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2010 Summer Meeting

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

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Sessions and Events w/Abstracts

Date: Monday, August 01


Total Number of Records Found: 7


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Physics Education Research Around the World I
  Location: SS Ballroom DE
  Date: Monday, Aug.01
  Time: 8:00AM - 9:40AM
  Presider: Genaro Zavala,
  Co-Presiders(s): None
  Equipment: N/A
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Diagnosing Student Understanding of Data Analysis Techniques
  Location: SS Ballroom DE
  Date: Monday, Aug.01
  Time: 8:00AM - 8:30AM
  Author: Ross K. Galloway, University of Edinburgh
+44 (0)131 650 8614,
  Co-Author(s): Simon P. Bates, Helen E Maynard-Casely, Katherine A Slaughter, Hilary Singer
  Abstract: Physicists acquire data from a multitude of sources, ranging from their own experimental equipment or numerical simulations to the outputs of large experimental collaborations. However, the mere acquisition of this data is not enough: it is essential to know how to analyse and interpret it once it has been gathered. We expect that physics degrees will equip our students with the necessary analysis skills, but do they? We have formulated a diagnostic test of data-handling skills, and have deployed it in a number of universities across the UK and Ireland. Our findings suggest that student abilities in data handling are not being strongly developed by typical laboratory instruction, and that explicit tuition of the required techniques is needed. Furthermore, we find that part of the problem may be that the graduate teaching assistants we rely on may themselves not possess fully developed skills in this area.
  Footnotes: None
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Can Student Generated Content Enhance Engagement and Learning in Physics?
  Location: SS Ballroom DE
  Date: Monday, Aug.01
  Time: 8:30AM - 9:00AM
  Author: Simon P. Bates, The University of Edinburgh
+44 (0)131 650 5280,
  Co-Author(s): Ross K. Galloway, Karon McBride
  Abstract: We describe a pilot study undertaken in a first-year physics class at the University of Edinburgh, in which students were tasked with creating their own assessment content in the form of multiple- choice questions. Using the PeerWise online system, a regular homework assignment was substituted for one in which students were required to author at least one original question, answer five others contributed by their peers, and rate and comment on a further three. The question repository was not moderated during the assignment, with tutors merely observing. The talk will discuss the scaffolding we provided for students in order to help them create questions and illustrate examples of engagement with the task and the exceptionally high quality of questions and comments provided by the student community. We also present correlations of degree of engagement with the task with end-of-course assessment performance.
  Footnotes: None
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Perceptions and Beliefs of Undergraduate Physics Majors toward Physics in Saudi Arabia
  Location: SS Ballroom DE
  Date: Monday, Aug.01
  Time: 9:00AM - 9:10AM
  Author: Hisham A. Alhadlaq
The Excellence Research Center of Science and Mathematics Education, King Saud University
  Co-Author(s): Katherine K. Perkins, Wendy K. Adams, Omar M. Al-Dossary
  Abstract: In the last decade, physics researchers around the world have studied student perceptions and beliefs on physics and learning physics. Several instruments have been used to measure these perceptions and to identify how close they are to perceptions of experts. Recently, we have administered a newly developed Arabic version of the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey (CLASS) to a sample of senior physics-major students at King Saud University (KSU) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The survey was distributed to about 100 male and female students over a three-year period (2009-2011). We will present our findings of perceptions and beliefs of undergraduate physics majors about physics and learning physics at KSU. We will take a closer look at how their perceptions compare to those of experts. An analysis of how these perceptions compare to the perceptions of a sample of freshmen students will also be presented.
  Footnotes: None
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The Effect of Formative Assessment in Brazilian University Physics Courses
  Location: SS Ballroom DE
  Date: Monday, Aug.01
  Time: 9:10AM - 9:20AM
  Author: Emerson F. Cruz, Michigan State University
  Co-Author(s): Gerd Kortemeyer
  Abstract: Most post-secondary physics courses in Brazil offer no meaningful formative assessment opportunities. We implemented online homework with immediate feedback in two courses, one with traditional learners at a public university, and one with nontraditional learners at a private university. In addition, at the public university, clickers were used in lecture. While surveys showed broad acceptance of these techniques by the students and the belief that they helped in learning, grades did not significantly improve - instead, we observed a narrowing of the grade distribution toward mid-range grades at the public university, and no difference at the private university. Our study also identifies a number of logistical and organizational hurdles that need to be overcome before a hopefully more successful implementation of these techniques should be attempted.
  Footnotes: None
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Mathematics in Cameroon: from Text to Talk in the Classroom
  Location: SS Ballroom DE
  Date: Monday, Aug.01
  Time: 9:20AM - 9:30AM
  Author: Anne E. Emerson, University of California, Santa Barbara
  Co-Author(s): Danielle B. Harlow
  Abstract: Mathematics is a gateway for learning science and thus limits the number of students choosing physics as a discipline of study. In Cameroon, this limitation is exacerbated by the introduction of algebra and early math and science tracking in secondary school. Textbooks prescribe classroom practices and relationships between content, teachers, and students, especially in Cameroon where they have strong foundations in European pedagogy and are often the sole resource in the classroom (Fonkeng, 2007). In this study, we examined how a mathematics textbook served to mediate the structure and interactions for two classes at a secondary school in Yaoundé, Cameroon. This research provides insight into how a textbook informs algebra instruction in an effort to better understand its role in supporting or constraining access to the fields of math and science.
  Footnotes: Fonkeng, George Epah (2007). The history of education in Cameroon, 1844-2004. Lewiston, New York: The Edwin Mellen Press, Ltd.
Sponsored by Danielle B. Harlow
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Contextual Elements in Translation of Force Concept Inventory into Japanese
  Location: SS Ballroom DE
  Date: Monday, Aug.01
  Time: 9:30AM - 9:40AM
  Author: Michi Ishimoto, Kochi University of Technology
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: We create a new Japanese version of the Force Concept Inventory (FCI) by combining three existing versions administered at three universities in Japan. The new version is for distribution to high schools and universities to assess students' preconceptions. The three existing versions are quite dissimilar because of differences in the interlingual translation stemming from large variation of expression in the translator's personal sense of language. We identify three elements of the interlingual translation that can alter the context of the questionnaire. The first element is the coining of scientific terms, such as velocity and acceleration, for school use so as to differentiate from everyday language. The second element is the use of gender expression, which is not necessary to describe in questionnaires in Japanese. The third element concerns lifestyle and cultural differences. For example, a car pushing a truck at cruising speed does not occur in Japan.
  Footnotes: None
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