AAPT_WM14program_final - page 91

January 4–7, 2014
Tuesday afternoon
12:30-1 p.m. Sustaining UTeach Programs
Invited – Michael Marder, The University of Texas at Austin, Department
of Physics, Austin, TX 78712;
UTeach began in the fall of 1997 at UT Austin as a new way to prepare
science and mathematics teachers. In 2006 program leaders created
the UTeach Institute, and through partnership with several organiza-
tions, particularly the National Math and Science Initiative, UTeach
began expanding across the U.S. By January 2014, over 40 universities
will be part of the UTeach community. The idea of UTeach expansion
is that after an initial five-year investment from external partners,
each university will become self-sufficient and sustain its new teacher
preparation pathway on internal resources. The first cohort of 13
UTeach universities has now completed the funding cycle, and we
can begin to assess whether or not the plan has worked. Based on
evidence we have gathered so far, despite a very challenging funding
environment for public universities, all the original programs have
in fact been sustained, and the original plans have worked out as
intended. I will present an overview of UTeach, and information on
the current status of the national UTeach experiment.
1-1:30 p.m. Make It a Good Physics Program,
Including Teaching, Teachers Follow*
Invited – Gay B. Stewart, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Depart-
ment of Physics, Fayetteville, AR 72701;
John C. Stewart, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
Some physicists still look at a good student who goes into high school
teaching as a failure on the part of the department. To get a depart-
ment behind programmatic changes that support the preparation of
teachers, it helps if they can see the impact on the number of majors.
Fortunately, at Arkansas, we have found that the two are one and the
same. Good teaching, and good teaching skills, benefit all students, re-
gardless of career path. Until UAteach, our UTeach replication, began
in fall 2012, we did not have a separate advising sheet for teacher can-
didates. We still do not have a separate “track.” In this presentation,
we will explain how we went from an average of two to 25 graduates
a year, many very successful by traditional standards (and coinciden-
tally, from 0 to 6 teachers).
*Many thanks for the previous support of these efforts by NSF, through
Session GF: The Relevance of
Laboratory and Apparatus
Location: Salon 9
Sponsor: Committee on Physics in Two-Year Colleges
Co-Sponsor: Committee on Apparatus
Date: Tuesday, January 7
Time: 12–1:30 p.m.
Presider: Robert Hobbs
12-12:30 p.m. Transforming Upper-division Lab
Courses: Goals, Curriculum, and Assessments
Invited – Heather Lewandowski, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
Preparing undergraduate physics majors for future careers in experi-
mental science is one of the main goals of our current physics educa-
tion system. Upper-division lab courses and undergraduate research
experiences are the natural places where this training can take place.
At the University of Colorado, traditional and PER faculty have been
working together to comprehensively transform our Advanced Lab
course and evaluate the impacts of these changes. I will discuss our
effort to establish learning goals, transform the course, and measure
the impact of the transformation on students’ scientific process skills.
As part of this effort, we developed a validated survey (E-CLASS) to
assess students’ attitudes and beliefs about experimental physics. This
online survey is available to instructors at any institution that would
like to learn more about the impact of their lab courses at all levels on
students’ attitudes about experimental physics. The survey is designed
to give instructors actionable feedback to help them improve their
12:30-1 p.m. Four-Semester Laboratory Course:
A Ramp Toward Doing Science
Invited – Anna Karelina, 42 Broadmoor Ct., San Ramon, CA 94583;
Through discussions and group meetings with faculty members of the
Occidental College, we formulated the learning goals of introduc-
tory laboratories for physics and engineering majors. Using methods
and approaches of the Investigative Science Learning Environment
we were able to create a consistent four-semester course
sequence to achieve these goals. The course prepares students for
independent research in advanced lab courses, for summer research,
and their future scientific work. At the end the course our students
demonstrate that they have built up higher-level thinking skills and
scientific abilities, such as the ability to design an experiment, to test a
hypothesis, to analyze, to evaluate the results and many others.
1. Etkina, E. & Van Heuvelen, A. (2001). Investigative Science Learning
Environment: Using the processes of science and cognitive strategies to learn
physics. Proceedings of the 2001 Physics Education Research Conference,
Rochester, NY, 17-21
1-1:10 p.m. Guidelines for the Undergraduate
Laboratory Curriculum
Contributed – Joseph F. Kozminski, Lewis University, Romeoville, IL
A subcommittee of the AAPT Committee on Laboratories* has been
established to review various documents relating to goals of the
undergraduate lab at all levels and to recommend guidelines or goals
for the laboratory in the undergraduate curriculum. We are working
to develop fairly broad guidelines that cut across the various levels
of undergraduate labs and that can be implemented at any college or
university. Specific recommendations will be given for implementa-
tion in introductory and advanced labs. The guidelines and recom-
mendations generated by the subcommittee will be presented in this
The other members of this subcommittee are Nancy Beverly, Duane Deardorff,
Dick Dietz, Melissa Eblen-Zayas, Robert Hobbs, Dean Hudek, Heather Lewan-
dowski, Steve Lindaas, Ann Reagan, Randy Tagg, Jeremiah Williams, Benjamin
1:10-1:20 p.m. MOOC Tools to Enhance Professional
Development in the Advanced Lab
Contributed – Sean P. Robinson, MIT, 77 Massachusetts Ave., Cam-
bridge, MA 02139-4307;
I will describe recent experiences with the use of online education
tools developed for the MOOC community (EdX) to enhance the
purely residential educational experience for students in the MIT
Physics advanced lab (“Junior Lab”). This is a rigorous academic
subject that places heavy emphasis on the student’s professional
development as a scientist (e.g. oral and written communication,
the troubleshooting process, professional scientific attitude, data
analysis, reasoning about uncertainty), using experimental physics as
the educational medium. Recent curriculum changes attempt to shift
the content delivery phase for these broad learning goals into online
preparatory exercises and video lectures, freeing up lab time with the
faculty for more nuanced dialog and active practice. Preliminary and
anecdotal results from the fall 2013 semester will be presented.
1:20-1:30 p.m. Ranking College and University
Physics Programs, According to their Laboratory
Contributed – Gabriel C. Spalding, Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloom-
ington, IL 61702;
The number of instructional lab courses offered to undergraduate
physics majors does NOT appear to scale with the size of the institu-
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