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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: Wednesday, August 03

 

Total Number of Records Found: 7

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FH:   

Assessment Beyond Conceptual Inventories
  Location: SS 104
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.03
  Time: 8:00AM - 10:00AM
  Presider: Aaron Titus,
  Co-Presiders(s): None
  Equipment: N/A
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FH01:   

Why Conceptual Inventories Are Insufficient Assessment of Our Instructional Methods
  Location: SS 104
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.03
  Time: 8:00AM - 8:30AM
  Author: Beth Thacker, Texas Tech University
806-742-2996, beth.thacker@ttu.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: We present data on written pre- and post-testing and conceptual inventory pre- and post-testing in introductory labs as part of a large-scale assessment project. We address the benefits and drawbacks of each kind of assessment and discuss the need for a more comprehensive assessment to evaluate our instructional methods.
  Footnotes: This project is partially supported by grants NIH 5RC1GM090897-02 and NSF 0737181.
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FH02:   

Sustaining and Improving through Programmatic Assessment and Feedback Loops
  Location: SS 104
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.03
  Time: 8:30AM - 9:00AM
  Author: Vincent H. Kuo, Colorado School of Mines
303-273-3764, hkuo@mines.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: As the fifth largest undergraduate physics program in the country, the ABET-accredited Engineering Physics degree at the Colorado School of Mines currently has 240 majors, representing substantial growth over the past decade. A shift in program philosophy contributed to our current status. But are we successful? To better understand how we got here, and how best to proceed into the future, we turn to both horizontal and vertical assessments at the programmatic level. As is well known in the engineering education community, accredited programs must implement a process for developing program goals and objectives, along with a delivery plan that makes use of assessment and feedback to demonstrate continuous improvement. In this talk I will provide an overview of our undergraduate degree program, highlight some of the changes we have made, and describe our three overlapping assessment/feedback loops at the scale of individual courses, program learning objectives, and overall program goals.
  Footnotes: None
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FH03:   

What Stops a Person from Successfully Solving a Physics Problem?
  Location: SS 104
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.03
  Time: 9:00AM - 9:30AM
  Author: Wendy K. Adams, University of Northern Colorado
970-539-6154, wendy.adams@colorado.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: Physics educators regularly make use of concept inventories and perceptions surveys (aka: attitudes and beliefs) to evaluate instruction. However, these two types of evaluation only touch on a fraction of what is learned in a course. Students apply a range of processes, expectations and bits of knowledge when solving a physics problem and some of these are impacted by the course. The question is how can we identify what these processes, expectations and bits of knowledge are, how can we teach them and then how can we measure them? While developing the CAPS (Colorado Assessment of Problem Solving), I identified 44 processes, expectations and bits of knowledge used to solve an in depth real world problem. In this presentation I will present these skills, ideas on how to teach them and measure them.
  Footnotes: None
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FH04:   

Formative Assessment of Hypothetico-deductive Reasoning by Directly Challenging Student Epistemology
  Location: SS 104
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.03
  Time: 9:30AM - 9:40AM
  Author: James C. Moore, Coastal Carolina University
843-349-2985, moorejc@coastal.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: A critical skill necessary for practicing scientists is the application of the hypothetico-deductive model and the use of all available epistemological resources to determine new truths. Hypothetico-deductive reasoning can be assessed via written tests; however, these types of assessments avoid situations where students have deeply held pre-conceived knowledge. We present a case study where first-year physics majors are confronted with epistemic complexity; their pre-conceived "knowledge" is directly challenged, forcing them to apply different epistemological resources towards the design of an appropriate experiment. Students struggle with developing hypothetico-deductive models that probe strongly held beliefs, whereas they do not for unknown or weakly held assumptions. For strong beliefs, students limit themselves to certain modes of knowledge construction, specifically those that led to the beliefs in the first place. These challenges can be used to probe the depth of student reasoning, and explicit confrontation of this dichotomy can make students stronger truth seekers.
  Footnotes: None
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FH05:   

Measuring Conceptual Understanding in Kinematics by Problem-Solving
  Location: SS 104
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.03
  Time: 9:40AM - 9:50AM
  Author: Daniel M. Smith, Jr., South Carolina State University
803-536-7162, dsmith@scsu.edu
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: To solve kinematics problems, students are usually advised to (1) draw a diagram or graph, (2) write down known and unknown quantities, (3) choose kinematic equations that will allow the determination of the unknown quantities, and (4) solve that equation. Frequently this prescription does not result in the student finding a problem solution, but why? Often student difficulties are attributed to their inability to choose the correct equation, or to weak skills in algebra. Evidence is presented from a calculus-based physics class, however, that students fail to solve problems because they lack a conceptual understanding of the problem, as determined by their ability to relate the problem data to a diagram. The limited roles that "choosing the right equation," and weak algebra skills play in problem-solving is further explored by having students solve problems graphically by using interactive software designed especially for one-dimensional kinematics problems.
  Footnotes: None
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FH06:   

Phased-Array Homework: Used to Shape and Steer Student Understanding
  Location: SS 104
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.03
  Time: 9:50AM - 10:00AM
  Author: Stacy H. Godshall,
845-938-4233, stacy.godshall@us.army.mil
  Co-Author(s): None
  Abstract: Students demonstrate different levels of preparation and understanding of material which often coincide with how diligent the students are with their daily preparation prior to class. Having them attempt homework problems prior to class enables them to be better prepared to ask specific questions about concepts and also better prepared to perform on exams. This paper will introduce "phased-array homework" which is a flexible system of assigning homework that also incorporates specific timing of publication to students of "partial solutions" for reference by the students. As the name of the homework system implies, phased-array homework allows an instructor to shape and steer student understanding in much the same way that a phased-array antenna allows for the shaping and steering of a transmitted electromagnetic signal to yield its subsequent effective radiation pattern. Implementation method and results will be presented as well as student perspective on the system.
  Footnotes: None
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