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Tuesday afternoon
problem. Three examples are given of amazing conversations where stu-
dents overcome sharp initial disagreements to eventually reach whole-class
consensus. Students are learning the epistemology of science by actively
engaging in it every class.
PST2C22: 5:45-6:30 p.m. Truly Interactive Use of Interactive
Whiteboards in High School Physics
Poster – Bor Gregorcic, University of Ljubljana, Jadranska 19 Ljubljana, SI:
1000 Slovenia;
Eugenia Etkina, Rutgers University
Gorazd Planinsic, University of Ljubljana
In a pilot study we did last year in a Slovenian high school, we have found
that IWBs are not being used to their full potential, as physics teachers are
mostly not taking advantage of the interactive affordances of the touch-
sensitive surface. As a continuation of the study, we have designed two
lessons that incorporate students’ creative graphical and kinaesthetic input
as a key part of the learning sequence. Two teachers, although experi-
enced users of the IWB, learned to work with the IWB in a new way and
implemented the designed lessons in their classes. One of the teachers also
participated in the design process and analysis of one lesson, which gave us
valuable critical feedback on our ideas. The study investigates how teach-
ers and students responded to the novel approach to IWB use and how it
influenced the classroom dynamics.
PST2C23: 5-5:45 p.m. How Do Course Materials Address
Students’ Learning Difficulties?
Poster – Ozden Sengul, 25 Park Place, Room 605, Atlanta, GA 30303;
Atlanta, GA 30303
Laura Kiepura, Joshua Von Korff, Georgia State University
At Georgia State University, we are participating in a collaborative research
study starting in fall 2014 with two other universities, GW and UCF, to
explore the successful instructional strategies for the implementation of
studio physics in the algebra-based introductory physics classes. As part of
this study, we have collected course documents to investigate differences in
how various instructors frame their assignments. Course documents, such
as in-class activities, quizzes, and experiments, have significant importance
in teaching-learning and affect students’ learning and instructors’ teaching
processes. Therefore, we propose to analyze course documents, which are
used in studio classes at different institutions. The analysis will be built
on students’ intuitive ideas grounded in everyday experiences and basic
scientific conceptions; we will examine how the activities or homework
are used to address students’ learning difficulties with regard to certain
scientific conceptions.
PST2C24: 5:45-6:30 p.m. How Does Problem-solving Training
Affect Students’ Reasoning Patterns?*
Poster – Xian Wu, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506;
Elise Agra, Claudia Fracchiolla, N. Sanjay Rebello, Kansas State University
We study the effects of a computer-based training process on pre-service
elementary teachers’ reasoning. There are four introductory physics prob-
lem sets with diagrams in our training process. Each problem set has three
training problems with solutions followed by one near transfer problem
and one far transfer problem. All of the problems are based on physics
diagrams and conceptual understanding rather than calculations. The
entire training processes have been video and audio recorded. We analyze
students’ verbal answers in order to unravel the reasoning resources that
they activated to construct the different explanations given. We found that
student reasoning patterns have been changed dramatically throughout
this process. Our results provide insight into student activation of their re-
sources and the procedures they facilitated to construct their understand-
ing by walking through the training problems and solutions.
*This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation
under Grant No. 1138697 and 1348857.
In Fall 2013, Georgia Tech began offering a “flipped” introductory calculus-
based mechanics class as an alternative to the traditional large enrollment
lecture class. This class “flips” instruction by introducing new material
outside of the classroom through pre-recorded, lecture videos that feature
in-video “clicker” questions. Classroom time is spent working in small
groups solving problems, practicing scientific communication, and peer
evaluation. Video lectures constitute students’ initial introduction to course
material. We analyze how students engage with online lecture videos via
“clickstream” data. Clickstream data consists of time-stamped interactions
with the online video player. Plays, pauses, seeks, and other events are
recorded when the student interacts with the video player. Patterns in this
behavior can emerge and be used to highlight areas of interest in the video
and improve the overall video delivery for future iterations of this course.
PST2C19: 5-5:45 p.m. Conceptual Versus Computational
Poster – Kristi D. Concannon, King’s College, Wilkes Barre, PA 18711;
Does the type of homework assigned in an introductory physics course
affect exam performance? In spring 2014, two sections of algebra-based
second-semester introductory physics were taught by the same instruc-
tor. Class-time for both sections focused primarily on building conceptual
understanding, with minor emphasis on the mechanics of problem solving.
End-of-chapter problems were assigned to each of the two sections: Sec-
tion A was assigned 8-10 conceptual exercises; Section B was assigned 2-3
computational problems. The alternate problem sets were recommended to
students, but were not collected for grading. Three exams and a compre-
hensive final exam were given, each evenly weighted with conceptual and
computational problems. We anticipated that (1) students in the section
requiring conceptual homework would perform better on conceptual exam
questions than students required to submit computational homework and
(2) students in both sections would perform equally well on the computa-
tional exam problems. This poster will present our findings.
PST2C20: 5:45-6:30 p.m. Examining Epistemological Beliefs in
Undergraduate Thesis Writing
Poster – Jason E. Dowd, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708;
Julie A. Reynolds, Robert J.Thompson, Duke University
We present results from ongoing research to better understand how writing
an undergraduate thesis improves scientific reasoning and writing skills
through impacting metacognition, motivation, and epistemological beliefs.
Previous work indicates that scaffolding the writing process in a thesis-
writing course can be an effective strategy for promoting better writing
and stronger scientific reasoning skills. Our findings suggest that students’
beliefs about the nature of knowledge are, indeed, related to students’
exhibition of these skills. Here we further explore this relationship through
analysis of the coherence of students’ various epistemological beliefs and
the effect of epistemology-focused classroom interventions on learning
outcomes. Data have been collected across multiple departments and
institutions over two years. Ultimately, our analysis will be used to shape
continued institution- and department-specific changes during subsequent
years of this multi-year study.
PST2C21: 5-5:45 p.m. Examples of Whole Class “Board”
Meetings Overcoming Sharp Initial Disagreements
Poster – Brant E. Hinrichs, Drury University, Springfield, MO 65802;
This poster describes a whole-class whiteboard meeting and gives three
examples of how they are used in a calculus-based introductory physics
course taught using modeling instruction. Students in one section are
divided into six groups of 4-5 students each. Each group creates a solu-
tion to the same problem on a 2 x 3’ whiteboard. The groups then form a
large circle in the center of the classroom with their whiteboards on the
ground, resting against their knees, facing out to the rest of the group. The
instructor is outside the circle and interjects only rarely, if at all. The goal of
the discussion is to come to a consensus on the “best” answer to the given
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