aapt_program_final_sm13 - page 84

Tuesday morning
We have all faced the problem of students coming to class unprepared.
Assigned readings from the textbook are often ignored, and many students
are seeing the material for the first time as you present it. The Physics Edu-
cation Research Group at the University of Illinois has developed a suite
of online pre-lecture activities to address this problem. Before each class,
animated Multimedia Learning Modules present students with all of the
required concepts, and Just in Time Teaching questions provide feedback
to both students and professor. This preparation allows peer instruction
to transform a passive lecture into an active learning environment. In this
talk I will describe our success with the above approach, and will provide
a sneak peek at our current efforts to integrate hands-on activities into the
same technological framework.
11:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Integrating Direct Measurement
Video into Physics Instruction
Invited – Peter H. Bohacek, Henry Sibley High School, 1897 Delaware Ave.,
Mendota Heights, MN 55118;
The growing collection of Direct Measurement Videos for teaching phys-
ics will be presented, as well as methods to integrate them into physics
instruction. Direct Measurement Videos are short videos of events that
can be analyzed using physics concepts. Grids, rulers, frame-counters, and
other overlays allow students to make quick and precise measurements
directly from the video. Students use these measurements to answer ques-
tions and solve problems. Three ways to use direct measurement videos
will be discussed. First, a series of related videos can be used as part of
a guided inquiry where students develop and explore physics concepts.
For example, students analyze a series of videos to develop and apply
the concept of momentum conservation. Second, videos can be used for
problem-solving practice, where students make measurements from the
video to solve problems. Finally, a collection of questions based on Direct
Measurement Videos is available from WebAssign.
Session DD: Methodologies for
Identifying and Investigating Cogni-
tive ‘Resources’ in Physics Thinking
Location: Broadway III/IV
Sponsor: Committee on Research in Physics Education
Date: Tuesday, July 16
Time: 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Presider: Ian Beatty
10:30-11 a.m. What Are Resources and How Can We
Invited – Eleanor C. Sayre, Kansas State University, 116 Cardwell Hall, Man-
hattan, KS 66506;
I study how physics students become physicists through both identity
development and content knowledge learning. My work focuses on upper
division physics lab and theory classes, where students must learn to coor-
dinate physics and mathematics content resources with cultural and epis-
temological resources for becoming a physicist. I take two complementary
perspectives on how to find resources in data. In a loose sense, the idea of
resources is an epistemological choice on the part of the researcher to look
for little bits of reusable good ideas in student thinking. It’s a framing away
from evaluating veracity and towards investigating how people are being
productive. In a stricter sense, resources have specific properties: they are
reusable, nestable, networkable, and nameable. To illustrate these proper-
ties and their entailments in observational, video-based data, I discuss a
class of resources that bridge cultural physics shibboleths with technical
physics and mathematics content.
11-11:30 a.m. Methods for Identifying Students’
Knowledge About Complex Systems
Invited – Lauren A. Barth-Cohen, University of California, Berkeley, Unit 309-
6309, Larkin Drive, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4 Canada;
In my work I focus on students’ competencies in generating scientific
explanations within the domain of complex systems, an interdisciplinary
area in which students tend to have difficulties. I have data from open-
ended clinical interviews with students who have a variety of academic
backgrounds from 8th grade through PhD in physics and astronomy. These
students were asked to reason about seven problem contexts, all of which
exhibit behaviors associated with complex systems (e.g. the movement
of sand dunes, the formation of traffic jams, and the diffusion of juice in
water). In this talk I discuss how I used the microgenetic learning analysis
cycle of observation, schematization, and systematization (OSS) (Parnafes
and diSessa, 2013) to build a mini-theory of four categories of intuitive
prior knowledge students activate about complex systems in this context.
11:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Identifying Knowledge-In-Use and
In-Development: The Dialogue Between Data and Theory
Invited – Mariana Levin, Michigan State University, Wells Hall C-721, 619
Red Cedar Road, East Lansing, MI 48824;
This talk will engage the issue of honing our ability to analyze video
records of real-time reasoning processes from a “resources” perspective. In
qualitative analyses of reasoning processes we face several methodological
challenges, in part because as analysts, we have no direct access to learners’
conceptual systems. So, then, how do we argue that our descriptions of
resources capture something psychologically real for subjects? How can
we operationalize our descriptions of resources so that they can be useful
beyond local analyses? In my talk, I will discuss the theoretical constraints
a heuristic epistemological framework (e.g., diSessa, 1993) puts on the
identification and characterization of relevant knowledge resources,
systems, and their dynamics. To illustrate this interplay between the devel-
opment of local descriptions of knowledge-in-use and in-development and
the orienting epistemological framework, I will discuss data from a recent
study investigating the emergence of new strategies during episodes of
mathematical problem solving.
12-12:30 p.m. Using The ‘Resources’ Framework
Without Identifying Specific Resources: Huh?
Invited – Andrew Elby, University of Maryland, Department of TLPL, Benjamin
Bldg. #2311, College Park, MD 20742;
What counts as evidence that a proposed cognitive resource exists? Other
speakers in this session provide thoughtful answers. I, by contrast, argue
that it’s often OK to sidestep the question, because the resources frame-
work does productive intellectual work even when specific resources aren’t
identified. An analogy with atomic theory clarifies my argument. Even
without identifying specific atoms, atomic theory helps explain phenomena
such as why the pressure of a gas increases with temperature. But other
phenomena, such as the relative stabilities of different chemical bonds, can-
not be explained without identifying and characterizing particular atoms
in detail. Similarly, thinking in terms of the resources framework without
identifying specific resources “like thinking in terms of atomic theory
without identifying specific atoms” is generative for addressing some
research questions but not others. I illustrate this point using work on
student and teacher epistemologies, and explore methodologies appropri-
ate for such research agendas.
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