AAPT_WM14program_final - page 96

Tuesday afternoon
3-3:30 p.m. Standards-based Grading: Evolution
Through Implementation
Invited – Jeffrey Funkhouser, Greenhill School, Addison, TX 75001;
Implementation issues can be addressed through a willingness to
evolve the grading standards and grade determination structures
across multiple years. This is the process by which a private inde-
pendent school in Texas has instituted and promulgated to other
departments a standards-based grading (SBG) scheme. Initially used
in one physics course by one teacher, the Greenhill School has slowly
expanded use of SBG to almost all physics classes taught by three
different teachers. Difficulties and solutions for this experiment in
progress will be highlighted.
3:30-4 p.m. The Spirit of SBG
Invited – Frank Noschese, John Jay High School, Cross River, NY
Perhaps you want to switch to SBG, but circumstances prevent you
from doing so. In this session, we’ll explore how many of the strengths
of SBG can still be done within a more traditional grading system.
Session HD: Post Deadline
Papers II
Location: Salon 11
Sponsor: AAPT
Date: Tuesday, January 7
Time: 3–3:50 p.m.
Presider: Mike Gallis
3-3:10 p.m. Development of Integrated Physics
Identity in a Learning Assistant Program
Contributed – Hunter G. Close, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX
Eleanor W. Close, Jessica M. Conn, Texas State University
In the physics department at Texas State University, we are developing
a Learning Assistant (LA) program with reform-based instructional
changes in our introductory course sequences. We are interested in
how participation in the LA program influences LAs’ identity both as
physics students and as physics teachers; in particular, how being part
of the LA community changes participants’ self-concepts and their
day-to-day practice. We analyze video of interviews with LAs as well
as written artifacts from program applications, pedagogy course re-
flections, and evaluations. Our analysis of self-concepts is informed by
the identity framework developed by Hazari et al.
and our analysis
of practice is informed by Lave and Wenger’s theory of Communities
of Practice.
Themes emerging from the data include self-perception
of increased competence in communication as well as in physics
learning and teaching; increased enjoyment of participation in physics
activities; and a new sense that being wrong is a healthy part of the
process of learning physics.
1. Hazari et al., JRST 47(8), 2010.
2. Lock, Hazari, & Potvin, in AIP Conf. Proceedings 1513, 2013.
3. Lave, J., & Wenger, E., 1991.
4. Wenger, E., 1998.
3:10-3:20 p.m. Exploring the Relationship between
Elastic Potential Energy and Restorative Forces
Using Springs
Contributed – Sairam Tangirala, Georgia Gwinnett College, (SST) 1000
University Center Ln., Lawrenceville, GA 30043;
Joseph D. Ametepe, Georgia Gwinnett College (SST)
In this undergraduate course embedded project, PHYS 2211K
(calculus-based, studio-style Introductory Physics class) instructors
designed an activity aimed at providing an intuitive understanding
of the harmonic nature of elastic potential energy. The relationship
between the elastic potential energy and work done by an elastic
restorative force was studied using experimentally obtained data. The
data plots obtained from the experiment were used by the students
to interpret and understand the work-energy theorem for spring
systems. As an extension, we plan to model a polymer as a chain of
repetitive monomers (beads) connected via elastic flexible bonds
(springs). To achieve this, we plan to employ the Hooke’s law and
other non-symmetric potentials to explore and interpret the relation-
ship between derivatives and integrals.
3:20-3:30 p.m. Monitoring Variable Stars with a
DSLR Camera
Contributed – Todd Brown, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg, 150
Finoli Dr., Greensburg, PA 15601;
Contributions to active astronomy research are not completely
confined to large institutions or groups with an array of expensive
telescopes and CCD accessories. A standard digital single-lens reflex
(DSLR) camera and tripod combined with freeware from the web is
all that is required to collect, analyze and submit contributing data on
bright variable stars. This presentation will center around the advan-
tages and pitfalls of using the IRIS software package supplied by the
American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) to observe
the well-known eclipsing binary Persei (Algol).
3:30-3:40 p.m. Project and Problem-based
Pedagogy at Spelman College
Contributed – Sharah A. Yasharahla, Spelman College, Atlanta, GA
Derrick Hylton, Spelman College
Eight years ago the Spelman College physics department decided
to embark on a journey of project and problem-based learning. We
wanted to increase student learning outcomes based on evidence from
PER. Our implementation took the form of students investigating real
phenomena, open-ended problems and design challenges. Students
were assessed using pre- and post-tests and some of the laboratories
were assessed via videos. Although we are in the process of work-
ing out specific conclusions from the assessment data, we want to
report on our general observations and important results that seem
to be emerging from the data. We have possibly seen some progress
on motivation, engagement, data analysis skills, process skills, and
collaboration skills, while being able to cover the same material
and sometimes more. Some problems are training adjunct faculty,
managing the classrooms, creating projects and problems, student
assessments, creating strategies for effective group work outside of
class. We are convinced that there is merit in this approach and we
encourage the physics education community to enhance research on
the implementation, such as dealing with dysfunctional groups and
defining types of relevant data.
3:40-3:50 p.m. Mentor/Mentee Relationships
Contributed – Stephanie Marry, Barrington High School;
I have been through two mentor programs as a mentee. The programs
involved support meetings, professional development classes and
assigned mentors. Through these programs I have worked with three
mentors. My mentors were very different from one another – each
used a variety of strategies to help me improve. One of the practices
that was most helpful was observing my mentors learn from their
experience and being observed by them. Sometimes my mentors took
on the role of a counselor to guide me through first-time experiences.
Unfortunately, I had some difficult times and my mentor was able
to remain positive and supportive throughout. Being in a mentor
program has also encouraged me to participate in many professional
development opportunities. Mentor programs have been beneficial for
me as a new teacher as well as my students.
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