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2010 Summer Meeting

2011 AAPT Summer Meeting
July 30-August 3, 2011
Omaha, Nebraska

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Reforming Undergraduate Course for Engineering/Physics Majors: Factors Influencing Students' Performance
  Location: SS Ballroom DE
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.3
  Time: 9:00 AM -9:10 AM
  Author: Deepika Menon, University of Missouri
  Co-Author(s): Karen King
  Abstract: There has been emphasis on reforming traditional undergraduate physics courses for science/engineering majors. This study was conducted with 273 undergraduate students, enrolled in calculus-based course for physics majors at a large Midwestern University. The focus was to understand the factors that influence students' performance within the course. The course has weekly 2½ hours of lecture, 2½ hours of laboratory, and a small group recitation section focusing on problem solving. Students are assigned weekly online homework and pop-up quizzes (counts towards attendance). Regression analysis shows that students' average exam score is neither influenced by gender nor their major (engineering/physics/other sciences). However, students' average exam score is highly significant with their lab score, pop quizzes, and online assignments. Findings of the study would help science faculty design courses for science/engineering majors with emphasis on factors that strongly contribute towards their average grade. Reform-based courses would further help reduce drop outs, providing "preparatory classes" for students at risk.
  Footnotes: None
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