program_wb_i - page 109

July 26–30, 2014
Tuesday afternoon
2:20-2:30 p.m. Slow-Speed Video
Contributed – Paul M. Nord, Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN 46383-
No sense in our bodies overwhelms the others more than vision. The
digital age has recently brought imaging technology at an affordable price.
We can slow the ultra-fast splatter of a raindrop to a humanly understand-
able speed. We can see a world of things that happen in the blink of an eye.
At the other end of the speed spectrum are those interactions that happen
so slowly that the instantaneous motion cannot be perceived. The motion
of the hour hand of a clock, the formation of an icicle, the melting of snow,
or the oozing of a thick liquid all take so long that we cannot perceive the
change. This talk will demonstrate a few new technological tricks to bring
slow motions up to the scale of human perception.
2:30-2:40 p.m. Hearing the Spectral Components of a
Sung Vowel
Contributed – Lyle R. Lichty, Cornell College, Mount Vernon, IA 52314;
I will demonstrate a new and fun twist on an old standby. In the past we
would use a PASCO Fourier Synthesizer to create an audible square wave
from its Fourier components. By attenuating or enhancing a particular
component in the square wave, students could distinguish that particular
component once the full square wave was played again. With modern
acoustic software packages this same demonstration can be performed us-
ing a recorded human voice instead of a square wave. A vowel sound sung
by the instructor or a student is recorded. During a middle time segment
of the vowel, one or more components are filtered out. The original vowel
sound is played, followed by the filtered vowel and the original vowel again.
Distinguishing the filtered components in the original sound can be both
surprising and enlightening.
2:40-2:50 p.m. Old(?) Labs New(!?) Tricks
Contributed – David E. Sturm, University of Maine, Department of Physics &
Astronomy, Orono, ME 04469;
A look at a few “new” introductory lab ideas that aren’t as new as they
seem, and at some “old” standards included in texts of collected labs such
as those by Cioffari or Wilson. These “old” standards still can be done with
“pre-owned” apparatus, but with a team approach and “modern” (since
1905??) methodology.
2:50-3 p.m. Chasing Aurora: Learning Astronomy
Through the STEAM
Contributed – Richard P. Hechter, University of Manitoba, Faculty of Educa-
tion, Winnipeg, MB R3T2N2 Canada;
Making curriculum relevant and meaningful for students is critical to
enhanced teaching and learning experiences. The Chasing Aurora Project,
conducted in rural and northern Manitoba where the aurora borealis
appears beautifully throughout the year was designed to teach the grade 9
astronomy cluster in a new and focused way by using the aurora borealis
as the foundation for learning. This presentation will share elements of the
project through which secondary-level students engaged in all elements of
STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Mathematics) as part
of their learning of astronomy. Specifically, student-taken photographs, art
work, and calculations will be presented and triangulated with their com-
ments and reflections towards using the natural world around them as the
context for greater learning and exploration of this cluster.
Session EF: The Role and Implemen-
tation of Upper-level E&M
Location: Tate Lab 131
Sponsor: Committee on Physics in Undergraduate Education
Date: Tuesday, July 29
Time: 1–2:30 p.m.
Presider: Juan Burciaga
1-1:30 p.m. Teaching Upper-Division Electromagnetism
in the Paradigms in Physics Program*
Invited– Corinne Manogue, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331;
Justyna Zwolak, Emily Smith, Michael Goldtrap, Oregon State University
To improve conceptual learning, the Paradigms in Physics program has
reordered material from the subdisciplines and incorporated modern
pedagogical strategies. In the electromagnetism part of our curriculum,
we have: (1) reordered the content, e.g. to present potentials before electric
fields; (2) exploited the geometric definitions of concepts like divergence
and curl; (3) emphasized multiple representations, including kinesthetic
representations of three dimensional geometry; (4) used the notion of
accumulation (chopping and adding) for integral versions of fundamental
laws; and (5) employed a wide variety of active-engagement pedagogi-
cal strategies. We will discuss some of these changes and present student
results from new assessment protocols such as the CUE and ACER.
*This material is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation under
Grant Nos. DUE 9653250, 0231194, 0618877, 1023120, 1323800.
1:30-2:00 p.m. A Research-validated Approach to
Transforming Upper-division E&M: Issues and Measures
Invited – Steven J. Pollock, University of Colorado, Boulder 390 UCB, Boul-
der, CO 80309;
Upper-division E&M is traditionally taught using a lecture approach
that does not make use of many of the instructional techniques that have
been found to improve student learning at the introductory level. At the
University of Colorado, we are transforming upper-division E&M (and
other courses) using principles of active engagement and learning theory.
We are guided by extensive faculty conversations on course-level learning
goals. Our work builds on a research base of observations, interviews, and
analysis of student work. Here I will outline the nature of the consen-
sus learning goals we developed, and some associated assessments and
pedagogical transformations. We have examined the effectiveness of these
reforms relative to traditional courses based on grades, interviews, and
both attitudinal and conceptual surveys. This approach provides insights
into the process and structure of curriculum and pedagogical change, as
well as into student difficulties in these advanced undergraduate areas.
2-2:10 p.m. Ongoing Validation of an Upper-division
Electrodynamics Conceptual Assessment Tool
Contributed – Qing Xu Ryan, University of Colorado, Boulder 390 UCB,
Boulder, CO 80309;
Cecilia Astolfi, Charles Baily, University of St Andrews
Steven Pollock, University of Colorado, Boulder
As part of an ongoing project to investigate student learning in upper-di-
vision electrodynamics (E&M II), the PER research group at CU Boulder
has developed a tool to assess student conceptual understanding (the
CURrENT: Colorado UppeR-division ElectrodyNamics Test). This instru-
ment is motivated in part by our faculty-consensus learning goals and can
serve to measure the effectiveness of transformed pedagogy. In this talk,
we present measures of the validity and reliability of the instrument and
scoring rubric. These include expert validation and student interviews,
inter-rater reliability measures, and classical test statistics. This work is
supported by the University of Colorado and NSF-CCLI grant #1023208.
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