program_wb_i - page 133

July 26–30, 2014
Wednesday morning
9:50-10 a.m. Gender Differences in Introductory Physics
Contributed – Jayson M. Nissen, 120 Bennet Hall, Orono, ME 04469; jayson.
A gender-gap favoring males in outcomes such as conceptual knowledge,
self-efficacy, attitudes and beliefs is common in introductory physics
We investigated this issue by measuring students’ in the moment
stated feelings of self-efficacy and motivation throughout their daily lives,
including in an introductory physics course. We also used trait surveys
to measure gender gaps in the course consistent with prior research [1].
We found gender differences in physics favoring males on both measures.
These findings trace the larger negative effect on female students’ attitudes
and beliefs about learning physics and their physics self-efficacy to their
experiences occurring in the midst of physics instruction. This confronts
researchers, educators, and administrators with the need for developing
and implementing more equitable physics instruction.
1. L. Kost, S. Pollock, & N. Finkelstein,
(1) (2009)..
10-10:10 a.m. Beyond the Numbers: Finding
Mechanisms to Support Diversity
Contributed – Vashti A. Sawtelle, University of Maryland, 1326 John S Toll
Physics Bldg., College Park, MD 20742-2421;
Julia Svoboda Gouvea, University of California, Davis
Chandra Turpen, University of Maryland, College Park
Understanding issues of diversity and equity in physics has historically
taken the lens of documenting broad patterns of participation of women
and ethnically underrepresented groups. This work has explored reasons
for differing levels in participation including conceptual understanding,
physics identity, and student self-efficacy. A common aim of this work
has been to examine the impact of these variables on the prevalence of
underrepresented groups in physics. We present an alternative lens on
diversity and equity that centers on better understanding and supporting
student trajectories of participation over time. Drawing from case study
data of a biology major in an introductory physics class, we argue that ac-
cess to a professional community of scientists must start from exposure to,
participation in, and developing an affinity towards a variety of scientific
practices. We articulate how this perspective informs a model of support-
ing diverse students who are commonly disenfranchised from physics.
Session FG: Broader Perspectives: Re-
search-based Strategies to Improve
the Teaching and Learning of Physics
and Astronomy
Location: STSS 114
Sponsor: Committee on International Physics Education
Co-Sponsor: Committee on Space Science and Astronomy
Date: Wednesday, July 30
Time: 8:30–10:30 a.m.
Presider: Chandralekha Singh
8:30-9 a.m. Conceptual Knots Exploration on
Electromagnetic Phenomena and Quantum Mechanics
Invited – Marisa Michelini, PERU - DCFA - University of Udine, via delle
Scienze 208 Udine, 33100 Italy;
Lorenzo G Santi, Alberto Stefanel, Stefano Vercellati, Giacomo Zuccarini,
PERU - DCFA - University of Udine
In the framework of Model of Educational Reconstruction our research is
focused mainly on two aspects: conceptual knots exploration (CKE) and
vertical paths design (VPD), focusing on the building of formal thinking.
Empirical research is carries out for CKE by means of questionnaires, in/
out tests, tutorials and Rogersian interviews. CKE is an essential element
for VPD. It was carried out in the calibration process of a questionnaire
for university students on quantum mechanics and in many steps of a
Design Based Research aimed at VPD on electromagnetic phenomena. The
first step of VPD research is reasoning analysis on magnetic interactions
in Conceptual Labs of Operative Exploration in primary school activi-
ties and in informal learning environment. Educational reconstruction of
conceptual nuclei in electromagnetic phenomena and CKE are taking into
account to design electromagnetic IBL paths. It was experimented at dif-
ferent school level, monitoring students learning trajectories in teaching/
learning intervention modules.
9-9:30 a.m. Illuminating a Blind Spot in STEM
Education Research
Invited – Edward Prather, University of Arizona, Center for Astronomy Educa-
tion (CAE), Tucson, AZ 85721;
In this talk I will assert that much of STEM education research suffers
because it fails to attend to the fundamental role played by a student’s
worldview. A person’s worldview can be thought of as the set of (often
implicit and often non-rational) beliefs, presuppositions, and assumptions
about reality, which affect one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors; influ-
ence one’s symbolic creations; and determine what constitutes valid and
important knowledge about the world. At its foundation, DBER naively
assumes that if students better understand discipline knowledge and skills
then they will be more likely to adopt scientific ways of understanding the
world and develop positive beliefs about the role of science in society. I will
discuss research being done at the University of Arizona on how to engage
students in introductory physics and astronomy courses using curricula
that gives scientific ideas empathy, scope and force, thereby helping learn-
ers develop scientifically compatible worldviews.
9:30-10 a.m. From Instructional Goals to Grading
Practices: The Case of Graduate TAs*
Invited – Edit Yerushalmi, Weizmann Institute of Science, 234 Herzl St.
Rehovot, 7610001 Israel;
Emily Marshman, Alexandru Maries, Chandralekha Singh, University of
Charles Henderson, Western Michigan University
Teaching assistants (TAs) are often responsible for grading student solu-
tions. Grading communicates instructors’ expectations, thus TAs have a
crucial role in forming students’ approaches to problem solving in physics.
We investigated the grading practices and considerations of 43 first-year
graduate students participating in a TA training course. The study utilized
four student solutions, selected to reflect expert and novice approaches
to problem solving and to elicit conflicting considerations in assigning
grades. TAs were asked to list solution features and to explain how and why
they weighed the different features to obtain a final score. We will describe
how discussions of grading practices in the course, as well as one semester
of teaching experience, impacted how the TAs grade student solutions.
We will relate our results to the findings of a larger study to understand
instructors’ considerations regarding the learning and teaching of problem
solving in an introductory physics course. This work is supported by the
National Science Foundation.
*This work is supported by the National Science Foundation.
10-10:30 a.m. Enhancing Student Learning in a Flipped
Invited – Shih-Yin Lin, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-
John M. Aiken, Scott S. Douglas, Edwin F. Greco, Michael F. Schatz, Georgia
Institute of Technology
In this talk, we discuss our experiences “flipping” a large-enrollment
introductory mechanics course and report student learning in this new
class format. In our flipped class, pre-recorded lecture videos are used
to introduce students to new materials outside of the classroom. Class-
room time is spent on group discussion, problem solving, and practicing
scientific communication. We place special emphasis in our flipped class
on engaging students in scientific communication and reasoning from
fundamental principles. We will discuss how students engage with differ-
ent elements in the course (e.g. classroom meeting, online lecture, online
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