aapt_program_final_sm13 - page 51

July 13–17, 2013
Monday morning
Session AH: PER: Classroom
Strategies and Problem Solving
Using Online Tools
Location: Pavilion West
Sponsor: AAPT
Date: Monday, July 15
Time: 8–9:50 a.m.
Presider: Homeyra Sadaghiani
8-8:10 a.m. Implicit Scaffolding for Student Learning
with Computer Simulations
Contributed – Noah S. Podolefsky, University of Colorado, Campus Box 390,
Boulder, CO 80309;
Emily B. Moore, Katherine K. Perkins, University of Colorado
We introduce implicit scaffolding, a research-based theoretical framework
we use to design PhET interactive simulations (sims) for inquiry learning.
Scaffolding is usually explicit, consisting of prompts, questions, and other
forms of guidance. Implicit scaffolding leverages affordance and constraints
carefully chosen and built into PhET sims in order to guide without stu-
dents feeling guided. By making scaffolding implicit, we aim to specifically
address affective goals such as student agency, ownership, and productive,
self-directed exploration. When scaffolding is implicit, student epistemo-
logical framing of their exploration with a sim can be more aligned with
the self-directed, personally rewarding exploration done by scientists than
when scaffolding is explicit. Additionally, implicitly scaffolded sims provide
opportunities for instructors to design and facilitate classroom activities
that are 1) more student-centered, and 2) more focused on conceptual
learning. Implications for learning tools beyond PhET sims will be dis-
8:10-8:20 a.m. Flipping a College Physics Class Using
Video Lectures and PER Tutorials
Contributed – Roberto Ramos, Indiana Wesleyan University, 4201 South
Washington St., Marion, IN 46953;
Jaki Richter, Indiana Wesleyan University
An introductory college physics class was taught using a “flipped format”
in a liberal arts college setting. Outside class, students viewed over 75
online video lectures on introductory mechanics prepared by this author
using an inexpensive high-definition webcam and Relay Camtasia soft-
ware. Videos ranging from five to 20 minutes long were made available
via Blackboard, which enabled tracking of viewing. Inside the class, the
students mostly worked through PER-based, activity-based tutorials and
occasionally solved problems. A professor with one or two undergraduate
TAs served more as facilitators in student-centered, peer-learning-based
activities. I will report on the learning gains, which were significant, as
measured by standard pre- and post-learning physics diagnostic tests. I
will also report on student response and feedback as measured by surveys
and online video interviews. Interesting aspects of the viewing behavior of
students, as measured by Blackboard tracking statistics will be reported as
8:20-8:30 a.m. The Role of an Online Collaborative
Textbook Annotation Tool in a Flipped Introductory
Physics Class
Contributed – Kelly A. Miller, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138;
Sacha Zyto, David Karger, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Eric Mazur, Harvard University
In the age of digital learning and flipped classrooms, there is an open ques-
tion as to how online participation facilitates learning. We investigate the
role of NB, an online collaborative textbook annotation tool, in a flipped
introductory physics class. NB serves as both the primary content delivery
mechanism and provides a discussion forum for students. We analyze the
relationship between students’ level of online engagement and traditional
learning metrics to understand the effectiveness of NB in the context of
flipped classrooms.
8:30-8:40 a.m. Engaging Non-Majors through Student-
Generated Assessment Content
Contributed – Simon P. Bates,* University of British Columbia, 1961 East
Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1, Canada;
Emily Altiere, Firas Moosvi, University of British Columbia
We describe the first investigation of student-generated assessment content
using the PeerWise online system in an introductory physics course
composed exclusively of non-majors. Implemented across three concurrent
sections of the course (N=700), we have utilized the same scaffolding and
instructional design implementation to that which had previously yielded a
very high standard of question quality. This is, therefore, a replication study
in a very different course context: the final, and for many, only physics
course these students will take. We report details of the students’ engage-
ment with the online system, together with an investigation of the quality
of the questions that students author, by categorizing them into the levels
in the cognitive domain of Bloom’s taxonomy. Through sampling of ques-
tions authored at distinct points in the course, we are able to track changes
in the quality of submissions as the course progresses.
*Sponsored by Ross Galloway
8:40-8:50 a.m. A New Framework for Computer
Coaching of Problem Solving*
Contributed – Evan Frodermann, University of Minnesota, 116 Church St.
S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55455;
Ken Heller, Leon Hsu, Kristin Crouse, University of Minnesota
The physics education research (PER) group at the University of Minnesota
has been developing online computer programs intended to aid students
in developing problem-solving skills by coaching them in the use of an
expert-like problem-solving framework. An early version was tested in a
large calculus-based introductory physics class and judged to be help-
ful by students. The PER group is now working on a second generation
of coaches which is more flexible for both students and instructors. The
new coaches will allow students to make the decisions critical to problem
solving in a non-linear path, more closely resembling the actual way they
solve problems. It will also allow instructors without any programming
experience to modify both the structure and content of existing coaches
and to create new ones. In this talk we will demonstrate the new interface
and discuss the rationale behind its design.
*This work is supported by NSF DUE-1226197.
8:50-9 a.m. Online Computer Coaches for Introductory
Physics Problem Solving – Usage Patterns and Students’
Contributed – Qing Xu, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, 116 Church St.
SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455;
Kenneth Heller, Leon Hsu, Evan Frodermann, University of Minnesota-Twin
Bijaya Aryal, University of Minnesota-Rochester
The Physics Education Research Group at the University of Minnesota
has been developing Internet computer coaches to help students become
more expert-like problem solvers. During the fall 2011 and spring 2013
semesters, the coaches were introduced into large sections (200+ students)
of the calculus-based introductory mechanics course at the University of
Minnesota. In this talk, we will discuss the different usage patterns of the
coaches and their correlations with student problem-solving performance
and attitudes toward problem solving in physics.
*This work was supported by NSF DUE-0715615 and DUE-1226197.
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