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...

Chandra Turpen, 2010 ▬ Towards a model of educational transformation: documenting the changing educational practices of professors, institutions, and students in introductory physics

May 1, 2010

( Link ) While research-based curricula and instructional strategies in introductory physics are becoming more widespread, how these strategies are implemented by educators is less well understood. Understanding classroom implementation of these strategies is further complicated by the fact that they are being used beyond the institutions at which they...

Alex Fout, 2009—The Role of Contextual Framing: Assessments, Classroom Practice, and Student Perceptions

Aug. 1, 2009

( Link ) Contextual framing in physics problems has been shown to generally affect student performance on assessments. This study seeks to identify some of the main influences of this effect, and to characterize how contextual framing may vary within a classroom. Students in summer introductory physics courses (algebra based...

Laura Archibald, 2009 ▬ Expert and novice student use of computer simulations: Fourier: Making Waves

May 1, 2009

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Darren Tarshis, Suma Cum Laude, 2008 ▬ Measuring what's hidden: how college physics courses implicitly influence student beliefs

May 1, 2008

( Link ) Educators devote most of their attention to students learning the subject matter of a course. What is less recognized by educators, is that beyond learning the content, students’ attitudes, beliefs, and values change too—sometimes in unexpected and unintended ways. When something is not explicitly taught, but students...

Noah Podolefsky, 2008 ▬ Analogical scaffolding: making meaning in physics through representation and analogy

May 1, 2008

( Link ) This work reviews the literature on analogy, introduces a new model of analogy, and presents a series of experiments that test and confirm the utility of this model to describe and predict student learning in physics with analogy. Pilot studies demonstrate that representations (e.g., diagrams) can play...

Wendy Adams, 2007 ▬ Development of a problem solving evaluation Instrument; untangling of specific problem solving skills

May 1, 2007

(Links: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 ) The purpose of my research was to produce a problem solving evaluation tool for physics. To do this it was necessary to gain a thorough understanding of how students solve problems. Although physics educators highly value problem...

Pat Kohl, 2007 ▬ Towards an understanding of student use of representations in physics problem solving

May 1, 2007

( Link ) Skill with different representations and multiple representations is highly valued in physics, and prior work has shown that novice physics students can struggle with the representations typically used in solving physics problems. There exists work in PER examining student use of representations and multiple representations, but there...