AAPT_WM14program_final - page 94

Tuesday afternoon
Tuesday, January 7, 1:30–3 p.m. • Grand Ballroom B
Policymakers formulate decisions everyday that impact curriculum, standards, funding, and many
other aspects of physics education at all levels. AAPT works with a number of partners to keep policy-
makers informed on the views of physics educators and to suggest appropriate policy options within
the Association’s sphere of influence. This session brings together individuals who play pivotal roles in
helping to shape policies and who provide information to policymakers. We hope to provide a look at
the process of policy making as well as actions you might make to contribute to decisions about poli-
cies affecting physics and STEM education.
This Symposium is being partially sponsored by funds contributed to the Memorial Fund in memory
of Mario Iona. Iona, a long-standing and dedicated AAPT member, was the first Chair of the Section
Representatives and served on the AAPT Executive Board, was a column editor in
The Physics Teacher
presenter at many national AAPT meetings, recipient of the Robert A. Millikan Award in 1986, and
relentless champion of correct diagrams and language in textbooks. Contributions to the Memorial
Fund provide support for many AAPT programs such as the Symposium.
Noah Finkelstein, Professor of Physics at University of Colorado at Boulder
Juan-Carlos Aguilar,
Division of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, Georgia Department of Education,
Atlanta, GA 30334;
Paula R. Heron,
University of Washington, Department of Physics, Seattle, WA 98195;
Juan-Carlos Aguilar
Paula R. Heron
AAPT Symposium on Physics
Education and Public Policy
Session HA: Post Deadline Papers
Location: Salon 9
Sponsor: AAPT
Date: Tuesday, January 7
Time: 3–4 p.m.
Presider: David Sturm
3-3:10 p.m. Conceptual Understanding of First
Order RC-filters
Contributed– Pieter Coppens, KU Leuven Celestijnenlaan 200C, bus
2406 Heverlee, 3001 Belgium;
Mieke De Cock, KU Leuven
In a series of interviews conducted earlier,
several engineering
students showed problems with a basic electronic circuit, a passive
RC-filter. To verify how widespread these problems are, a series of
conceptual questions was developed and administered to a total of
181 students of four Belgian university colleges, both before and after
laboratory instruction on the subject. This revealed several issues that
persist even after instruction, including problems with voltage divider,
Bode plots and current-based reasoning. A detailed analysis with
student answer examples will be presented.
1. Coppens, P., Cock, M. De, & Kautz, C. (2012). Student Understanding of
Filters in Analog Electronics Lab Courses. In 40th SEFI Annual Conference:
Engineering Education 2020: Meet the Future. Thessaloniki.
3:10-3:20 p.m. Evaluation of the NGSS’ Support of
Large-scale Assessment
Contributed – Thomas J. Regan, The College Board, 11955 Democracy
Dr., Reston, VA 20190;
To evaluate the Next Generation Science Standards’ (NGSS) support
of a large-scale assessment system, I attempted to write items to
the performance expectations (PEs) of Topic HS-PS2, Motion and
Stability: Forces and Interactions. As background, the perspective of a
large-scale assessment vendor/item writer on standards documents is
described. Then, each of the PEs is carefully considered with respect
to the guidance given to the item writer. Some difficulties encountered
are: insufficiently characterized content and contexts, narrow student
tasks, and questionable applications of inquiry activities. In addi-
tion, some language presents an inaccurate picture of what scientists
do. Specific instances of these difficulties are presented. I conclude
that these performance expectations, as written, require too much
interpretation by the item writer to support a transparent large-scale
assessment system. I will suggest improvements, noting also existing
features of the NGSS that are conducive to transparent assessment.
3:20-3:30 p.m. Surveying Students’ Understanding
of Measurement Uncertainty and Proportional
Contributed – Jeffrey D. Marx, McDaniel College, Westminster, MD
Karen Cummings, Southern Connecticut State University
As part of our NSF-supported curricular development efforts to create
course materials to enhance the scientific literacy of undergraduate
non-science majors, we are developing a survey instrument to probe
this population’s understanding of measurement uncertainty and
proportional reasoning ability. By employing everyday items (scales,
luggage, and kittens) and activities (weighing oneself and traveling)
we have attempted to create an interview instrument and protocol that
evokes and accommodates a wide range of responses and interpreta-
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