physics courses at the University of Colorado (CU) and Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, we address both issues. Students in each of the two courses solved five common electrostatics problems of varying difficulty, and we examine their solutions to clarify the relationship between multiple representation use and performance on problems involving free-body diagrams. We also compare our data across the courses, since the two physics-education-research-based courses take substantially different approaches to teaching the use of multiple representations. The course at Rutgers takes a strongly directed approach, emphasizing specific heuristics and problem-solving strategies. The course at CU takes a weakly directed approach, modeling good problem solving without teaching a specific strategy. We find that, in both courses, students make extensive use of multiple representations, and that this use (when both complete and correct) is associated with significantly increased performance. Some minor differences in representation use exist, and are consistent with the types of instruction given. Most significant are the strong and broad similarities in the results, suggesting that either instructional approach or a combination thereof can be useful for helping students learn to use multiple representations for problem solving and concept development.
Nguyen, Ngoc-Loan; Meltzer, David E.
Investigates physics students' understanding of vector addition, magnitude, and direction for problems presented in graphical form. Indicates that many students retained significant conceptual difficulties regarding vector methods that are heavily employed throughout the physics curriculum. (Author/KHR)
Turner, N.; Lopez, R.; Mammei, J.
One of the fundamental challenges in teaching introductory physics is maintaining student interest in the material. Anecdotally, some faculty have noticed that the in- clusion of space-related materials and examples can help foster student interest in physics content. Here we discuss efforts to evaluate the potential benefits of inclusion of these materials, and in particular we present results from modifying the introduc- tory calculus-based physics sequence to include space-related examples in illustrating fundamental physical concepts.
Pluijm, S M F; Visser, M; Puts, M T E; Dik, M G; Schalk, B W M; van Schoor, N M; Schaap, L A; Bosscher, R J; Deeg, D J H
This study aimed to examine the association between unhealthy lifestyle in young age, midlife and/or old age and physical decline in old age, and to examine the association between chronic exposure to an unhealthy lifestyle throughout life and physical decline in old age. The study sample included 1297 respondents of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA). Lifestyle in old age (55-85 y) was assessed at baseline, while lifestyle in young age (around 25 y) and midlife (around 40 y) were assessed retrospectively. Lifestyle factors included physical activity, body mass index (BMI), number of alcohol drinks per week and smoking. Physical decline was calculated as change in physical performance score between baseline and six-year follow-up. Of the lifestyle factors present in old age, a BMI of 25-29 vs. BMI <25 kg/m2 (odds ratio (OR) 1.6; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.1-2.2) and a BMI of > or =30 vs. BMI <25 kg/m2 (OR 1.8; 95% CI 1.2-2.7) were associated with physical decline in old age. Being physically inactive in old age was not significantly associated with an increased risk of physical decline, however, being physically inactive both in midlife and in old age increased the odds of physical decline in old age to 1.6 (95% CI 1.1-2.4) as compared to respondents who were physically inactive in midlife and physically active in old age. Being overweight in both age periods was associated with an OR of 1.5 (95% CI 1.1-2.2). These data suggest that overweight in old age, and chronic exposure to physical inactivity or overweight throughout life increases the risk of physical decline in old age. Therefore, physical activity and prevention of overweight at all ages should be stimulated to prevent physical decline in old age.
The purpose of this study was to examine the confidence levels that community college students have in transferring basic math skills to science classes, as well as any factors that influence their confidence levels. This study was conducted with 196 students at a community college in central Mississippi. The study was conducted during the month of November after all of the students had taken their midterm exams and received midterm grades. The instrument used in this survey was developed and validated by the researcher. The instrument asks the students to rate how confident they were in working out specific math problems and how confident they were in working problems using those specific math skills in physics and chemistry. The instrument also provided an example problem for every confidence item. Results revealed that students' demographics were significant predictors in confidence scores. Students in the 18-22 year old range were less confident in solving math problems than others. Students who had retaken a math course were less confident than those who had not. Chemistry students were less confident in solving math problems than those in physics courses. Chemistry II students were less confident than those in Chemistry I and Principals of Chemistry. Students were least confident in solving problems involving logarithms and the most confident in solving algebra problems. In general, students felt that their math courses did not prepare them for the math problems encountered in science courses. There was no significant difference in confidence between students who had completed their math homework online and those who had completed their homework on paper. The researcher recommends that chemistry educators find ways of incorporating more mathematics in their courses especially logarithms and slope. Furthermore, math educators should incorporate more chemistry related applications to math class. Results of hypotheses testing, conclusions, discussions, and
Books, cartoons, movies, and video games provide engaging opportunities to get both science and nonscience students excited about physics. An easy way to use these media in one's classroom is to have students view clips and identify unusual events, odd physics, or list things that violate our understanding of the physics that governs our universe.…
Teodorescu, Raluca; Bennhold, Cornelius; Feldman, Gerald
As part of an ongoing project to reform the introductory algebra-based physics courses at George Washington University, we are developing a taxonomy of introductory physics problems (TIPP) that establishes a connection between the physics problems, the type of physics knowledge they involve and the cognitive processes they develop in students. This taxonomy will provide, besides an algorithm for classifying physics problems, an organized and relatively easy-to-use database of physics problems that contains the majority of already created text-based and research-based types of problems. In addition, this taxonomy will reveal the kinds of physics problems that are still lacking and that are found to be necessary to enhance students' cognitive development. For this reason, we expect it to be a valuable teaching resource for physics instructors which will enable them to select the problems used in their curricular materials based on the specifics of their students' cognition and the learning objectives they want to achieve in their class. This organization scheme will also provide a framework for creating physics-related assessments with a cognitive component.
Gandhi, Punit R.; Livezey, Jesse A.; Zaniewski, Anna M.; Reinholz, Daniel L.; Dounas-Frazer, Dimitri R.
We have designed an introductory laboratory course that engaged first-year undergraduate students in two complementary types of iteration: (1) iterative improvement of experiments through cycles of modeling systems, designing experiments, analyzing data, and refining models and designs; and (2) iterative improvement of self through cycles of reflecting on progress, soliciting feedback, and implementing changes to study habits and habits of mind. The course consisted of three major activities: a thermal expansion activity, which spanned the first half of the semester; final research projects, which spanned the second half of the semester; and guided student reflections, which took place throughout the duration of the course. We describe our curricular designs and report examples of student work that demonstrate students' iterative improvements in multiple contexts.
Stanghelle, J K; Winnem, M; Roaldsen, K; de Wit, S; Notgewitch, J H; Nilsen, B R
The purpose of this investigation was to study the attitude toward physical activity in young patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) and the influence of 2 weeks of training on physical fitness and spirometric values. Two groups of CF patients with mean ages of 11 and 15 years, respectively (total of 13 patients, range 9-21 years), participated in the study. Two healthy control groups with mean ages of 11 and 14 years, respectively, performed the same tests as the CF patients. The CF patients answered questionnaires regarding their attitude toward the activities both during the camp and at home and accomplished spirometric and exercise tests. The CF childrens' parents were interviewed concerning their children's attitude toward physical activity. The attitude toward physical activity of the CF children was very positive both during the camps and at home. The CF patients had at least as good a motivation for exercise as the healthy controls. The physical fitness of the CF patients was reduced, but improved during the training period. The spirometric tests were unchanged during the first course, but increased significantly during the other camp, even if lung physiotherapy was stopped during the training period. The study indicates that CF patients can be motivated for physical exercise, even for training for endurance and at a high enough level to replace lung physiotherapy, at least for shorter periods.
Sullivan, Sally L.; Keating, Xiaofen Deng; Chen, Li; Guan, Jianmin; Delzeit-McIntyre, Linda; Bridges, Dwan
College education is the last opportunity to educate a large segment of young adults to be physically active and develop a healthy lifestyle. This study examined minority community college student risks for cardiovascular disease, physical activity (PA) patterns, and effects of physical education and general health courses on promoting PA.…
Paul, Cassandra Ann
The physics instruction at UC Davis for life science majors takes place in a long-standing reformed large-enrollment physics course in which the discussion/lab instructors (primarily graduate student teaching assistants) implement the interactive-engagement (IE) elements of the course. Because so many different instructors participate in disseminating the IE course elements, we find it essential to the instructors' professional development to observe and document the student-instructor interactions within the classroom. Out of this effort, we have developed a computerized Real-time Instructor Observation Tool (RIOT) to take data of student-instructor interactions. We use the RIOT to observe 29 different instructors some over multiple quarters, and discover 1) the range of instructor behaviors is more extreme than previously assumed, 2) the students, the curriculum, and the individual instructor's style contribute to this variation 3) there are some instructor-student interactions (specifically actively observing students, and explaining to students in small groups) that are correlated with student achievement as measured by their final exam score. In this dissertation, I introduce the RIOT, and describe how I came to each of these conclusions.
Many introductory, algebra-based physics students perform poorly on mathematical problem solving tasks in physics. There are at least two possible, distinct reasons for this poor performance: (1) students simply lack the mathematical skills needed to solve problems in physics, or (2) students do not know how to apply the mathematical skills they have to particular problem situations in physics. While many students do lack the requisite mathematical skills, a major finding from this work is that the majority of students possess the requisite mathematical skills, yet fail to use or interpret them in the context of physics. In this thesis I propose a theoretical framework to analyze and describe students' mathematical thinking in physics. In particular, I attempt to answer two questions. What are the cognitive tools involved in formal mathematical thinking in physics? And, why do students make the kinds of mistakes they do when using mathematics in physics? According to the proposed theoretical framework there are three major theoretical constructs: mathematical resources, which are the knowledge elements that are activated in mathematical thinking and problem solving; epistemic games, which are patterns of activities that use particular kinds of knowledge to create new knowledge or solve a problem; and frames, which are structures of expectations that determine how individuals interpret situations or events. The empirical basis for this study comes from videotaped sessions of college students solving homework problems. The students are enrolled in an algebra-based introductory physics course. The videotapes were transcribed and analyzed using the aforementioned theoretical framework. Two important results from this work are: (1) the construction of a theoretical framework that offers researchers a vocabulary (ontological classification of cognitive structures) and grammar (relationship between the cognitive structures) for understanding the nature and origin of
Richason, Benjamin F., Jr.
Suggests how to use remote sensing techniques and data in geography courses in high school and college as well as in geography research. Tips are presented on using techniques such as topographic maps, vertical aerial photographs in stereo pairs, satellite images, and SLAR images (which are particularly useful in teaching landforms and…
Flipped classrooms are a relatively new teaching strategy where the typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed. Although flipped classrooms are gaining popularity, evaluations of this type of pedagogical model are limited. The purpose of this study was to investigate student views related to the effectiveness of a flipped…
Murray, Joelle L.; Atkinson, Elizabeth J. O.; Gilbert, Brian D.; Kruchten, Anne E.
Successfully creating and implementing interdisciplinary curricula in introductory science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses is challenging, but doing so is increasingly more important as current problems in science become more interdisciplinary. Opening up the silos between science disciplines and overcoming common…
Even as service-learning has become more prevalent in higher education as a high-impact teaching methodology, barriers still exist to its implementation by some instructors. One concern is the perception of these types of activities infringing upon course content. This article outlines an example of an introductory service-learning project for an…
Improving the scientific literacy of non-scientists is an important aim, both because of the ever-increasing impact of science on our lives and because understanding science enriches our experience of the natural world. One route to improving scientific literacy is via general education undergraduate courses—i.e. courses for students not majoring in the sciences or engineering. Because it encompasses a variety of important scientific concepts, demonstrates connections between basic science and real-world applications and illustrates the creative ways in which scientific insights develop, biophysics is a useful subject with which to promote scientific literacy. I describe here a course on biophysics for non-science-major undergraduates recently developed at the University of Oregon (Eugene, OR, USA), noting its design, which spans both macroscopic and microscopic topics, and the specific content of a few of its modules. I also describe evidence-based pedagogical approaches adopted in teaching the course and aspects of course enrollment and evaluation.
Juuti, Kalle; Lavonen, Jari
Background: In developed countries, it is challenging for teachers to select pedagogical practices that encourage students to enrol in science and technology courses in upper secondary school. Purpose: Aiming to understand the enrolment dynamics, this study analyses sample-based data from Finland's National Assessment in Science to determine…
Harlow, Danielle B.
This paper reports the results of an investigation of how a professional development content course based on the Physics and Everyday Thinking (PET) curriculum affected the teaching practices of five case study elementary school teachers. The findings of this study highlight different ways that teachers use what they learn in content courses to teach science to elementary children. While some teachers transferred pedagogical practices along with the content, others transformed the content to be useful in already existing pedagogical frameworks, and still others show little or no evidence of transfer. The range of transfer is explained by considering how each teacher interacted with the learning context (the PET curriculum) and their initial ideas about teaching science.
Roberts, Jacqueline R.; Hagedorn, Eric; Dillenburg, Paul; Patrick, Michael; Herman, Timothy
This article reports the results of a recent study to evaluate the usefulness of physical models of molecular structures as a new tool with which to teach concepts of molecular structure and function. Of seven different learning tools used by students in this introductory biochemistry class, the use of the physical models in a laboratory was rated…
Wrinkle, Cheryl Schaefer; Manivannan, Mani K.
The K-W-L method of teaching is a simple method that actively engages students in their own learning. It has been used with kindergarten and elementary grades to teach other subjects. The authors have successfully used it to teach physics at the college level. In their introductory physics labs, the K-W-L method helped students think about what…
Baily, Charles; Finkelstein, Noah D.
Most introductory quantum physics instructors would agree that transitioning students from classical to quantum thinking is an important learning goal, but may disagree on whether or how this can be accomplished. Although (and perhaps because) physicists have long debated the physical interpretation of quantum theory, many instructors choose to…
Donovan, D. A.; Atkins, L. J.; Salter, I. Y.; Gallagher, D. J.; Kratz, R. F.; Rousseau, J. V.; Nelson, G. D.
We report on the development of a life sciences curriculum, targeted to undergraduate students, which was modeled after a commercially available physics curriculum and based on aspects of how people learn. Our paper describes the collaborative development process and necessary modifications required to apply a physics pedagogical model in a life…
Selcuk, Gamze Sezgin; Sahin, Mehmet; Acikgoz, Kamile Un
This article reports on the influence of learning strategy instruction on student teachers' physics achievement, attitude towards physics, and achievement motivation. A pre-test/post-test quasi-experimental design with matching control group was used in the study. Two groups of student teachers (n = 75) who were enrolled in an introductory physics…
Background Physical functional limitations (PFL) have mainly been studied in older populations. The aim of this study was to better understand the course of PFL and associations with occupational factors by gender in a middle-aged working population. Methods The data came from 16,950 workers in the ESTEV (Enquête Santé Travail et Vieillissement) cohort in France. PFL were assessed using the physical abilities section of the Nottingham Health Profile. Occupational conditions were measured with a self-administered questionnaire covering physical and psychosocial factors in 1990 and 1995. Multivariate analyses were used to assess the associations. Results The PFL appearance rate in 1995 was the same by gender (6.3%); the rate of PFL recovery was higher in men (23.9% versus 20.9%). Age was an independent factor of PFL at age 47 years or older in both genders after adjusting for confounding factors. The PFL appearance rate in 1995 was higher with physical occupational exposure in 1990, such as awkward work with a dose relation in both genders, while the PFL recovery rate decreased significantly only for men. Exposure to psychosocial occupational conditions, such as having the means to produce quality work in 1990, was significantly associated with a decreased PFL appearance rate in 1995 in both genders, and having high decision latitude in 1990 was associated with a decreased PFL appearance rate in 1995 only in men. Changes in exposure to occupational factors between 1990 and 1995 were associated with the PFL appearance and recovery rates in 1995 in both genders. Conclusions After five years, the course of PFL in this working population changed and was associated with physical and psychosocial occupational factors. Relationships were stronger for the PFL appearance rate in both genders and were weaker for recovery from PFL, mainly among women. PMID:22494385
Walwema, Godfrey B.; French, Debbie A.; Verley, Jim D.; Burrows, Andrea C.
Physics of the 20th century has contributed significantly to modern technology, and yet many physics students are never availed the opportunity to study it as part of the curriculum. One of the possible reasons why it is not taught in high school and introductory physics courses could be because curriculum designers believe that students need a solid background in classical mechanics and calculus in order to study physics of the 20th century such as the photoelectric effect, special and general relativity, the uncertainty principle, etc. This presumption may not be justifiable or valid. The authors of this paper contend that teaching physics of the 20th century aids students in relating physics to modern technology and the real world, making studying physics exciting. In this study, the authors correlated scores for matched questions in the Mechanics Baseline Test and a physics of the 20th century test in order to examine the trend of the scores. The participants included undergraduate students attending an introductory algebra-based physics course with no intention of taking physics at a higher level. The analysis of the scores showed no significant correlation for any of the matched pairs of questions. The purpose of this article is to recommend that even without a solid background in classical mechanics, teachers can introduce physics of the 20th century to their students for increased interest.
Lin, Shih-Yin; Singh, Chandralekha
It is well known that introductory physics students often have alternative conceptions that are inconsistent with established physical principles and concepts. Invoking alternative conceptions in the quantitative problem-solving process can derail the entire process. In order to help students solve quantitative problems involving strong alternative conceptions correctly, appropriate scaffolding support can be helpful. The goal of this study is to examine how different scaffolding supports involving analogical problem-solving influence introductory physics students' performance on a target quantitative problem in a situation where many students' solution process is derailed due to alternative conceptions. Three different scaffolding supports were designed and implemented in calculus-based and algebra-based introductory physics courses involving 410 students to evaluate the level of scaffolding needed to help students learn from an analogical problem that is similar in the underlying principles involved but for which the problem-solving process is not derailed by alternative conceptions. We found that for the quantitative problem involving strong alternative conceptions, simply guiding students to work through the solution of the analogical problem first was not enough to help most students discern the similarity between the two problems. However, if additional scaffolding supports that directly helped students examine and repair their knowledge elements involving alternative conceptions were provided, e.g., by guiding students to contemplate related issues and asking them to solve the targeted problem on their own first before learning from the analogical problem provided, students were more likely to discern the underlying similarities between the problems and avoid getting derailed by alternative conceptions when solving the targeted problem. We also found that some scaffolding supports were more effective in the calculus-based course than in the algebra-based
Amore, Mario; Tonti, Cristina; Esposito, William; Baratta, Stefano; Berardi, Domenico; Menchetti, Marco
The present study analyzes course and predictors of physically aggressive behaviour over a 1-year follow up in a sample of patients discharged from a psychiatric inpatient unit. One hundred and eighty-six patients discharged from a locked short-term Psychiatric Inpatient Unit at the Bologna University Hospital. After discharge, two data collection contacts at 1 month and at 1 year were scheduled. In particular, psychiatrists, nurses, and other professionals were interviewed by the research staff using the Overt Aggression Scale. About 20 % of discharged patients showed physical aggressiveness in subsequent follow-up contacts. Risk factors for physical violence in the short-time period were social problems and a longer time from the first psychiatric contact. Living in residential facilities and physical aggressiveness during hospitalization were correlated to violence in the long-time period. Risk factors for physically violent behaviour differed in the short-term and long-term follow-ups; different causes of violent behaviour could be hypothesized.
Donovan, D A; Atkins, L J; Salter, I Y; Gallagher, D J; Kratz, R F; Rousseau, J V; Nelson, G D
We report on the development of a life sciences curriculum, targeted to undergraduate students, which was modeled after a commercially available physics curriculum and based on aspects of how people learn. Our paper describes the collaborative development process and necessary modifications required to apply a physics pedagogical model in a life sciences context. While some approaches were easily adapted, others provided significant challenges. Among these challenges were: representations of energy, introducing definitions, the placement of Scientists' Ideas, and the replicability of data. In modifying the curriculum to address these challenges, we have come to see them as speaking to deeper differences between the disciplines, namely that introductory physics--for example, Newton's laws, magnetism, light--is a science of pairwise interaction, while introductory biology--for example, photosynthesis, evolution, cycling of matter in ecosystems--is a science of linked processes, and we suggest that this is how the two disciplines are presented in introductory classes. We illustrate this tension through an analysis of our adaptations of the physics curriculum for instruction on the cycling of matter and energy; we show that modifications of the physics curriculum to address the biological framework promotes strong gains in student understanding of these topics, as evidenced by analysis of student work.
Murray, Emily T; Ben-Shlomo, Yoav; Tilling, Kate; Southall, Humphrey; Aucott, Paula; Kuh, Diana; Hardy, Rebecca
Physical capability in later life is influenced by factors occurring across the life course, yet exposures to area conditions have only been examined cross-sectionally. Data from the National Survey of Health and Development, a longitudinal study of a 1946 British birth cohort, were used to estimate associations of area deprivation (defined as percentage of employed people working in partly skilled or unskilled occupations) at ages 4, 26, and 53 years (residential addresses linked to census data in 1950, 1972, and 1999) with 3 measures of physical capability at age 53 years: grip strength, standing balance, and chair-rise time. Cross-classified multilevel models with individuals nested within areas at the 3 ages showed that models assessing a single time point underestimate total area contributions to physical capability. For balance and chair-rise performance, associations with area deprivation in midlife were robust to adjustment for individual socioeconomic position and prior area deprivation (mean change for a 1-standard-deviation increase: balance, -7.4% (95% confidence interval (CI): -12.8, -2.8); chair rise, 2.1% (95% CI: -0.1, 4.3)). In addition, area deprivation in childhood was related to balance after adjustment for childhood socioeconomic position (-5.1%, 95% CI: -8.7, -1.6). Interventions aimed at reducing midlife disparities in physical capability should target the socioeconomic environment of individuals-for standing balance, as early as childhood.
Løkkegaard, Laura E.; Larsen, Lisbeth A.; Christensen, Kaare
Avoiding overeating and being physically active is associated with healthy aging, but methodological issues challenge the quantification of the association. Intrapair comparison of twins is a study design that attempts to minimize social norm-driven biased self-reporting of lifestyle factors. We aimed to investigate the association between self-reported lifestyle factors and subsequent survival in 347 Danish twin pairs aged 70 years and older and, additionally, to investigate the reliability of these self-reports. The twins were interviewed in 2003 and followed for mortality until 2015. They were asked to compare their appetite and physical activity to that of their co-twins in different stages of life. On an individual level, we found a positive association between current self-reported physical activity and late-life survival for elderly twins. This was supported by the intrapair analyses, which revealed a positive association between midlife and current physical activity and late-life survival. A positive association between lower appetite and late-life survival was found generally over the life course in the individual level analyses but not in the intrapair analyses. Kappa values for the inter-twin agreement on who ate the most were 0.16 to 0.34 in different life stages, and for physical activity 0.19 to 0.26, corresponding to a slight-to-fair agreement. Approximately, 50% of the twin pairs were not in agreement regarding physical activity, and of these twins 75% (95% CI: 67–82%) considered themselves the most active twin. These findings indicate a still-existing tendency of answering according to social norms, even in a twin study designed to minimize this. PMID:27485765
Pan, Edward A.
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education is a national focus. Engineering education, as part of STEM education, needs to adapt to meet the needs of the nation in a rapidly changing world. Using computer-based visualization tools and corresponding 3D printed physical objects may help nontraditional students succeed in…
Rogers, Michael; Pfaff, Tom; Hamilton, Jason; Erkan, Ali
As educators we are facing an unprecedented challenge to prepare our students not only for traditional careers but also for future careers that don't exist today. Many of these careers will require a firm grounding in disciplines such as physics, along with multidisciplinary, Global, and systems thinking skill sets. Our Multidisciplinary…
Donovan, D. A.; Atkins, L. J.; Salter, I. Y.; Gallagher, D. J.; Kratz, R. F.; Rousseau, J. V.; Nelson, G. D.
We report on the development of a life sciences curriculum, targeted to undergraduate students, which was modeled after a commercially available physics curriculum and based on aspects of how people learn. Our paper describes the collaborative development process and necessary modifications required to apply a physics pedagogical model in a life sciences context. While some approaches were easily adapted, others provided significant challenges. Among these challenges were: representations of energy, introducing definitions, the placement of Scientists’ Ideas, and the replicability of data. In modifying the curriculum to address these challenges, we have come to see them as speaking to deeper differences between the disciplines, namely that introductory physics—for example, Newton's laws, magnetism, light—is a science of pairwise interaction, while introductory biology—for example, photosynthesis, evolution, cycling of matter in ecosystems—is a science of linked processes, and we suggest that this is how the two disciplines are presented in introductory classes. We illustrate this tension through an analysis of our adaptations of the physics curriculum for instruction on the cycling of matter and energy; we show that modifications of the physics curriculum to address the biological framework promotes strong gains in student understanding of these topics, as evidenced by analysis of student work. PMID:23737629
Figueroa-Robles, Iris A.
Research indicates that professional development provided over time can have a positive impact on teachers' and on students' learning in physical education (Bechtel & O'Sullivan, 2007; O'Sullivan & Deglau, 2006; Rink & Williams, 2003). The development of the online program under investigation in this study served as…
Studying physics for nonphysics majors at college level is usually a process of learning new problem-solving skills and sometimes seems a frustrating experience. In an attempt to provide students with more learning resources, online homework was required to supplement the instruction. This study reveals the role of the online homework assignments…
Yoder, G.; Cook, J.
Interactive lecture demonstrations (ILDs) are a powerful tool designed to help instructors bring state-of-the-art teaching pedagogies into the college-level introductory physics classroom. ILDs have been shown to improve students' conceptual understanding, and many examples have been created and published by Sokoloff and Thornton. We have used the…
Killins, Anita M.
As medical knowledge grows exponentially and healthcare systems continue to utilize interdisciplinary care, it is essential that physical therapy (PT) graduates be prepared to practice efficiently and effectively on healthcare teams. Team-based learning (TBL) is a teaching pedagogy used in medicine to improve academic performance and teamwork…
Kim, MooSong; Cardinal, Bradley J.; Yun, Joonkoo
Motivation is a key factor in promoting students' active engagement in regular physical activity. According to self-determination theory -- one of the prominent motivational theories -- for this to occur, students' basic psychological needs must be met (i.e., their need for autonomy, competence and relatedness). Students' self-determined…
Inan, Mehmet; Ozden, Bülent; Dervent, Fatih; Küçüktepe, Coskun
The purpose of this study was to provide an overview of the games in the "I am Playing Games" (IPG) compilation booklet that was used in the Games and Physical Activity (GPA) curriculum. 257 games in IPG compilation booklet were coded whether they had elements that would enable development of common basic skills or not. Common basic…
Enokhovich, A. S.
Mechanical movement, pressure, floating bodies, heat phenomena, electrical phenomena, when applied to military problems "for the patriotic edification and military instruction of the children" excite interest and place theory on concrete foundations. Examples of applied physical concepts follow in this article. (Author/JH)
Watkins, Jessica; Coffey, Janet E.; Redish, Edward F.; Cooke, Todd J.
Educators and policy makers have advocated for reform of undergraduate biology education, calling for greater integration of mathematics and physics in the biology curriculum. While these calls reflect the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of biology research, crossing disciplinary boundaries in the classroom carries epistemological challenges…
Hastie, Peter A.; Sinelnikov, Oleg A.
This paper describes the introduction of web-based portfolios as a means of authentic assessment in collegiate physical education classes. Students in three volleyball classes were required to contribute to web-based team portfolios, and at the end of the semester, were able to make comment upon this process. A six-item on-line survey used to…
Kukliansky, Ida; Eshach, Haim
The interpretation of data and construction and understanding of graphs are central practices in science; therefore, an important skill needed in the undergraduate physics laboratory is the ability to analyze data obtained from experiments. Often students are not able to reach logical deductions based on data, acquired from the experiments that…
Jorge, Juliana de Goes; Santos, Marcos Antonio Almeida; Barreto Filho, José Augusto Soares; Oliveira, Joselina Luzia Menezes; de Melo, Enaldo Vieira; de Oliveira, Norma Alves; Faro, Gustavo Baptista de Almeida; Sousa, Antônio Carlos Sobral
Background Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is one of the main causes of morbidity and mortality in the modern world. A sedentary lifestyle, present in 85% of the Brazilian population, is considered a risk factor for the development of coronary artery disease. However, the correlation of a sedentary lifestyle with cardiovascular events (CVE) during hospitalization for ACS is not well established. Objective To evaluate the association between physical activity level, assessed with the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), with in-hospital prognosis in patients with ACS. Methods Observational, cross-sectional, and analytical study with 215 subjects with a diagnosis of ACS consecutively admitted to a referral hospital for cardiac patients between July 2009 and February 2011. All volunteers answered the short version of the IPAQ and were observed for the occurrence of CVE during hospitalization with a standardized assessment conducted by the researcher and corroborated by data from medical records. Results The patients were admitted with diagnoses of unstable angina (34.4%), acute myocardial infarction (AMI) without ST elevation (41.4%), and AMI with ST elevation (24.2%). According to the level of physical activity, the patients were classified as non-active (56.3%) and active (43.7%). A CVE occurred in 35.3% of the cohort. The occurrence of in-hospital complications was associated with the length of hospital stay (odds ratio [OR] = 1.15) and physical inactivity (OR = 2.54), and was independent of age, systolic blood pressure, and prior congestive heart failure. Conclusion A physically active lifestyle reduces the risk of CVE during hospitalization in patients with ACS. PMID:26690692
Capizzo, Maria Concetta; Nuzzo, Silvana; Zarcone, Michelangelo
The case study described in this paper investigates the relationship among some pre-instructional knowledge, the learning gain and the final physics performance of computing engineering students in the introductory physics course. The results of the entrance engineering test (EET) have been used as a measurement of reading comprehension, logic and…
The aim of the study is to analyze the 5th grade students' attitudes and self-efficacy for the physical education course that they have come across for the first time which is taught by physical education and sports teachers. Law No. 6287 was issued by the Turkish Grand National Assembly National Education Culture Youth and Sports Commission on…
Komorowski, Arkadiusz; Przepióra, Wiktor; Księżopolska-Orłowska, Krystyna
According to the forecasts of the Central Statistical Office of Poland, in 2030 people at the age of 65 and older will account for 23.8%, i.e. their number will amount to approx. 8.5 m people. Geriatric rheumatic patients more often decide to undergo surgical joint replacement. According to the National Health Fund, the number of joint replacement services provided in 2014 increased by 93%, as compared to 2005. Improving the physical performance of this constantly expanding group of patients requires taking into account many factors to raise their functional status, reduce the risk of falling, teach rules of proper functioning with an artificial joint and encourage unassisted physical activity. Restoring fitness and independence is a difficult but necessary task due to an increasing number of seniors with replaced joint. PMID:27504021
Prusinowska, Agnieszka; Komorowski, Arkadiusz; Przepióra, Wiktor; Księżopolska-Orłowska, Krystyna
According to the forecasts of the Central Statistical Office of Poland, in 2030 people at the age of 65 and older will account for 23.8%, i.e. their number will amount to approx. 8.5 m people. Geriatric rheumatic patients more often decide to undergo surgical joint replacement. According to the National Health Fund, the number of joint replacement services provided in 2014 increased by 93%, as compared to 2005. Improving the physical performance of this constantly expanding group of patients requires taking into account many factors to raise their functional status, reduce the risk of falling, teach rules of proper functioning with an artificial joint and encourage unassisted physical activity. Restoring fitness and independence is a difficult but necessary task due to an increasing number of seniors with replaced joint.
Glanville, Y. J.
Technology such as Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, clickers, podcasting, and learning management suites is becoming prevalent in classrooms. Instructors are using these media in both large lecture hall settings and small classrooms with just a handful of students. Traditionally, each of these media is instructor driven. For instance, podcasting (audio recordings) provided my technical physics course with supplemental notes to accompany a traditional algebra-based physics lecture. Podcasting is an ideal tool for this mode of instruction, but podcasting/vodcasting is also an ideal technique for student projects and student-driven learning. I present here the various podcasting/vodcasting projects my students and I have undertaken over the last few years.
Caporaloni, Marina; Vitullo, Caterina
Even today the psychrometer technique, if properly implemented, is used as a calibration standard for humidity measurements. In order to simplify the cumbersome use of the classical instrument, we recently proposed an original configuration characterized by the unattended operation and real-time readout of temperature sensors. More recently, we have upgraded that system by applying the online data acquisition controlled by a LabVIEW code which also displays the final observable of relative humidity. The program implements the psychrometer algorithm, usually available only in the form of tables, and also the data recording on disk. We describe here how to properly build the instrument and how to guarantee its intrinsic accuracy (typical uncertainty within a few per cent) as well as all the details of the formulae used. The psychrometer, proposed as a project work to university students following new courses on meteorological instrumentation, was found to be a powerful source of learning opportunities. Although at first, the working principle of the instrument looks easy and offers an intuitive interpretation of the concept of humidity, later students become aware of how difficult requirements have to be satisfied in order to realize a reference standard. As a final verification, they are asked to guarantee that this psychrometer implementation strictly conforms to the official recommendations of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). We present here a few examples of their activities in planning autonomously a series of checks and measurements.
Ray, U S; Mukhopadhyaya, S; Purkayastha, S S; Asnani, V; Tomer, O S; Prashad, R; Thakur, L; Selvamurthy, W
A study was undertaken to observe any beneficial effect of yogic practices during training period on the young trainees. 54 trainees of 20-25 years age group were divided randomly in two groups i.e. yoga and control group. Yoga group (23 males and 5 females) was administered yogic practices for the first five months of the course while control group (21 males and 5 females) did not perform yogic exercises during this period. From the 6th to 10th month of training both the groups performed the yogic practices. Physiological parameters like heart rate, blood pressure, oral temperature, skin temperature in resting condition, responses to maximal and submaximal exercise, body flexibility were recorded. Psychological parameters like personality, learning, arithmetic and psychomotor ability, mental well being were also recorded. Various parameters were taken before and during the 5th and 10th month of training period. Initially there was relatively higher sympathetic activity in both the groups due to the new work/training environment but gradually it subsided. Later on at the 5th and 10th month, yoga group had relatively lower sympathetic activity than the control group. There was improvement in performance at submaximal level of exercise and in anaerobic threshold in the yoga group. Shoulder, hip, trunk and neck flexibility improved in the yoga group. There was improvement in various psychological parameters like reduction in anxiety and depression and a better mental function after yogic practices.
Bates, Simon P.; Galloway, Ross K.; McBride, Karon L.
We describe the implementation and evaluation of an online tool to support student generation of multiple choice assessment questions within two consecutive semesters of introductory physics at the University of Edinburgh. We substituted a weekly homework for an assessment activity in which each student was required to participate in using the system. Engagement with the system was high, with contributions generally going beyond the minimum requirements. The quality of submissions was on average high, with the very best questions being remarkably detailed problems rather than exercises. We explore links between use of the online system and end of course examination score. We find that students with higher levels of activity in the system scored significantly higher marks on the exam; this effect was seen for students of lower ability as well as for the highest performing students.
Drumond Vieira, Rodrigo; Kelly, Gregory J.
In this paper, we present and apply a multi-level method for discourse analysis in science classrooms. This method is based on the structure of human activity (activity, actions, and operations) and it was applied to study a pre-service physics teacher methods course. We argue that such an approach, based on a cultural psychological perspective, affords opportunities for analysts to perform a theoretically based detailed analysis of discourse events. Along with the presentation of analysis, we show and discuss how the articulation of different levels offers interpretative criteria for analyzing instructional conversations. We synthesize the results into a model for a teacher's practice and discuss the implications and possibilities of this approach for the field of discourse analysis in science classrooms. Finally, we reflect on how the development of teachers' understanding of their activity structures can contribute to forms of progressive discourse of science education.
Richardson, Chris T.; O'Shea, Brian W.
In this work, we investigate whether gender differences are present in the iClicker student response system during introductory physics lectures in an engaged environment. We find that men and women are equally likely to respond to questions correctly and in the same amount of time. We also find that both genders make use of multiple responses in the same timescale, however, the average number of responses for a given question is significantly higher for men than women. Upon analyzing these responses, we also find men are slightly more likely than women to change their response, while the response base station is open. Both genders benefit from peer instruction by answering more quickly and correctly. The connection between previously documented timescale differences, differences in ungraded responses, and their implications for the classroom environment are discussed.
Segura-Grau, A; Sáez-Fernández, A; Rodríguez-Lorenzo, A; Díaz-Rodríguez, N
Ultrasound is a non-invasive, accessible, and versatile diagnostic technique that uses high frequency ultrasound waves to define outline the organs of the human body, with no ionising radiation, in real time and with the capacity to visual several planes. The high diagnostic yield of the technique, together with its ease of uses plus the previously mentioned characteristics, has currently made it a routine method in daily medical practice. It is for this reason that the multidisciplinary character of this technique is being strengthened every day. To be able to perform the technique correctly requires knowledge of the physical basis of ultrasound, the method and the equipment, as well as of the human anatomy, in order to have the maximum information possible to avoid diagnostic errors due to poor interpretation or lack of information.
Kalita, Spartak; Zollman, Dean
The goal of the Modern Miracle Medical Machines project is to promote pre-med students' interest in physics by using the context of contemporary medical imaging. The X-ray medical imaging learning module will be a central part of this effort. To investigate students' transfer of learning in this context we have conducted a series of clinical and teaching interviews. In the latter interview, some of the proposed learning materials were used. The students brought to our discussion pieces of knowledge transferred from very different sources such as their own X-ray experiences, previous learning and the mass media. This transfer seems to result in more or less firm mental models which often are not always internally consistent or coherent.
Guo, Guang; Liu, Hexuan; Wang, Ling; Shen, Haipeng; Hu, Wen
In this analysis, guided by an evolutionary framework, we investigate how the human genome as a whole interacts with historical period, age, and physical activity to influence body mass index (BMI). The genomic influence is estimated by (1) heritability or the proportion of variance in BMI explained by genome-wide genotype data, and (2) the random effects or the best linear unbiased predictors (BLUPs) of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) data on BMI. Data were used from the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) in the United States. The study was initiated in 1948, and the obesity data were collected repeatedly over the subsequent decades. The analyses draw analysis samples from a pool of >8,000 individuals in the FHS. The hypothesis testing based on Pitman test, permutation Pitman test, F test, and permutation F test produces three sets of significant findings. First, the genomic influence on BMI is substantially larger after the mid-1980s than in the few decades before the mid-1980s within each age group of 21-40, 41-50, 51-60, and >60. Second, the genomic influence on BMI weakens as one ages across the life course, or the genomic influence on BMI tends to be more important during reproductive ages than after reproductive ages within each of the two historical periods. Third, within the age group of 21-50 and not in the age group of >50, the genomic influence on BMI among physically active individuals is substantially smaller than the influence on those who are not physically active. In summary, this study provides evidence that the influence of human genome as a whole on obesity depends on historical period, age, and level of physical activity.
Gentil-Beccot, Anne; Mele, Salvatore; Holtkamp, Annette; O'Connell, Heath B.; Brooks, Travis C.
Access to previous results is of paramount importance in the scientific process. Recent progress in information management focuses on building e-infrastructures for the optimization of the research workflow, through both policy-driven and user-pulled dynamics. For decades, High-Energy Physics (HEP) has pioneered innovative solutions in the field of information management and dissemination. In light of a transforming information environment, it is important to assess the current usage of information resources by researchers and HEP provides a unique test-bed for this assessment. A survey of about 10% of practitioners in the field reveals usage trends and information needs. Community-based services, such as the pioneering arXiv and SPIRES systems, largely answer the need of the scientists, with a limited but increasing fraction of younger users relying on Google. Commercial services offered by publishers or database vendors are essentially unused in the field. The survey offers an insight into the most important features that users require to optimize their research workflow. These results inform the future evolution of information management in HEP and, as these researchers are traditionally 'early adopters' of innovation in scholarly communication, can inspire developments of disciplinary repositories serving other communities.
Grazina, Rita; Massano, João
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common, disabling, neurodegenerative condition, and the disease prevalence is expected to increase worldwide in the next few decades. Symptomatic therapy remains unsatisfactory, and greatly needed neuroprotective therapies have not been successfully developed so far. Physical exercise (PE) has been associated with a lower risk of developing a neurodegenerative disease. The literature has been searched, and results have been systematized and interpreted with regard to the effects of PE in PD. Published data show the following: 1) PE has been associated with a lower risk of developing PD; 2) PE has been shown to improve disease symptoms, mobility, balance, gait and quality of life (in this regard, walking training, tai-chi and tango dancing have demonstrated the highest level of evidence of efficacy); and 3) neuroprotective effects from PE could be expected in PD, although this has been suggested in animal studies only. Further research on this topic should be encouraged. Multidisciplinary cooperation between neurologists, sports physicians and researchers is paramount.
Slama, R; Cordier, S
We review the epidemiological literature on the possible impact of chemical and physical factors on pregnancy outcome. Effects of in-utero exposures on child health are not considered here. The highest levels of evidence concern the effects of passive smoking (on fetal growth), of lead (pregnancy-induced hypertension, fetal growth), of some Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB; on fetal growth) and, to a lesser extent, of atmospheric pollutants (on fetal growth and preterm delivery). For the other compounds, in particular non-persistent chemicals, the literature, which is generally based on poor exposure assessment, is less informative. In conclusion, the last decades have witnessed the development of mother-child cohorts in which exposure biomarkers have been assayed, allowing a large number of publications. For some persistent compounds, for which efficient exposure assessment approaches have been used, the literature indicates a likely impact on pregnancy outcomes. With the exception of air pollutants, the literature on non-persistent compounds is little conclusive; the assay of exposure biomarkers in repeated biological samples collected at relevant time points could help further increase knowledge regarding any health impact.
Arribas, Enrique; Escobar, Isabel; Suarez, Carmen P.; Najera, Alberto; Beléndez, Augusto
In this work, we propose an inexpensive laboratory practice for an introductory physics course laboratory for any grade of science and engineering study. This practice was very well received by our students, where a smartphone (iOS, Android, or Windows) is used together with mini magnets (similar to those used on refrigerator doors), a 20 cm long school rule, a paper, and a free application (app) that needs to be downloaded and installed that measures magnetic fields using the smartphone’s magnetic field sensor or magnetometer. The apps we have used are: Magnetometer (iOS), Magnetometer Metal Detector, and Physics Toolbox Magnetometer (Android). Nothing else is needed. Cost of this practice: free. The main purpose of the practice is that students determine the dependence of the component x of the magnetic field produced by different magnets (including ring magnets and sphere magnets). We obtained that the dependency of the magnetic field with the distance is of the form x-3, in total agreement with the theoretical analysis. The secondary objective is to apply the technique of least squares fit to obtain this exponent and the magnetic moment of the magnets, with the corresponding absolute error.
Thoresen, Carol Wiggins
This study determined if the training provided physics teaching assistants was sufficient to accomplish the objectives of inquiry-based tutorials for an introductory physics course. Qualitative research methods were used: (1) to determine if the Physics by Inquiry method was modeled; (2) to describe the process from the teaching assistant perspective; (3) to determine TA opinions on training methods; (4) to develop a frame of reference to better understand the role of TA's as instructional support staff. The study determined that the teaching assistants verbalized appropriate instructional actions, but were observed to use a predominantly didactic teaching style. TA's held a variety of perceptions and beliefs about inquiry -based learning and how science is learned. They felt comfortable in the role of tutorial instructor. They were satisfied with the training methods provided and had few suggestions to change or improve training for future tutorial instructors. A concurrent theme of teacher action dependent on teacher beliefs was sustained throughout the study. The TA's actions, as tutorial instructors, reflected their educational beliefs, student background and learning experiences. TA's performance as tutorial instructors depended on what they think and believe about learning science. Practical implications exist for training teaching assistants to be tutorial instructors. Some recommendations may be appropriate for TA's required to use instructional methods that they have not experienced as students. Interview prospective teaching assistants to determine educational experience and beliefs. Employ inexperienced teaching assistants whose perspectives match the proposed instructional role and who might be more receptive to modeling. Incorporate training into staff meetings. Provide time for TA's to experience the instructional model with simulation or role play as students and as instructors, accompanied by conference discussion. Use strategies known to enhance
Nossal, S. M.; Watson, L. E.; Hooper, E.; Huesmann, A.; Schenker, B.; Timbie, P.; Rzchowski, M.
The Physics Learning Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison provides academic support and small-group supplemental instruction to students studying introductory algebra-based and calculus-based physics. These classes are gateway courses for majors in the biological and physical sciences, pre-health fields, engineering, and secondary science education. The Physics Learning Center offers supplemental instruction groups twice weekly where students can discuss concepts and practice with problem-solving techniques. The Center also provides students with access on-line resources that stress conceptual understanding, and to exam review sessions. Participants in our program include returning adults, people from historically underrepresented racial/ethnic groups, students from families in lower-income circumstances, students in the first generation of their family to attend college, transfer students, veterans, and people with disabilities, all of whom might feel isolated in their large introductory course and thus have a more difficult time finding study partners. We also work with students potentially at-risk for having academic difficulty (due to factors academic probation, weak math background, low first exam score, or no high school physics). A second mission of the Physics Learning Center is to provide teacher training and leadership experience for undergraduate Peer Mentor Tutors. These Peer Tutors lead the majority of the weekly group sessions in close supervision by PLC staff members. We will describe our work to support students in the Physics Learning Center, including our teacher-training program for our undergraduate Peer Mentor Tutors
Li, Yan; Li, Na; Han, Qunying; He, Shuixiang; Bae, Ricard S; Liu, Zhengwen; Lv, Yi; Shi, Bingyin
This study was conducted to evaluate the performance of physical examination (PE) skills during our diagnostic medicine course and analyze the characteristics of the data collected to provide information for practical guidance to improve the quality of teaching. Seventy-two fourth-year medical students were enrolled in the study. All received an assessment of PE skills after receiving a 17-week formal training course and systematic teaching. Their performance was evaluated and recorded in detail using a checklist, which included 5 aspects of PE skills: examination techniques, communication and care skills, content items, appropriateness of examination sequence, and time taken. Error frequency and type were designated as the assessment parameters in the survey. The results showed that the distribution and the percentage in examination errors between male and female students and among the different body parts examined were significantly different (p<0.001). The average error frequency per student in females (0.875) was lower than in males (1.375) although the difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.167). The average error frequency per student in cardiac (1.267) and pulmonary (1.389) examinations was higher than in abdominal (0.867) and head, neck and nervous system examinations (0.917). Female students had a lower average error frequency than males in cardiac examinations (p = 0.041). Additionally, error in examination techniques was the highest type of error among the 5 aspects of PE skills irrespective of participant gender and assessment content (p<0.001). These data suggest that PE skills in cardiac and pulmonary examinations and examination techniques may be included in the main focus of improving the teaching of diagnostics in these medical students.
Li, Yan; Li, Na; Han, Qunying; He, Shuixiang; Bae, Ricard S.; Liu, Zhengwen; Lv, Yi; Shi, Bingyin
This study was conducted to evaluate the performance of physical examination (PE) skills during our diagnostic medicine course and analyze the characteristics of the data collected to provide information for practical guidance to improve the quality of teaching. Seventy-two fourth-year medical students were enrolled in the study. All received an assessment of PE skills after receiving a 17-week formal training course and systematic teaching. Their performance was evaluated and recorded in detail using a checklist, which included 5 aspects of PE skills: examination techniques, communication and care skills, content items, appropriateness of examination sequence, and time taken. Error frequency and type were designated as the assessment parameters in the survey. The results showed that the distribution and the percentage in examination errors between male and female students and among the different body parts examined were significantly different (p<0.001). The average error frequency per student in females (0.875) was lower than in males (1.375) although the difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.167). The average error frequency per student in cardiac (1.267) and pulmonary (1.389) examinations was higher than in abdominal (0.867) and head, neck and nervous system examinations (0.917). Female students had a lower average error frequency than males in cardiac examinations (p = 0.041). Additionally, error in examination techniques was the highest type of error among the 5 aspects of PE skills irrespective of participant gender and assessment content (p<0.001). These data suggest that PE skills in cardiac and pulmonary examinations and examination techniques may be included in the main focus of improving the teaching of diagnostics in these medical students. PMID:25329685
Majors, Twanelle Deann Walker
The differences in physics performance between males and females have been studied extensively (Blue & Heller, 2003; Coletta, 2015; Madsen, McKagan, & Sayre 2013; McCullough, 2002, 2004, 2011; Pollock, Finkelstein, & Kost, 2007; Zohar & Sela, 2003). The purpose of this study was to look at the ways teaching methods and assessment choices have fabricated a gender gap. Deficit ways of thinking have further marginalized women by renegotiating prior acts of power that initiated and perpetuated marginalization. Outside of the deficit model, the blame for the underperformance of females has been attributed to discourses of power as well as less-than-critical ways of evaluating learning and schooling. Students in introductory algebra-based physics courses from 2008-2014 at Tennessee Technological University were self-enrolled in PHYS2010 sections that were taught using either a traditional or constructivist, interactive-engagement Learner-centered Environment for Algebra-based Physics (LEAP) pedagogy. Propensity scoring on all feasible and relevant independent variables was used to adjust for the probability of students choosing either LEAP or traditional sections. The Force Concept Inventory (FCI) and Gender Force Concept Inventory (GFCI) were used as the measures to gauge students' performance on physics concepts. The results showed that there were no differences in the FCI or GFCI performance of males and females. Results also showed that when accounting for pretest performance and the likelihood of choosing a LEAP section, LEAP pedagogy accounted for roughly 30% of performance differences. Not only was this true on the average, it was true for both genders. This meant that the main effect of LEAP pedagogy was even stronger and more generalizable. Gender did not moderate pedagogy, indicating that a pedagogy gap focus was more appropriate for evaluating physics learners.
Dowd, A. Justine; Chen, Michelle Y.; Schmader, Toni; Jung, Mary E.; Zumbo, Bruno D.; Beauchamp, Mark R.
Changes in social cognitions targeted within a group-based mentoring program for adolescent girls were examined as predictors of changes in physical activity (PA) and dietary behavior (in two separate models) over the course of the 7-week program. Data were collected from 310 participants who participated in the program. Multilevel path models…
Iler, H. Darrell; Brown, Amber; Landis, Amanda; Schimke, Greg; Peters, George
A numerical analysis of the free radical addition polymerization system is described that provides those teaching polymer, physical, or advanced organic chemistry courses the opportunity to introduce students to numerical methods in the context of a simple but mathematically stiff chemical kinetic system. Numerical analysis can lead students to an…
The main aim of this study was to assess and compare undergraduate students' homework performance using a web-based testing system with paper-based, hand-graded one in introductory physics courses. Students' perceptions about each method were then investigated. Every semester during the two-year period, one of the two identical sections of…
Moriera, M. A.
David Ausubel's learning theory was used as a framework for the content organization of an experimental Personalized System of Instruction (PSI) course in physics. Evaluation suggests that the combination of PSI as a method of instruction and Ausubel's theory for organization might result in better learning outcomes. (Author/JMD)
Harlow, Danielle B.; Bianchini, Julie A.; Swanson, Lauren H.; Dwyer, Hilary A.
We used a "knowledge in pieces" perspective on teacher learning to document undergraduates' pedagogical resources in a model-based physics course for potential teachers. We defined pedagogical resources as small, discrete ideas about teaching science that are applied appropriately or inappropriately in specific contexts. Neither…
Sidman, Cara Lynn; Fiala, Kelly Ann; D'Abundo, Michelle Lee
Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess exercise motivation among college students self-selected into 4 online (OL) and face-to-face (F2F) basic studies' physical activity and wellness course delivery formats. Participants/Methods: Out of 1,037 enrolled students during the Spring 2009 semester, 602 responded online to demographic…
Henderson, Joe M.; Griffey, Bert
To study the adaptability of semi-portable closed-circuit television equipment on remote location, six videotape programs were produced at Midwestern University for use in physical education courses. The programs dealt with "Knee Injuries,""Rehabilitation of Knee Injuries,""Teaching Tumbling by Progression,""The…
Lin, Shih-Yin; Singh, Chandralekha
In this study, we examine introductory physics students’ ability to perform analogical reasoning between two isomorphic problems which employ the same underlying physics principles but have different surface features. Three hundred sixty-two students from a calculus-based and an algebra-based introductory physics course were given a quiz in the recitation in which they had to first learn from a solved problem provided and take advantage of what they learned from it to solve another problem (which we call the quiz problem) which was isomorphic. Previous research suggests that the multiple-concept quiz problem is challenging for introductory students. Students in different recitation classes received different interventions in order to help them discern and exploit the underlying similarities of the isomorphic solved and quiz problems. We also conducted think-aloud interviews with four introductory students in order to understand in depth the difficulties they had and explore strategies to provide better scaffolding. We found that most students were able to learn from the solved problem to some extent with the scaffolding provided and invoke the relevant principles in the quiz problem. However, they were not necessarily able to apply the principles correctly. Research suggests that more scaffolding is needed to help students in applying these principles appropriately. We outline a few possible strategies for future investigation.
Koballa, Thomas R., Jr.
Data were collected from female junior high school students (N=94) to identify the determinants of their intentions to enroll in at least one elective physical science course (e.g., physical science, chemistry physics) in high school. The model used in the study was Fishbein and Ajzen's Theory of Reasoned Action. According to the model it is supposed that the intention to perform a certain behavior is a function of the weighted attitude toward performing the behavior and the weighted subjective norm. The effects of external variables (e.g., science grades, academic ability) on females' intentions to enroll in at least one elective physical science course in high school are mediated by the model's theoretical constructs. The findings provide support for several hypotheses derived from the model. The females' intentions to enroll in at least one elective physical science course in high school were found to be a function of both attitude toward performing the behavior and subjective norm. Attitude toward performing the behavior and subjective norm, in combination, were found to predict behavioral intention with a high degree of accuracy. Attitude toward performing the behavior was also found to carry more weight than subjective norm in the multiple regression on behavioral intention. In contrast, academic ability, science grades, and attitude toward science failed to predict behavioral intentions, just as they were unrelated to the females' attitudes toward performing the behavior and subjective norms.
Cross, Patrick Stephen; Hauer, Patrick L.; Blom, Heather; Burcham, Jared; Myers, Amanda K.; Grimsrud, Casey
Purpose: To analyze the effectiveness of the American Red Cross Emergency Response Course (ARC ERC) in improving decision‐making skills of physical therapists (PTs) and third semester clinical doctorate student physical therapists (SPTs) when assessing acute sports injuries and medical conditions. Methods: An existing questionnaire was modified, with permission from the original authors of the instrument. The questionnaire was administered to PTs and SPTs before the start of and immediately after the completion of 5 different ARC ERCs. The overall percentages of “Appropriate” responses for the 17 case scenarios were calculated for each participant for the pre‐and post‐tests. Participants also rated their perceived level of preparedness for managing various conditions using a 5‐point Likert Scale (ranging from Prepared to Unprepared). The overall percentage of “Prepared/Somewhat Prepared” responses for the 16 medical conditions was calculated for each participant for the pre‐and post‐tests. In addition, mean Likert scale scores were calculated for level of perceived preparedness for each of the 16 medical conditions. Paired t‐tests, calculated with SPSS 20.0, were used to analyze the data. Results: 37 of 37 (100.0%) of eligible PTs and 45 of 48 (93.8%) of eligible SPTs completed the pre‐ and post‐test questionnaires. The percentage of “Appropriate” responses for all 17 cases in the aggregate (PTs: 76.8% pre‐test, 89.0% post‐test; SPTs: 68.5%, 84.3%), as well as the percentage of “Prepared/Somewhat Prepared” responses for all conditions in the aggregate (PTs: 67.5%, 96.5%; SPTs: 37.1%, 90.6%) were significantly different from pre‐test to post‐test (P = .000). There was also a significant difference (P < .05) in the mean overall preparedness Likert scale scores from pre‐test to post‐test for each medical condition for the SPT's, and 15 of the 16 medical conditions (muscle strains: P = .119) for the PTs. Conclusions: The
... are: (i) Any photography course or entertainment course; or (ii) Any music course, instrumental or... courses, except courses of applied music, physical education, or public speaking which are offered...
... are: (i) Any photography course or entertainment course; or (ii) Any music course, instrumental or... courses, except courses of applied music, physical education, or public speaking which are offered...
... are: (i) Any photography course or entertainment course; or (ii) Any music course, instrumental or... courses, except courses of applied music, physical education, or public speaking which are offered...
Saperstein, Alvin M.
Describes a one quarter introductory college physics course for nonscience majors which concentrates upon energy, energy systems, and relevant practical situations exemplifying energy laws. Results indicate the course is also suitable as a preparatory course for preprofessional students. (SL)
Miller, H. R.; Sell, K. S.; Herbert, B. E.
Shifts in learning goals in introductory earth science courses to greater emphasis on critical thinking and the nature of science has led to the adoption of new pedagogical techniques, including inquiry-based learning (IBL). IBL is thought to support understanding of the nature of science and foster development of scientific reasoning and critical thinking skills by modeling authentic science inquiry. Implementation of new pedagogical techniques do not occur without influence, instruction and learning occurs in a complex learning environment, referring to the social, physical, mental, and pedagogical contexts. This study characterized the impact of an IBL module verses a traditionally structured laboratory exercise in an introductory physical geology class at Texas A&M University. Student activities in this study included manipulation of large-scale data sets, use of multiple representations, and exposure to ill-constrained problems common to the Texas Gulf Coast system. Formative assessment data collected included an initial survey of self efficacy, student demographics, content knowledge and a pre-mental model expression. Summative data collected included a post-test, post-mental model expression, final laboratory report, and a post-survey on student attitudes toward the module. Mental model expressions and final reports were scored according to a validated rubric instrument (Cronbrach alpha: 0.84-0.98). Nine lab sections were randomized into experimental and control groups. Experimental groups were taught using IBL pedagogical techniques, while the control groups were taught using traditional laboratory "workbook" techniques. Preliminary assessment based on rubric scores for pre-tests using Student's t-test (N ˜ 140) indicated that the experimental and control groups were not significantly different (ρ > 0.05), therefore, the learning environment likely impacted student's ability to succeed. A non-supportive learning environment, including student attitudes
Kortemeyer, Gerd; Kashy, Edwin; Benenson, Walter; Bauer, Wolfgang
We discuss the development and functionality of the LON-CAPA system with a particular focus on its homework and examination functionality. We also describe its more general approach to course management and its infrastructure for course content sharing and reuse. We then focus on measures of student learning and the effectiveness of different content types.
White, Susan; Tesfaye, Casey Langer
Since 1987, the Statistical Research Center at the American Institute of Physics has regularly conducted a nationwide survey of high school physics teachers to take a closer look at physics in U.S. high schools. We contact all of the teachers who teach at least one physics course at a nationally representative sample of all U.S. high schools-both…
Coulomb interaction between charged particles inside a bunch is one of the most importance collective effects in beam dynamics, becoming even more significant as the energy of the particle beam is lowered to accommodate analytical and low-Z material imaging purposes such as in the time resolved Ultrafast Electron Microscope (UEM) development currently underway at Michigan State University. In addition, space charge effects are the key limiting factor in the development of ultrafast atomic resolution electron imaging and diffraction technologies and are also correlated with an irreversible growth in rms beam emittance due to fluctuating components of the nonlinear electron dynamics. In the short pulse regime used in the UEM, space charge effects also lead to virtual cathode formation in which the negative charge of the electrons emitted at earlier times, combined with the attractive surface field, hinders further emission of particles and causes a degradation of the pulse properties. Space charge and virtual cathode effects and their remediation are core issues for the development of the next generation of high-brightness UEMs. Since the analytical models are only applicable for special cases, numerical simulations, in addition to experiments, are usually necessary to accurately understand the space charge effect. In this paper we will introduce a grid-free differential algebra based multiple level fast multipole algorithm, which calculates the 3D space charge field for n charged particles in arbitrary distribution with an efficiency of O(n), and the implementation of the algorithm to a simulation code for space charge dominated photoemission processes.
Coulomb interaction between charged particles inside a bunch is one of the most importance collective effects in beam dynamics, becoming even more significant as the energy of the particle beam is lowered to accommodate analytical and low-Z material imaging purposes such as in the time resolved Ultrafast Electron Microscope (UEM) development currently underway at Michigan State University. In addition, space charge effects are the key limiting factor in the development of ultrafast atomic resolution electron imaging and diffraction technologies and are also correlated with an irreversible growth in rms beam emittance due to fluctuating components of the nonlinear electron dynamics.more » In the short pulse regime used in the UEM, space charge effects also lead to virtual cathode formation in which the negative charge of the electrons emitted at earlier times, combined with the attractive surface field, hinders further emission of particles and causes a degradation of the pulse properties. Space charge and virtual cathode effects and their remediation are core issues for the development of the next generation of high-brightness UEMs. Since the analytical models are only applicable for special cases, numerical simulations, in addition to experiments, are usually necessary to accurately understand the space charge effect. In this paper we will introduce a grid-free differential algebra based multiple level fast multipole algorithm, which calculates the 3D space charge field for n charged particles in arbitrary distribution with an efficiency of O(n), and the implementation of the algorithm to a simulation code for space charge dominated photoemission processes.« less
Urone, Paul Peter
An accessible, algebra-based text covering the introductory physics necessary for applied health and nursing. Presentation integrates health science applications throughout. Excellent illustrations support the exposition. Chapters contain over 100 worked examples, over 450 review questions, and more than 550 end-of-chapter problems graded according to difficulty. Offers discussion of the latest applications such as ionizing radiation and radiation doses, nuclear imaging techniques, CT scanners, ultrasound techniques, artificial hearts, and laser surgery.
I will present a Taxonomy of Introductory Physics Problems (TIPP), which relates physics problems to the cognitive processes and the knowledge required to solve them. TIPP was created for designing and clarifying educational objectives, for developing assessments to evaluate components of the problem-solving process, and for guiding curriculum design in introductory physics courses. To construct TIPP, I considered processes that have been identified either by cognitive science and expert-novice research or by direct observation of students' behavior while solving physics problems. Based on Marzano and Kendall's taxonomy , I developed a procedure to classify physics problems according to the cognitive processes that they involve and the knowledge to which they refer. The procedure is applicable to any physics problem and its validity and reliability have been confirmed. This algorithm was then used to build TIPP, which is a database that contains text-based and research-based physics problems and explains their relationship to cognitive processes and knowledge. TIPP has been used in the years 2006--2009 to reform the first semester of the introductory algebra-based physics course at The George Washington University. The reform targeted students' cognitive development and attitudes improvement. The methodology employed in the course involves exposing students to certain types of problems in a variety of contexts with increasing complexity. To assess the effectiveness of our approach, rubrics were created to evaluate students' problem-solving abilities and the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey (CLASS) was administered pre- and post-instruction to determine students' shift in dispositions towards learning physics. Our results show definitive gains in the areas targeted by our curricular reform.[4pt]  R.J. Marzano and J.S. Kendall, The New Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, 2^nd Ed., (Corwin Press, Thousand Oaks, 2007). )
Alfred, Tamuno; Ben-Shlomo, Yoav; Cooper, Rachel; Hardy, Rebecca; Cooper, Cyrus; Deary, Ian J; Gunnell, David; Harris, Sarah E; Kumari, Meena; Martin, Richard M; Moran, Colin N; Pitsiladis, Yannis P; Ring, Susan M; Sayer, Avan Aihie; Smith, George Davey; Starr, John M; Kuh, Diana; Day, Ian NM
The ACTN3 R577X (rs1815739) genotype has been associated with athletic status and muscle phenotypes, although not consistently. Our objective was to conduct a meta-analysis of the published literature on athletic status and investigate its associations with physical capability in several new population-based studies. Relevant data were extracted from studies in the literature, comparing genotype frequencies between controls and sprint/power and endurance athletes. For life course physical capability, data were used from two studies of adolescents and seven studies in the Healthy Ageing across the Life Course (HALCyon) collaborative research program, involving individuals aged between 53 and 90+ years. We found evidence from the published literature to support the hypothesis that in Europeans the RR genotype is more common among sprint/power athletes compared with their controls. There is currently no evidence that the X allele is advantageous to endurance athleticism. We found no association between R577X and grip strength (P = 0.09, n = 7,672 in males; P = 0.90, n = 7,839 in females), standing balance, timed get up and go, or chair rises in our studies of physical capability. The ACTN3 R577X genotype is associated with sprint/power athletic status in Europeans, but does not appear to be associated with objective measures of physical capability in the general population. Hum Mutat 32:1–11, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc. PMID:21542061
Kutner, R.; Grech, D.
Two different, working examples of organization of econophysics graduate courses at the Faculty of Physics, University of Warsaw and the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the Wrocław University are considered. In the first example we have a system where the interdisciplinary, econophysical education begins only after three years study of physics. Within this system the M.Sc. as well as Ph.D. theses in econophysics are conducted only at the Faculty of Physics. In the second example the B.Sc. theses in econophysics are accomplished in the Department of Physics and Astronomy again after three years study but higher degrees can be prepared either in physics in the Institute of Theoretical Physics or in economy in the Institute of Economical Sciences. M.Sc. and Ph.D. theses can also be conducted. For both examples, the graduate students of econophysics are obliged to participate in traditional (typical) economical lectures and trainings which are offered them by economical departments while lectures and trainings (tutorials and/or laboratory classes) in econophysics are offered them by physics departments themselves. Thus Poland is one of a few countries, where so modern interdisciplinary knowledge is systematically offered to students.
Teodorescu, Raluca Elena
This project describes the research on a classification of physics problems in the context of introductory physics courses. This classification, called the Taxonomy of Introductory Physics Problems (TIPP), relates physics problems to the cognitive processes required to solve them. TIPP was created for designing and clarifying educational objectives, for developing assessments that can evaluate individual component processes of the problem-solving process, and for guiding curriculum design in introductory physics courses, specifically within the context of a "thinking-skills" curriculum. TIPP relies on the following resources: (1) cognitive research findings adopted by physics education research, (2) expert-novice research discoveries acknowledged by physics education research, (3) an educational psychology taxonomy for educational objectives, and (4) various collections of physics problems created by physics education researchers or developed by textbook authors. TIPP was used in the years 2006--2008 to reform the first semester of the introductory algebra-based physics course (called Phys 11) at The George Washington University. The reform sought to transform our curriculum into a "thinking-skills" curriculum that trades "breadth for depth" by focusing on fewer topics while targeting the students' cognitive development. We employed existing research on the physics problem-solving expert-novice behavior, cognitive science and behavioral science findings, and educational psychology recommendations. Our pedagogy relies on didactic constructs such as the GW-ACCESS problem-solving protocol, learning progressions and concept maps that we have developed and implemented in our introductory physics course. These tools were designed based on TIPP. Their purpose is: (1) to help students build local and global coherent knowledge structures, (2) to develop more context-independent problem-solving abilities, (3) to gain confidence in problem solving, and (4) to establish
Capel, Susan; Hayes, Sid; Katene, Will; Velija, Philippa
There has been a considerable amount of work on what knowledge student teachers need to develop to become effective teachers. The purpose of this study was to look at the development of knowledge of student physical education teachers in England. Six secondary student physical education teachers completed a journal on a monthly basis throughout…
Youdas, James W.; Krause, David A.; Hellyer, Nathan J.; Rindflesch, Aaron B.; Hollman, John H.
Medical professionals and public consumers expect that new physical therapy graduates possess cognitive, technical, and behavioral skills required to provide safe and high-quality care to patients. The purpose of this study was to determine if a repertoire of ten professional behaviors assessed at the beginning of doctorate of physical therapy…
Newton, D. P.
A survey of sixth-form students to determine the level of A-level textbook use in physics, chemistry, and biology in English schools found that texts are used primarily after the lesson, at the student's discretion, and with great variations between students. Biology texts were used most, and physics texts used least. (MBR)
The requirement for a method of capturing problem solving on a whiteboard for later replay stems from my teaching load, which includes two classes of first-year university general physics, each with relatively large class sizes of approximately 80-100 students. Most university-level teachers value one-to-one interaction with the students and find working out problems on a board a useful teaching method. However, in most institutions of higher education, the staff-to-student ratio precludes giving every student this learning experience. The syllabus of the algebra-based physics course at the University of Saskatchewan (Physics 111) is relatively ambitious in terms of the content covered, given the physics and mathematics background knowledge of the average student. This means that the number of problems worked on in class is rather limited if a thorough discussion of the basic principles is required. Some form of tutorial that records the essence of working out a problem on a board, with both visual and audio elements and which can be replayed over the Internet, is desirable. Obviously, this loses the interactive question-and-answer element possible in a true tutorial where the student and teacher are both physically present, but it does have the significant advantage that the tutorial can be replayed as many times as the student deems it necessary, thus allowing the lesson to proceed at a pace dictated by the student. Moreover, these lessons only have to be prepared once, can be used many times over, and can be used in distance-learning courses. In this paper, I describe the necessary hardware and software required to do this, all of which is relatively affordable and requires little specialist IT knowledge to set up.
Ramirez, Amanda Ann
The goal of this evaluation report is to provide the information necessary to improve the effectiveness of the ITC provided to the International Atomic Energy Agency Member States. This report examines ITC-20 training content, delivery methods, scheduling, and logistics. Ultimately, this report evaluates whether the course provides the knowledge and skills necessary to meet the participants needs in the protection of nuclear materials and facilities.
Fagen, Adam Paul
Most introductory college science courses in the United States are taught in large lectures with students rarely having the opportunity to think critically about the material being presented nor to participate actively. Further, many classes focus on teaching rather than learning, that is, the transfer of information as opposed to actual student understanding. This thesis focuses on three studies about the assessment and enhancement of learning in undergraduate science courses. We describe the results of an international survey on the implementation of Peer Instruction (PI), a collaborative learning pedagogy in which lectures are interspersed with short conceptual questions designed to challenge students to think about the material as it is being presented. We present a portrait of the many instructors teaching with PI and the settings in which it is being used as well as data on the effectiveness of PI in enhancing student learning in diverse settings. The wide variety of implementations suggests that PI is a highly adaptable strategy that can work successfully in almost any environment. We also provide recommendations for those considering adopting PI in their classes. Classroom demonstrations are an important aspect of many introductory science courses, but there is little evidence supporting their educational effectiveness. We explore the effect of different modes of presentation on enhancing student learning from demonstrations. Our results show that students who actively engage with a demonstration by predicting the outcome before it is conducted are better able to recall and explain the scenario posed by that demonstration. As preliminary work for the creation of an inventory of conceptual understanding in introductory biology, we discuss results from a survey of vocabulary familiarity and understanding in an undergraduate genetics course. Students begin introductory classes with significant gaps in their understanding, some of which are retained beyond
25.791 OF- 16 PROS-0.0570 76. Did your last unit break down according to levels of fitness or ability for physical training activities or exercise ? (L)Al...3=26 4=89 5=10 A-6 LIZ 76. Did your last unit break down according to levels of fitness or ability for physical training activities or exercise ...iftnoc.ew and Iden••fy by block natmbe-) Physical fitness; weight control; body fat; injuries; exercise facilities, exercise history; smoking; attitudes
Smith, Michael R.
I have taught algebra-based introductory physics for six years to liberal arts students. It was primarily a service course for students majoring in Athletic Training, Physical Therapy, Geology, Biology, and Pre-Med. The typical student was characterized by having a minimal math and problem-solving proficiency. There also was a pattern of students being predisposed to memorizing facts and formulas, and attempting to solve problems by finding the correct formula and "plugging in" numbers to get an answer. The students seemed to have a minimal ability in deductive reasoning and problem solving, starting from basic principles. It is no wonder that they entered the introductory physics service course with extreme trepidation, based upon a strongly perceived physics phobia. A standard lecture format was used for the class size of approximately 25-30 students; and an attempt was always made to engage the students through the Socratic approach, by asking leading questions during the course of the lecture. The students were relatively unprepared and couldn't participate in the class, and often responded antagonistically. They indicated they didn't want to be asked to think about an issue, but would rather just be told the facts so they could take specific notes for subsequent memorization. It was clear from the results of the open book exams given during the semester that the majority of students could not approach problem solving using deductive reasoning based on basic principles, but relied on attempting to force-fit the problem into a worked example in the text (often out of context, with illogical results). The absentee rate in the classroom was usually around 30-40%. The academic administration of my liberal arts university has the policy of formal course evaluations by the students at the end of each semester. The evaluation questionnaire appears to be primarily a measurement of the stress level of the student during the course, and the evaluation score I received
Balta, Nuri; Mason, Andrew J.; Singh, Chandralekha
Students' attitudes and approaches to physics problem solving can impact how well they learn physics and how successful they are in solving physics problems. Prior research in the U.S. using a validated Attitude and Approaches to Problem Solving (AAPS) survey suggests that there are major differences between students in introductory physics and astronomy courses and physics experts in terms of their attitudes and approaches to physics problem solving. Here we discuss the validation, administration, and analysis of data for the Turkish version of the AAPS survey for high school and university students in Turkey. After the validation and administration of the Turkish version of the survey, the analysis of the data was conducted by grouping the data by grade level, school type, and gender. While there are no statistically significant differences between the averages of various groups on the survey, overall, the university students in Turkey were more expertlike than vocational high school students. On an item by item basis, there are statistically differences between the averages of the groups on many items. For example, on average, the university students demonstrated less expertlike attitudes about the role of equations and formulas in problem solving, in solving difficult problems, and in knowing when the solution is not correct, whereas they displayed more expertlike attitudes and approaches on items related to metacognition in physics problem solving. A principal component analysis on the data yields item clusters into which the student responses on various survey items can be grouped. A comparison of the responses of the Turkish and American university students enrolled in algebra-based introductory physics courses shows that on more than half of the items, the responses of these two groups were statistically significantly different, with the U.S. students on average responding to the items in a more expertlike manner.
Over the past eight years, surveys of student opinion have been collected (near term-end) in all courses at Utah State University using the same survey instrument. The instrument consists of 25 questions, each of which can be responded to by choosing an integer ranking between 1 (``very poor'') and 6 (``excellent''). The University reports a statistical summary of all surveys each term in which all responses are treated equally irrespective of class size (a factor University administrators have asserted is negligible). Discussions of survey content at USU usually focus solely on two items: ``rate the course'' and ``rate the instructor.'' To some extent faculty tenure, promotion, and salary are based on these two aggregated data. Because of their possible impact on faculty careers, I have examined all responses in all surveys collected over the years in my department. Typical of social data, these results exhibit substantial variability and are highly non-normal. Appropriately treated, however, they reveal a significant class size dependence on the two ``rate the...'' global items. This fact harbors potentially important policy considerations for departments (like mine) that have a broad range of class enrollments.
Li, Jing; Singh, Chandralekha
Development of validated physics surveys on various topics is important for investigating the extent to which students master those concepts after traditional instruction and for assessing innovative curricula and pedagogies that can improve student understanding significantly. Here, we discuss the development and validation of a conceptual multiple-choice survey related to magnetism suitable for introductory physics courses. The survey was developed taking into account common students’ difficulties with magnetism concepts covered in introductory physics courses found in our investigation and the incorrect choices to the multiple-choice questions were designed based upon those common student difficulties. After the development and validation of the survey, it was administered to introductory physics students in various classes in paper-pencil format before and after traditional lecture-based instruction in relevant concepts. We compared the performance of students on the survey in the algebra-based and calculus-based introductory physics courses before and after traditional lecture-based instruction in relevant magnetism concepts. We discuss the common difficulties of introductory physics students with magnetism concepts we found via the survey. We also administered the survey to upper-level undergraduates majoring in physics and PhD students to benchmark the survey and compared their performance with those of traditionally taught introductory physics students for whom the survey is intended. A comparison with the base line data on the validated magnetism survey from traditionally taught introductory physics courses and upper-level undergraduate and PhD students discussed in this paper can help instructors assess the effectiveness of curricula and pedagogies which is especially designed to help students integrate conceptual and quantitative understanding and develop a good grasp of the concepts. In particular, if introductory physics students’ average
There has been considerable interest in the socialisation of (student) physical education (PE) teachers, the beliefs and values developed as a result of this socialisation and the impact of these on teachers' learning, behaviours and practices and the curriculum. Many studies looking at the beliefs and values of PE teachers have used the values…
Sherbourne, Cathy Donald; And Others
Data from 604 depressed patients in The Medical Outcomes Study showed improvements in measures of functioning and well-being associated with patients who were employed, drank less alcohol, had active coping styles and higher levels of social support, who had active and less avoidant coping styles, who were physically active, and who had fewer…
Williamson, Kathryn; Prather, Edward E.; Willoughby, Shannon
The study described here extends the applicability of the Newtonian Gravity Concept Inventory (NGCI) to college algebra-based physics classes, beyond the general education astronomy courses for which it was originally developed. The four conceptual domains probed by the NGCI (Directionality, Force Law, Independence of Other Forces, and Threshold) are well suited for investigating students' reasoning about gravity in both populations, making the NGCI a highly versatile instrument. Classical test theory statistical analysis with physics student responses pre-instruction (N = 1,392) and post-instruction (N = 929) from eight colleges and universities across the United States indicate that the NGCI is composed of items with appropriate difficulty and discrimination and is reliable for this population. Also, expert review and student interviews support the NGCI's validity for the physics population. Emergent similarities and differences in how physics students reason about gravity compared to astronomy students are discussed, as well as future directions for analyzing the instrument's item parameters across both populations.
identify by block nume, br) Physic.l fitness; weight control; body fat , injuries, exercise ’facilities; exerct’se history; smoking, attitudes...Measures of strength, stamina, and body fat percentage were collected, and a survey instrument covering lifestyle, nature of fitness program to which...THIS PAG•,(•.m•Do& A•ft Q. " .5- variables, lifestyle, body fat level, attitudes, and fitness; (2) assessed the / impact of Instutitional support for
Bromley, D. Allan
The author presents the argument that the past few years, in terms of new discoveries, insights, and questions raised, have been among the most productive in the history of physics. Selected for discussion are some of the most important new developments in physics research. (Author/SA)
Makarov, Vladimir A.; Drabovich, Konstantin N.
The concept of teaching in optics and methodical problems of mathematical student's education are discussed. The fundamental knowledge on modern mathematics and of computer- based methods of investigations acquired by students at the first years allows our professors to represent the different branches of optics and photonics at the high scientific level. The methods of teaching have resulted from the more than thirty year's experience of work of the Chair of General Physics and Wave Processes staff of M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University on training the mathematical students.
Lattanzi, Jill Black; Pechak, Celia
As physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) educational programs endeavor to foster core values of social responsibility, justice, and altruism in an increasingly global community, the incorporation of local and international service-learning (ISL) into the curriculum is growing. Much of the research has focused on the measurement of student learning, with little written about the impact on the host community. Proponents of global health initiatives are calling for consideration of all stakeholders to ensure ethical practice. This paper explores the current literature related to PT and OT ISL and builds a conceptual framework for ISL course planning. The essential phases in the framework include: 1) pre-experience planning/preparation stage, 2) field immersion experience stage, and 3) postexperience stage. The essential elements are: 1) cultural competency training, 2) communication and coordination with community, 3) comprehensive assessment, and 4) strategic planning. The authors suggest this framework as a practical tool to structure ISL courses with an explicit emphasis on ethical concerns. Additionally, they seek to foster more dialogue and action related to the promotion of ethical practices in ISL in PT and OT education programs.
Bowen, Mark Ryan
Epistemologies were measured across two separate lecture sections of introductory algebra-based physics at UC Davis. Remarkable differences in epistemologies, as measured by the MPEX II survey were noted with one section's students (section A) showing significantly better gains in almost all epistemological categories than the other (section…
... specific educational prerequisites, such as classes in anatomy, physiology, biology, chemistry, and physics. Some programs admit college ... therapist programs often include courses in biomechanics, anatomy, physiology, neuroscience, and pharmacology. Physical therapist students also complete ...
School Science Review, 1976
Described are 13 physics experiments/demonstrations applicable to introductory physics courses. Activities include: improved current balance, division circuits, liquid pressure, convection, siphons, oscillators and modulation, electrical resistance, soap films, Helmholtz coils, radioactive decay, and springs. (SL)
Bush, Nicole R; Lane, Richard D; McLaughlin, Katie A
Early-life adversities (ELA) are associated with subsequent pervasive alterations across a wide range of neurobiological systems and psychosocial factors that contribute to accelerated onset of health problems and diseases. In this article, we provide an integrated perspective on recent developments in research on ELA, based on the articles published in this Special Issue of Psychosomatic Medicine. We focus on the following: 1) the distinction between specific versus general aspects of ELA with regard to the nature of exposure (e.g., physical and sexual abuse, emotional abuse or neglect, relative socioeconomic deprivation), biological and behavioral correlates of ELA, and differences across diseases; 2) the importance of timing in the critical phases of exposure to ELA; and 3) adaptive versus dysfunctional responses to ELA and their consequences for biological and behavioral risk factors for adverse health outcomes. This article concludes with outlining important new targets for research in this area, including the neurobiology of affect as a mechanism linking ELA to adverse health outcomes, and the need for large-scale longitudinal investigations of multisystem processes relevant to ELA in diverse samples, starting prenatally, continuing to late adolescence, and with long-term follow-up assessments that enable evaluation of incident disease outcomes.
Gutsche, Graham D.
Describes a one semester course in introductory stellar astrophysics at the advanced undergraduate level. The course aims to integrate all previously learned physics by applying it to the study of stars. After a brief introductory section on basic astronomical measurements, the main topics covered are stellar atmospheres, stellar structure, and…
Ramlo, Susan E.
Microcomputer-based laboratories (MBLs) have been defined as software that uses an electronic probe to collect information about a physical system and then converts that information into graphical systems in real-time. Realtime Physics Laboratories (RTP) are an example of laboratories that combine the use of MBLs with collaboration and guided-inquiry. RTP Mechanics Laboratories include both laboratory activities and laboratory homework for the first semester of college freshman physics courses. Prior research has investigated the effectiveness of the RTP laboratories as a package (laboratory activities with laboratory homework). In this study, an experimental-treatment had students complete both the RTP laboratory activity and the associated laboratory homework during the same laboratory period. Observations of this treatment indicated that students primarily consulted the laboratory instructor and referred to their completed laboratory activity while completing the homework in their collaborative groups. In the control-treatment, students completed the laboratory homework outside the laboratory period. Measures of force and motion conceptual understanding included the Force and Motion Conceptual Understanding (FMCE), a 47 multiple-choice question test. Analyses of the FMCE indicated that it is both a reliable and a valid measure of force and motion conceptual understanding. A distinct, five-factor structure for the FMCE post-test answers reflected specific concepts related to force and motion. However, the three FMCE pretest factors were less distinct. Analysis of the experimental-treatment, compared to a control-treatment, included multiple regression analysis with covariates of age, prior physics-classroom experience, and the three FMCE pretest factors. Criterion variables included each of the five post-test factors, the total laboratory homework score, and a group of seven exam questions. The results were all positive, in favor of the experimental
Cummings, Karen; Roberts, Stephen G.
This paper reports on the results of an experiment to test the use of a Peer Instruction (PI) pedagogical model in a small class, high school environment. The study reports findings based on a population of 213 high school students attending algebra based physics courses, both Honors and A level, taught by 5 different instructors. The results show a correlation between use of Peer Instruction and improved student conceptual understanding, as demonstrated by gains on a pre-/post- assessment instrument (FCI). However, there also appears to be a number of other factors that strongly influence the resulting gains. In addition to instructor differences, the data seem to indicate that students who are more "physics-inclined" and can answer questions correctly prior to instruction and prior to any Peer Instruction discussion subsequently achieve higher gains as measured by the FCI. While this is to be expected, the use of normalized gains is intended to mitigate this result, but it appears to be prevalent nonetheless. This raises questions as to what degree the FCI gains can be attributed to the use of Peer Instruction, to teacher differences, to student ability level or to simply increased familiarity with the question types presented on the FCI.
Hirsch, Jorge G.
Basic properties of atomic nuclei are reviewed. Starting with the energy and length scales for microscopic processes, we go through the charge density inside the nucleus, nuclear masses and abundances, and nuclear decays. The Liquid Drop Model is presented along with some extensions. Microscopic models are introduced, with emphasis in the shell model. Alpha, beta and gamma decays are commented with some detail, including the symmetry laws which govern these decays.
Mason, Andrew J.
Reflection is essential in order to learn from problem solving. This thesis explores issues related to how reflective students are and how we can improve their capacity for reflection on problem solving. We investigate how students naturally reflect in their physics courses about problem solving and evaluate strategies that may teach them reflection as an integral component of problem-solving. Problem categorization based upon similarity of solution is a strategy to help them reflect about the deep features of the problems related to the physics principles involved. We find that there is a large overlap between the introductory and graduate students in their ability to categorize. Moreover, introductory students in the calculus-based courses performed better categorization than those in the algebra-based courses even though the categorization task is conceptual. Other investigations involved exploring if reflection could be taught as a skill on individual and group levels. Explicit self-diagnosis in recitation investigated how effectively students could diagnose their own errors on difficult problems, how much scaffolding was necessary for this purpose, and how effective transfer was to other problems employing similar principles. Difficulty in applying physical principles and difference between the self-diagnosed and transfer problems affected performance. We concluded that a sustained intervention is required to learn effective problem-solving strategies. Another study involving reflection on problem solving with peers suggests that those who reflected with peers drew more diagrams and had a larger gain from the midterm to final exam. Another study in quantum mechanics involved giving common problems in midterm and final exams and suggested that advanced students do not automatically reflect on their mistakes. Interviews revealed that even advanced students often focus mostly on exams rather than learning and building a robust knowledge structure. A survey was
Fourteen month-long courses combining applied academics with training in field research methodology are being offered this summer by the School for Field Studies. The courses, held in eight countries during May, June, July, and August, provide unique opportunities for participants to work as a team under primitive conditions.‘Our courses bind together the academic challenge of the research problem, the physical challenge of the site itself, and the interpersonal challenge of the expedition team in a dynamic way so that both cognitive and affective learning are accelerated,’ according to Jim Elder, the school's director.
Maries, Alexandru; Singh, Chandralekha
Drawing appropriate diagrams is a useful problem solving heuristic that can transform a given problem into a representation that is easier to exploit for solving it. A major focus while helping introductory physics students learn problem solving is to help them appreciate that drawing diagrams facilitates problem solution. We conducted an investigation in which 111 students in an algebra-based introductory physics course were subjected to two different interventions during recitation quizzes throughout the semester. They were either (1) asked to solve problems in which the diagrams were drawn for them or (2) explicitly told to draw a diagram. A comparison group was not given any instruction regarding diagrams. We developed a rubric to score the problem-solving performance of students in different intervention groups. We investigated two problems involving electric field and electric force and found that students who draw expert-like diagrams are more successful problem solvers and that a higher level of detail in a student's diagram corresponds to a better score.
Borcherds, P. H.
Describes an optional course in "computational physics" offered at the University of Birmingham. Includes an introduction to numerical methods and presents exercises involving fast-Fourier transforms, non-linear least-squares, Monte Carlo methods, and the three-body problem. Recommends adding laboratory work into the course in the…
... (ii) Any music course, instrumental or vocal, public speaking course or courses in dancing, sports or... officiating, or other sport or athletic courses, except courses of applied music, physical education,...
... (ii) Any music course, instrumental or vocal, public speaking course or courses in dancing, sports or... officiating, or other sport or athletic courses, except courses of applied music, physical education,...
... (ii) Any music course, instrumental or vocal, public speaking course or courses in dancing, sports or... officiating, or other sport or athletic courses, except courses of applied music, physical education,...
... justification for their pursuit. (1) Any photography course or entertainment course, or (2) Any music course... athletic courses, except courses of applied music, physical education, or public speaking which are...
Smith, Leigh; Sullivan, James; Jackson, Howard
We report on preliminary results using the mathematics teaching program ALEKS (see aleks.com) along with the use of Just-in- Time-Teaching (JiTT) and Peer Instruction (PI) to improve the performance of students in College Physics, an algebra-based course. ALEKS, an adaptive program based on artificial intelligence and long-used in the mathematics community, was made available to students 5 weeks ahead of the first class session with participation encouraged by the award of a small class credit. Student participation and engagement was remarkable with many students making significant gains in their mathematics performance. Preliminary data suggests that performance on the first midterm was strongly correlated with performance within ALEKS. The use of JiTT and PI in two out of the four classes suggested overall a modest increase over standard lecture sections, but with women performing significantly better in these classes. We acknowledge the financial support of McGraw-Hill and ALEKS and the National Science Foundation through CCLI grant DUE-1022563.
... courses, except courses of applied music, physical education, or public speaking which are offered by...) VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION AND EDUCATION Educational Assistance for Members of the Selected Reserve Courses...) Courses not part of a program of education. VA will not pay educational assistance for an enrollment...
... courses, except courses of applied music, physical education, or public speaking which are offered by...) VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION AND EDUCATION Educational Assistance for Members of the Selected Reserve Courses...) Courses not part of a program of education. VA will not pay educational assistance for an enrollment...
Instructional Objectives Exchange, Los Angeles, CA.
The physics objectives are geared to use in college preparatory, high school physics courses and are based on the three most common physics curricula: (1) Physical Science Study Committee (PSSC); (2) The Project Physics Course; and (3) Modern Physics by Dull, Metcalf, and Williams. Since many of the sample items can be answered in various ways,…
Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, MD.
The Confidence Course is a program of physical activities which seeks to improve individual self-image and to develop initiative and resourcefulness while promoting feelings of trust and good will within a group. General guidelines and procedures include safety considerations as well as common sense in activity selection and a perspective of…
Davis, Robert H.
Discusses a course focusing on fluid mechanics and physical chemistry of suspensions. Describes the main themes of the lectures and includes a list of course outlines. Possible textbooks and many journal articles are listed. (YP)
Milroy, Jeffrey J.; Orsini, Michael Mushi; D'Abundo, Michelle Lee; Sidman, Cara Lynn
Background: College students are vulnerable to risks associated with unhealthy behaviors. Considering the role that colleges play in facilitating lifelong health and wellness behaviors of college students, health-related fitness (HRF) courses are being offered using multiple delivery formats. Purpose: There is a need to better understand the…
Numerous connections exist between climate science and topics normally covered in physics and physical science courses. For instance, lessons on heat and light can be used to introduce basic climate science, and the study of electric circuits provides a context for studying the relationship between electricity consumption and carbon pollution. To…
SULCOSKI, JOHN W.
THIS CURRICULUM GUIDE DESCRIBES A TWELFTH-GRADE INTERDISCIPLINARY, INTRODUCTORY NUCLEAR SCIENCE COURSE. IT IS BELIEVED TO FILL THE NEED FOR AN ADVANCED COURSE THAT IS TIMELY, CHALLENGING, AND APPROPRIATE AS A SEQUENTIAL ADDITION TO THE BIOLOGY-CHEMISTRY-PHYSICS SEQUENCE. PRELIMINARY INFORMATION COVERS SUCH MATTERS AS (1) RADIOISOTOPE WORK AREAS,…
Howell, Robert T.
Many teachers find developing a new lesson or course quite difficult. It would be nice to have all necessary information, lesson plans and assessment materials ready at hand. But most often, they find themselves on their own when it comes to lesson and course development. The author faced this situation when he was asked to develop a lesson on…
Teaching high school physics involves cheerleading, coaching, and acting (in addition to course preparation, equipment maintenance/construction, and grading). One is like a performer that has to be "on" all the time to keep the attention and interest of students in order to engage them in the content. But what happens once the course is over? We hope that we have sparked some interest in physics that will continue and that our students take what they've learned with them, but the reality is often disappointing. Can we do better than hope? "Physics Phridays" might be a starting point.
Patterson, H.; Twidell, J. W.
Outlines and describes the content of an applied physics course offered for the four year honors and the three year pass degrees. The course stresses three components: principal subjects, industrial projects, and subsidiary subjects. (GA)
Allmer, H; Allmer, M; Euskirchen, J; Froböse, I; Wallmann, B; Walter, T; Walschek, R
The majority of elderly persons are still not sufficiently physically active. Therefore the aim of this study was to investigate different approaches (physical activity courses, poster, online-survey) for activating elderly to participate in physical activity. The most effective approach was target group physical activity courses with which higher course participation rates in men as well as in people with lower levels of education were achieved. Referring to the transtheoretical model (TTM) it is necessary for future analyses of target group approaches to consider more intensely the initial motivational position of physically inactive elderly.
Singh, Chandralekha; Maries, Alexandru
An important goal of graduate physics core courses is to help students develop expertise in problem solving and improve their reasoning and meta-cognitive skills. We explore the conceptual difficulties of physics graduate students by administering conceptual problems on topics covered in undergraduate physics courses before and after instruction in related first year core graduate courses. Here, we focus on physics graduate students' difficulties manifested by their performance on two qualitative problems involving diagrammatic representation of vector fields. Some graduate students had great difficulty in recognizing whether the diagrams of the vector fields had divergence and/or curl but they had no difficulty computing the divergence and curl of the vector fields mathematically. We also conducted individual discussions with various faculty members who regularly teach first year graduate physics core courses about the goals of these courses and the performance of graduate students on the conceptual problems after related instruction in core courses.
A series of teaching activities using physical models was developed to present some portions of physics of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and investigate students' understanding and transfer of learning in physics to a medical technology. A teaching interview protocol consistent with a qualitative research methodology was developed and administered to the students enrolled in an algebra-based introductory level physics course. 16 students participated in individual interviews and another 21 students participated in the group sessions. The major objectives of the teaching interviews were to investigate students' transfer of physics learning from their prior experiences to the provided physical models, from one model to the other and from the models to the PET problems. The study adapted phenomenological research methodology in analyzing students' use of cognitive resources and cognitive strategies during knowledge construction and reconstruction. A resource based transfer model framed under the cognitive theory of learning and consistent with contemporary views of transfer was used to describe the transfer of physics learning. Results of the study indicated both appropriate and inappropriate use of the students' prior conceptual resources in novel contexts. Scaffolding and questioning were found to be effective in activating appropriate and suppressing the inappropriate resources. The physical models used as analogies were found useful in transferring physics learning to understand image construction in PET. Positive transfer was possible when the models were introduced in an appropriate sequence. The results of the study indicate the occurrence of three types of non-scaffolded transfer---spontaneous, semi spontaneous and non-spontaneous. The research found connections between sequencing of hints and phrasing of information in activating students' different conceptual resources. A qualitative investigation based on Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD
Krueger, Patrick M.; Rohlfsen, Leah
Objectives. We examine race/ethnic and nativity differences in objective measures of physical performance (i.e., peak expiratory flow, grip strength, and gait speed) in a nationally representative sample of older Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics. We also examine whether detailed measures of childhood and adult health and socioeconomic status (SES) mediate race/ethnic differences in physical performance. Method. We use data from the Health and Retirement Study, a population-based sample of older Americans born before 1947, and 3 measures of physical performance. Nested ordinary least squares models examine whether childhood and adult health and SES mediate race/ethnic differences in performance. Results. We find large and significant race/ethnic and nativity differences in lung function, grip strength, and gait speed. Adjusting for childhood and current adult health and SES reduces race/ethnic differences in physical performance but does not eliminate them entirely. Childhood health and SES as well as more proximal levels of SES are important determinants of race/ethnic disparities in later life physical performance. Discussion. The analysis highlights that a large proportion of race/ethnic and nativity disparities result from health and socioeconomic disadvantages in both early life and adulthood and thus suggests multiple intervention points at which disparities can be reduced. PMID:22391749
Huan, Xiaoli; Shehane, Ronald; Ali, Adel
As the success of distance learning (DL) has driven universities to increase the courses offered online, certain challenges arise when teaching computer science (CS) courses to students who are not physically co-located and have individual learning schedules. Teaching CS courses involves high level demonstrations and interactivity between the…
Chu, Hye-Eun; Treagust, David F.; Chandrasegaran, A. L.
This research involved naive physics learners who were interested in majoring in science or engineering. In a semester-long quasi-experimental study, open-ended pretests and weekly interviews were used to analyse the progressive development of students' conceptions relating to sound and wave motion. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted…
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have become an integral component of Physical Education (PE) and Sport Science (SS) curricula and professions. It is thus imperative that PE and SS students develop ICT skills, self-efficacy in ICT and positive attitudes towards ICT. This study was aimed at designing a computer literacy course…
ØIESTAD, BRITT ELIN; WHITE, DANIEL K.; BOOTON, ROSS; NIU, JINGBO; ZHANG, YUQING; TORNER, JIM; LEWIS, CORA E.; NEVITT, MICHAEL; LaVALLEY, MICHAEL; FELSON, DAVID T.
Objective Pain and functional decline are hallmarks of knee osteoarthritis (OA). Nevertheless, longitudinal studies unexpectedly reveal stable or improved physical function. The aim of this study was to impute missing and pre–total knee replacement (TKR) values to describe physical function over time among people with symptomatic knee OA. Methods We included participants from the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study (MOST) and the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI) with incident symptomatic knee OA, observed during the first 30 months in MOST and 36 months in OAI. Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) physical function (WOMAC-PF), the 5-times sit-to-stand test, and the 20-meter-walk test were assessed at 4 and 5 years in MOST and at 6 years in OAI. We used a multiple imputation method for missing visits, and estimated pre-TKR values close to the time of TKR, using a fitted local regression smoothing curve. In mixed-effect models, we investigated the physical function change over time, using data before and after imputation and calculation of pre-TKR values. Results In MOST, 225 (8%) had incident knee OA, with corresponding 577 (12.7%) in OAI. After adjusting for pre-TKR values and imputing missing values, we found that WOMAC-PF values remained stable or slightly declined over time, and the 20-meter-walk test results changed from stable in nonimputed analyses to worsening using imputed data. Conclusion Data from MOST and OAI showed stable to worsening physical function over time in people with incident symptomatic knee OA after imputing missing values and adjusting pre-TKR values. PMID:26236919
Kingston, Michael E.
Instruction in electrocardiogram interpretation was provided for students at the University of Calgary by distributing complete cardiograms to them at the beginning of the week, for nine weeks, followed by analysis by an instructor at the end of the week. Skill development, reinforcement, course evaluation, and student satisfaction are described.
McGinness, Lachlan P.; Savage, C. M.
More than a decade ago, Edwin Taylor issued a "call to action" that presented the case for basing introductory university mechanics teaching around the principle of stationary action [E. F. Taylor, Am. J. Phys. 71, 423-425 (2003)]. We report on our response to that call in the form of an investigation of the teaching and learning of the stationary action formulation of physics in a first-year university course. Our action physics instruction proceeded from the many-paths approach to quantum physics to ray optics, classical mechanics, and relativity. Despite the challenges presented by action physics, students reported it to be accessible, interesting, motivational, and valuable.
Murket, A. J.
Develops a simple model of radio wave propagation and illustrates how basic physical concepts such as refractive index, refraction, reflection and dispersion can be applied to a situation normally not met in introductory physics courses. (Author/GA)
There is a growing emphasis on the research-teaching nexus, and there are many innovative ways to incorporate research materials and methods in undergraduate teaching. Solar Physics is a cross-disciplinary subject and offers the ideal opportunity for research-enhanced teaching (1). In this presentation, I outline i) how student-led teaching of research content and methods is introduced in an undergraduate module in Solar Physics, and ii) how electronic learning and teaching can be used to improve students' learning of mathematical concepts in Solar Physics. More specifically, I discuss how research literature reviewing and reporting methods can be embedded and developed systematically throughout the module with aligned assessments. Electronic feedback and feedforward (2) are given to the students in order to enhance their understanding of the subject and improve their research skills. Other technology-enhanced teaching approaches (3) are used to support students' learning of the more quantitative components of the module. This case study is particularly relevant to a wide range of pedagogical contexts (4) as the Solar Physics module is taught to students following undergraduate programs in Geology, Earth Sciences, Environmental Geology as well as Planetary Science with Astronomy in the host Department. Related references: (1) Tong, C. H., Let interdisciplinary research begin in undergraduate years, Nature (2010) v. 463, p. 157. (2) Tong, V. C. H., Linking summative assessments? Electronic feedback and feedforward in module design, British Journal of Educational Technology (2011), accepted for publication. (3) Tong, V. C. H., Using asynchronous electronic surveys to help in-class revision: A case study, British Journal of Educational Technology (2011), doi:10.1111/j.1467-8535.2011.01207.x (4) Tong, V. C. H. (ed.), Geoscience Research and Education, Springer, Dordrecht (2012)
Burks, G. S.
Researchers are developing an on-line video astronomy course at Tennessee State University. Many factors are taken into account when designing a first year course for a broad audience. The initial target audience is students attending historically black colleges and universities, tribal colleges, and other minority institutions, without an astronomy course. The first goal is to attract students into a course of study that could prepare them to enter the NASA workforce. A secondary goal is to serve the general student population. But what should be put in a course that may be the last science course seen by pre-service teachers and the initial course for future astronomers? Start with the national science standards. The K-12 national science standards in Earth and space sciences, physical sciences, and history of science were studied. The content of the course is designed to address as many of these standards as is practical. A course plan is presented that presents the applicable national standards class topic by class topic.
Ormerod, M. B.; And Others
Secondary school students' attitudes toward science or the sciences were determined with specially constructed scales and from records relating to student enrollment in science courses. Emphasis is placed on factors which influence girls to enroll in physical science courses vs biological science courses. (SA)
Leck, J. P.
The Earth System Science Research Course is a unique class implemented by Frederick County Public Schools. The course (ESSR) was designed in conjunction with NASA Education Specialists and is supported by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Students in this course have the opportunity to use data from cutting edge earth science experiments while researching their own topics and answering research questions. The course culminates with a group of the students presenting their findings to NASA scientists and touring the Goddard Space Flight Center. The Earth System Science Research course provides eleventh and twelfth grade students an opportunity to study Earth System Science using the most up-to-date data developed through current technologies. The systems approach to this course helps students understand the complexity and interrelatedness of the Earth system. This course is an elective offering designed to engage students in the study of the Atmosphere, Biosphere, Cryosphere, Geosphere, and Hydrosphere. This course allows students to utilize research skills and processes gained from previous science courses to study the physical, chemical, and biological aspects of the Earth system. The main goal of this course is to teach the students how to do original, independent research about the Earth system. At the conclusions of the course the students will have gathered and interpreted scientific data to answer a question that they have constructed, and design a presentation to reflect their results. Course Objectives: Describe the Earth as a dynamic and complex system. Describe the components of the Earth system. Describe how the system responds to natural and human induced changes. Access and process information from readings, investigations, and communications. Create and/or interpret graphics to analyze data and evaluate hypotheses. Analyze appropriate data to classify, identify trends and identify similarities and differences to form conclusions and apply what has
School physics rarely stands still for long. Environmental physics is now an option in some post-16 courses in England. The physics of environments, and in particular the built environment, offers a recognizable context in which to see the applications of physics at work. This article considers how a model doll's house might be used to help…
Lin, Shih-Yin; Singh, Chandralekha
In this study, we examine introductory physics students’ ability to perform analogical reasoning between two isomorphic problems which employ the same underlying physics principles but have different surface features. 382 students from a calculus-based and an algebra-based introductory physics course were administered a quiz in the recitation in which they had to learn from a solved problem provided and take advantage of what they learned from it to solve another isomorphic problem (which we call the quiz problem). The solved problem provided has two subproblems while the quiz problem has three subproblems, which is known from previous research to be challenging for introductory students. In addition to the solved problem, students also received extra scaffolding supports that were intended to help them discern and exploit the underlying similarities of the isomorphic solved and quiz problems. The data analysis suggests that students had great difficulty in transferring what they learned from a two-step problem to a three-step problem. Although most students were able to learn from the solved problem to some extent with the scaffolding provided and invoke the relevant principles in the quiz problem, they were not necessarily able to apply the principles correctly. We also conducted think-aloud interviews with six introductory students in order to understand in depth the difficulties they had and explore strategies to provide better scaffolding. The interviews suggest that students often superficially mapped the principles employed in the solved problem to the quiz problem without necessarily understanding the governing conditions underlying each principle and examining the applicability of the principle in the new situation in an in-depth manner. Findings suggest that more scaffolding is needed to help students in transferring from a two-step problem to a three-step problem and applying the physics principles appropriately. We outline a few possible strategies
Zheng, Xin; Schlaug, Gottfried
Motor impairment after stroke has been related to the structural and functional integrity of corticospinal tracts including multisynaptic motor fibers and tracts such as the cortico-rubral-spinal and the cortico-tegmental-spinal tract. Furthermore, studies have shown that the concurrent use of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) with peripheral sensorimotor activities can improve motor impairment. We examined microstructural effects of concurrent non-invasive bihemispheric stimulation and physical/occupational therapy for 10 days on the structural components of the CST as well as other descending motor tracts which will be referred to here as alternate motor fibers (aMF). In this pilot study, ten chronic patients with a uni-hemispheric stroke underwent Upper-Extremity Fugl-Meyer assessments (UE-FM) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) for determining diffusivity measures such as fractional anisotropy (FA) before and after treatment in a section of the CST and aMF that spanned between the lower end of the internal capsule (below each patient's lesion) and the upper pons region on the affected and unaffected hemisphere. The treated group (tDCS + PT/OT) showed significant increases in the proportional UE-FM scores (+21%; SD 10%), while no significant changes were observed in an untreated comparison group. Significant increases in FA (+0.007; SD 0.0065) were found in the ipsilesional aMF in the treated group while no significant changes were found in the contralesional aMF, in either CST, or in any tracts in the untreated group. The FA changes in the ipsilesional aMF significantly correlated with the proportional change in the UE-FM (r = 0.65; p < 0.05). The increase in FA might indicate an increase in motor fiber alignment, myelination, and overall fiber integrity. Crossed and uncrossed fibers from multiple cortical regions might be one reason why the aMF fiber system showed more plastic structural changes that correlate with motor improvements than the CST.
Kalita, Spartak A.
In this study we explored students' transfer of learning in the X-ray medical imaging context, including the X-ray-based computer-assisted tomography (or CAT). For this purpose we have conducted a series of clinical and teaching interviews. The investigation was a part of a bigger research effort to design teaching-learning materials for pre-medical students who are completing their algebra-based physics course. Our students brought to the discussion pieces of knowledge transferred from very different sources such as their own X-ray experiences, previous learning and the mass media. This transfer seems to result in more or less firm mental models, although often not internally consistent or coherent. Based on our research on pre-med students' models of X-rays we designed a hands-on lab using semi-transparent Lego bricks to model CAT scans. Without "surgery" (i.e. without intrusion into the Lego "body") students determined the shape of an object, which was built out of opaque and translucent Lego bricks and hidden from view. A source of light and a detector were provided upon request. Using a learning cycle format, we introduced CAT scans after students successfully have completed this task. By comparing students' ideas before and after teaching interview with the groups of 2 or 3 participants, we have investigated transfer of learning from basic physics and everyday experience to a complex medical technology and how their peer interactions trigger and facilitate this process. During the last phase of our research we also introduced a CAT-scan simulation problem into our teaching interview routine and compared students' perception of this simulation and their perception of the hands-on activity.
Williams, Karen Ann
One section of college students (N = 25) enrolled in an algebra-based physics course was selected for a Piagetian-based learning cycle (LC) treatment while a second section (N = 25) studied in an Ausubelian-based meaningful verbal reception learning treatment (MVRL). This study examined the students' overall (concept + problem solving + mental model) meaningful understanding of force, density/Archimedes Principle, and heat. Also examined were students' meaningful understanding as measured by conceptual questions, problems, and mental models. In addition, students' learning orientations were examined. There were no significant posttest differences between the LC and MVRL groups for students' meaningful understanding or learning orientation. Piagetian and Ausubelian theories explain meaningful understanding for each treatment. Students from each treatment increased their meaningful understanding. However, neither group altered their learning orientation. The results of meaningful understanding as measured by conceptual questions, problem solving, and mental models were mixed. Differences were attributed to the weaknesses and strengths of each treatment. This research also examined four variables (treatment, reasoning ability, learning orientation, and prior knowledge) to find which best predicted students' overall meaningful understanding of physics concepts. None of these variables were significant predictors at the.05 level. However, when the same variables were used to predict students' specific understanding (i.e. concept, problem solving, or mental model understanding), the results were mixed. For forces and density/Archimedes Principle, prior knowledge and reasoning ability significantly predicted students' conceptual understanding. For heat, however, reasoning ability was the only significant predictor of concept understanding. Reasoning ability and treatment were significant predictors of students' problem solving for heat and forces. For density
Discusses organization of community college Spanish courses around themes, such as geography, life sciences, arts, holidays, in conjunction with techniques such as the Natural Approach and Total Physical Response. The discussion includes examples of class activities, suggestions for materials, and notes on accommodating different levels. (SED)
Monk, Janice J.; Alexander, Charles S.
An integration of human geography concepts and physical geography concepts into one course is proposed; and the conceptual framework, teaching strategies and materials, and difficulties of introducing an innovative course are discussed. (ND)
"Physics to Go" is basically a solution in search of a problem. Consisting of 18 physics exercises that were collected for use in an online conceptual physics course, "Physics to Go" originated as a possible solution to the problem of how to conduct the laboratory experience for students who were taking conceptual physics through some form of distance learning. (It would appear that much of the advantage of taking a course through distance-learning methods is negated if students must come to the central campus to perform their laboratory exercises.) Physics to Go exercises are appropriate for use in introductory physics courses taught by distance learning, home schooling, and for providing make-up labs. The total cost of the apparatus is about 40 and it will all fit in a bread box.
Horodyskyj, L.; Ben-Naim, D.; Semken, S. C.; Anbar, A. D.
Traditional large lecture classes are fundamentally passive and teacher-centered. Most existing online courses are as well, including massive open online courses (MOOCs). Research tells us that this mode of instruction is not ideal for student learning. However, the unique attributes of the online environment have thus far been mostly underutilized. We hypothesize that new tools and the innovative curricula they enable can foster greater student engagement and enhance learning at large scale. To test this hypothesis, over the past three years, Arizona State University developed and offered "Habitable Worlds", an online-only astrobiology lab course. The course curriculum is based on the Drake Equation, which integrates across disciplines. The course pedagogy is organized around a term-long, individualized, game-inspired project in which each student must find and characterize rare habitable planets in a randomized field of hundreds of stars using concepts learned in the course. The curriculum allows us to meaningfully integrate concepts from Earth, physical, life, and social sciences in order to address questions related to the possibility of extraterrestrial life. The pedagogy motivates students to master concepts, which are taught through interactive and adaptive inquiry-driven tutorials, featuring focused feedback and alternative pathways that adjust to student abilities, built using an intelligent tutoring system (Smart Sparrow's Adaptive eLearning Platform - AeLP). Through the combination of the project and tutorials, students construct knowledge from experience, modeling the authentic practice of science. Because the tutorials are self-grading, the teaching staff is free to dedicate time to more intense learner-teacher interactions (such as tutoring weaker students or guiding advanced students towards broader applications of the concepts), using platforms like Piazza and Adobe Connect. The AeLP and Piazza provide robust data and analysis tools that allow us to
Kalman, Calvin S.
Examines how 20th century philosophers of science have influenced current physics educational research. Examines the introduction of a study of these philosophers in several courses, including the calculus-based introductory physics course on optics and modern physics. Concludes that students seem to have made a marked improvement in their…
Guilaran, Ildefonso J.
When I was an undergraduate physics major, I would often stay up late with my physics major roommate as we would digest the physics content we were learning in our courses and explore our respective imaginations armed with our new knowledge. Such activity during my undergraduate years was confined to informal settings, and the first formal…
Designing a new course is an important but time-consuming task for instructors. Traditionally, the instructor researches and develops the course, launches it as a pilot class, and receives student feedback upon completion of the course. Here I suggest student participation in the initial design and development of a new course. I initiated a course design class with a few motivated, upper division students to plan an advanced neuroscience course. The students assisted me in the new course preparation and offered valuable organizational and intellectual input prior to launching the new course. The students benefited by receiving a deeper study of the course topics, developing critical analysis skills, learning about course design, and by viewing the course from the instructor's perspective. Thus, I propose that including students in the design of new courses can assist instructors in course development and can provide a unique, in depth learning experience for students.
Phan, Oanh; Ball, Katrina
The outcomes of enabling courses offered in Australia's vocational education and training (VET) sector were examined. "Enabling course" was defined as lower-level preparatory and prevocational courses covering a wide range of areas, including remedial education, bridging courses, precertificate courses, and general employment preparation…
A proposal is presented for a Music Ensemble course to be offered at the Community College of Philadelphia for music students who have had previous vocal or instrumental training. A standardized course proposal cover form is followed by a statement of purpose for the course, a list of major course goals, a course outline, and a bibliography. Next,…
Austin, R. H.
1 Why micro/nanofabrication? Lecture 1a: Hydrodynamic Transport 1 Introduction: The need to control flows in 2 1/2 D 2 Somewhat simple hydrodynamics in 2 1/2 D 3 The N-port injector idea 4 Conclusion Lecture 1b: Dielectrophoresis and Microfabrication 1 Introduction 2 Methods 3 Results 4 Data and analysis 5 Origin of the low frequency dielectrophoretic force in DNA 6 Conclusion Lecture 2a: Hex Arrays 1 Introduction 2 Experimental approach 3 Conclusions Lecture 2b: The DNA Prism 1 Introduction 2 Design 3 Results 4 Conclusions Lecture 2c: Bigger is Better in Rachets 1 The problems with insulators in rachets 2 An experimental test 3 Conclusions Lecture 3: Going After Epigenetics 1 Introduction 2 The nearfield scanner 3 The chip 4 Experiments with molecules 5 Conclusions Lecture 4: Fractionating Cells 1 Introduction 2 Blood specifics 3 Magnetic separation 4 Microfabrication 5 Magnetic field gradients 6 Device interface 7 A preliminary blood cell run 8 Conclusions Lecture 5: Protein Folding on a Chip 1 Introduction 2 Technology 3 Experiments 4 Conclusions
Preface; 1. Sets and structures; 2. Groups; 3. Vector spaces; 4. Linear operators and matrices; 5. Inner product spaces; 6. Algebras; 7. Tensors; 8. Exterior algebra; 9. Special relativity; 10. Topology; 11. Measure theory and integration; 12. Distributions; 13. Hilbert space; 14. Quantum theory; 15. Differential geometry; 16. Differentiable forms; 17. Integration on manifolds; 18. Connections and curvature; 19. Lie groups and lie algebras.
Johnson, Sarah D.; Alberding, N.
In the Fall of 2005 we began offering a calculus-based first-year, two-course introductory physics sequence using the studio format, based on Workshop Physics by P. Laws etal. We will recount our experiences in introducing a workshop-based physics course at a large Canadian university from the initial push to the final implementation. In particular, we will discuss the details of our curriculum and what modifications were made to align our Studio Physics I&II courses with the currently existing lecture courses. This involved, among other things, adapting some of our first-year physics laboratory experiments in optics and electricity and magnetism to the workshop format. We will also discuss the myriad of obstacles that were encountered along the way. The results of before-and-after FCI testing for the first two offerings of Studio Physics I will also be presented along with student feedback from course evaluations. And finally, we will elaborate on our plans for the future.  Priscilla Laws, "Workshop Physics: Reflections on Six Years of Laboratory Based Introductory Physics Teachings," Proceedings of the American Association of Physics Teachers Conference: Lab Focus '93, August 1993
Gresser, Paul W.
It is widely accepted that, for many students, learning can be accomplished most effectively through social interaction with peers, and there have been many successes in using the group environment to improve learning in a variety of classroom settings. What is not well understood, however, are the dynamics of student groups, specifically how the students collectively apprehend the subject matter and share the mental workload. This research examines recent developments of theoretical tools for describing the cognitive states of individual students: associational patterns such as epistemic games and cultural structures such as epistemological framing. Observing small group interaction in authentic classroom situations (labs, tutorials, problem solving) suggests that these tools could be effective in describing these interactions. Though conventional wisdom tells us that groups may succeed where individuals fail, there are many reasons why group work may also run into difficulties, such as a lack or imbalance of knowledge, an inappropriate mix of learning styles, or a destructive power arrangement. This research explores whether or not inconsistent epistemological framing among group members can also be a cause of group failure. Case studies of group interaction in the laboratory reveal evidence of successful groups employing common framing, and unsuccessful groups failing from lack of a shared frame. This study was conducted in a large introductory algebra-based physics course at the University of Maryland, College Park, in a laboratory designed specifically to foster increased student interaction and cooperation. Videotape studies of this environment reveal that productive lab groups coordinate their efforts through a number of locally coherent knowledge-building activities, which are described through the framework of epistemic games. The existence of these epistemic games makes it possible for many students to participate in cognitive activities without a
Connolly, Walter C.
Describes a physics course, Biomechanics, designed for physical education majors, where stroboscopic photography is used to provide student data to calculate average velocities of objects in different sport activities. (GA)
This talk will describe some experiences gained from an introductory physics course at Harvard University, developed several years ago as part of the general education courses. The course is entitled ``Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science,'' and has become a popular course for non-science majors. It has also been successful in outreach, to help develop interest in science for the general public. This talk will describe how the course uses cooking to teach concepts of soft matter science. It will include a description of course and the learnings about how to excite non-science majors in science through the use of a theme in which they are interested. It will also include some demos used in the course and in outreach lectures for the general public.
A few years ago the Alpha group in APS organized faculty with interests in advanced lab courses in physics. At the University of Wyoming, we re-launched an advanced lab course after doing more than 15 years without one. Our majors had to take an electronic course in the Electrical Engineering department to get familiar with any kind of electronic equipment. Now we are in the fourth teaching session of the advanced Modern Physics lab and we will expand the course into a two-term course beginning spring 2013. Forty-five majors have gone through our labs, We developed an oral exam tradition, which is now beginning to lend our department upper level outcome assessment credibility for campus wide assessment.
One of the problems we face in teaching introductory physics courses at the college level is that about 2/3 of students never had physics prior coming to college. Thus, many students find it very difficult to learn physics for the first time at the relatively fast-paced teaching of college physics courses. Sometimes the drop/failure/withdrawal…
Wilcox, Matthew; Yang, Yuehai; Chini, Jacquelyn J.
Teaching assistants (TAs) that lead reformed recitations and labs must understand and buy into the design of the course and the research-based instructional strategies that the course requires in order to create high-fidelity implementations. We present a model that outlines possible influences on TAs' buy-in and their in-class actions coupled with a method, using a Real-time Instructor Observation Tool-based [E. A. West et al. Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 9, 010109 (2013)] exercise, to measure the effect of these influences that is not only quicker than interviews but also allows one to quantify these effects. We use this method to measure the influences on six graduate TAs teaching algebra-based introductory mechanics and electricity and magnetism recitations and labs ("mini studios") at the University of Central Florida. The results from the exercise are confirmed by interview responses from the TAs. We find a relatively high degree of buy-in to the design of the course, yet this is not reflected in the TAs' actions. The TAs' actions appear to be most influenced by student responses and expectations which do not align with the design of the course. Our study examines the effect of three influences shown in our model, and we argue that our method could be easily adapted to examine additional influences.
Cummings, Karen; Laws, Priscilla W.; Redish, Edward F.; Cooney, Patrick J.
Built on the foundations of Halliday, Resnick, and Walker's Fundamentals of Physics Sixth Edition, this text is designed to work with interactive learning strategies that are increasingly being used in physics instruction (for example, microcomputer-based labs, interactive lectures, etc. ). In doing so, it incorporates new approaches based upon Physics Education Research (PER), aligns with courses that use computer-based laboratory tools, and promotes Activity Based Physics in lectures, labs, and recitations.
School physics rarely stands still for long. Environmental physics is now an option in some post-16 courses in England. The physics of environments, and in particular the built environment, offers a recognizable context in which to see the applications of physics at work. This article considers how a model doll's house might be used to help learners understand energy transfer, thermal equilibrium, energy management, and responsible citizenship.
Lietz, Gerard P.
Outlines an optics course, designed for science and nonscience majors, which emphasizes phenomena rather than mathematics. Indicates that the new curriculum permits liberal arts students to learn physics as well as the relationship of physics to society. (CC)
Yeo, David G.
A proposal is presented for a Community College of Philadelphia Life Sciences and Allied Health Services course in Badminton. Following a standard cover form, a statement of purpose explains that the course is designed to introduce students to the techniques, knowledge, and strategies of badminton. Next, course goals and a course outline are…
Johnston, William; McAllister, Alex M.
Successful outcomes for a "Transition Course in Mathematics" have resulted from two unique design features. The first is to run the course as a "survey course" in mathematics, introducing sophomore-level students to a broad set of mathematical fields. In this single mathematics course, undergraduates benefit from an introduction of proof…
Thayer, James E.; Maraby, Julien
The basic plan of this course in Sara is modeled after "An Experimental Course in Hausa" (FSI 1965). The course uses short cycles consisting of mimicry followed by conversations built on the same vocabulary and syntactic pattern. The format has been condensed and altered. The course contains 95 cycles and would require approximately 50 hours to…