CU SEI Publications

 

SEI Central Geosciences Life Sciences Physics & Astronomy

SEI CEntral: course transformation; general

Course Transformation Guide (NEW). Many of our white papers are included in our self-published Course Transformation Guide, a guide for instructors interested in transforming a course, and their instruction, to use research-based principles and improve student learning.

"Change from Within: The Science Education Initiative" Chasteen, SC and Perkins, KP (2014). Book Chapter, "Center for Integrative Research on Cognition, Learning and Education Conference," in press.

"Understanding clicker discussions: student reasoning and the impact of instructional cues" Knight JK, Wise SB, Southard KM (2013), CBE Life Sci. Educ. In Press

Graduate Teaching Assistant Training That Fosters Student-Centered Instruction and Professional Development. By: Pentecost, Thomas C.; Langdon, Laurie S.; Asirvatham, Margaret; Robus, Hannah; Parson, Robert. Journal of College Science Teaching, Jul/Aug2012, Vol. 41 Issue 6, p68-75, 8p

"A Thoughtful Approach to Instruction: Course transformation for the rest of us", Stephanie V. Chasteen, Katherine K. Perkins, Paul D. Beale, Steven J. Pollock & Carl E. Wieman, J. College Science Teaching, 40 (4), (2011). This paper outlines the SEI model of course transformation.

"Facilitating Faculty Conversations: Development of Consensus Learning Goals", Rachel E. Pepper, Stephanie V. Chasteen, Steven J. Pollock and Katherine K. Perkins, PERC Proceedings 2011, AIP Press (2011). This paper outlines our approach to facilitating faculty conversations about learning goals in several courses.

"Improved Learning in a Large Enrollment Physics Class" Louis Deslauriers, Ellen Schelew, and Carl Wieman (CWSEI, UBC), Science, Vol. 332, no. 6031 pp. 862-864 (May 2011). This paper describes the outcomes of a classically simple experiment - teaching students the same topic using interactive engagement versus traditional lecture methods. Even with an inexperienced instructor, gains in the interactive classroom are higher.

"Multiple Roles of Assessment In Upper-Division Physics Course Reforms", Steven Pollock, Rachel Pepper, Stephanie Chasteen, Katherine Perkins, PERC Proceedings 2011, AIP Press (2011). This invited paper outlines the different types of formative and summative assessment measures used in our upper-division E&M efforts.

Development and Validation of Instruments to Measure Learning of Expert-Like Thinking .Wendy K. Adams; Carl E. Wieman (2010) International Journal of Science Education, 1464-5289.

"At the end of my course, students should be able to ...": The benefits of creating and using effective learning goals." Smith MK and Perkins KK. (2010), Microbiology Australia, 31(1):32

"What is the Value of Course-Specific Learning Goals?"
Beth Simon (Computer Science, UCSD) and Jared Taylor (Life Sciences, UBC), Journal of College Science Teaching (November/December 2009)

Transforming Science Education at Large Research Universities: A Case Study In Progress. Carl Wieman, Katherine Perkins, and Sarah Gilbert (2010). Change.

"Why peer discussion improves student performance on in-class concept questions." Smith, MK, Wood, WB, Adams, WK, Wieman, C, Knight, JK, Guild, N, and Su, TT (2009), Science, 323(5910):122-4.

"Combining Peer Discussion with Instructor Explanation Increases Student Learning from In-Class Concept Questions," M.K. Smith, W.B. Wood, K. Krauter, and J.K. Knight (2011). CBE Life Sci Educ 2011: 55-63.

"Teaching more by lecturing less." Knight JK and Wood WB (2005), Cell Biol. Educ. 4, 298-310.

"Improving Student Attitudes about Learning Science and Student Scientific Reasoning Skills" Douglas Duncan (Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, CU) and Leilani Arthurs (Geological Sciences, CU), Astronomy Education Review, Vol. 11 (1), 010102 (2012)

 

Geosciences

"Improving student attitudes about learning science and student scientific reasoning skills", Douglas Duncan (Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, CU) and Leilani Arthurs (Geological Sciences, CU), Astronomy Education Review, Vol. 11 (1), 010102 (2012)

"What college-level students think: Student cognitive models of geoscience concepts, their alternate conceptions, and their learning difficulties," L. Arthurs, GSA Special Paper 474: Qualitative Inquiry in Geoscience Education Research (edited by A. D. Feig and A. Stokes), GSA, Boulder, CO, 135-152 (2011).

"A qualitative methods approach to developing an introductory oceanography concept inventory survey," L. Arthurs and T. Marchitto, GSA Special Paper 474: Qualitative Inquiry in Geoscience Education Research (edited by A. D. Feig and A. Stokes), GSA, Boulder, CO, 97-111 (2011).

"Coupled collaborative in-class activities and individual follow-up homework promote interactive engagement and improve student learning outcomes in a college-level Environmental Geology course". L. Arthurs and A. Templeton, (2010), Journal of Geoscience Education, vol. 57, p. 356-371.

"How 'clicker' technology affects students' voting behavior and attitudes" Bair, A.R. (in press) . Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching (Poster is available online.)

"SPESS: A New Instrument for Measuring Student Perceptions in Earth and Ocean Science" Alison Jolley, Erin Lane, Ben Kennedy, Tom-Pierre Frappé (Earth and Ocean Sciences, UBC), Journal of Geoscience Education, Vol. 60, pp. 83-91 (2012)

Teaching, learning and assessing scientific skills early in an undergraduate degree. Talk: Francis Jones (Earth and Ocean Sciences, UBC), Western Conference on Science Education, U. Western Ontario (July 2011)

Measuring novices' field mapping abilities using an in-class exercise based on expert task analysis
Talk: Joshua Caulkins (Earth and Ocean Sciences, UBC), American Geophysical Union (AGU) Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (December 2010)

 

Life sciences

"Keys to a successful student-center classroom: Three recommendations," Hoskinson, A.-M., N. M. Barger, A. P. Martin..Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America. In press.

"Understanding clicker discussions: student reasoning and the impact of instructional cues" Knight JK, Wise SB, Southard KM (2013), CBE Life Sci. Educ. In Press

"What's downstream? A set of classroom exercises to help students understand recessive epistasis" Knight, JK, Wood, WB, Smith, MK. (2013), Journal of Biology and Microbiology Education. In press.

"Student writing reveals their heterogeneous thinking about the origin of genetic variation in populations" Prevost, LB, Knight, JK, Smith, MK, Urban-Lurain, M (2013). In Proceedings of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) annual conference. Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.

"How Can We Improve Problem-solving in Undergraduate Biology? Appling Lessons From 30 Years of Physics Education Research" Hoskinson, A-M, Caballero, MD, Knight JK (2013), CBE Life Sci. Educ. 12: 153-161.

"Using the Genetics Concept Assessment to Document Persistent Conceptual Difficulties in Undergraduate Genetics Courses" Smith, MK and Knight, JK (2012), Genetics 191, 21-32.

"The role of the lecturer as tutor: doing what effective tutors do in a large lecture class" Wood, WB and Tanner, KD (2012), CBE-Life Sci. Educ. 11: 3-9.

"Using the genetics concept assessment to document persistent conceptual difficulties in undergraduate genetics courses" Smith, MK and Knight, JK.. Genetics. 2012, 181(1): 21-32.

"How Not To Lose Your Students in Concept Maps." Francoise Benay & Katharine Semsar (2011), Journal of College Science Teaching, 41(1).

"The Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey (CLASS) for use in Biology," Semsar, K., Knight, J.K., Birol, G., and Smith, M.K (2011), CBE Life Sci Educ., 10, 268-278.

"Revealing student thinking about experimental design and the roles of control experiments." Shi, J., J. Power, and M. Klymkowsky (2011). International J. of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 5(2).

"The Benefits of Using Clickers in Small-Enrollment Seminar-Style Biology Courses." Michelle K. Smith, Caleb Trujillo, and Tin Tin Su (2011), CBE Life Sci Educ 2011: 14-17.

"Combining Peer Discussion with Instructor Explanation Increases Student Learning from In-Class Concept Questions," M.K. Smith, W.B. Wood, K. Krauter, and J.K. Knight (2011). CBE Life Sci Educ 2011: 55-63.

"A diagnostic assessment for Introductory Molecular and Cell Biology", Shi, J., W.B. Wood, J. M. Martin, N.A. Guild, Q. Vicens, and J. K. Knight (2010), CBE-Life Sci. Educ. 9, 453-461

"Biology Concept Assessment Tools: Design and Use." Knight JK (2010), Microbiology Australia 31(1), 5-8.

"At the end of my course, students should be able to ...": The benefits of creating and using effective learning goals." Smith MK and Perkins KK. (2010), Microbiology Australia, 31(1):32

"Different but equal? How nonmajors and majors approach and learn genetics." Knight, JK and Smith, MK (2010), CBE Life Sci Educ, 9(1):34-44.

"Innovations in teaching undergraduate biology, and why we need them." Wood, WB (2009), Ann. Rev. Cell & Devel. Biol. 25, 93-112.

"Why peer discussion improves student performance on in-class concept questions." Smith, MK, Wood, WB, Adams, WK, Wieman, C, Knight, JK, Guild, N, and Su, TT (2009), Science, 323(5910):122-4.

"The Genetics Concept Assessment: a new concept inventory for gauging student understanding of genetics." Smith, MK, Wood, WB, and Knight, JK (2008), CBE Life Sci Educ, 7(4):422-30.

"Teaching more by lecturing less." Knight JK and Wood WB (2005), Cell Biol. Educ. 4, 298-310.

"A Report on the Implementation of the Blooming Biology Tool: Aligning Course Learning Outcomes with Assessments and Promoting Consistency in a Large Multi-Section First-Year Biology Course"
Angie O'Neill, Gülnur Birol, and Carol Pollock (Life Sciences, UBC), The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (2010)

"Using Invention to Change How Students Tackle Problems" Jared L. Taylor, Karen M. Smith, Adrian P. van Stolk, and George Spiegelman
(Life Sciences, UBC). CBE-Life Sciences Education (Winter 2010)
*Selected for inclusion in the 2010 Highlights issue of the CBE Life Sciences Education

"What is the Value of Course-Specific Learning Goals?"
Beth Simon (Computer Science, UCSD) and Jared Taylor (Life Sciences, UBC), Journal of College Science Teaching (November/December 2009)

 

Physics & Astronomy

Check out our posters and publications on the Physics Education Research group page (updated more often than this page).

Astronomy / Student Attitudes

"Who Becomes a Physics Major? A Long-term Longitudinal Study Examining the Roles of Pre-college Beliefs about Physics and Learning Physics, Interest, and Academic Achievement." K Perkins and M. Gratny (2010). 2010 PERC Proceedings, AIP Press. (Best Paper Award)

"Improving Student Attitudes about Learning Science and Student Scientific Reasoning Skills"
Douglas Duncan (Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, CU) and Leilani Arthurs (Geological Sciences, CU), Astronomy Education Review, Vol. 11 (1), 010102 (2012)

"Exploring the Solar System with a Human Orrery"
Peter Newbury (Physics & Astronomy, UBC), The Physics Teacher (December 2010). To view a video of this activity, click HERE.

Junior Electricity and Magnetism

"Multiple-choice Assessment for Upper-division Electricity and Magnetism," Bethany R. Wilcox and Steven J. Pollock, PERC Proceedings 2013, AIP Press (2013).

"Developing Tutorials for Advanced Students: Processes and Lessons Learned," Charles Baily, Michael Dubson and Steven J. Pollock, PERC Proceedings 2013, AIP Press (2013).

"Thinking like a physicist: A multi-semester case study of junior-level electricity and magnetism," Stephanie V. Chasteen, Steven J. Pollock, Rachel E. Pepper and Katherine K. Perkins, Am. J. Phys., 80 (10), 923 (2012). Comprehensive outline of process and outcomes of E&MI course transformation, written for physics instructors.

"Transforming the junior level: Outcomes from research and instruction in E&M," Stephanie V. Chasteen, Steven J. Pollock, Rachel E. Pepper, and Katherine K. Perkins, Phys. Rev: ST: Phys Ed. Rsrch., 8(2), 020107 (2012). Comprehensive outline of the aim and outcomes of transformation of our junior E&M 1 course, written for an educational research audience.

"The Colorado Upper-Division Electrostatics (CUE) Diagnostic: A conceptual assessment for the junior level," Stephanie V. Chasteen, Rachel E. Pepper, Marcos D. Caballero, Steven J. Pollock, and Katherine K. Perkins, Rev: ST: Phys Ed. Rsrch., 8, 020108 (2012). Documents the creation and outcomes from a new conceptual assessment.

"Upper-division Student Understanding of Coulomb’s Law: Difficulties with Continuous Charge Distributions," B. R. Wilcox, M. D. Caballero, R. E. Pepper and S. J. Pollock, PERC Proceedings 2012, AIP Press (2012). Discusses student difficulties with the Coulomb potential.

"Research-Based Course Materials and Assessments for Upper-Division Electrodynamics (E&M II)," C. Baily, M. Dubson and S. Pollock. PERC Proceedings 2012, AIP Press (in press). Discusses the transformation process and preliminary results for second-semester electrodynamics.

"Observations on student difficulties with mathematics in upper-division electricity and magnetism", Rachel E. Pepper, Stephanie V. Chasteen, Steven J. Pollock, and Katherine K. Perkins, PhysRev: ST Phys Ed. Rsrch 8, 010111 (2012). This paper outlines common student difficulties with the mathematical skills and concepts in junior E&M.

"Teasing Out the Effect of Tutorials via Multiple Regression", Stephanie V. Chasteen, PERC Proceedings 2011, AIP Press (2011). This paper demonstrates that optional out-of-class tutorials had a demonstrable effect on student conceptual performance, even when background variables were taken into account.

"Multiple Roles of Assessment In Upper-Division Physics Course Reforms", Steven Pollock, Rachel Pepper, Stephanie Chasteen, Katherine Perkins, PERC Proceedings 2011, AIP Press (2011). This invited paper outlines the different types of formative and summative assessment measures used in our upper-division E&M efforts

"Facilitating Faculty Conversations: Development of Consensus Learning Goals", Rachel E. Pepper, Stephanie V. Chasteen, Steven J. Pollock and Katherine K. Perkins, PERC Proceedings 2011, AIP Press (2011). This paper outlines our approach to facilitating faculty conversations about learning goals in several courses.

"But Does It Last? Sustaining a Research-Based Curriculum in Upper-Division Electricity & Magnetism". Stephanie V. Chasteen, Rachel E. Pepper, Steven J. Pollock, Katherine K. Perkins, PERC Proceedings 2011, AIP Press (2012). This paper documents the sustainability of our upper-division E&M course transformations across three years, including the use of materials by instructors and student learning. Optimum aspects to course transformation to achieve sustainability are discussed.

"A Thoughtful Approach to Instruction: Course transformation for the rest of us", Stephanie V. Chasteen, Katherine K. Perkins, Paul D. Beale, Steven J. Pollock & Carl E. Wieman, J. College Science Teaching, 40 (4), (2011). This paper outlines the SEI model of course transformation.

"Upper-division students' difficulties with Ampere's law", Colin S. Wallace and Stephanie V. Chasteen, PhysRev: ST Phys Ed. Rsrch 6, 020115 (2010) . This paper describes common student difficulties with Ampere's Law as observed through detailed student interviews and analysis.

"Our best juniors still struggle with Gauss's Law: Characterizing their difficulties" Rachel E. Pepper, Stephanie V. Chasteen, Steven J. Pollock & Katherine K. Perkins, PERC Proceedings 2010, AIP Press (2010). This paper documents commonly observed student difficulties with Gauss' Law, based on interviews and conceptual surveys.

"The use of concept tests and peer instruction in upper-division physics" Steven J. Pollock, Stephanie V. Chasteen, Michael Dubson, Katherine K. Perkins, PERC Proceedings 2010, AIP Press (2010). This paper documents and describes our use of clicker questions to further student understanding in small, upper division physics courses.

"Tapping into Juniors' Understanding of E&M: The Colorado Upper-Division Electrostatics (CUE) Diagnostic", Stephanie V. Chasteen and Steven J. Pollock, Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings (2009), AIP, Vol. 1179, pp. 109-112. (2010). This contributed paper describes the validation and results from the conceptual assessment (CUE) and 3 semesters of course transformation. Related poster here.

"A research-based Approach to Assessing Student Learning Issues in Upper-Division Electricity and Magnetism," Stephanie V. Chasteen and Steven J. Pollock, Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings (2009), AIP, Vol. 1179 (2010). This paper reports on preliminary findings regarding common student difficulties in upper division E&M.

"Student perspectives on using clickers in upper-division courses," K. K. Perkins and C. Turpen. Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings (2009), AIP, Vol. 1179 (2010). This paper provides analysis of student attitude surveys towards clickers across a variety of upper-division courses, finding that overall students recommend the use of clickers in upper-division courses, but do not always anticipate the value that they will gain from clickers when asked for opinions in advance of instruction.

"Longer term impacts of transformed courses on student conceptual understanding of E&M", Steven J. Pollock and Stephanie V. Chasteen, Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings (2009), AIP, Vol. 1179, pp. 237-240, (2010). This paper describes results from a longitudinal study of students who took either a traditional or a transformed course in electricity and magnetism as freshmen and then either a traditional or a transformed semester of Physics 3310.

"Transforming Upper-Division Electricity and Magnetism", Stephanie V. Chasteen and Steven J. Pollock, Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings (2008), AIP, Vol. 1064, pp. 91-94. (2009).
This contributed paper describes the transformations and results of transformations in upper-division E&M. Related poster here.

 

Junior Quantum Mechanics

"Constructing a Multiple-choice Assessment for Upper-division Quantum Physics from an Open-ended Tool," Homeyra Sadaghiani, John Miller, Steven J. Pollock and Daniel Rehn, PERC Proceedings 2013, AIP Press (2013).

"Transforming Upper-Division Quantum Mechanics: Learning Goals and Assessment", Steve Goldhaber, Steven Pollock, Mike Dubson, Paul Beale and Katherine Perkins, Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings (2009), AIP, Vol. 1179, pp. 145-148. (2010). This contributed paper gives an overview of the transformation in upper-division quantum mechanics, the development of the conceptual post test (QMAT) and some early results.
Related poster here.

"Faculty disagreement about the teaching of quantum mechanics," M. Dubson, S. Goldhaber, S. Pollock and K. Perkins, Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings (2009), AIP, Vol. 1179, pp. 145-148. (2010). This paper reports on the challenges of defining consensus learning goals in quantum mechanics due to divergent faculty opinions on the important topics and approaches in this course.

Sophomore Mathematical Methods / Classical Mechanics

"ACER: A Framework on the Use of Mathematics in Upper-division Physics," M. D. Caballero, B. R. Wilcox, R. E. Pepper, S. J. Pollock, PERC Proceedings 2012, AIP Press (2012). Describes student difficulties with upper-division students’ mathematical tools.

"Facilitating Faculty Conversations: Development of Consensus Learning Goals", Rachel E. Pepper, Stephanie V. Chasteen, Steven J. Pollock and Katherine K. Perkins, PERC Proceedings 2011, AIP Press (2011). This paper outlines our approach to facilitating faculty conversations about learning goals in several courses

"Issues and Progress in Transforming a Middle-division Classical Mechanics/Math Methods Course", Steven J. Pollock, Rachel E. Pepper, and Alysia D. Marino, PERC Proceedings 2011, AIP Press (2011).

Papers from University of British Columbia (UBC) SEI Program

"Development of the Concise Data Processing Assessment"
James Day and Doug Bonn (Physics & Astronomy, UBC), Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, Vol. 7, 010114 (2011)

"Improved Learning in a Large Enrollment Physics Class" Louis Deslauriers, Ellen Schelew, and Carl Wieman (CWSEI, UBC), Science, Vol. 332, no. 6031 pp. 862-864 (May 2011). This paper describes the outcomes of a classically simple experiment - teaching students the same topic using interactive engagement versus traditional lecture methods. Even with an inexperienced instructor, gains in the interactive classroom are higher.

"Learning And Retention of Quantum Concepts with Different Teaching Methods"
Louis Deslauriers and Carl Wieman (Physics & Astronomy, UBC), Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, Vol. 7, 010101 (2011)

"Teaching Standard Deviation by Building from Student Invention"
James Day, Hiroko Nakahara, and Doug Bonn (Physics & Astronomy, UBC), The Physics Teacher, 48 (November 2010)