program_wb_i - page 107

July 26–30, 2014
Tuesday afternoon
grading. Similarities and differences between student grading and expert
grading will be discussed.
1:30-1:40 p.m. Comparing Paper-based and Computer-
based Testing
Contributed – Krista M. Kecskemety, he Ohio State University, Engineering
Education Innovation Center, T Columbus, OH 43210; kecskemety.1@osu.
Meagan Ita, Kathleen A. Harper, Engineering Education Innovation Center,
The Ohio State University
Brooke C. Morin
Advancements in technology have made electronic administration and
grading of exams more prevalent. The staff of the Fundamentals of Engi-
neering for Honors program at The Ohio State University recently began
delivering a portion of each midterm and final exam via the university’s
online course management system. To assess whether changing to this
style impacted student performance, a study was conducted to compare
the two formats. For each exam in an introductory programming course,
the computer-administered part of the test was split into an A half and a B
half. Half of the students took part A on the computer and part B on paper,
and vice/versa for the other half of the students. Additionally, students
were asked a question about whether they had a preference for one format
over the other. Results will be discussed, along with implications for the
structure of future exams.
1:40-1:50 p.m. Analysis of LA Program Impact through
Community of Practice Theory
Contributed – Eleanor W. Close, Texas State University, Department of Phys-
ics, San Marcos, TX 78666-4615;
Jessica Conn, Hunter G. Close, David Donnelly, Texas State University
We are studying in how participation in the Learning Assistant program
at Texas State University influences LAs’ identity as physics students and
physics teachers; in particular, how being part of the LA community
changes participants’ self-concepts and their day-to-day practice. Our
analysis of self-concepts is informed by the identity framework developed
by Hazari et al.,
and our analysis of practice is informed by Lave and
Wenger’s theory of Communities of Practice,
3, 4
We have developed a
blended theory in order to analyze and explain LA program impact. We
find that LAs expand their repertoire both of what they know how to do
and of what they see as valuable in physics, consistent with Wenger’s char-
acterization of identity as community membership; and that recognition
by faculty and peers supports LAs’ continuing engagement, consistent with
Wenger’s characterization of identity as negotiated experience. We provide
examples from our data.
1 Hazari et al.,
(8), 2010.
2.Lock, Hazari, & Potvin, in
AIP Conf. Proceedings
1513, 2013.
3. J. Lave & E. Wenger, 1991.
4. E. Wenger, 1998. Research supported by NSF grant DUE-1240036.
1:50-2 p.m. Developing an Identity of Competence
Through the Learning Assistant Program*
Contributed – Jessica Conn, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX 78666-
Eleanor W. Close, Hunter G. Close, David Donnelly, Texas State University
The physics department at Texas State University has implemented a
Learning Assistant (LA) program with reform-based instructional changes
in our introductory course sequences. We are interested in how participa-
tion in the program influences LAs’ identity both as physics students and
as physics teachers; in particular, how being part of the LA community
changes participants’ self-concepts and their day-to-day practice. We ana-
lyze written artifacts from program applications, reflections, evaluations,
and group activities, as well as video of interviews with returning LAs. Our
analysis suggests that engagement in the LA program increases LAs’ sense
of competence both in physics content and in the practice of engaging in
the physics community. LAs change their perceptions of what constitutes
competence: they learn to value and enjoy the practice of interactive,
logical exploration and argumentation, which re-purposes being wrong
(or saying wrong things) from a form of incompetence to an important
component of competent engagement.
*Research supported by NSF grant DUE-1240036
2-2:10 p.m. Exploring One Aspect of Pedagogical
Content Knowledge of Teaching Assistants Using the Test
of Understanding Graphs in Kinematics*
Contributed – Alexandru Maries, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Chandralekha Singh, University of Pittsburgh
The Test of Understanding Graphs in Kinematics (TUG-K) is a multiple-
choice test developed by Beichner in 1994 to assess students’ understand-
ing of kinematics graphs. Many of the items on the TUG-K have strong
distractor choices which correspond to students’ common difficulties with
kinematics graphs. We evaluate one aspect of the pedagogical content
knowledge of first-year physics graduate students enrolled in a teaching
assistant (TA) training course related to topics covered in the TUG-K.
In particular, for each item on the TUG-K, the graduate students were
asked to identify which incorrect answer choice they thought would be
most commonly selected by introductory physics students if they did not
know the correct answer after instruction in relevant concepts. We used
the graduate student data and the data from Beichner’s original paper for
introductory physics students (which was collected from over 500 college
and high-school students) to assess this aspect of the pedagogical content
knowledge (PCK) of the graduate students, i.e., knowledge of student dif-
ficulties related to kinematics graphs as they are revealed by the TUG-K.
We find that, although the graduate students, on average, performed better
than random guessing at identifying introductory student difficulties on
the TUG-K, they did not identify many common difficulties that introduc-
tory students have with graphs in kinematics. In addition, we find that
the ability of graduate students to identify the difficulties of introductory
students is context dependent and that discussions among the graduate
students improved their understanding of student difficulties related to
kinematics graphs. Moreover, we find that the ability of American graduate
students in identifying common student difficulties is comparable with that
of foreign graduate students.
*Work supported by the National Science Foundation
2:10-2:20 p.m. Assessing Future Elementary Teachers’
Pedagogical Content Knowledge*
Contributed – Claudia Fracchiolla, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
N. Sanjay Rebello Kansas State University
Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) is an important aspect in the prep-
aration of future teachers. The Concepts of Physics (CoP) course at Kansas
State University has been recently redesigned to infuse PCK for pre-service
elementary teachers. CoP integrates the learning of physics concepts with
children’s ideas about those concepts. The course is structured around
the pedagogical learning bicycle, which bridges the learning of content
with pedagogy through metacognitive reflection. As a final class project,
students are required to work in groups to develop a lesson plan on one of
the topics taught during the semester. In this talk I describe how we assess
the impact of the class on students’ PCK. We evaluated their projects based
on how they incorporated their understanding of children’s ideas on the
specific topic to develop age-appropriate strategies to facilitate children’s
learning of these concepts. This material is based upon work supported by
the National Science Foundation under grant 1140855.
*This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation
under grant 1140855.
2:20-2:30 p.m. A Meta-cognitive Approach for Pro-
fessional Development of Experienced Physics Teachers
Contributed – Osnat Eldar, Oranim Academic College of Education, 25 Lotem
st. Timrat, 36576 Israel;
Shirley Miedjensky, Oranim Academic College of Education
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