program_wb_i - page 143

July 26–30, 2014
Wednesday afternoon
Session GE: PER: Evaluating Instruc-
tional Strategies II
Location: Tate Lab 131
Sponsor: AAPT
Date: Wednesday, July 30
Time: 1–2:50 p.m.
Presider: Eleanor Sayre
1-1:10 p.m. Interplay Between Beliefs and Learning in
Mixed-level Introductory Physics
Contributed – Brent W. Barker, Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL 60605;
Kayla Fouch, Roosevelt University
Introductory calculus and non-calculus physics classes are combined into
a single section with an additional calculus discussion section afterwards.
Others have found a correlation between student beliefs about learning
physics and conceptual learning. We investigate this correlation within
our mostly life-sciences population and explore the effect of the calculus
discussion section on these beliefs and learning.
1:10-1:20 p.m. Conceptual Gains with Embodied
Learning in Resistive Circuits
Contributed – Alex M. Barr, Howard Community College, College Park, MD
Mark Baumann, Randi Ludwig, University of Texas at Austin
We report on conceptual learning gains associated with an embodied
learning activity for resistive circuits. The activity, Circuit Theater, involves
students playing the role of electric charges as they act out the behavior of
various circuits involving batteries and light bulbs. A subset of questions
from the Determining and Interpreting Resistive Electric Circuits Con-
cepts Test (DIRECT) were administered before and after Circuit Theater
activities in a calculus-based physics course at Howard Community Col-
lege. Normalized gains for students participating in Circuit Theater average
49% after one week of activities. We also report on possible learning reten-
tion suggested by performance on the unit exam and the final exam.
1:20-1:30 p.m. Teaching Quantum Mechanics through
Project-based Learning
Contributed – Gintaras K. Duda, Creighton University, Omaha, NE 68178;
Although there has been interest in problem/project-based learning in
the PER community as an active engagement strategy, most work done to
date, however, has focused on introductory courses. This talk will explore
research on upper-division quantum mechanics, a junior/senior level
course at Creighton University, which was taught using PBL pedagogy with
no in-class lectures. Course time was primarily spent on lecture tutorials
and projects, which included the alpha decay of Uranium, neutrino oscilla-
tions, spin oscillations/NMR, and FTIR spectroscopy of HCl. This talk will
describe how PBL pedagogy was implement in an upper-division physics
course and will explore student learning in light of the new pedagogy and
embedded metacognitive self-monitoring exercises, and the effect of the
PBL curriculum on student attitudes, motivation, and epistemologies.
1:30-1:40 p.m. Quantum Interactive Learning Tutorial
(QuILT) on Mach Zehnder Interferometer with Single
Contributed – Chandralekha Singh, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Emily Marshman, University of Pittsburgh
We are developing and assessing a quantum interactive learning tuto-
rial (QuILT) on Mach Zehnder Interferometry with single photons to
expose students to contemporary applications of quantum mechanics.
The QuILT strives to help students develop the ability to apply quantum
principles in physical situations, explore differences between classical and
quantum ideas, and organize knowledge hierarchically. The QuILT also
helps students learn about delayed choice experiments, first proposed by
John Wheeler. It adapts visualization tools to help students build physical
intuition about non-intuitive quantum phenomena and focuses on helping
them integrate qualitative and quantitative understanding and discriminate
between concepts that are often confused. Details of the development and
assessment will be discussed. We thank the National Science Foundation
for support.
*We thank the National Science Foundation for support.
1:40-1:50 p.m. Developing Metacognitive Skills in Con-
junction with Conceptual Understanding of Physics*
Contributed – Nathaniel C. Grosz, North Dakota State University, Department
of Physics, Fargo, ND 58108-6050;
Mila Kryjevskaia, MacKenzie R. Stetzer, University of Maine
Effective learners possess a diverse repertoire of metacognitive skills that
they consciously deploy to support and guide their thinking. Adopting new
thinking approaches is complex and demanding for novice learners, but
the process can be facilitated by instructors actively supporting the devel-
opment of students’ metacognitive skills. As part of an ongoing investiga-
tion of student reasoning approaches in physics courses, we wish to iden-
tify instructional strategies that are effective at promoting the development
of metacognitive skills in conjunction with the development of conceptual
understanding of physics. We have been probing the effectiveness of such
strategies across multiple learning environments (e.g., interactive lectures,
laboratory). We will present data from question sequences purposefully
designed to evoke metacognitive behavior. Results from individual and
group work will be presented and compared. Implications for instruction
will be discussed.
*This work is supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos.
DUE-1245313, DUE-1245999, and DUE-0962805.
1:50-2 p.m. Classroom Observation Coding to Study
Success Factors in Studio Physics
Contributed – Larry Medsker, George Washington University, 725 21st St.
NW, Washington, DC 20052;
Gerald Feldman, Noel Klingler, Zoe Pierce, George Washington University
Improvements in student learning through interactive-engagement
methods have been inconsistent over a range of institutions. Possible
factors for these variations include institutional differences and instructor
effectiveness. As part of a project to explore the key elements of successful
algebra-based studio courses, we are conducting systematic observations
and analyses of various classroom environments with regard to teach-
ing methods, cognitive engagement, and instructor-student interactions.
Our data are recorded as a chronological series of codes in the Teaching
Dimensions Observational Protocol (TDOP) which reflect the classroom
activities taking place at particular times. In order to test the efficacy of the
TDOP computer-based tool, we are using an evidence-based approach for
choosing an efficient set of codes grounded in PER. We will discuss the
coding design process and our insights into studio-mode courses. We will
outline the important factors impacting active learning in the classroom
and discuss how the observations inform the broader study of successful
studio physics.
2-2:10 p.m. Identifying the Different Implementations of
Studio Physics: Document Analysis
Contributed – Ozden Sengul, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303;
Joshua Von Korff, Georgia State University
Physics education research (PER) indicates that research-based instruc-
tional strategies (RBIS) such as studio classes and research-based text
materials (Physics by Inquiry) could be used widely to improve students’
learning gains and conceptual understanding. However, the effectiveness
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