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2010 Summer Meeting

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

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PST2C36:

To What Extent Is Seeing Not Believing?
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Tuesday, Aug.2
  Time: 6:00 PM -6:45 PM
  Author: Kelly Miller, Harvard University
617-495-9616, kmiller@seas.harvard.edu
  Co-Author(s): Nathaniel Lasry , Eric Mazur
  Abstract: Demonstrations are vital components of most undergraduate physics courses. Despite their prominence, research has shown that students learn little, if anything from lecture demos. Worse, some research suggests depending on the delivery, demos can even contribute to students' misconceptions. We analyze one delivery method that requires students' predictions of lecture demonstration outcomes in introductory mechanics and electricity and magnetism at two large research universities. We compare students' predictions before having seen the demonstration to what they report as having observed both right after the demonstration and several weeks later. Students' post-demonstration explanations of the physics behind each demonstration are also analyzed. Triangulation of these data points leads us to better understand how students' pre-instructional beliefs influence their interpretation and memory of physics lecture demonstrations. This can mitigate the "disconnect" that has been shown to exist between what instructors think they are demonstrating and what students actually observe/remember.
  Footnotes: None
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