Jessica R. Hoehn, 2019 ▬ Investigating and valuing the messy nature of learning: Ontological, epistemological, and social aspects of student reasoning in quantum mechanics

May 9, 2019

( Link ) Historically, much of physics education research has focused on whether students’ answers are correct or incorrect. This thesis presents a complementary perspective that moves beyond a dichotomous view of learning by valuing the messy, or complicated and varied, nature of students’ reasoning. We do so by investigating...

Tamia Williams, 2017 ▬ Characterizing the Role of Arts Education on the Physics Identity of Black Individuals

Aug. 17, 2017

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Elias Euler, 2015 ▬ Beliefs, intentions, actions, & reflections (BIAR): a new way to look at the interactions of teachers and students

May 1, 2015

( Link ) An accurate, nuanced capturing and characterization of student/teacher behavior inside and outside the classroom is a necessity in today’s education reform. In this paper, a new framework, called the BIAR (Beliefs, Intentions, Actions, and Reflections) Student-Teacher Interaction Model, is introduced. This tool incorporates the use of TDOP...

Bethany R. Wilcox, 2015 ▬ New tools for investigating student learning in upper-division electrostatics

May 1, 2015

( Link ) Student learning in upper-division physics courses is a growing area of research in the field of Physics Education. Developing effective new curricular materials and pedagogical techniques to improve student learning in upper-division courses requires knowledge of both what material students struggle with and what curricular approaches help...

Benjamin T. Spike, 2014 ▬ An investigation of the knowledge, beliefs, and practices of physics teaching assistants, with implications for TA preparation

May 1, 2014

( Link ) Physics Teaching Assistants (TAs) serve a critical role in supporting student learning in various classroom environments, including discussions and laboratories. As research-based instructional strategies become more widespread in these settings, the TA's role is expanding beyond simply presenting physics content to encompass facilitating student discussion and attending...

Lisa Goodhew, 2012—What representations teach us about student reasoning

Aug. 1, 2012

( Link ) The importance of informal science education to the field of Physics Education Research includes extending to a broader range of ages and environments than formal science and focusing on broader goals such as participants' identities as scientists. This paper describes 3 aspects of informal science education: programming,...

Danny Rehn, 2011 ▬ Heuristics for incorporating simulations into assignments

Aug. 1, 2011

( Link ) The use of simulations in educational environments is a topic of growing interest, particularly in science education. While much research has been done to understand simulation use in interview settings, less has been done in the environments in which the majority of simulation use arises. The purpose...

Charles Baily, 2011 ▬ Perspectives in quantum physics: epistemological, ontological and pedagogical

May 1, 2011

( Link ) An investigation into student and expert perspectives on the physical interpretation of quantum mechanics, with implications for modern physics instruction. A common learning goal for modern physics instructors is for students to recognize a difference between the experimental uncertainty of classical physics and the fundamental uncertainty of...

Lauren Kost-Smith, 2011 ▬ Characterizing, modeling, and addressing gender disparities in introductory college physics

May 1, 2011

( Link ) The under representation and under performance of females in physics has been well documented and has long concerned policy-makers, educators, and the physics community. In this thesis, we focus on gender disparities in the first- and second-semester introductory, calculus-based physics courses at the University of Colorado. Success...

Colin S. Wallace, 2011 ▬ An investigation into introductory astronomy students' difficulties with cosmology, and the development, validation, and efficacy of a new suite of cosmology lecture-tutorials

May 1, 2011

( Link ) This study reports the results of the first systematic investigation into Astro 101 students' conceptual and reasoning difficulties with cosmology. We developed four surveys with which we measured students' conceptual knowledge of the Big Bang, the expansion and evolution of the universe, and the evidence for dark...