Hundley, Stacey A.
In recent years there has been a national call for reform in undergraduate science education. The goal of this reform movement in science education is to develop ways to improve undergraduate student learning with an emphasis on developing more effective teaching practices. Introductory science courses at the college level are generally taught using a traditional lecture format. Recent studies have shown incorporating active learning strategies within the traditional lecture classroom has positive effects on student outcomes. This study focuses on incorporating interactive teaching methods into the traditional lecture classroom to enhance student learning for non-science majors enrolled in introductory geology courses at a private university. Students' experience and instructional preferences regarding introductory geology courses were identified from survey data analysis. The information gained from responses to the questionnaire was utilized to develop an interactive lecture introductory geology course for non-science majors. Student outcomes were examined in introductory geology courses based on two teaching methods: interactive lecture and traditional lecture. There were no significant statistical differences between the groups based on the student outcomes and teaching methods. Incorporating interactive lecture methods did not statistically improve student outcomes when compared to traditional lecture teaching methods. However, the responses to the survey revealed students have a preference for introductory geology courses taught with lecture and instructor-led discussions and students prefer to work independently or in small groups. The results of this study are useful to individuals who teach introductory geology courses and individuals who teach introductory science courses for non-science majors at the college level.
Cook, G. W.
At the University of California, San Diego, I teach a quarter-long, introductory Earth Science class titled "Volcanoes," which is, in essence, a functional class in volcanology designed specifically for non-majors. This large-format (enrollment ~ 85), lecture-based class provides students from an assortment of backgrounds an opportunity to acquire much-needed (and sometimes dreaded) area credits in science, while also serving as an introduction to the Earth Science major at UCSD (offered through Scripps Institution of Oceanography). The overall goal of the course is to provide students with a stimulating and exciting general science option that, using an inherently interesting topic, introduces them to the fundamentals of geoscience. A secondary goal is to promote general science and geoscience literacy among the general population of UCSD. Student evaluations of this course unequivocally indicate a high degree of learning and interest in the material. The majority of students in the class (>80%) are non-science majors and very few students (degree-seeking students. In addition, only a handful of students have typically had any form of geology class beyond high school level Earth Science. Consequently, there are challenges associated with teaching the class. Perhaps most significantly, students have very little background—background that is necessary for understanding the processes involved in volcanic eruptions. Second, many non-science students have built-in anxieties with respect to math and science, anxieties that must be considered when designing curriculum and syllabi. It is essential to provide the right balance of technical information while remaining in touch with the audience. My approach to the class involves a dynamic lecture format that incorporates a wide array of multimedia, analogue demonstrations of volcanic processes, and small-group discussions of topics and concepts. In addition to teaching about volcanoes—a fascinating subject in and of
Humphreys, R. R.; Hall, C.; Colgan, M. W.; Rhodes, E.
Although inquiry-based/problem-based methods have been successfully incorporated in undergraduate lecture classes, a survey of commonly used laboratory manuals indicates that few non-major geoscience laboratory classes use these strategies. The Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences faculty members have developed a successful introductory Environmental Geology Laboratory course for undergraduate non-majors that challenges traditional teaching methodology as illustrated in most laboratory manuals. The Environmental Geology lab activities employ active learning methods to engage and challenge students. Crucial to establishing an open learning environment is capturing the attention of non-science majors from the moment they enter the classroom. We use catastrophic ‘gloom and doom’ current events to pique the imagination with images, news stories, and videos. Once our students are hooked, we can further the learning process with use of other teaching methods: an inquiry-based approach that requires students take control of their own learning, a cooperative learning approach that requires the participation of all team members in peer learning, and a problem/case study learning approach that primarily relies on activities distilled from current events. The final outcome is focused on creating innovative methods to communicate the findings to the general public. With the general public being the audience for their communiqué, students are less intimated, more focused, and more involved in solving the problem. During lab sessions, teams of students actively engage in mastering course content and develop essential communication skills while exploring real-world scenarios. These activities allow students to use scientific reasoning and concepts to develop solutions for scenarios such as volcanic eruptions, coastal erosion/sea level rise, flooding or landslide hazards, and then creatively communicate their solutions to the public. For example, during a two
Several years ago I attended an AAPT Haunted Physics Workshop taught by Dr. Tom Zepf from Creighton University. Dr. Zepf's highly successful Haunted Physics Lab at Creighton was put on every October by his physics majors. I found the concept of exhibiting physics projects in a "fun" way to students, faculty, and the public very exciting, so an…
Miles, Deon T.; Bachman, Jennifer K.
Recent emphasis on the science of food and cooking has been observed in our popular literature and media. As a result of this, a new non-science majors course, The Science of Food and Cooking, is being taught at our institution. We cover basic scientific concepts, which would normally be discussed in a typical introductory chemistry course, in the…
Smith, A. B. E.; Murray, S. D.; Ward, R. A.
We describe and demonstrate two laboratory exercises, Kepler's Third Law and Stellar Structure, which are being developed for use in an astronomy laboratory class aimed at non-science majors. The labs run with Microsoft's Excel 98 (Macintosh) or Excel 97 (Windows). They can be run in a classroom setting or in an independent learning environment. The intent of the labs is twofold; first and foremost, students learn the subject matter through a series of informational frames. Next, students enhance their understanding by applying their knowledge in lab procedures, while also gaining familiarity with the use and power of a widely-used software package and scientific tool. No mathematical knowledge beyond basic algebra is required to complete the labs or to understand the computations in the spreadsheets, although the students are exposed to the concepts of numerical integration. The labs are contained in Excel workbook files. In the files are multiple spreadsheets, which contain either a frame with information on how to run the lab, material on the subject, or one or more procedures. Excel's VBA macro language is used to automate the labs. The macros are accessed through button interfaces positioned on the spreadsheets. This is done intentionally so that students can focus on learning the subject matter and the basic spreadsheet features without having to learn advanced Excel features all at once. Students open the file and progress through the informational frames to the procedures. After each procedure, student comments and data are automatically recorded in a preformatted Lab Report spreadsheet. Once all procedures have been completed, the student is prompted for a filename in which to save their Lab Report. The lab reports can then be printed or emailed to the instructor. The files will have full worksheet and workbook protection, and will have a "redo" feature at the end of the lab for students who want to repeat a procedure.
Henrich, Victor E.
To address the need for physics courses that stimulate non- STEM majors' interest in, and appreciation of, science, the Department of Applied Physics has developed a popular course for Yale College undergraduates, The Technological World, that explains the physics behind technologies that students use every day. The course provides an in-depth…
Ramirez, Jasmine; Pinedo, Catalina Arango; Forster, Brian M
Today's science classrooms are addressing the need for non-scientists to become scientifically literate. A key aspect includes the recognition of science as a process for discovery. This process relies upon interdisciplinary collaboration. We designed a semester-long collaborative exercise that allows science majors taking a general microbiology course and non-science majors taking an introductory environmental science course to experience collaboration in science by combining their differing skill sets to identify microorganisms enriched in Winogradsky columns. These columns are self-sufficient ecosystems that allow researchers to study bacterial populations under specified environmental conditions. Non-science majors identified phototrophic bacteria enriched in the column by analyzing the signature chlorophyll absorption spectra whereas science majors used 16S rRNA gene sequencing to identify the general bacterial diversity. Students then compiled their results and worked together to generate lab reports with their final conclusions identifying the microorganisms present in their column. Surveys and lab reports were utilized to evaluate the learning objectives of this activity. In pre-surveys, nonmajors' and majors' answers diverged considerably, with majors providing responses that were more accurate and more in line with the working definition of collaboration. In post-surveys, the answers between majors and nonmajors converged, with both groups providing accurate responses. Lab reports showed that students were able to successfully identify bacteria present in the columns. These results demonstrate that laboratory exercises designed to group students across disciplinary lines can be an important tool in promoting science education across disciplines.
Busch, Hauke C.
A traditional physical science course was transformed into an environmental physical science course to teach physics to non-science majors. The objective of the new course was to improve the learning of basic physics principles by applying them to current issues of interest. A new curriculum was developed with new labs, homework assignments,…
Full Text Available Today’s science classrooms are addressing the need for non-scientists to become scientifically literate. A key aspect includes the recognition of science as a process for discovery. This process relies upon interdisciplinary collaboration. We designed a semester-long collaborative exercise that allows science majors taking a general microbiology course and non-science majors taking an introductory environmental science course to experience collaboration in science by combining their differing skill sets to identify microorganisms enriched in Winogradsky columns. These columns are self-sufficient ecosystems that allow researchers to study bacterial populations under specified environmental conditions. Non-science majors identified phototrophic bacteria enriched in the column by analyzing the signature chlorophyll absorption spectra whereas science majors used 16S rRNA gene sequencing to identify the general bacterial diversity. Students then compiled their results and worked together to generate lab reports with their final conclusions identifying the microorganisms present in their column. Surveys and lab reports were utilized to evaluate the learning objectives of this activity. In pre-surveys, nonmajors’ and majors’ answers diverged considerably, with majors providing responses that were more accurate and more in line with the working definition of collaboration. In post-surveys, the answers between majors and nonmajors converged, with both groups providing accurate responses. Lab reports showed that students were able to successfully identify bacteria present in the columns. These results demonstrate that laboratory exercises designed to group students across disciplinary lines can be an important tool in promoting science education across disciplines. Editor's Note:The ASM advocates that students must successfully demonstrate the ability to explain and practice safe laboratory techniques. For more information, read the laboratory
Brust, Gregory John
This study was designed to discover if there is a difference in the scientific attitudes and process skills between a group of students who were instructed with Living in a Material World and groups of students in non-science majors sections of introductory biology, chemistry, and geology courses at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM). Each of the four courses utilized different instructional techniques. Students' scientific attitudes were measured with the Scientific Attitudes Inventory (SAI II) and their knowledge of science process skills were measured with the Test of Integrated Process Skills (TIPS II). The Group Assessment of Logical Thinking (GALT) was also administered to determine if the cognitive levels of students are comparable. A series of four questionnaires called Qualitative Course Assessments (QCA) were also administered to students in the experimental course to evaluate subtle changes in their understanding of the nature and processes of science and attitudes towards science. Student responses to the QCA questionnaires were triangulated with results of the qualitative instruments, and students' work on the final project. Results of the GALT found a significant difference in the cognitive levels of students in the experimental course (PSC 190) and in one of the control group, the introductory biology (BSC 107). Results of the SAI II and the TIPS II found no significant difference between the experimental group and the control groups. Qualitative analyses of students' responses to selected questions from the TIPS II, selected items on the SAI II, QCA questionnaires, and Materials that Fly project reports demonstrate an improvement in the understanding of the nature and processes of science and a change to positive attitude toward science of students in the experimental group. Students indicated that hands-on, inquiry-based labs and performance assessment were the most effective methods for their learning. These results indicate that science
For the past 15 years Kansas State University has offered a course in modern physics for students who are not majoring in physics. This course carries a prerequisite of one physics course so that the students have a basic introduction in classical topics. The majors of students range from liberal arts to engineering. Future secondary science teachers whose first area of teaching is not physics can use the course as part of their study of science. The course has evolved from a lecture format to one which is highly interactive and uses a combination of hands-on activities, tutorials and visualizations, particularly the Visual Quantum Mechanics materials. Another course encourages biology students to continue their physics learning beyond the introductory course. Modern Miracle Medical Machines introduces the basic physics which underlie diagnosis techniques such as MRI and PET and laser surgical techniques. Additional information is available at http://www.phys.ksu.edu/perg/
Boness, D. A.
The general public is heavily exposed to "news" and commentary---and arts and entertainment---that either inadvertently misrepresents science or even acts to undermine it. Climate change denial and evolution denial is well funded and pervasive. Even university-educated people get little exposure to the aims, methods, debates, and results of scientific inquiry because unless they earn degrees in science they typically only take one or two introductory science courses at the university level. This presentation reports the development of a new, non-science major Seattle University course on mass extinctions throughout earth history. Seattle University is an urban, Jesuit Catholic university. The topic of mass extinctions was chosen for several reasons: (1) To expose the students to a part of current science that has rich historical roots yet by necessity uses methods and reasoning from geology, geophysics, oceanography, physics, chemistry, biology, and astronomy. This multidisciplinary course provides some coverage of sciences that the student would not typically ever see beyond secondary school. (2) To enable the students to learn enough to follow some of the recent and current debates within science (e.g., mass extinctions by asteroid impact versus massive volcanism, ocean anoxia, and ocean acidification), with the students reading some of the actual literature, such as articles in Science, Nature, or Nature Geoscience. (3) To emphasize the importance of "deep time" as evolutionary biological processes interact with massive environmental change over time scales from hundreds of millions of years down to the seconds and hours of an asteroid or comet strike. (4) To show the effects of climate change in the past, present, and future, due to both natural and anthropogenic causes. (5) To help the student critically evaluate the extent to which their future involves a human-caused mass extinction.
Blatt, S. Leslie
How much did Seurat know about the physics, physiology, and perceptual science of color mixing when he began his experiments in pointillism? Did Vermeer have a camera obscura built into his studio to create the perfect perspective and luminous effects of his canvases? Early in the 20th century, consequences of the idea that "no single reference point is to be preferred above any other" were worked out in physics by Einstein (special and general relativity), in art by Picasso (early cubism), and in music by Schoenberg (12-tone compositions); did this same paradigm-shifting concept arise, in three disparate fields, merely by coincidence? We are developing a new course, aimed primarily at non-science majors, that addresses questions like these through a combination of hands-on experiments on the physics of light, investigations in visual perception, empirical tests of various drawing and painting techniques, and field trips to nearby museums. We will show a few examples of the kinds of art/science intersections our students will be exploring, and present a working outline for the course.
Knierman, Karen; Anbar, Ariel; Tamer, A. Joseph; Hunsley, Diana; Young, Patrick A.; Center for Education Through eXploration
With the growth of online astronomy courses, it has become necessary to design different strategies for students to engage meaningfully with astronomy content. In contrast to some of the previously designed “cookbook”-style lab exercises, the strategy of these Infiniscope activities is to provide an experience where the students explore and discover the content for themselves. The Infiniscope project was created by ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration and NASA’s Science Mission Directorate as part of the NASA Exploration Connection project. As part of this project, online activities on topics such as asteroids and Kuiper Belt objects, eclipses, and Kepler’s Laws were designed and created for middle school (grades 6-8) and informal education settings. This poster discusses adapting these activities to the undergraduate non-science major setting. In fall 2017, the Infiniscope activities, such as Small Worlds and Kepler’s Laws, will be incorporated into an Arizona State University online astronomy course, AST 113, which is the laboratory component for the Introduction to Solar System Astronomy course sequence. This course typically enrolls about 800-900 students per semester with a combination of students who are online only as well as those who also take in person classes. In this type of class, we cannot have any in-person required sessions and all content must be delivered online asynchronously. The use of the Infiniscope exploratory exercises will provide students with the ability to use NASA data in a hands-on manner to discover the solar system for themselves.
Lyons, Daniel J.
This study explored the impact of a novel inquiry-based astronomy laboratory curriculum designed using the Backwards Faded Scaffolding inquiry teaching framework on non-science majoring undergraduate students' views of the nature of scientific inquiry (NOSI). The study focused on two aspects of NOSI: The Distinction between Data and Evidence (DvE), and The Multiple Methods of Science (MMS). Participants were 220 predominately non-science majoring undergraduate students at a small, doctoral granting, research-extensive university in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. The student participants were enrolled in an introductory astronomy survey course with an associated laboratory section and were selected in two samples over consecutive fall and spring semesters. The participants also included four of the graduate student instructors who taught the laboratory courses using the intervention curriculum. In the first stage, student participant views of NOSI were measured using the VOSI-4 research instrument before and after the intervention curriculum was administered. The responses were quantified, and the distributions of pre and posttest scores of both samples were separately analyzed to determine if there was a significant improvement in understanding of either of the two aspects of NOSI. The results from both samples were compared to evaluate the consistency of the results. In the second stage, the quantitative results were used to strategically design a qualitative investigation, in which the four lab instructors were interviewed about their observations of how the student participants interacted with the intervention curriculum as compared to traditional lab activities, as well as their suggestions as to how the curriculum may or may not have contributed to the results of the first stage. These interviews were summarized and analyzed for common themes as to how the intervention curriculum influenced the students' understandings of the two aspect of
Berryhill, K. J.; Coble, K.; Slater, T. F.; McLin, K. M.; Cominsky, L. R.
Responding to national science education reform documents calling for students to have more opportunities for authentic research experiences, several national projects have developed online telescope networks to provide students with Internet-access to research grade telescopes. The nature of astronomical observation (e.g., remote sites, expensive equipment, and odd hours) has been a barrier in the past. Internet-based robotic telescopes allow scientists to conduct observing sessions on research-grade telescopes half a world away. The same technology can now be harnessed by STEM educators to engage students and reinforce what is being taught in the classroom, as seen in some early research in elementary schools (McKinnon and Mainwaring 2000 and McKinnon and Geissinger 2002), middle/high schools (Sadler et al. 2001, 2007 and Gehret et al. 2005) and undergraduate programs (e.g., McLin et al. 2009). This project looks at the educational value of using Internet-based robotic telescopes in a general education introductory astronomy course at the undergraduate level. Students at a minority-serving institution in the midwestern United States conducted observational programs using the Global Telescope Network (GTN). The project consisted of the use of planetarium software to determine object visibility, observing proposals (with abstract, background, goals, and dissemination sections), peer review (including written reviews and panel discussion according to NSF intellectual merit and broader impacts criteria), and classroom presentations showing the results of the observation. The GTN is a network of small telescopes funded by the Fermi mission to support the science of high energy astrophysics. It is managed by the NASA E/PO Group at Sonoma State University and is controlled using SkyNet. Data includes course artifacts (proposals, reviews, panel summaries, presentations, and student reflections) for six semesters plus student interviews. Using a grounded theory approach
Black, Alice A. (Jill)
Research has shown the presence of many Earth science misconceptions and conceptual difficulties that may impede concept understanding, and has also identified a number of categories of spatial ability. Although spatial ability has been linked to high performance in science, some researchers believe it has been overlooked in traditional education. Evidence exists that spatial ability can be improved. This correlational study investigated the relationship among Earth science conceptual understanding, three types of spatial ability, and psychological gender, a self-classification that reflects socially-accepted personality and gender traits. A test of Earth science concept understanding, the Earth Science Concepts (ESC) test, was developed and field tested from 2001 to 2003 in 15 sections of university classes. Criterion validity was .60, significant at the .01 level. Spearman/Brown reliability was .74 and Kuder/Richardson reliability was .63. The Purdue Visualization of Rotations (PVOR) (mental rotation), the Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT) (spatial perception), the Differential Aptitude Test: Space Relations (DAT) (spatial visualization), and the Bem Inventory (BI) (psychological gender) were administered to 97 non-major university students enrolled in undergraduate science classes. Spearman correlations revealed moderately significant correlations at the .01 level between ESC scores and each of the three spatial ability test scores. Stepwise regression analysis indicated that PVOR scores were the best predictor of ESC scores, and showed that spatial ability scores accounted for 27% of the total variation in ESC scores. Spatial test scores were moderately or weakly correlated with each other. No significant correlations were found among BI scores and other test scores. Scantron difficulty analysis of ESC items produced difficulty ratings ranging from 33.04 to 96.43, indicating the percentage of students who answered incorrectly. Mean score on the ESC was 34
Hoisch, Thomas D.; Bowie, James I.
In order to guide the formulation of strategies for recruiting undergraduates into the geology program at Northern Arizona University, we surveyed 783 students in introductory geology classes and 23 geology majors in their junior and senior years. Our analysis shows that ~7% of students in the introductory classes are possible candidates for…
Hill, Gary D.
Two of the most important and difficult concepts in biology are photosynthesis and respiration. A pilot study was performed using student volunteers from introductory biology classes to assess student alternative frameworks regarding photosynthesis and respiration. The results of the pilot study were used to construct the Instrument for the Assessment of Respiration and Photosynthesis (IFARP). This was an 11-item, three-tier multiple choice instrument designed to conveniently assess the common misconceptions students have about these concepts upon entering a biology course. The first tier of each item of the IFARP contained a multiple choice question about photosynthesis or respiration. The second tier had a multiple choice question regarding the reason for the choice in the first tier. The third tier asked the students to indicate how confident they were in their responses, on a scale from 1 (not very confident) to 5 (very confident). The IFARP was administered as a pretest and posttest to a group of science non-majors in an introductory biology course. No significant changes were observed in student performance as measured by the IFARP between the pretest and posttest administrations. The students did, however, demonstrate a statistical increase in mean confidence levels regarding their knowledge of photosynthesis and respiration. Even though their comprehension and understanding regarding photosynthesis and respiration had not increased, the confidence they had in their responses about these two concepts had increased. The IFARP was also administered to a group of nursing student volunteers in an introductory microbiology course. This group of students also participated in the use of student-generated analogies as a learning strategy to alter conceptual frameworks. One test group of students provided analogies to photosynthesis and respiration, while the other test group provided analogies to two other concepts. No significant changes were observed in the
Leung, Jessica Shuk Ching; Wong, Alice Siu Ling; Yung, Benny Hin Wai
Understandings of nature of science (NOS) are a core component of scientific literacy, and a scientifically literate populace is expected to be able to critically evaluate science in the media. While evidence has remained inconclusive on whether better NOS understandings will lead to critical evaluation of science in the media, this study aimed at examining the correlation therein. Thirty-eight non-science majors, enrolled in a science course for non-specialists held in a local community college, evaluated three health news articles by rating the extent to which they agreed with the reported claims and providing as many justifications as possible. The majority of the participants were able to evaluate and justify their viewpoint from multiple perspectives. Students' evaluation was compared with their NOS conceptions, including the social and cultural embedded NOS, the tentative NOS, the peer review process and the community of practice. Results indicated that participants' understanding of the tentative NOS was significantly correlated with multiple perspective evaluation of science news reports of socioscientific nature (r = 0.434, p media of socioscientific nature. However, the null result for other target NOS aspects in this study suggested a lack of evidence to assume that understanding the social dimensions of science would have significant influence on the evaluation of science in the media. Future research on identifying the reasons for why and why not NOS understandings are applied in the evaluation will move this field forward.
Non-science majors often misunderstand the process of science, potentially leading to a fear or mistrust of scientific inquiry and current scientific theory. Citizen science projects are a critical means of reaching this audience, as many will only take a limited number of science courses during their undergraduate careers. For the past three years, our freshman Earth Science students have participated in both Globe at Night and the Great Worldwide Star Count, citizen science programs that encourage simple astronomical observations which can be compiled globally to investigate a number of issues. Our focus has been introducing students to the effect of light pollution on observational astronomy in an effort to highlight the effect of increasing urbanization in the U.S. on amateur astronomy. These programs, although focused on astronomy, often awaken natural curiosity about the Earth and man's effect on the natural world, a concept that can easily be translated to other areas of Earth science. Challenges encountered include content specific issues, such as misinterpreting the location or magnitude of the constellation being observed, as well as student disinterest or apathy if the project is not seen as being vital to their performance in the course. This presentation reports on lessons learned in the past three years, and offers suggestions for engaging these students more fully in future projects.
Carley, S.; Tuddenham, P.; Bishop, K. O.
In recent years several geoscience communities have been developing ocean, climate, atmosphere and earth science literacy frameworks as enhancements to the National Science Education Standards content standards. Like the older content standards these new geoscience literacy frameworks have focused on K-12 education although they are also intended for informal education and general public audiences. These geoscience literacy frameworks potentially provide a more integrated and less abstract approach to science literacy that may be more suitable for non-science major students that are not pursuing careers in science research or education. They provide a natural link to contemporary environmental issues - e.g., climate change, resource depletion, species and habitat loss, natural hazards, pollution, development of renewable energy, material recycling. The College of Exploration is an education research non-profit that has provided process and technical support for the development of most of these geoscience literacy frameworks. It has a unique perspective on their development. In the last ten years it has also gained considerable national and international expertise in facilitating web-based workshops that support in-depth conversations among educators and working scientists/researchers on important science topics. These workshops have been of enormous value to educators working in K-12, 4-year institutions and community colleges. How can these geoscience literacy frameworks promote more collaborative inquiry-based learning that enhances the appreciation of scientific thinking by non-majors? How can web- and mobile-based education technologies transform the undergraduate non-major survey course into a place where learners begin their passion for science literacy rather than end it? How do we assess science literacy in students and citizens?
Weatherford, V. L.; Redemann, J.
Titled "Observing Climate Change From Space-what tools do we have?", this non-science major freshman seminar at UCLA is the culmination of a year-long interdisciplinary program sponsored by the Institute of the Environment and the College Honors programs at the University. Focusing on the anthropogenic and natural causes of climate change, students study climate forcings and learn about satellite and other technological means of monitoring climate and weather. NASA's Terra satellite is highlighted as one of the most recent and comprehensive monitoring systems put into space and the role of future NASA platforms in the "A-train"-constellation of satellites is discussed. Course material is typically presented in a Power-Point presentation by the instructor, with assigned supplementary reading to stimulate class discussion. In addition to preparing lectures for class presentation, students work on a final term paper and oral presentation which constitutes the majority of their grade. Field trips to the San Gabriel mountains to take atmospheric measurements with handheld sunphotometers and to JPL, Pasadena (CA) to listen to a NASA scientist discuss the MISR instrument aboard the Terra satellite help bring a real-world perspective to the science learned in the classroom. In this paper, we will describe the objectives and structure of this class and present measurement results taken during the field trip to the San Gabriel Mountains. In this context we will discuss the potential relevance of hands-on experience to meeting class objectives and give a student perspective of the overall class experience.
Wielard, Valerie Michelle
The primary objective of this project was to learn what effect a computer program would have on academic achievement and attitude toward science of college students enrolled in a biology class for non-science majors. It became apparent that the instructor also had an effect on attitudes toward science. The researcher designed a computer program,…
Reynolds, Bradley Robert
The impact of transformational leadership, experiential learning, and reflective journaling on the conservation ethic of non-science majors in a general education survey course was investigated. The main research questions were: (1) Is the Conservation of Biodiversity professor a transformational leader? (2) Is there a difference in the…
Pierce, David; Wanless, Elizabeth; Johnson, James
This paper assessed the outcomes of a field experience assignment (FEA) in an introductory sport management course designed as a realistic major preview. Student learning outcomes assessed were commitment to the major, intent to pursue the major, expectation of a career in sports, and perceived preparation for a career in sports. A…
Park, Seung Won; Huynh, Niem Tu
University students who do not declare geography as their major are at risk of poor motivation to learn in an introductory geography class. However, research exploring the role of non-majors' motivation is lacking. This study examines motivational factors impacting non-geography students' engagement and performance. The findings suggest that…
Brown, L.M.; Kelso, P.R.; Rexroad, C.B.
"Field Excursions in Earth Science" is designed as a non-prerequisite field-based course for elementary education majors. Classic Canadian Shield and Michigan Basin outcrops and Quaternary features are used to teach those Earth science objectives considered most important for K-8 teachers by the Michigan State Board of Education and by others. We integrated these objectives into five conceptual pathways rather than presenting them as discrete pieces of information. A variety of teaching techniques based on constructivist educational theory are employed, so that pre-service teachers experience active-learning strategies in the context of how science is practiced. Our learning strategies address the cognitive and affective domains and utilize personal experiences in conjunction with pre- and post-experience organizers to allow students to develop individual meanings. We place emphasis on observations and concepts and we encourage students to explain their understanding of concepts verbally and in a variety of written formats. Activities address spatial concepts and map reading; mineral, rock, and fossil identification; formation of rocks; surficial processes and landform development; structural deformation and plate tectonics; and environmental issues. Students keep field notes and have daily projects. They address the pedagogical structure of the course in a daily diary.
Hoisch, T. D.; Bowie, J. I.
In order to guide the formulation of strategies for recruiting undergraduates taking introductory geology courses into the geology program at Northern Arizona University, we surveyed 783 students in introductory geology classes and 23 geology majors in their junior and senior years. Our introductory courses (GLG100, Introduction to Geology; GLG101, Physical Geology; and GLG112, Geologic Disasters) typically enroll ~600 students each semester. The majority of students in these classes are non-majors who take them in order to satisfy a university general education requirement (called “Liberal Studies requirements” at NAU). A large proportion of these students are freshmen (51%) and sophomores (30%), and many have not yet decided on a major or are uncertain about the major they have chosen. Our analysis shows that ~7% of students in the introductory classes are possible candidates for recruitment. Although a small percentage, it represents a large number of individuals, in fact more than could be accommodated were they all to decide to major in geology. Influential factors that weigh in favor of majoring in geology include good employability, good salary potential, and opportunities for working outdoors, field work, observing nature, travel, and environmentally friendly employment. In addition, students view a career as a geologist as potentially the most fulfilling of the different science occupations (biologist, chemist, geologist, environmental scientist, physicist) and among the more environmentally friendly. However, students perceive geology to be the least difficult of the sciences, and geology occupations to be low-paying and low in prestige relative to the other sciences. These negative perceptions could be countered by providing data to introductory students showing the starting salaries of geologists in comparison to other science occupations, and by communicating the rigorous nature of the more advanced classes in the geology degree program. A
Many researchers have called for implementation of active learning practices in undergraduate science classrooms as one method to increase retention and persistence in STEM, yet there has been little research on the potential increases in student anxiety that may accompany these practices. This is of concern because excessive anxiety can decrease student performance. Levels and sources of student anxiety in three introductory biology lecture classes were investigated via an online survey and student interviews. The survey (n = 327) data revealed that 16% of students had moderately high classroom anxiety, which differed among the three classes. All five active learning classroom practices that were investigated caused student anxiety, with students voluntarily answering a question or being called on to answer a question causing higher anxiety than working in groups, completing worksheets, or answering clicker questions. Interviews revealed that student anxiety seemed to align with communication apprehension, social anxiety, and test anxiety. Additionally, students with higher general anxiety were more likely to self-report lower course grade and the intention to leave the major. These data suggest that a subset of students in introductory biology experience anxiety in response to active learning, and its potential impacts should be investigated. PMID:28771564
Baldwin, Kathryn A.
This study examined prospective elementary education majors' science teaching self-efficacy while they were enrolled in an introductory geology lab course for elementary education majors. The Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument Form B (STEBI-B) was administered during the first and last lab class sessions. Additionally, students were…
Dutra, Andrew Martin
The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship of specific attributes of college students to their academic achievement at an independent university in central Florida. Academic achievement was measured as the numeric score on the final exam in a survey-of-science course (EDS 1032) required for non-science majors. Attribute sets included personological, affective, and fitness variables. A hypothesized diagram of the direct and indirect effects among these attributes relative to academic achievement was developed and tested using data collected Spring 2014 from 168 students in four sections of EDS 1032 at Florida Institute of Technology. Multiple regression results revealed that 19% of the variance in a students' academic achievement was due to the influence of these three sets of research factors; this was found to be statistically significant. The results of mediation analyses also indicated that three variables had significant direct effects on academic achievement, namely gender, number of academic credits, and sports motivation. In addition, gender had a significant indirect effect on academic achievement via stress, and the number of academic credits had a significant indirect effect on academic achievement via sports motivation. These findings indicated that female students scored roughly six points higher than male students on this final exam. Also, gender's influence on academic achievement was partially attributable to the student's level of stress (e.g., male students with high levels of stress had lower grades on this final exam than female students with the same level of stress). In addition, it was found that students taking more academic credits were likely to score higher on this final exam than those students taking fewer credits. Further, as students' level of sports amotivation increased, the strength of the relationship between the number of student academic credits and academic achievement decreased. These results support Self
Mason, Andrew J.; Bertram, Charles A.
When considering performing an Introductory Physics for Life Sciences course transformation for one's own institution, life science majors' achievement goals are a necessary consideration to ensure the pedagogical transformation will be effective. However, achievement goals are rarely an explicit consideration in physics education research topics…
Ahmad, Khuloud Nasser
A reexamination of the traditional instruction of introductory computer science (CS) courses is becoming a necessity. Introductory CS courses tend to have high attrition rates and low success rates. In many universities, the CS department suffered from low enrollment for several years compared to other majors. Multiple studies have linked these…
Mason, Andrew J.; Bertram, Charles A.
When considering performing an Introductory Physics for Life Sciences course transformation for one's own institution, life science majors' achievement goals are a necessary consideration to ensure the pedagogical transformation will be effective. However, achievement goals are rarely an explicit consideration in physics education research topics such as metacognition. We investigate a sample population of 218 students in a first-semester introductory algebra-based physics course, drawn from 14 laboratory sections within six semesters of course sections, to determine the influence of achievement goals on life science majors' attitudes towards physics. Learning orientations that, respectively, pertain to mastery goals and performance goals, in addition to a learning orientation that does not report a performance goal, were recorded from students in the specific context of learning a problem-solving framework during an in-class exercise. Students' learning orientations, defined within the context of students' self-reported statements in the specific context of a problem-solving-related research-based course implementation, are compared to pre-post results on physics problem-solving items in a well-established attitudinal survey instrument, in order to establish the categories' validity. In addition, mastery-related and performance-related orientations appear to extend to overall pre-post attitudinal shifts, but not to force and motion concepts or to overall course grade, within the scope of an introductory physics course. There also appears to be differentiation regarding overall course performance within health science majors, but not within biology majors, in terms of learning orientations; however, health science majors generally appear to fare less well on all measurements in the study than do biology majors, regardless of learning orientations.
Eason, Grace Teresa
The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to determine the effect a higher-order questioning strategy (Bloom, 1956) had on undergraduate non-science majors' attitudes toward the environment and their achievement in an introductory environmental science course, EDS 1032, "Survey of Science 2: Life Science," which was offered during the Spring 2000 term. Students from both treatment and control groups (N = 63), which were determined using intact classes, participated in eight cooperative group activities based on the Biological Sciences Curriculum Studies (BSCS) 5E model (Bybee, 1993). The treatment group received a higher-order questioning method combined with the BSCS 5E model. The control group received a lower-order questioning method, combined with the BSCS 5E model. Two instruments were used to measure students' attitude and achievement changes. The Ecology Issue Attitude (EIA) survey (Schindler, 1995) and a comprehensive environmental science final exam. Kolb's Learning Style Inventory (KLSI, 1985) was used to measure students' learning style type. After a 15-week treatment period, results were analyzed using MANCOVA. The overall MANCOVA model used to test the statistical difference between the collective influences of the independent variables on the three dependent variables simultaneously was found to be not significant at alpha = .05. This differs from findings of previous studies in which higher-order questioning techniques had a significant effect on student achievement (King 1989 & 1992; Blosser, 1991; Redfield and Rousseau, 1981; Gall 1970). At the risk of inflated Type I and Type II error rates, separate univariate analyses were performed. However, none of the research factors, when examined collectively or separately, made any significant contribution to explaining the variability in EIA attitude, EIA achievement, and comprehensive environmental science final examination scores. Nevertheless, anecdotal evidence from student's self
Full Text Available [This paper is part of the Focused Collection on Gender in Physics.] Active-learning approaches to teaching introductory physics have been found to improve student learning and affective gains on short-term outcomes [S. Freeman et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 111, 8410 (2014]; however, whether or not the benefits of active learning impact women to the same degree as men has been a point of concern [A. Madsen, S. B. McKagan, and E. C. Sayre, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 9, 020121 (2013]. Further, the long-term impacts of active-learning experiences are also understudied. At Florida International University, a Hispanic-majority institution, we have implemented Modeling Instruction (MI and the Integrated Science Learning Environment (ISLE in introductory physics classes for the past decade. In this empirical paper, we report on a longitudinal investigation of student performance and persistence in upper level physics courses after having previously experienced MI or ISLE in their introductory physics courses, and disaggregate students by gender. Using survival analysis methods, we find women who declare physics as a major are more likely than men to graduate with a physics degree. Women are also just as likely as men to pass through the upper division courses, with the highest failure risk for both men and women occurring in the first semester of upper-division course taking. These results reinforce the need to expand considerations of performance outcomes to be longitudinal to measure the effectiveness of the entire physics experience.
Rodriguez, Idaykis; Potvin, Geoff; Kramer, Laird H.
[This paper is part of the Focused Collection on Gender in Physics.] Active-learning approaches to teaching introductory physics have been found to improve student learning and affective gains on short-term outcomes [S. Freeman et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 111, 8410 (2014)]; however, whether or not the benefits of active learning impact women to the same degree as men has been a point of concern [A. Madsen, S. B. McKagan, and E. C. Sayre, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 9, 020121 (2013)]. Further, the long-term impacts of active-learning experiences are also understudied. At Florida International University, a Hispanic-majority institution, we have implemented Modeling Instruction (MI) and the Integrated Science Learning Environment (ISLE) in introductory physics classes for the past decade. In this empirical paper, we report on a longitudinal investigation of student performance and persistence in upper level physics courses after having previously experienced MI or ISLE in their introductory physics courses, and disaggregate students by gender. Using survival analysis methods, we find women who declare physics as a major are more likely than men to graduate with a physics degree. Women are also just as likely as men to pass through the upper division courses, with the highest failure risk for both men and women occurring in the first semester of upper-division course taking. These results reinforce the need to expand considerations of performance outcomes to be longitudinal to measure the effectiveness of the entire physics experience.
Thompson, E. David; Bowling, Bethany V.; Markle, Ross E.
Studies over the last 30 years have considered various factors related to student success in introductory biology courses. While much of the available literature suggests that the best predictors of success in a college course are prior college grade point average (GPA) and class attendance, faculty often require a valuable predictor of success in those courses wherein the majority of students are in the first semester and have no previous record of college GPA or attendance. In this study, we evaluated the efficacy of the ACT Mathematics subject exam and Lawson's Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning in predicting success in a major's introductory biology course. A logistic regression was utilized to determine the effectiveness of a combination of scientific reasoning (SR) scores and ACT math (ACT-M) scores to predict student success. In summary, we found that the model—with both SR and ACT-M as significant predictors—could be an effective predictor of student success and thus could potentially be useful in practical decision making for the course, such as directing students to support services at an early point in the semester.
Chambers, Sara Lang Ketchum
This social action study followed an introductory biology course for a three-year period to determine whether changes in teaching personnel, instructional techniques and reorientation to student-centered learning would impact student performance. The course was redirected from a traditional lecture-laboratory format to one emphasizing active learning inquiry methods. Student retention, achievement, and failure were observed for three years in addition to one year prior, and one year following, the study. The study examined the two semester introductory biology course required of all biology majors and those intending a career in science, medicine or dentistry. During the first semester of the study, the dropout rate decreased from 46% to 21%. Prior to the study, 39% of the students completing the course received a grade of D or F while only 4% received a grade of B or above. During the first semester of the study 14% of the students received a grade of D or F while 46% received a B, B+ or A grade. Similar results were seen in other semesters of the study. A statistical comparison of student retention and performance was carried out using grade data for classes taught by the original faculty, the action study faculty and the post-study faculty. The differences between the original faculty and the action study faculty were statistically significant. Effect size calculations indicated large differences between the action study faculty and the two other faculty groups in terms of student retention, achievement and failure. The results are attributed to both the personnel change and, more significantly, the change in teaching methods and emphasis on student-active learning. Comparison between the pre- and post-study teams showed less dramatic effect sizes than when the action study data were compared with the data from either other team. Nevertheless, the post-study results showed that although the retention rate dropped during the year after the study, the improvement
Marvasi, Massimiliano; Davila-Vazquez, Y. C.; Martinez, L. C.
We have designed a three-week experiment that can complement any microbiology course, to teach main geomicrobiology concepts for non-geology majors. One of the most difficult concepts for non-geology majors to comprehend is how bacteria serve as a platform for different mineralization reactions. In our three-week laboratory practice, students learn the main principles and conditions required for an induced bacterial mineralization. Upon completion of the laboratory experience, students will: ...
Jones, George H.
Despite efforts made over the past few years to improve upon the way introductory economics is taught, these efforts have unfortunately done very little to change student perception of economics as a dry, difficult and boring subject. Since the introductory economics course for many nonmajors may be their only economics course in college, it is…
Marvasi, Massimiliano; Davila-Vazquez, Yarely C; Martinez, Lilliam Casillas
We have designed a three-week experiment that can complement any microbiology course, to teach main geomicrobiology concepts for non-geology majors. One of the most difficult concepts for non-geology majors to comprehend is how bacteria serve as a platform for different mineralization reactions. In our three-week laboratory practice, students learn the main principles and conditions required for an induced bacterial mineralization. Upon completion of the laboratory experience, students will: 1) learn how microbial-induced mineralization (such as calcium carbonate formation) is affected by differential media and growth conditions; 2) understand how bacterial physiology affects any induced in situ or in vitro mineralization; 3) comprehend how growing conditions and bacterial physiologies interrelate, resulting in differential crystal formation. The teaching-learning process was assessed using a pre-/posttest with an increase from 26% to 76% in the number of positive answers from the students. We also measured the students' proficiency while conducting specific technical tasks, revealing no major difficulties while conducting the experiments. A final questionnaire was provided with satisfactory evaluations from the students regarding the organization and content of the practices. 84-86% of the students agreed that the exercises improved their knowledge in geomicrobiology and would like to attend similar laboratories in the future. Such response is the best indicator that the laboratory practice can be implemented in any undergraduate/graduate microbiology course to effectively teach basic geomicrobiology concepts to non-geology majors.
Marvasi, Massimiliano; Davila-Vazquez, Yarely C.; Martinez, Lilliam Casillas
We have designed a three-week experiment that can complement any microbiology course, to teach main geomicrobiology concepts for non-geology majors. One of the most difficult concepts for non-geology majors to comprehend is how bacteria serve as a platform for different mineralization reactions. In our three-week laboratory practice, students learn the main principles and conditions required for an induced bacterial mineralization. Upon completion of the laboratory experience, students will: 1) learn how microbial-induced mineralization (such as calcium carbonate formation) is affected by differential media and growth conditions; 2) understand how bacterial physiology affects any induced in situ or in vitro mineralization; 3) comprehend how growing conditions and bacterial physiologies interrelate, resulting in differential crystal formation. The teaching-learning process was assessed using a pre-/posttest with an increase from 26% to 76% in the number of positive answers from the students. We also measured the students’ proficiency while conducting specific technical tasks, revealing no major difficulties while conducting the experiments. A final questionnaire was provided with satisfactory evaluations from the students regarding the organization and content of the practices. 84–86% of the students agreed that the exercises improved their knowledge in geomicrobiology and would like to attend similar laboratories in the future. Such response is the best indicator that the laboratory practice can be implemented in any undergraduate/graduate microbiology course to effectively teach basic geomicrobiology concepts to non-geology majors. PMID:24358384
Owhoso, Vincent; Malgwi, Charles A.; Akpomi, Margaret
The authors examine whether students who completed a computer-based intervention program, designed to help them develop abilities and skills in introductory accounting, later declared accounting as a major. A sample of 1,341 students participated in the study, of which 74 completed the intervention program (computer-based assisted learning [CBAL])…
Fredrick, L. Denise
The focus of this study was to investigate college students' perception of high school and college introductory science learning experiences related to persistence in science as a major area of study in college. The study included students' perceptions of the following areas of science education: (1) teacher interpersonal relationship with students, (2) teacher personality styles, (3) teacher knowledge of the content, (4) instructional methods, and (5) science course content. A survey research design was employed in the investigative study to collect and analyze data. One hundred ninety two students participated in the research study. A survey instrument entitled Science Education Perception Survey was used to collect data. The researcher sought to reject or support three null hypotheses as related to participants' perceptions of high school and college introductory science education experiences. Using binomial regression analysis, this study analyzed differences between students persisting in science and students not persisting in science as a major. The quantitative research indicated that significant differences exist between persistence in science as a major and high school science teacher traits and college introductory science instructional methods. Although these variables were found to be significant predictors, the percent variance was low and should be considered closely before concluded these as strong predictors of persistence. Major findings of the qualitative component indicated that students perceived that: (a) interest in high school science course content and high school science teacher personality and interpersonal relationships had the greatest effect on students' choice of major area of study; (b) interest in college introductory science course content had the greatest effect on students' choice of major area of study; (c) students recalled laboratory activities and overall good teaching as most meaningful to their high school science
College students must complete a life science course prior to graduation for a bachelor's degree. Generally, the course has lecture and laboratory components. It is in the laboratory where there are exceptional opportunities for exploration, challenge and application of the material learned. Optimally, this would utilize the best of inquiry based approaches. Most community colleges are using a home-grown or self written laboratory manual for the direction of work in the laboratory period. Little was known about the motivation, development and adaptation of use. It was also not known about the future of the laboratory manuals in light of the recent learning reform in California Community Colleges, Student Learning Outcomes. Extensive interviews were conducted with laboratory manual authors to determine the motivation, process of development, who was involved and learning framework used in the creation of the manuals. It was further asked of manual authors their ideas about the future of the manual, the development of staff and faculty and finally, the role Student Learning Outcomes would play in the manual. Science faculty currently teaching the non-majors biology laboratories for at least two semesters were surveyed on-line about actual practice of the manual, assessment, manual flexibility, faculty training and incorporation of Student Learning Outcomes. Finally, an evaluation of the laboratory manual was done using an established Laboratory Task Analysis Instrument. Laboratory manuals were evaluated on a variety of categories to determine the level of inquiry instruction done by students in the laboratory section. The results were that the development of homegrown laboratory manuals was done by community colleges in the Los Angeles and Orange Counties in an effort to minimize the cost of the manual to the students, to utilize all the exercises in a particular lab and to effectively utilize the materials already owned by the department. Further, schools wanted to
Blair, Amy C.; Peters, Brenda J.; Bendixen, Conrad W.
The AAAS Vision and Change report (2011) recommends incorporating student research experiences into the biology curriculum at the undergraduate level. This article describes, in detail, how "Zea mays" (corn) cultivars were used as a model for a hypothesis-driven short-term research project in an introductory biology course at a small…
This CD is multimedia presentation of programme safety upgrading of Bohunice V1 NPP. This chapter consist of introductory commentary and 4 introductory speeches (video records): (1) Introductory speech of Vincent Pillar, Board chairman and director general of Slovak electric, Plc. (SE); (2) Introductory speech of Stefan Schmidt, director of SE - Bohunice Nuclear power plants; (3) Introductory speech of Jan Korec, Board chairman and director general of VUJE Trnava, Inc. - Engineering, Design and Research Organisation, Trnava; Introductory speech of Dietrich Kuschel, Senior vice-president of FRAMATOME ANP Project and Engineering
Chung-Schickler, Genevieve C.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of cooperative learning strategies on students' attitudes toward science and achievement in BSC 1005L, a non-science majors' general biology laboratory course at an urban community college. Data were gathered on the participants' attitudes toward science and cognitive biology level pre and post treatment in BSC 1005L. Elements of the Learning Together model developed by Johnson and Johnson and the Student Team-Achievement Divisions model created by Slavin were incorporated into the experimental sections of BSC 1005L. Four sections of BSC 1005L participated in this study. Participants were enrolled in the 1998 spring (January) term. Students met weekly in a two hour laboratory session. The treatment was administered to the experimental group over a ten week period. A quasi-experimental pretest-posttest control group design was used. Students in the cooperative learning group (nsb1 = 27) were administered the Test of Science-Related Attitudes (TOSRA) and the cognitive biology test at the same time as the control group (nsb2 = 19) (at the beginning and end of the term). Statistical analyses confirmed that both groups were equivalent regarding ethnicity, gender, college grade point average and number of absences. Independent sample t-tests performed on pretest mean scores indicated no significant differences in the TOSRA scale two or biology knowledge between the cooperative learning group and the control group. The scores of TOSRA scales: one, three, four, five, six, and seven were significantly lower in the cooperative learning group. Independent sample t-tests of the mean score differences did not show any significant differences in posttest attitudes toward science or biology knowledge between the two groups. Paired t-tests did not indicate any significant differences on the TOSRA or biology knowledge within the cooperative learning group. Paired t-tests did show significant differences within the control group
Cervato, C.; Jach, J. Y.; Ridky, R.
Introductory Earth science courses are undergoing pedagogical changes in universities across the country and are focusing more than ever on the non-science majors. Increasing enrollment of non-science majors in these introductory Earth science courses demands a new look at what is being taught and how the content can be objectively chosen. Assessing the content and effectiveness of these courses requires a quantitative investigation of introductory Earth science topics and their relevance to current issues and concerns. Relevance of Earth science topics can be linked to improved students' attitude toward science and a deeper understanding of concepts. We have used the Internet based national news search-engine LexisNexis Academic Universe (http://www.lexisnexis.org/) to select the occurrence of Earth science terms over the last 12 months, five and ten years both regionally and nationally. This database of term occurrences is being used to examine how Earth sciences have evolved in the news through the last 10 years and is also compared with textbook contents and course syllabi from randomly selected introductory earth science courses across the nation. These data constitute the quantitative foundation for this study and are being used to evaluate the relevance of introductory earth science course content. The relevance of introductory course content and current real-world issues to student attitudes is a crucial factor when considering changes in course curricula and pedagogy. We have examined students' conception of the nature of science and attitudes towards science and learning science using a Likert-scale assessment instrument in the fall 2002 Geology 100 classes at Iowa State University. A pre-test and post-test were administered to see if the students' attitudes changed during the semester using as reference a control group comprised of geoscience undergraduate and graduate students, and faculty. The results of the attitude survey have been analyzed in terms
Kalman, C.S.; Milner-Bolotin, M.; Antimitova, T.
We report on an experiment comparing examinations of concepts using slightly modified peer instruction (MPI) interventions with a conceptual conflict strategy based on collaborative groups (CG). Four interventions were utilized in two sections of an introductory physics course for science students. Both instructors and strategies were alternated in the two classes so that instructor dependence could be factored out and so that each class could serve as both an experimental and a control group. The gain on the Force Concept Inventory (FCI) used as a pre- and post-test is essentially the same in both classes. The instructors were experienced in use of MPI, but this was the first time that these instructors had used a collaborative group activity in their classes and only used it for the two interventions in each class described in this paper. CG appears to be more effective as a teaching method than PI. It also should be noted that the effectiveness of both teaching methods seems to be instructor independent as long as the instructors followed the same protocol. (author)
Kalman, C.S., E-mail: Calvin.Kalman@concordia.ca [Concordia Univ., Dept. of Physics, Montreal, QC (Canada); Milner-Bolotin, M. [Univ. of British Columbia, Dept. of Curriculum and Pedagogy, Vancouver, BC (Canada); Antimitova, T. [Ryerson Univ., Dept. of Physics, Toronto, ON (Canada)
We report on an experiment comparing examinations of concepts using slightly modified peer instruction (MPI) interventions with a conceptual conflict strategy based on collaborative groups (CG). Four interventions were utilized in two sections of an introductory physics course for science students. Both instructors and strategies were alternated in the two classes so that instructor dependence could be factored out and so that each class could serve as both an experimental and a control group. The gain on the Force Concept Inventory (FCI) used as a pre- and post-test is essentially the same in both classes. The instructors were experienced in use of MPI, but this was the first time that these instructors had used a collaborative group activity in their classes and only used it for the two interventions in each class described in this paper. CG appears to be more effective as a teaching method than PI. It also should be noted that the effectiveness of both teaching methods seems to be instructor independent as long as the instructors followed the same protocol. (author)
Jakeman, A.J.; Hamilton, S.H.; Athanasiadis, I.N.; Pierce, S.A.
Introductory Overview articles are designed to provide introductory level background to key themes and topics that caters to the eclectic readership of EMS. It is envisaged that these articles will help to break down barriers to shared understanding and dialogue within multidisciplinary teams, and
Kiefer, Friedemann; Schulte-Merker, Stefan
This introductory section briefly highlights the subsequent chapters in the context of recent findings and open questions in lymphatic vessel biology. It aims to provide a quick overview and orientation in the contents of this monograph collection.
Bahri, Ujjal Singh; Walia, Paramjit Singh
This introductory text in Punjabi (also spelled Panjabi) is intended primarily for those whose mother tongue is not Punjabi but are native speakers of other Indian languages. Some familiarity with the Punjabi cultural items is presupposed. The non-Indian may, however, also be able to use this text with profit since the lessons are graded. The…
Hardegree-Ullman, K. K.; Impey, C. D.; Patikkal, A.; Austin, C. L.
This year we implemented Teach Astronomy as a free online resource to be used as a teaching tool for non-science major astronomy courses and for a general audience interested in the subject. The comprehensive astronomy content of the website includes: an introductory text book, encyclopedia articles, images, two to three minute topical video clips, podcasts, and news articles. Teach Astronomy utilizes a novel technology to cluster, display, and navigate search results, called a Wikimap. We will present an overview of how Teach Astronomy works and how instructors can use it as an effective teaching tool in the classroom. Additionally, we will gather feedback from science instructors on how to improve the features and functionality of the website, as well as develop new assignment ideas using Teach Astronomy.
Most students entering our introductory astronomy course for nonscience majors arrive not merely lacking scientific facts-they also have misconceptions about the nature of science, and many have a handicapping ``science anxiety'' (in addition to math anxiety). So I have added a ``current science'' requirement to our introductory course. Each student must compile a file of five astronomy news articles taken from readily available sources.
Thompson, E. David; Bowling, Bethany V.; Markle, Ross E.
Studies over the last 30 years have considered various factors related to student success in introductory biology courses. While much of the available literature suggests that the best predictors of success in a college course are prior college grade point average (GPA) and class attendance, faculty often require a valuable predictor of success in…
Graph theory is used today in the physical sciences, social sciences, computer science, and other areas. Introductory Graph Theory presents a nontechnical introduction to this exciting field in a clear, lively, and informative style. Author Gary Chartrand covers the important elementary topics of graph theory and its applications. In addition, he presents a large variety of proofs designed to strengthen mathematical techniques and offers challenging opportunities to have fun with mathematics. Ten major topics - profusely illustrated - include: Mathematical Models, Elementary Concepts of Grap
Nathan, Stephen A.; Loxsom, Fred
Sustainable energy is growing in importance as the public becomes more aware of climate change and the need to satisfy our society's energy demands while minimizing environmental impacts. To further this awareness and to better prepare a workforce for "green careers," we developed a sustainable energy laboratory course that is suitable…
Full Text Available Introductory Comments The fifth yearly volume of the Colloquia Humanistica comprises a thematic section on Nation, Natsiya, Ethnie. The subject it discusses has thus far received little attention as a research problem in the Slavia Orthodoxa, the Slavia Romana, the Balkans but also in Central and Eastern Europe. Uwagi wstępne Piąty numer rocznika "Colloquia Humanistica" przedstawia dział tematyczny, poświęcony kategoriom narodu, nacji i etni. Temat ten, w takiej perspektywie, którą proponujemy, nie spotkał się dotąd z należytym namysłem badawczym w sferze Slavia Otrhodoxa, Slavia Romana i na Bałkanach, jak też w Europie Środkowo-Wschodniej.
Full Text Available Introductory Comments The sixth issue (not just in the Thematic Section is devoted to the borders of civilization in our memory, in culture, in art, in literature, in the arrangement of political objectives. Both their demarcation and their crossing is a matter of the objectives we can and want to set ourselves in the context of the order that exists and into which we try to fit, transforming it or levelling. The value of this survey of “images of borders” is its setting in such varied material, owing to which the theoretical speculations gain a representative illustration and, at the same time, a guarantee of being rooted, even if it is only a “contact zone”. Wprowadzenie Szósty numer (nie tylko sekcja tematyczna jest poświęcony kwestii granic cywilizacji w naszej pamięci, kulturze, sztuce, literaturze, w definiowaniu celów politycznych. Zarówno ich wyznaczanie, jak i przekraczanie, jest kwestią celów, jakie możemy i chcemy postawić sobie w kontekście istniejącego ładu, w który staramy się wpisać, przekształcając go lub dostosowując się do niego. Wartością niniejszego przeglądu "obrazów granic" jest przedstawienie ich poprzez tak zróżnicowany materiał, dzięki czemu rozważania teoretyczne zyskują reprezentatywną ilustrację, a zarazem gwarancję zakorzenienia, nawet jeśli będzie to tylko "sfera kontaktu".
The questions discussed in this article concern the demarcation between scientific theories and non scientific theories. The problem is not only an epistemological one, but it implies also ethical and social consequences. For example, is it acceptable for an European country to allow the practice of non-traditional medicines which are not yet considered officially as scientific? According to Karl Popper, the author discusses the following points: 1. Is there a logical asymmetry between the verification and the falsification of a theory? 2. The criterion of falsifiability demarcates science from non-science. 3. There is no automatic method to find new theories. 4. The facts of science are discovered by scientists through theories. 5. The scientific method is only one and it consists of these three steps: problems-theories-refutations. The article's core is that the rational physician is the one who kills (falsifies) his own diagnosis instead of his own patients.
Witmer, Jeffrey A.
Concept maps are tools for organizing thoughts on the main ideas in a course. I present an example of a concept map that was created through the work of students in an introductory class and discuss major topics in statistics and relationships among them.
Ferraro, John R
Praise for Introductory Raman Spectroscopy Highlights basic theory, which is treated in an introductory fashion Presents state-of-the-art instrumentation Discusses new applications of Raman spectroscopy in industry and research.
Olimpo, Jeffrey T.; Fisher, Ginger R.; DeChenne-Peters, Sue Ellen
Within the past decade, course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) have emerged as a viable mechanism to enhance novices’ development of scientific reasoning and process skills in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. Recent evidence within the bioeducation literature suggests that student engagement in such experiences not only increases their appreciation for and interest in scientific research but also enhances their ability to “think like a scientist.” Despite these critical outcomes, few studies have objectively explored CURE versus non-CURE students’ development of content knowledge, attitudes, and motivation in the discipline, particularly among nonvolunteer samples. To address these concerns, we adopted a mixed-methods approach to evaluate the aforementioned outcomes following implementation of a novel CURE in an introductory cell/molecular biology course. Results indicate that CURE participants exhibited more expert-like outcomes on these constructs relative to their non-CURE counterparts, including in those areas related to self-efficacy, self-determination, and problem-solving strategies. Furthermore, analysis of end-of-term survey data suggests that select features of the CURE, such as increased student autonomy and collaboration, mediate student learning and enjoyment. Collectively, this research provides novel insights into the benefits achieved as a result of CURE participation and can be used to guide future development and evaluation of authentic research opportunities. PMID:27909022
Brahmia, Suzanne M.
Mathematization is central to STEM disciplines as a cornerstone of the quantitative reasoning that characterizes these fields. Introductory physics is required for most STEM majors in part so that students develop expert-like mathematization. This dissertation describes coordinated research and curriculum development for strengthening mathematization in introductory physics; it blends scholarship in physics and mathematics education in the form of three papers. The first paper explores mathematization in the context of physics, and makes an original contribution to the measurement of physics students' struggle to mathematize. Instructors naturally assume students have a conceptual mastery of algebra before embarking on a college physics course because these students are enrolled in math courses beyond algebra. This paper provides evidence that refutes the validity of this assumption and categorizes some of the barriers students commonly encounter with quantification and representing ideas symbolically. The second paper develops a model of instruction that can help students progress from their starting points to their instructor's desired endpoints. Instructors recognize that the introductory physics course introduces new ideas at an astonishing rate. More than most physicists realize, however, the way that mathematics is used in the course is foreign to a large portion of class. This paper puts forth an instructional model that can move all students toward better quantitative and physical reasoning, despite the substantial variability of those students' initial states. The third paper describes the design and testing of curricular materials that foster mathematical creativity to prepare students to better understand physics reasoning. Few students enter introductory physics with experience generating equations in response to specific challenges involving unfamiliar quantities and units, yet this generative use of mathematics is typical of the thinking involved in
Olimpo, Jeffrey T; Fisher, Ginger R; DeChenne-Peters, Sue Ellen
Within the past decade, course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) have emerged as a viable mechanism to enhance novices' development of scientific reasoning and process skills in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. Recent evidence within the bioeducation literature suggests that student engagement in such experiences not only increases their appreciation for and interest in scientific research but also enhances their ability to "think like a scientist." Despite these critical outcomes, few studies have objectively explored CURE versus non-CURE students' development of content knowledge, attitudes, and motivation in the discipline, particularly among nonvolunteer samples. To address these concerns, we adopted a mixed-methods approach to evaluate the aforementioned outcomes following implementation of a novel CURE in an introductory cell/molecular biology course. Results indicate that CURE participants exhibited more expert-like outcomes on these constructs relative to their non-CURE counterparts, including in those areas related to self-efficacy, self-determination, and problem-solving strategies. Furthermore, analysis of end-of-term survey data suggests that select features of the CURE, such as increased student autonomy and collaboration, mediate student learning and enjoyment. Collectively, this research provides novel insights into the benefits achieved as a result of CURE participation and can be used to guide future development and evaluation of authentic research opportunities. © 2016 J. T. Olimpo et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
The CERN Accelerator School’s introductory course is a great success. This year the CERN Accelerator School held its "Introduction to Accelerator Physics" course in Frascati, Italy, from 2-14 November in collaboration with the University of Rome "La Sapienza" and the INFN Frascati National Laboratory. The Introductory level course is particularly important since, for the majority of participants, it is the first opportunity to discover the various aspects of accelerator physics. For this school the programme had been significantly revised in order to take into account the new trends currently being developed in the field, thus putting more emphasis on linacs, synchrotron light sources and free-electron lasers. The school was a resounding success with 115 participants of more than 23 nationalities. Feedback from the students praised the expertise of the lecturers, the high standard of the lectures as well as the excellent organizati...
Kreps, Jennifer Susan
Instructional stories can be an effective way to teach science concepts. However, research has not examined the extent to which stories are being used, and how they are received. More research on the use of story in biology classes may lead to more conscious use of story by instructors, which may lead to a better understanding of biological concepts by students. The purpose of this study was to examine how instructors and students use stories in university introductory biology courses, and the degree to which these stories are perceived to be effective. To examine this phenomenon, a nationwide instructor survey, a university-wide student survey, and multiple case studies were used. Two case studies included observation of lectures, interviews with (36) students, and interviews with instructors (4) over two semesters of an organismal biology course. Instructor survey participants (N = 78) were gathered by posting email invitations, and student survey participants (N = 260) were volunteers from introductory biology courses at a middle-sized university. Several types of stories were observed, including personal experience stories, historical anecdotes, and "you" stories. Students reported increased affective learning when stories were told, and remembered mostly humorous stories. In the instructor survey, no significant differences emerged between genders, type of biology taught, or communicator style and instructional story frequency. However, reports of personal experience story frequency did increase significantly (p ethnicity, although non-science majors reported that their instructors used stories significantly more frequently (p perceived learning loss for non-science majors, but not for science majors. The researcher suggests that stories can be an effective tool to teach biology, particularly if the instructor is aware of her audience and uses stories primarily to help students understand how concepts are related to "real life."
Griggs, Richard A.; Christopher, Andrew N.
It is important to assess periodically how introductory textbooks portray our discipline because introductory psychology is the most popular psychology course, almost all teachers use textbooks for it, and textbooks play a major role in defining the course for students. To do so, past studies have used textbook citation analyses. We analyzed…
Griggs, Richard A., Ed.; Jackson, Sherri L., Ed.
This book follows in the footsteps of the first three volumes in the "Handbook for Teaching Introductory Psychology" series. In the prefaces to these volumes, the various editors all stressed two major points relevant to the development of this series. These comments also apply to this book. First, introductory psychology is one of the most…
Griggs, Richard A.
To determine how topical coverage in introductory textbooks may have changed from the 1980s to the present, the author examined topic coverage in full-length and brief introductory textbooks from this time period. Because 98% of the teachers use textbooks for the introductory course and the majority do not assign reading beyond the textbook, the…
Pfannkuch, Maxine; Regan, Matt; Wild, Chris; Budgett, Stephanie; Forbes, Sharleen; Harraway, John; Parsonage, Ross
This article sets out some of the rationale and arguments for making major changes to the teaching and learning of statistical inference in introductory courses at our universities by changing from a norm-based, mathematical approach to more conceptually accessible computer-based approaches. The core problem of the inferential argument with its…
English, Thomas C.; Lind, David A.
Discusses the use of an integrated circuit operational amplifier in an introductory electronics laboratory course for undergraduate science majors. The advantages of this approach and the implications for scientific instrumentation are identified. Describes a number of experiments suitable for the undergraduate laboratory. (Author/DF)
King, Cynthia M.
Outlines an introductory public relations writing course. Presents course topics and objectives, and assignments designed to meet them. Provides a sample grading rubric and evaluates major public relations writing textbooks. Discusses learning and assessment strategies. (SR)
Kolmogorov, A N; Silverman, Richard A
Self-contained and comprehensive, this elementary introduction to real and functional analysis is readily accessible to those with background in advanced calculus. It covers basic concepts and introductory principles in set theory, metric spaces, topological and linear spaces, linear functionals and linear operators, and much more. 350 problems. 1970 edition.
Arai, Hiroko; Fujikawa, Takashi
An introductory review is presented on the basis of many-body scattering theory. Some fundamental aspects of photoemission theory are discussed in detail. A few applications are also discussed; photoelectron diffraction, depth distribution function and multi-atom resonant photoemission are also discussed briefly. (author)
Skala, Chija; Slater, Timothy F.; Adams, Jeffrey P.
Large-lecture introductory astronomy courses for undergraduate, non-science majors present numerous problems for faculty. As part of a systematic effort to improve the course learning environment, a series of small-group, collaborative learning activities were implemented in an otherwise conventional lecture astronomy survey course. These activities were used once each week during the regularly scheduled lecture period. After eight weeks, ten focus group interviews were conducted to qualitatively assess the impact and dynamics of these small group learning activities. Overall, the data strongly suggest that students enjoy participating in the in-class learning activities in learning teams of three to four students. These students firmly believe that they are learning more than they would from lectures alone. Inductive analysis of the transcripts revealed five major themes prevalent among the students' perspectives: (1) self-formed, cooperative group composition and formation should be more regulated by the instructor; (2) team members' assigned rolls should be less formally structured by the instructors; (3) cooperative groups helped in learning the course content; (4) time constraints on lectures and activities need to be more carefully aligned; and (5) gender issues can exist within the groups. These themes serve as a guide for instructors who are developing instructional interventions for large lecture courses.
Establishing the Empirical Relationship Between Non-Science Majoring Undergraduate Learners' Spatial Thinking Skills and Their Conceptual Astronomy Knowledge. (Spanish Title: Estableciendo Una Relación Empírica Entre el Razonamiento Espacial de los Estudiantes de Graduación de Carreras no Científicas y su Conocimento Conceptual de la Astronomía.) Estabelecendo Uma Relação Empírica Entre o RacioCínio Espacial dos Estudantes de Graduação EM Carreiras Não Científicas e Seu Conhecimento Conceitual da Astronomia
Heyer, Inge; Slater, Stephanie J.; Slater, Timothy F.
The astronomy education community has tacitly assumed that learning astronomy is a conceptual domain resting upon spatial thinking skills. As a first step to formally identify an empirical relationship, undergraduate students in a non-major introductory astronomy survey class at a mediumsized, Ph.D. granting, mid-western US university were given pre- and post-astronomy conceptual diagnostics and spatial reasoning diagnostics, Instruments used were the "Test Of Astronomy Standards" and "What Do You Know?" Using only fully matched data for analysis, our sample consisted of 86 undergraduate non-science majors. Students' normalized gains for astronomy surveys were low at .26 and .13 respectively. Students' spatial thinking was measured using an instrument designed specifically for this study. Correlations between the astronomy instruments' pre- to post-course gain scores and the spatial assessment instrument show moderate to strong relationships suggesting the relationship between spatial reasoning and astronomy ability can explain about 25% of the variation in student achievement. La comunidad de educación en astronomía ha supuesto de forma tácita que el aprendizaje de la astronomía consiste en un dominio conceptual fundamentado en el razonamiento espacial. Como un primer paso para identificar formalmente una relación empírica entre estas dos cosas, utilizamos como muestra los estudantes de graduación de carreras no científicas de un curso experimental en una universidad norteamericana del medioeste de porte mediano con programa de Doctorado em curso, en el cual estos estudiantes se sometieron a un diagnóstico de razonamiento espacial y conceptos astronómicos antes e después del mismo. Las herramientas utilizadas fueron el Test Of Astronomy Standards (TOAST) y el cuestionario What do you know? Utilizando solo los datos completamente consistentes para este análisis, nuestra muestra consistió en 86 estudantes de graduación. Las mejoras, depués de
Sensors: An Introductory Course provides an essential reference on the fundamentals of sensors. The book is designed to help readers in developing skills and the understanding required in order to implement a wide range of sensors that are commonly used in our daily lives. This book covers the basic concepts in the sensors field, including definitions and terminologies. The physical sensing effects are described, and devices which utilize these effects are presented. The most frequently used organic and inorganic sensors are introduced and the techniques for implementing them are discussed. This book: Provides a comprehensive representation of the most common sensors and can be used as a reference in relevant fields Presents learning materials in a concise and easy to understand manner Includes examples of how sensors are incorporated in real life measurements Contains detailed figures and schematics to assist in understanding the sensor performance Sensors: An Introductory Course is ideal for university stu...
This gracefully organized text reveals the rigorous theory of probability and statistical inference in the style of a tutorial, using worked examples, exercises, figures, tables, and computer simulations to develop and illustrate concepts. Drills and boxed summaries emphasize and reinforce important ideas and special techniques.Beginning with a review of the basic concepts and methods in probability theory, moments, and moment generating functions, the author moves to more intricate topics. Introductory Statistical Inference studies multivariate random variables, exponential families of dist
Hardegree-Ullman, Kevin; Impey, C. D.; Patikkal, A.
This year we implemented Teach Astronomy (www.teachastronomy.com) as a free online resource to be used as a teaching tool for non-science major astronomy courses and for a general audience interested in the subject. The comprehensive content includes: an introductory astronomy text book by Chris Impey, astronomy articles on Wikipedia, images from the Astronomy Picture of the Day, two to three minute topical video clips by Chris Impey, podcasts from 365 Days of Astronomy, and astronomy news from Science Daily. Teach Astronomy utilizes a novel technology to cluster, display, and navigate search results, called a Wikimap. Steep increases in textbook prices and the unique capabilities of emerging web technology motivated the development of this free online resource. Recent additions to Teach Astronomy include: images and diagrams for the textbook articles, mobile device implementation, and suggested homework assignments for instructors that utilize recent discoveries in astronomy. We present an overview of how Teach Astronomy has been implemented for use in the classroom and informal settings, and suggestions for utilizing the rich content and features of the web site.
Austin, Carmen; Impey, C. D.; Hardegree-Ullman, K.; Patikkal, A.; Ganesan, N.
Teach Astronomy (www.teachastronomy.com) is a new, free online resource—a teaching tool for non-science major astronomy courses and a reference guide for lifelong learners interested in the subject. Digital content available includes: a comprehensive introductory astronomy textbook by Chris Impey, Wikipedia astronomy articles, images from Astronomy Picture of the Day archives and AstroPix database, two to three minute topical video clips by Chris Impey, podcasts from 365 Days of Astronomy archives, and an RSS feed of astronomy news from Science Daily. Teach Astronomy features an original technology called the Wikimap to cluster, display, and navigate site search results. Motivation behind the development of Teach Astronomy includes steep increases in textbook prices, the rapid adoption by students and the public of digital resources, and the modern capabilities of digital technology. Recent additions to Teach Astronomy include: AstroPix images—from some of the most advanced observatories and complete with metadata, mobile device functionality, links to WikiSky where users can see the location of astronomical objects in the sky, and end of chapter textbook review questions. Next in line for development are assignments for classroom use. We present suggestions for utilizing the rich content and features of the web site.
Holbrow, Charles H; Amato, Joseph C; Galvez, Enrique; Parks, M. Elizabeth
Modern Introductory Physics, 2nd Edition, by Charles H. Holbrow, James N. Lloyd, Joseph C. Amato, Enrique Galvez, and Beth Parks, is a successful innovative text for teaching introductory college and university physics. It is thematically organized to emphasize the physics that answers the fundamental question: Why do we believe in atoms and their properties? The book provides a sound introduction to basic physical concepts with particular attention to the nineteenth- and twentieth-century physics underlying our modern ideas of atoms and their structure. After a review of basic Newtonian mechanics, the book discusses early physical evidence that matter is made of atoms. With a simple model of the atom Newtonian mechanics can explain the ideal gas laws, temperature, and viscosity. Basic concepts of electricity and magnetism are introduced along with a more complicated model of the atom to account for the observed electrical properties of atoms. The physics of waves---particularly light and x-rays---an...
Rash, Agnes M.; Zurbach, E. Peter
The intention of this article is to present a year-long interdisciplinary course, Mathematical Models in Chemistry. The course is comprised of eleven units, each of which has both a mathematical and a chemical component. A syllabus of the course is given and the format of the class is explained. The interaction of the professors and the content is…
Simon, Molly; Impey, Chris David; Buxner, Sanlyn
A first order understanding of planet formation and the scientific concepts therein is critical in order for undergraduate students to understand our place in the Universe. Furthermore, planet formation integrates the topics of gravity, angular momentum, migration, and condensation in a “story-book” fashion where students can apply these concepts to a specific event. We collected syllabi and course topics from over 30 undergraduate general-education astrobiology courses from around the globe in order to determine the extent to which professors address planet formation. Additionally, we were looking to see if faculty had developed specific or original pedagogy to teach this topic. We find on average, instructors spend ½ of a lecture discussing planet formation or they leave it out all together. In the classes where planet formation is taught more extensively, instructors use PowerPoint slides or occasional videos to teach the topic. We aim to develop new pedagogy that will allow us to better determine learning gains and student understanding of this critical topic. If students in an astrobiology class are unable to understand how our own Solar System forms, it is significantly more challenging to make parallels (or find differences) between our home in the Universe and extrasolar planetary systems.
Baran, George R; Samuel, Solomon Praveen
This textbook introduces students not pursuing degrees in science or engineering to the remarkable new applications of technology now available to physicians and their patients and discusses how these technologies are evolving to permit new treatments and procedures. The book also elucidates the societal and ethical impacts of advances in medical technology, such as extending life and end of life decisions, the role of genetic testing, confidentiality, costs of health care delivery, scrutiny of scientific claims, and provides background on the engineering approach in healthcare and the scientific method as a guiding principle. This concise, highly relevant text enables faculty to offer a substantive course for students from non-scientific backgrounds that will empower them to make more informed decisions about their healthcare by significantly enhancing their understanding of these technological advancements. This book also: · Presents scientific concepts from modern medical science using r...
Halverson, Kristy L.; Siegel, Marcelle A.; Freyermuth, Sharyn K.
Helping students develop criteria for judgment and apply examination skills is essential for promoting scientific literacy. With the increasing availability of the Internet, it is even more essential that students learn how to evaluate the science they gather from online resources. This is particularly true because publishing information on the web is not restricted to experts, and content quality can vary greatly across websites. The responsibility of evaluating websites falls upon the user. Little research has examined undergraduates' evaluation of web sites in science classes. The purpose of this study was to investigate on which websites college students selected and how they evaluated the websites used when developing individual positions about stem-cell research. We used a qualitative approach in search of patterns in undergraduates' website selection and evaluation criteria. We found that students used a variety of web resources from eleven types of websites to complete their independent research report. Students also used eleven evaluation criteria to evaluate these sources, some useful (e.g., credibility) and some not useful (e.g., readability). We found that university students struggled with critically evaluating online resources. Undergraduates need prompts to learn how to critically evaluate the science content provided within websites. This type of scaffold can facilitate useful evaluation and promote critical thinking required for becoming scientifically literate.
Pilachowski, Catherine A.; van Zee, Liese
The Art of Astronomy is a new general education course developed at Indiana University. The topic appeals to a broad range of undergraduates and the course gives students the tools to understand and appreciate astronomical images in a new way. The course explores the science of imaging the universe and the technology that makes the images possible. Topics include the night sky, telescopes and cameras, light and color, and the science behind the images. Coloring the Universe: An Insider's Look at Making Spectacular Images of Space" by T. A. Rector, K. Arcand, and M. Watzke serves as the basic text for the course, supplemented by readings from the web. Through the course, students participate in exploration activities designed to help them first to understand astronomy images, and then to create them. Learning goals include an understanding of scientific inquiry, an understanding of the basics of imaging science as applied in astronomy, a knowledge of the electromagnetic spectrum and how observations at different wavelengths inform us about different environments in the universe, and an ability to interpret astronomical images to learn about the universe and to model and understand the physical world.
Vandyke, Michael; Bassichis, William
Calculus-based introductory physics courses intended for future engineers and physicists are often designed and taught in the same fashion as those intended for students of other disciplines. A more mathematically rigorous curriculum should be more appropriate and, ultimately, more beneficial for the student in his or her future coursework. This work investigates the effects of mathematical rigor on student understanding of introductory mechanics. Using a series of diagnostic tools in conjunction with individual student course performance, a statistical analysis will be performed to examine student learning of introductory mechanics and its relation to student understanding of the underlying calculus.
Full Text Available Cancerology is, by all counts, a non-science, which may be defined as a so-called scientific pursuit in the teeth of obvious proofs to the contrary. Not one facet of current cancerology-etiology, diagnosis, therapy, prevention, and its latest fad, immunology -enjoys any clear, rational basis. No wonder that the outcome of the whole gargantuan effort is "precisely nil", with possibly more people living on, than dying of, cancer. The pathway to the logical-ly acceptable and comprehensible science is simple-to give cancer its due place in biology, to give the cancer cell its rightful place of but a form of cytodifferentiation, and to give the cancer therapist the supremely relevant role of a palliator. To talk of cancer cure is to deny - the cytosomatic reality that cancer is one′s own flesh and blood. Being a part of one′s self, cancer need not always be treated. I f a therapist has the right and obligation to diagnose, treat, and prognose upon a cancer patient, he has, hitherto unrecognized, equal right and obligation, not to do one or all of these. Cancer-realism offered in this article can guide a therapist to this often necessary path of inaction.
Wagaman, John C.
This article describes four semesters of introductory statistics courses that incorporate service learning and gardening into the curriculum with applications of the binomial distribution, least squares regression and hypothesis testing. The activities span multiple semesters and are iterative in nature.
We describe an effort to develop and to implement a college-level introductory physics (mechanics) MOOC that offers bona fide laboratory experiences. We also discuss efforts to use MOOC curricular materials to ``flip'' the classroom in a large lecture introductory physics course offered on-campus at Georgia Tech. Preliminary results of assessments and surveys from both MOOC and on-campus students will be presented.
Waller, William H.; Slater, Timothy F.
Over the past 15 years, professional astronomers, their societies, and associated funding agencies have collaborated to improve astronomy teaching and learning at the introductory undergraduate level. Many nonscience majors and preservice teachers enroll in these introductory astronomy courses, thus meriting the focused attention. In this review…
Homa, Natalie; Hackathorn, Jana; Brown, Carrie M.; Garczynski, Amy; Solomon, Erin D.; Tennial, Rachel; Sanborn, Ursula A.; Gurung, Regan A. R.
Introductory psychology is one of the most popular undergraduate courses and often serves as the gateway to choosing psychology as an academic major. However, little research has examined the typical structure of introductory psychology courses. The current study examined student learning objectives (SLOs) and course content in introductory…
Debb, Scott M.; Debb, Sharon M.
Enrolling in an introductory course in psychology is a staple of many community college students' core curriculum. For those students who plan to pursue social science and humanities-related majors in particular, introductory psychology helps provide a solid base upon which future coursework at all academic levels will be built. The goal of any…
Thompson, Meredith M.; Pastorino, Lucia; Lee, Star; Lipton, Paul
Introductory science courses play a critical role in the recruitment and retention of undergraduate science majors. In particular, first-year courses are opportunities to engage students in scientific practices and motivate them to consider scientific careers. We developed an introductory course using a semester-long series of established…
Wolfe, Douglas A
This textbook is designed to give an engaging introduction to statistics and the art of data analysis. The unique scope includes, but also goes beyond, classical methodology associated with the normal distribution. What if the normal model is not valid for a particular data set? This cutting-edge approach provides the alternatives. It is an introduction to the world and possibilities of statistics that uses exercises, computer analyses, and simulations throughout the core lessons. These elementary statistical methods are intuitive. Counting and ranking features prominently in the text. Nonparametric methods, for instance, are often based on counts and ranks and are very easy to integrate into an introductory course. The ease of computation with advanced calculators and statistical software, both of which factor into this text, allows important techniques to be introduced earlier in the study of statistics. This book's novel scope also includes measuring symmetry with Walsh averages, finding a nonp...
Watkins, Jessica Ellen
In this dissertation we examine several issues related to the retention of under-represented minority students in physics and science. In the first section, we show that in calculus-based introductory physics courses, the gender gap on the FCI is diminished through the use of interactive techniques, but in lower-level introductory courses, the gap persists, similar to reports published at other institutions. We find that under-represented racial minorities perform similar to their peers with comparable academic preparation on conceptual surveys, but their average exam grades and course grades are lower. We also examine student persistence in science majors; finding a significant relationship between pedagogy in an introductory physics course and persistence in science. In the second section, we look at student end-of-semester evaluations and find that female students rate interactive teaching methods a full point lower than their male peers. Looking more deeply at student interview data, we find that female students report more social issues related to the discussions in class and both male and female students cite feeling pressure to obtain the correct answer to clicker questions. Finally, we take a look an often-cited claim for gender differences in STEM participation: cognitive differences explain achievement differences in physics. We examine specifically the role of mental rotations in physics achievement and problem-solving, viewing mental rotations as a tool that students can use on physics problems. We first look at student survey results for lower-level introductory students, finding a low, but significant correlation between performance on a mental rotations test and performance in introductory physics courses. In contrast, we did not find a significant relationship for students in the upper-level introductory course. We also examine student problem-solving interviews to investigate the role of mental rotations on introductory problems.
Manduca, C.; Tewksbury, B.; Egger, A.; MacDonald, H.; Kirk, K.
Introductory undergraduate courses play a pivotal role in the geosciences. They serve as recruiting grounds for majors and future professionals, provide relevant experiences in geoscience for pre-service teachers, and offer opportunities to influence future policy makers, business people, professionals, and citizens. An introductory course is also typically the only course in geoscience that most of our students will ever take. Because the role of introductory courses is pivotal in geoscience education, a workshop on Teaching Introductory Courses in the 21st Century was held in July 2008 as part of the On the Cutting Edge faculty development program. A website was also developed in conjunction with the workshop. One of the central themes of the workshop was the importance of considering the long-term impact a course should have on students. Ideally, courses can be designed with this impact in mind. Approaches include using the local geology to focus the course and illustrate concepts; designing a course for particular audience (such as Geology for Engineers); creating course features that help students understand and interpret geoscience in the news; and developing capstone projects to teach critical thinking and problem solving skills in a geologic context. Workshop participants also explored strategies for designing engaging activities including exploring with Google Earth, using real-world scenarios, connecting with popular media, or making use of campus features on local field trips. In addition, introductory courses can emphasize broad skills such as teaching the process of science, using quantitative reasoning and developing communication skills. Materials from the workshop as well as descriptions of more than 150 introductory courses and 350 introductory-level activities are available on the website: http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/intro/index.html.
Tan, Lin Mei; Laswad, Fawzi
This study examines the impact of learning styles on academic performance using major assessment methods (examinations and assignments including multiple-choice and constructed response questions (CRQs)) in an introductory accounting course. Students' learning styles were assessed using Kolb's Learning Style Inventory Version 3.1. The results…
Yow, Donald M.
Addressing the need for an introductory atmospheric science course for nonscience majors, a course was developed that provides a general understanding of atmospheric processes by examining how meteorological events are portrayed in movies. The course also uses films to study the causes of, impacts associated with, and potential adaptations to…
Enrolments in undergraduate economics programs have been falling constantly since the early 1990s. This trend coincides with the increasing popularity of business and management degrees. Consequently, the major activity of many, if not most economics departments and schools in Australia is service teaching of introductory economics to first year…
Walvoord, Barbara E.
A study of sixty-six highly effective teachers of introductory theology and religion courses in various types of institutions reveals very complex challenges for instructors. The majority of students have as a goal their own religious and spiritual development. Faculty members' most frequent goal is critical thinking. Students much less frequently…
Harlow, Jason J. B.; Harrison, David M.; Justason, Michael; Meyertholen, Andrew; Wilson, Brian
We measured the personality type of the students in a large introductory physics course of mostly life science students using the True Colors instrument. We found large correlations of personality type with performance on the precourse Force Concept Inventory (FCI), both term tests, the postcourse FCI, and the final examination. We also saw correlations with the normalized gain on the FCI. The personality profile of the students in this course is very different from the profile of the physics faculty and graduate students, and also very different from the profile of students taking the introductory physics course intended for physics majors and specialists.
Teaching introductory physics is arguably one of the most important things that a physics department does. It is the primary way that students from other science disciplines engage with physics and it is the introduction to physics for majors. Modeling instruction is an active learning strategy for introductory physics built on the premise that science proceeds through the iterative process of model construction, development, deployment, and revision. We describe the role that participating in authentic modeling has in learning and then explore how students engage in this process in the classroom. In this presentation, we provide a theoretical background on models and modeling and describe how these theoretical elements are enacted in the introductory university physics classroom. We provide both quantitative and video data to link the development of a conceptual model to the design of the learning environment and to student outcomes. This work is supported in part by DUE #1140706.
Ross, L. E.; Kelly, M.; Springer, A. E.
In the Fall semester of 2003, Northern Arizona University will introduce the GeoWall to its introductory geology courses. This presents an opportunity to assess the impact of this new technology on students' understanding of basic topographic concepts and the spatial relationships between geology, topography, and hydrology on a field trip. Introductory Geology fulfills the Lab Science component of the Liberal Studies Program at Northern Arizona University. The class is open to all Northern Arizona University students, and is most commonly taken by non-science majors. In this class students learn to: locate their position using maps, identify common minerals and rocks, recognize the relationship between geology and geomorphology, visualize how rocks exposed at the surface continue into the subsurface, and to draw conclusions about possible geologic hazards in different settings. In this study we will report how a GeoWall 3D visualization technology was used in a field study of a graben south of Flagstaff. The goal of the field exercise is to improve students' ability to synthesize data collected at field stops into a conceptual model of the graben, linking geology, geomorphology and hydrology. We plan to present a quantitative assessment of the GeoWall learning objectives from data collected from a paired test and control group of students. Teaching assistants (TAs) with two or more lab classes have been identified; these TAs will participate in both GeoWall and non-GeoWall lab exercises. The GeoWall use will occur outside of normal lab hours to avoid disrupting the lab schedule during the eighth week of lab. This field preparation exercise includes a 3D visualization of the Lake Mary graben rendered with the ROMA software. The following week, all students attend the graben field trip; immediately following the trip, students will interviewed about their gain in understanding of the geologic features illustrated during the field trip. The results of the post
Donnelly, Lisa A.
Previous research has documented students' conceptual difficulties learning evolution and how student learning may be related to students' views of evolution and science. This mixed methods study addressed how 74 high school biology students from six Indiana high schools viewed their evolution learning experiences, the demarcations of science from non-science, and evolution understanding and acceptance. Data collection entailed qualitative and quantitative methods including interviews, classroom observations, surveys, and assessments to address students' views of science and non-science, evolution learning experiences, and understanding and acceptance of evolution. Qualitative coding generated several demarcation and evolution learning experience codes that were subsequently used in quantitative comparisons of evolution understanding and acceptance. The majority of students viewed science as empirical, tentative but ultimately leading to certain truth, compatible with religion, the product of experimental work, and the product of human creativity. None of the students offered the consensus NOS view that scientific theories are substantiated explanations of phenomena while scientific laws state relationships or patterns between phenomena. About half the students indicated that scientific knowledge was subjectively and socio-culturally influenced. The majority of students also indicated that they had positive evolution learning experiences and thought evolution should be taught in secondary school. The quantitative comparisons revealed how students who viewed scientific knowledge as subjectively and socio-culturally influenced had higher understanding than their peers. Furthermore, students who maintained that science and religion were compatible did not differ with respect to understanding but had higher acceptance than their peers who viewed science and religion as conflicting. Furthermore, students who maintained that science must be consistent with their
Buxner, Sanlyn; Formanek, Martin; Impey, Chris David; Wenger, Matthew
We describe learners enrolled in three iterations of introductory astronomy massive open online courses (MOOCs). These courses are offered through commercial providers and facilitated by an instructional team at the University of Arizona. We describe an ongoing study of those who enroll, engage in, and complete these courses. The course has undergone several revisions, including integrating pedagogical techniques, found to be effective for in-person courses, to increase engagement including peer review, online discussions, and the use of cohorts. In its current version, learners enroll on a continual basis and complete 11 weeks of course content; they watch videos, complete content quizzes, submit writing assignments, complete peer review of other students’ work, and complete online citizen science projects. Tens of thousands of students has signed up for these courses but completion rates are much lower, around 10%. We have collected survey data from over 8,500 of these learners to assess their basic science knowledge, attitudes towards science and technology, motivations for taking the courses, and information about other ways they engage in science related activities. We present information about these learners, including their demographics, motivations, how they use the courses, and what factors lead to increased engagement and completion. Additionally, we present how survey data from these learners compare to 26 years of data we have collected from parallel group of undergraduate non-science major students enrolled in astronomy courses at the University of Arizona. Overall, we find that learners who enroll in the MOOCs have more interest in science and higher basic science knowledge that undergraduates who pay tuition for a similar course. Our work is helping us understand how to better serve learners in MOOCs and bridge more traditional courses with these types of courses.
Barmby, Pauline; Gallagher, S. C.; Cami, J.
A poster from the 2011 Western Conference on Science Education, describing the use of citizen science project Galaxy Zoo in a non-majors astronomy course. Lots more on this topic at https://www.zooniverse.org/education
Williams, H. Thomas
Contends that the large vocabulary used for precise purposes in physics contains many words that have related but potentially confusing meanings in everyday usage. Analyzes the treatment of Newton's Laws of Motion in several well-known introductory textbooks for evidence of inconsistent language use. Makes teaching suggestions. (Contains 11…
Koppelman, Herman; van Dijk, Betsy
Abstraction is viewed as a key concept in computer science. It is not only an important concept but also one that is difficult to master. This paper focuses on the problems that novices experience when they first encounter this concept. Three assignments from introductory courses are analyzed, to
Bare, John K.
A microcomputer was used successfully to replicate Sternberg's 1966 study of retrieval from short-term memory and Sperling's 1960 study on sensory or iconic memory. Computers with a capacity for measuring reaction time are useful in the laboratory for introductory psychology courses. (SR)
Bennedsen, Jens; Caspersen, Michael Edelgaard
It is a common conception that CS1 is a very difficult course and that failure rates are high. However, until now there has only been anecdotal evidence for this claim. This article reports on a survey among institutions around the world regarding failure rates in introductory programming courses...
Kong, M.G.; Kroesen, G.M.W.; Morfill, G.; Nosenko, T.; Shimizu, T.; Dijk, van J.; Zimmermann, J.L.
This introductory review on plasma health care is intended to provide the interested reader with a summary of the current status of this emerging field, its scope, and its broad interdisciplinary approach, ranging from plasma physics, chemistry and technology, to microbiology, biochemistry,
Inquiry-based pedagogies have a strong presence in proof-based undergraduate mathematics courses, but can be difficult to implement in courses that are large, procedural, or highly computational. An introductory course in statistics would thus seem an unlikely candidate for an inquiry-based approach, as these courses typically steer well clear of…
Fisher, Kathleen M.; Lipson, Joseph I.
Defining a "misconception" as an error of translation (transformation, correspondence, interpolation, interpretation) between two different kinds of information which causes students to have incorrect expectations, a Taxonomy of Errors has been developed to examine student misconceptions in an introductory biology course for science…
Taghizadeh, Sanaz; Lincoln, James
The introductory physics classroom has long educated students about the properties of the atom and the nucleus. But absent from these lessons has been an informed discussion of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and its parent science nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Physics teachers should not miss the opportunity to instruct upon this highly…
Guilaran, Ildefonso (Fonsie) J.
When I was an undergraduate physics major, I would often stay up late with my physics major roommate as we would digest the physics content we were learning in our courses and explore our respective imaginations armed with our new knowledge. Such activity during my undergraduate years was confined to informal settings, and the first formal creativity assignment in my physics education did not come until well into my graduate years when my graduate advisor demanded that I write a prospectus for my dissertation. I have often lamented the fact that the first formal assignment in which I was required to be creative, take responsibility for my own learning and research objectives, and see them to completion during my physics education came so late, considering the degree to which creative attributes are celebrated in the personalities of great physicists. In this essay I will apply some of the basic concepts as defined by creativity-related psychology literature to physics pedagogy, relate these concepts to the exchanges in this journal concerning Michael Sobel's paper "Physics for the Non-Scientist: A Middle Way," and provide the framework for a low-overhead creativity assignment that can easily be implemented at all levels of physics education.
Bagby, Richard J
Introductory Analysis addresses the needs of students taking a course in analysis after completing a semester or two of calculus, and offers an alternative to texts that assume that math majors are their only audience. By using a conversational style that does not compromise mathematical precision, the author explains the material in terms that help the reader gain a firmer grasp of calculus concepts.* Written in an engaging, conversational tone and readable style while softening the rigor and theory* Takes a realistic approach to the necessary and accessible level of abstraction for the secondary education students* A thorough concentration of basic topics of calculus* Features a student-friendly introduction to delta-epsilon arguments * Includes a limited use of abstract generalizations for easy use* Covers natural logarithms and exponential functions* Provides the computational techniques often encountered in basic calculus
Caruso, Joseph P; Israel, Natalie; Rowland, Kimberly; Lovelace, Matthew J; Saunders, Mary Jane
Course-based undergraduate research is known to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics student achievement. We tested "The Small World Initiative, a Citizen-Science Project to Crowdsource Novel Antibiotic Discovery" to see if it also improved student performance and the critical thinking of non-science majors in Introductory Biology at Florida Atlantic University (a large, public, minority-dominant institution) in academic year 2014-15. California Critical Thinking Skills Test pre- and posttests were offered to both Small World Initiative (SWI) and control lab students for formative amounts of extra credit. SWI lab students earned significantly higher lecture grades than control lab students, had significantly fewer lecture grades of D+ or lower, and had significantly higher critical thinking posttest total scores than control students. Lastly, more SWI students were engaged while taking critical thinking tests. These results support the hypothesis that utilizing independent course-based undergraduate science research improves student achievement even in nonscience students.
Perry, Jonathan; Bassichis, William
Introductory physics forms a major part of the foundational knowledge of engineering majors, independent of discipline and institution. While the content of introductory physics courses is consistent from institution to institution, the manner in which it is taught can vary greatly due to professor, textbook, instructional method, and overall course design. This work attempts to examine variations in student success, as measured by overall academic performance in an engineering major, and matriculation rates, based on the type of introductory physics a student took while enrolled in an engineering degree at Texas A&M University. Specific options for introductory physics at Texas A&M University include two calculus based physics courses, one traditional (UP), and one more mathematically rigorous (DP), transfer credit, and high school (AP or dual) credit. In order to examine the impact of introductory physics on a student's degree progression, data mining analyses are performed on a data set of relatively comprehensive academic records for all students enrolled as an engineering major for a minimum of one academic term. Student data has been collected for years of entering freshman beginning in 1990 and ending in 2010. Correlations will be examined between freshman level courses, including introductory physics, and follow on engineering courses, matriculation rates, and time to graduation.
Smith, Kendra Leigh
This study had four purposes: (1) to investigate the relationship between performance in introductory biology or introductory chemistry lecture courses and their accompanying laboratory courses, (2) to investigate the relationship between performance in introductory biology or introductory chemistry lecture courses and a student's gender, (3) to investigate the relationship between performance in introductory biology or introductory chemistry lecture courses and a student's major, and (4) to investigate the relationship between performance in introductory biology or introductory chemistry lecture courses and a student's ACT scores. The sample consisted of 195 first--time freshmen who enrolled in and completed an introductory biology or an introductory chemistry lecture and laboratory courses during the fall semesters of 2007-2012. Of the 195 students, 61 were enrolled in introductory chemistry and 134 were enrolled in introductory biology courses. Logistic regression, via the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), was utilized to analyze several variables as they related to success in the lecture courses. Data were extracted from the university's student information system (BANNER), and analyses were conducted on biology and chemistry separately. The dependent variable for this study was a dichotomous variable for success and nonsuccess in introductory biology or introductory chemistry lecture course. The independent variables analyzed were student's gender, major, final grade in an accompanying biology or chemistry laboratory course, and ACT test scores (composite, mathematics, and science). Results indicate that concurrent enrollment in a biology laboratory course increased the likelihood of success by 15.64 times in the lecture course. Gender was found to not be a significant predictor of success for either introductory biology or introductory chemistry lecture courses. STEM majors were 9.6 times more likely to be successful than non-STEM majors in
Full Text Available Students in introductory physics courses are likely to have views about physics that differ from those of experts. However, students who continue to study physics eventually become experts themselves. Presumably these students either possess or develop more expertlike views. To investigate this process, the views of introductory physics students majoring in physics are compared with the views of introductory physics students majoring in engineering. In addition, the views of physics majors are assessed at various stages of degree progress. The Colorado learning attitudes about science survey is used to evaluate students’ views about physics, and students’ overall survey scores and responses to individual survey items are analyzed. Beginning physics majors are significantly more expertlike than nonmajors in introductory physics courses, and this high level of sophistication is consistent for most of undergraduate study.
Gurung, Regan A R; Hackathorn, Jana; Enns, Carolyn; Frantz, Susan; Cacioppo, John T; Loop, Trudy; Freeman, James E
Introductory psychology (Intro Psych) is one of the most popular and frequently taught courses on college campuses, yet educators in psychology have limited knowledge about what is covered in classes around the nation or the extent to which class content reflects the current scope of the discipline. There is no explicit model to guide course content selection for the intro course, which poses substantial challenges for instructors. This article proposes a new model for teaching the intro course that integrates (a) scientific foundations, (b) 5 major domains or pillars of knowledge (biological, cognitive, developmental, social and personality, and mental and physical health), and (c) cross-cutting themes relevant to all domains (cultural and social diversity, ethics, variations in human functioning, and applications; American Psychological Association, 2014). We advocate for national assessment of the course, a similar introductory course for majors and nonmajors, the inclusion of experiential or laboratory components, and additional training resources for instructors of the intro course. Given the exponential growth of psychological knowledge and applications during the past decades, we caution against attempting to provide exhaustive coverage of all topic areas of psychology in a one-semester course. We conclude by discussing the challenges that lie ahead for the discipline of psychology as it launches this new model for Intro Psych. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).
Excerpts are given from the Introductory Statement to the Board of Governors by the IAEA Director General Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei. Major topics covered in his introductory remarks include: protection against terrorism, nuclear technology, water resource management, application of sterile insect technique, human health, nuclear power, radioactive waste management, management of nuclear knowledge, nuclear safety, safety of radioactive sources, safeguards agreements and additional protocols, conceptual framework for integrated safeguards, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and Iraq
The second edition of a bestselling textbook, Using R for Introductory Statistics guides students through the basics of R, helping them overcome the sometimes steep learning curve. The author does this by breaking the material down into small, task-oriented steps. The second edition maintains the features that made the first edition so popular, while updating data, examples, and changes to R in line with the current version.See What's New in the Second Edition:Increased emphasis on more idiomatic R provides a grounding in the functionality of base R.Discussions of the use of RStudio helps new
of very specific and quantitative predictions were put forward which were aimed at direct experimental tests of the developed concepts . Experimentally, wetting phenomena proved to be a rather difficult field of research. While contact angles seem quite easy to measure, deeper insight can only be gained by assessing the physical properties of minute amounts of material, as provided by the molecularly thin wetting layers. At the same time, the variations in the chemical potential relevant for studying wetting transitions are very small, such that system stability sometimes poses hard to solve practical problems. As a consequence, layering transitions in cryogenic systems were among the first to be thoroughly studied  experimentally, since they require comparably moderate stability. First-order wetting transitions were not observed experimentally before the early nineties, either in (cryogenic) quantum systems [11,12] or in binary liquid mixtures [13,14]. The first observation of critical wetting, a continuous wetting transition, in 1996  was a major breakthrough . In the meantime, a detailed seminal paper by Pierre Gilles de Gennes published in 1985  had spurred a large number of new research projects which were directed to wetting phenomena other than those related to phase transitions. More attention was paid to non-equilibrium physics, as it is at work when oil spreads over a surface, or a liquid coating beads off (`dewets') from its support and forms a pattern of many individual droplets. This turned out to be an extremely fruitful field of research, and was more readily complemented by experimental efforts than was the case with wetting transitions. It was encouraging to find effects analogous to layering (as mentioned above) in more common systems such as oil films spreading on a solid support [18,19]. Long standing riddles such as the divergence of dissipation at a moving contact line were now addressed both theoretically and experimentally
Gallagher, Daniel J.; Thompson, G. Rodney
To aid secondary school and college level economics teachers as they select textbooks for introductory economics courses, this article recounts how teachers can use the Flesch Reading Ease Test to measure readability. Data are presented on application of the Flesch Reading Ease Test to 15 introductory economics textbooks. (Author/DB)
Introductory Guide to European Corporate Law presents in an easily comprehensible and accessible way the main features and principles that govern European corporate law.......Introductory Guide to European Corporate Law presents in an easily comprehensible and accessible way the main features and principles that govern European corporate law....
Lin, Shih-Yin; Singh, Chandralekha
In this study, we examine introductory physics students' ability to perform analogical reasoning between two isomorphic problems which employ the same underlying physics principles but have different surface features. Three hundred sixty-two students from a calculus-based and an algebra-based introductory physics course were given a quiz in the…
Zucchero, Renee' A.
Previous research revealed that introductory psychology textbooks included limited information about psychology ethics. This study reviewed 48 current introductory psychology textbooks for research and other APA ethics content. These textbooks included slightly more total ethics content and were more thorough in their review of research ethics…
Landrum, R. Eric; Gurung, Regan A. R.
Almost 2 million students enroll in introductory psychology each year in the United States, making it the second most popular undergraduate course in the nation. Introductory psychology not only serves as a prerequisite for other courses in the discipline but for some students this course provides their only exposure to psychological science.…
Madsen, Martin John
There is ongoing interest in how and what we teach in physics courses for non-science students, so-called "physics for poets" courses. Art Hobson has effectively argued that teaching science literacy should be a key ingredient in these courses. Hobson uses Jon Millers definition of science literacy, which has two components: first, "a basic…
Sell, K. S.; Heather, M. R.; Herbert, B. E.
Exposing earth system science (ESS) concepts into introductory geoscience courses may present new and unique cognitive learning issues for students including understanding the role of positive and negative feedbacks in system responses to perturbations, spatial heterogeneity, and temporal dynamics, especially when systems exhibit complex behavior. Implicit learning goals of typical introductory undergraduate geoscience courses are more focused on building skill-sets and didactic knowledge in learners than developing a deeper understanding of the dynamics and processes of complex earth systems through authentic inquiry. Didactic teaching coupled with summative assessment of factual knowledge tends to limit student¡¦s understanding of the nature of science, their belief in the relevancy of science to their lives, and encourages memorization and regurgitation; this is especially true among the non-science majors who compose the majority of students in introductory courses within the large university setting. Students organize scientific knowledge and reason about earth systems by manipulating internally constructed mental models. This pilot study focuses on characterizing the impact of inquiry-based learning with multiple representations to foster critical thinking and mental model development about authentic environmental issues of coastal systems in an introductory geoscience course. The research was conducted in nine introductory physical geology laboratory sections (N ˜ 150) at Texas A&M University as part of research connected with the Information Technology in Science (ITS) Center. Participants were randomly placed into experimental and control groups. Experimental groups were exposed to multiple representations including both web-based learning materials (i.e. technology-supported visualizations and analysis of multiple datasets) and physical models, whereas control groups were provided with the traditional ¡workbook style¡" laboratory assignments
Sayre, Eleanor C.; Heckler, Andrew F.
In the physics education research community, a common format for evaluation is pre- and post-tests. In this study, we collect student test data many times throughout a course, allowing for the measurement of the changes of student knowledge with a time resolution on the order of a few days. The data cover the first two quarters (mechanics, E&M) of a calculus-based introductory sequence populated primarily by first- and second-year engineering majors. To avoid the possibility of test-retest effects, separate and quasi-random subpopulations of students are evaluated every week of the quarter on a variety of tasks. Unsurprisingly for a traditional introductory course, there is little change on many conceptual questions. However, the data suggest that some student ideas peak and decay rapidly during a quarter, a pattern consistent with memory research yet unmeasurable by pre-/post-testing.
Prather, E. E.; Rudolph, A. L.; Brissenden, G.; Schlingman, W. M.
We present the results of a national study on the teaching and learning of astronomy taught in general education, non-science major, introductory astronomy courses (Astro 101). Nearly 4000 students enrolled in 69 sections of Astro 101 taught at 31 institutions completed (pre- and post- instruction) the Light and Spectroscopy Concept Inventory (LSCI) from Fall 2006 to Fall 2007. The classes varied in size from very small (N 4-year colleges and universities. To study how the instruction in different classrooms affected student learning, we developed and administered an Interactivity Assessment Instrument (IAI). This short survey, completed by instructors, allowed us to estimate the fraction of classroom time spent on learner- centered, active-engagement instruction such as Peer Instruction and collaborative tutorials. Pre-instruction LSCI scores were clustered around ˜25% (24 ± 2%), independent of class size and institution type; however, the gains measured varied from about (-)0.07-0.50. The distribution of gain scores indicates that differences were due to instruction in the classroom, not the type of class or institution. Interactivity Assessment Scores (IAS's) ranged from 0%-50%, showing that our IAI was able to distinguish between classes with higher and lower levels of interactivity. A comparison of class-averaged gain score to IAS showed that higher interactivity classes (IAS > 25%) were the only instructional environments capable of reaching the highest gains ( > 0.30). However, the range of gains seen for both groups of classes was quite wide, suggesting that the use of interactive learning strategies is not sufficient by itself to achieve high student gain.
Gorain, Ganesh C
Introductory Course on DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS provides an excellent exposition of the fundamentals of ordinary and partial differential equations and is ideally suited for a first course of undergraduate students of mathematics, physics and engineering. The aim of this book is to present the elementary theories of differential equations in the forms suitable for use of those students whose main interest in the subject are based on simple mathematical ideas. KEY FEATURES: Discusses the subject in a systematic manner without sacrificing mathematical rigour. A variety of exercises drill the students in problem solving in view of the mathematical theories explained in the book. Worked out examples illustrated according to the theories developed in the book with possible alternatives. Exhaustive collection of problems and the simplicity of presentation differentiate this book from several others. Material contained will help teachers as well as aspiring students of different competitive examinations.
Taghizadeh, Sanaz; Lincoln, James
The introductory physics classroom has long educated students about the properties of the atom and the nucleus. But absent from these lessons has been an informed discussion of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and its parent science nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Physics teachers should not miss the opportunity to instruct upon this highly relevant application of modern physics, especially with so many of our students planning to pursue a career in medicine. This article provides an overview of the physics of MRI and gives advice on how physics teachers can introduce this topic. Also included are some demonstration activities and a discussion of a desktop MRI apparatus that may be used by students in the lab or as a demo.
Keohane, Jonathan W.; Bartlett, J. L.; Foy, J. P.
We present a collection of short lecture-tutorial (or homework) activities, designed to be both quantitative and accessible to the introductory astronomy student. Each of these involves interpreting some real data, solving a problem using ratios and proportionalities, and making a conclusion based on the calculation. Selected titles include: "The Mass of Neptune” "The Temperature on Titan” "Rocks in the Early Solar System” "Comets Hitting Planets” "Ages of Meteorites” "How Flat are Saturn's Rings?” "Tides of the Sun and Moon on the Earth” "The Gliese 581 Solar System"; "Buckets in the Rain” "How Hot, Bright and Big is Betelgeuse?” "Bombs and the Sun” "What Forms Stars?” "Lifetimes of Cars and Stars” "The Mass of the Milky” "How Old is the Universe?” "Is The Universe Speeding up or Slowing Down?"
Dara B. Duncan
Full Text Available Attrition of undergraduates from Biology majors is a long-standing problem. Introductory courses that fail to engage students or spark their curiosity by emphasizing the open-ended and creative nature of biological investigation and discovery could contribute to student detachment from the field. Our hypothesis was that introductory biology books devote relatively few figures to illustration of the design and interpretation of experiments or field studies, thereby de-emphasizing the scientific process.To investigate this possibility, we examined figures in six Introductory Biology textbooks published in 2008. On average, multistep scientific investigations were presented in fewer than 5% of the hundreds of figures in each book. Devoting such a small percentage of figures to the processes by which discoveries are made discourages an emphasis on scientific thinking. We suggest that by increasing significantly the illustration of scientific investigations, textbooks could support undergraduates’ early interest in biology, stimulate the development of design and analytical skills, and inspire some students to participate in investigations of their own.
In this diploma thesis we try to find the answer to why students experience difficulties in introductory programming. We ask ourselves what causes most problems while trying to understand concepts in introductory programming, generating code and designing algorithms. In the first section we introduce programming language Python as the first programming language being taught to students. We compare it with programming language Pascal and stress the advantages of Python that seem important ...
Efthimiou, C. J.; Llewellyn, R. A.
All introductory physics textbooks, with or without calculus, cover the addition of both resistances and capacitances in series and in parallel as discrete summations. However, none includes problems that involve continuous versions of resistors in parallel or capacitors in series. This paper introduces a method for solving the continuous problems that is logical, straightforward, and within the mathematical preparation of students at the introductory level.
Abbas, Abdullah Othman
This interpretive research set out to investigate the characteristics of an exemplary college science instructor who endeavors to improve teaching and learning in a physical science course for prospective teachers. The course was innovative in the sense that it was designed to meet the specific needs of prospective elementary teachers who needed to have models of how to teach science in a way that employed materials and small group activities. The central purpose for this study is to understand the metaphors that Mark (a pseudonym), the chemistry instructor in the course, used as referents to conceptualize his roles and frame actions and interactions in the classroom. Within the theoretical frame of constructivism, human cognitive interests, and co-participation theories, an ethnographic research design, described by Erickson (1986), Guba and Lincoln (1989), and Gallagher (1991), was employed in the study. The main sources of data for this study were field notes, transcript analysis of interviews with the instructor and students, and analyses of videotaped excerpts. Additional data sources, such as student journals and the results of students' responses to the University/Community College Student Questionnaire which was developed by a group science education researchers at Florida State University, were employed to maximize that the assertions I constructed were consistent with the variety of data. Data analyses and interpretation in the study focused on identifying the aspects which the instructor and the researcher might find useful in reflecting to understand what was happening and why that was happening in the classroom. The analysis reveals how the instructor used constructivism as a referent for his teaching and the learning of his students. To be consistent with his beliefs and goals that prospective teachers should enjoy their journey of learning chemistry, Mark, the driver in the journey, used the roles of controller, facilitator, learner, and entertainer as referents for actions to create conducive learning environments. He was able to switch his actions based on which of the constituent metaphors he used as a referent to frame his actions and interactions, and thereby, to create an exciting environment for learning.
Full Text Available There is a growing shortfall of graduates entering the IT profession. The situation is exacerbated by the continuing decline in the number of women undertaking IT related degrees. However, there are an increasing number of students taking business degrees that have a small information systems component, although few students choose to major in IS. Using a qualitative reflective approach we identify the perceptions and experiences of female undergraduates taking introductory IS courses in two universities, one in Australia and one in New Zealand. We discuss ways of improving the delivery of introductory IS courses in order to make information systems more interesting to women undergraduates, thus enhancing their learning experiences and encouraging further uptake of IS majors. The paper concludes with some reflections on other influences that impact on the ability of IS departments to deliver appropriate introductory courses.
Kong, M G; Kroesen, G; Van Dijk, J; Morfill, G; Nosenko, T; Shimizu, T; Zimmermann, J L
This introductory review on plasma health care is intended to provide the interested reader with a summary of the current status of this emerging field, its scope, and its broad interdisciplinary approach, ranging from plasma physics, chemistry and technology, to microbiology, biochemistry, biophysics, medicine and hygiene. Apart from the basic plasma processes and the restrictions and requirements set by international health standards, the review focuses on plasma interaction with prokaryotic cells (bacteria), eukaryotic cells (mammalian cells), cell membranes, DNA etc. In so doing, some of the unfamiliar terminology-an unavoidable by-product of interdisciplinary research-is covered and explained. Plasma health care may provide a fast and efficient new path for effective hospital (and other public buildings) hygiene-helping to prevent and contain diseases that are continuously gaining ground as resistance of pathogens to antibiotics grows. The delivery of medically active 'substances' at the molecular or ionic level is another exciting topic of research through effects on cell walls (permeabilization), cell excitation (paracrine action) and the introduction of reactive species into cell cytoplasm. Electric fields, charging of surfaces, current flows etc can also affect tissue in a controlled way. The field is young and hopes are high. It is fitting to cover the beginnings in New Journal of Physics, since it is the physics (and non-equilibrium chemistry) of room temperature atmospheric pressure plasmas that have made this development of plasma health care possible.
Lehr, Jane L.
This dissertation contributes to efforts to rethink the meanings of democracy, scientific literacy, and non-scientist citizenship in the United States. Beginning with questions that emerged from action research and exploring the socio-political forces that shape educational practices, it shows why non-science educators who teach for social justice must first recognize formal science education as a primary site of training for (future) non-scientist citizens and then prepare to intervene in the dominant model of scientifically literate citizenship offered by formal science education. This model of citizenship defines (and limits) appropriate behavior for non-scientist citizens as acquiescing to the authority of science and the state by actively demarcating science from non-science, experts from non-experts, and the rational from the irrational. To question scientific authority is to be scientifically illiterate. This vision of 'acquiescent democracy' seeks to end challenges to the authority of science and the state by ensuring that scientific knowledge is privileged in all personal and public decision-making practices, producing a situation in which it becomes natural for non-scientist citizens to enroll scientific knowledge to naturalize oppression within our schools and society. It suggests that feminist and equity-oriented science educators, by themselves, are unable or unwilling to challenge certain assumptions in the dominant model of scientifically literate citizenship. Therefore, it is the responsibility of non-science educators who teach for social justice to articulate oppositional models of non-scientist citizenship and democracy in their classrooms and to challenge the naturalized authority of scientific knowledge in all aspects of our lives. It demonstrates how research in the field of Science & Technology Studies can serve as one resource in our efforts to intervene in the dominant model of scientifically literate citizenship and to support a model of
Yates, Janet; Smith, Jennifer; James, David; Ferguson, Eamonn
Abstract Background It has been suggested that studying non-science subjects at A-level should be compulsory for medical students. Our admissions criteria specify only Biology, Chemistry and one or more additional subjects. This study aimed to determine whether studying a non-science subject for A-level is an independent predictor of achievement on the undergraduate medical course. Methods The subjects of this retrospective cohort study were 164 students from one entry-year group (October 200...
Grundstein, Andrew; Durkee, Joshua; Frye, John; Andersen, Theresa; Lieberman, Jordan
This paper describes a new severe weather laboratory exercise for an Introductory Weather and Climate class, appropriate for first and second year college students (including nonscience majors), that incorporates inquiry-based learning techniques. In the lab, students play the role of meteorologists making forecasts for severe weather. The…
Ractham, Peter; Kaewkitipong, Laddawan; Firpo, Daniel
The major objective of this article is to evaluate via a Design Science Research Methodology (DSRM) the implementation of a Social Constructivist learning framework for an introductory Management Information System (MIS) course. Facebook was used as a learning artifact to build and foster a learning environment, and a series of features and…
Smith, James J.; Cheruvelil, Kendra Spence; Auvenshine, Stacie
Phylogenetic trees provide visual representations of ancestor-descendant relationships, a core concept of evolutionary theory. We introduced "tree thinking" into our introductory organismal biology course (freshman/sophomore majors) to help teach organismal diversity within an evolutionary framework. Our instructional strategy consisted…
Wiesner, Matthew P.
Every introductory astronomy class encounters Galileo during the course as the first man to systematically study the sky with a telescope. Every Astronomy 101 student meets Galileo as one of the major catalysts behind the shift from the Ptolemaic to the Copernican system and as one of the great minds behind the scientific method. But most of the…
This paper examines whether the choice of a more readable textbook can improve student performance in online introductory corporate finance classes. The ordinary least squares regression model is employed to analyze a sample of 206 students during the period from 2008 to 2012. The results of this study show that the student's age, student's major,…
Tomasetto, Carlo; Matteucci, Maria Cristina; Carugati, Felice; Selleri, Patrizia
Research on academic learning indicates that many students experience major difficulties with introductory statistics and methodology courses. We hypothesized that students' difficulties may depend in part on the fact that statistics tasks are commonly viewed as related to the threatening domain of math. In two field experiments which we carried…
Zimmer, Robert; Koernig, Stephen K.; Greene, Scott
For almost three decades, the AACSB and business leaders have sought increased emphasis on internationalizing students' perspectives. Recent studies demonstrate mixed results in the extent to which business schools have globalized their curricula. With decreasing student interest in the marketing major, Introductory Marketing emerges as a critical…
Blessing, Stephen B.; Blessing, Jennifer S.
A capstone experience serves as a culminating exercise for students to assimilate the information learned in a course and to realize how to use the material and skills in different contexts. Both majors and nonmajors benefit from having the material in the introductory course consolidated in such a way, for later study in the field and to more…
Toomey, Thomas; Richardson, Deborah; Hammock, Georgina
Many students who declare a psychology major are unaware that they are studying a scientific discipline, precipitating a need for exercises and experiences that help students understand the scientific nature of the discipline. The present study explores aspects of an introductory psychology class that may contribute to students' understanding of…
Arons, A. B.
Describes special factors and procedures which are utilized in an introductory physical science course for nonscience majors. It is designed to enable students who are at a concrete or transitional stage to attain the formal operational level of development. (Author/SL)
Entropy changes underlie the physics that dominates biological interactions. Indeed, introductory biology courses often begin with an exploration of the qualities of water that are important to living systems. However, one idea that is not explicitly addressed in most introductory physics or biology courses is important contribution of the entropy in driving fundamental biological processes towards equilibrium. I will present material developed to teach electrostatic screening in solutions and the function of nerve cells where entropic effects act to counterbalance electrostatic attraction. These ideas are taught in an introductory, calculus-based physics course to biomedical engineers using SCALEUP pedagogy. Results of student mastering of complex problems that cross disciplinary boundaries between biology and physics, as well as the challenges that they face in learning this material will be presented.
Curtis, Lorenzo J, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606 (United States)
Much effort over many years has been devoted to the reform of the teaching of physics. This has led to many new and imaginative approaches in the content and delivery of material. Great strides have been made in the delivery, and the content has been continually supplemented. However, attempts to modernize the basic structure of the presentation have faced resistance, and the majority of introductory physics textbooks in wide adoption today have a general structure that has changed little in over 60 years. Thus, in comparison to biology, chemistry, geology, etc, physics is unique in that its introductory course is not a survey of the current status of the field. In an attempt to circumvent this problem in a tractable way, we have developed a qualitative front-end course designed to create a 21st century perspective that can be embedded into the beginning of a standard introductory physics sequence.
Curtis, Lorenzo J
Much effort over many years has been devoted to the reform of the teaching of physics. This has led to many new and imaginative approaches in the content and delivery of material. Great strides have been made in the delivery, and the content has been continually supplemented. However, attempts to modernize the basic structure of the presentation have faced resistance, and the majority of introductory physics textbooks in wide adoption today have a general structure that has changed little in over 60 years. Thus, in comparison to biology, chemistry, geology, etc, physics is unique in that its introductory course is not a survey of the current status of the field. In an attempt to circumvent this problem in a tractable way, we have developed a qualitative front-end course designed to create a 21st century perspective that can be embedded into the beginning of a standard introductory physics sequence.
Li, Jing; Singh, Chandralekha
Development of validated physics surveys on various topics is important for investigating the extent to which students master those concepts after traditional instruction and for assessing innovative curricula and pedagogies that can improve student understanding significantly. Here, we discuss the development and validation of a conceptual multiple-choice survey related to magnetism suitable for introductory physics courses. The survey was developed taking into account common students’ difficulties with magnetism concepts covered in introductory physics courses found in our investigation and the incorrect choices to the multiple-choice questions were designed based upon those common student difficulties. After the development and validation of the survey, it was administered to introductory physics students in various classes in paper-pencil format before and after traditional lecture-based instruction in relevant concepts. We compared the performance of students on the survey in the algebra-based and calculus-based introductory physics courses before and after traditional lecture-based instruction in relevant magnetism concepts. We discuss the common difficulties of introductory physics students with magnetism concepts we found via the survey. We also administered the survey to upper-level undergraduates majoring in physics and PhD students to benchmark the survey and compared their performance with those of traditionally taught introductory physics students for whom the survey is intended. A comparison with the base line data on the validated magnetism survey from traditionally taught introductory physics courses and upper-level undergraduate and PhD students discussed in this paper can help instructors assess the effectiveness of curricula and pedagogies which is especially designed to help students integrate conceptual and quantitative understanding and develop a good grasp of the concepts. In particular, if introductory physics students’ average
Li, Jing; Singh, Chandralekha
Development of validated physics surveys on various topics is important for investigating the extent to which students master those concepts after traditional instruction and for assessing innovative curricula and pedagogies that can improve student understanding significantly. Here, we discuss the development and validation of a conceptual multiple-choice survey related to magnetism suitable for introductory physics courses. The survey was developed taking into account common students’ difficulties with magnetism concepts covered in introductory physics courses found in our investigation and the incorrect choices to the multiple-choice questions were designed based upon those common student difficulties. After the development and validation of the survey, it was administered to introductory physics students in various classes in paper–pencil format before and after traditional lecture-based instruction in relevant concepts. We compared the performance of students on the survey in the algebra-based and calculus-based introductory physics courses before and after traditional lecture-based instruction in relevant magnetism concepts. We discuss the common difficulties of introductory physics students with magnetism concepts we found via the survey. We also administered the survey to upper-level undergraduates majoring in physics and PhD students to benchmark the survey and compared their performance with those of traditionally taught introductory physics students for whom the survey is intended. A comparison with the base line data on the validated magnetism survey from traditionally taught introductory physics courses and upper-level undergraduate and PhD students discussed in this paper can help instructors assess the effectiveness of curricula and pedagogies which is especially designed to help students integrate conceptual and quantitative understanding and develop a good grasp of the concepts. In particular, if introductory physics students’ average
Barbarick, K. A.
Students in introductory courses generally respond favorably to novel approaches to learning. To this end, I developed and used three crossword puzzles in spring and fall 2009 semesters in Introductory Soil Science Laboratory at Colorado State University. The first hypothesis was that crossword puzzles would improve introductory soil science…
At Appalachian State University students have to take just two semesters of a physical or biological science to satisfy the general education requirements. Most non-science major students have little time in their crowded schedules to take additional science courses, whether they want to or not, and in fact face a surcharge when taking more…
Ritter, Michael E.
Learning geography online is becoming an option for more students but not without controversy. Issues of faculty resources, logistics, professional recognition, and pedagogical concerns are cited as barriers to teaching online. Offering introductory physical geography online presents special challenges. As a general education course, an…
... Commercial Practices FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION RULES, REGULATIONS, STATEMENT OF GENERAL POLICY OR... FAIR PACKAGING AND LABELING ACT Retail Sale Price Representations § 502.101 Introductory offers. (a... retail sale at a price lower than the anticipated ordinary and customary retail sale price. (b) The...
Cutler, David M.
Health care is one of the economy's biggest industries, so it is natural that the health care industry should play some role in the teaching of introductory economics. There are many ways that health care can appear in such a context: in the teaching of microeconomics, as a macroeconomic issue, to learn about social welfare, and even to learn how…
Full Text Available In this study, we examine introductory physics students’ ability to perform analogical reasoning between two isomorphic problems which employ the same underlying physics principles but have different surface features. Three hundred sixty-two students from a calculus-based and an algebra-based introductory physics course were given a quiz in the recitation in which they had to first learn from a solved problem provided and take advantage of what they learned from it to solve another problem (which we call the quiz problem which was isomorphic. Previous research suggests that the multiple-concept quiz problem is challenging for introductory students. Students in different recitation classes received different interventions in order to help them discern and exploit the underlying similarities of the isomorphic solved and quiz problems. We also conducted think-aloud interviews with four introductory students in order to understand in depth the difficulties they had and explore strategies to provide better scaffolding. We found that most students were able to learn from the solved problem to some extent with the scaffolding provided and invoke the relevant principles in the quiz problem. However, they were not necessarily able to apply the principles correctly. Research suggests that more scaffolding is needed to help students in applying these principles appropriately. We outline a few possible strategies for future investigation.
Lin, Shih-Yin; Singh, Chandralekha
In this study, we examine introductory physics students’ ability to perform analogical reasoning between two isomorphic problems which employ the same underlying physics principles but have different surface features. Three hundred sixty-two students from a calculus-based and an algebra-based introductory physics course were given a quiz in the recitation in which they had to first learn from a solved problem provided and take advantage of what they learned from it to solve another problem (which we call the quiz problem) which was isomorphic. Previous research suggests that the multiple-concept quiz problem is challenging for introductory students. Students in different recitation classes received different interventions in order to help them discern and exploit the underlying similarities of the isomorphic solved and quiz problems. We also conducted think-aloud interviews with four introductory students in order to understand in depth the difficulties they had and explore strategies to provide better scaffolding. We found that most students were able to learn from the solved problem to some extent with the scaffolding provided and invoke the relevant principles in the quiz problem. However, they were not necessarily able to apply the principles correctly. Research suggests that more scaffolding is needed to help students in applying these principles appropriately. We outline a few possible strategies for future investigation.
Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 10; Issue 1. Making Introductory Quantum Physics Understandable and Interesting. Ranjana Y Abhang. Classroom Volume 10 Issue 1 January 2005 pp 63-73. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:
Barbarick, K. A.; Ippolito, J. A.; Butters, G.; Sorge, G. M.
One of the largest challenges in teaching introductory soil science is explaining the dynamics of soil infiltration. To aid students in understanding the concept and to further engage them in active learning in the soils laboratory course, we developed an exercise using Decagon Mini-Disk Infiltrometers with a tension head (h[subscript o]) of 2 cm.…
One challenge for the introductory physics teacher is incorporating calculus techniques into the laboratory setting. It can be difficult to strike a balance between presenting an experimental task for which calculus is essential and making the mathematics accessible to learners who may be apprehensive about applying it. One-dimensional kinematics…
The Macroeconomic model (Macromod) is a computer assisted instruction simulation model designed for introductory economics courses. An evaluation of its utilization at a community college indicates that it yielded a 10 percent to 13 percent greater economic comprehension than lecture classes and that it met with high student approval. (DC)
Reports research which tests the Stigler Hypothesis. The hypothesis suggests that students who have taken introductory economics courses and those who have not show little difference in test performance five years after completing college. Results of the author's research illustrate that economics students do retain some knowledge of economics…
Tinari, Frank D.
Computerized analysis of multiple choice test items is explained. Examples of item analysis applications in the introductory economics course are discussed with respect to three objectives: to evaluate learning; to improve test items; and to help improve classroom instruction. Problems, costs and benefits of the procedures are identified. (JMD)
A questionnaire was developed to determine the content, mode of instruction, approach, and textbook selection of instructors of introductory economics courses. The survey was distributed in 1974 to 143 economics instructors at two- and four-year colleges in Illinois. Results are presented here, and recommendations are made. (Author/NHM)
Muller, Rainer; Wiesner, Hartmut
Presents a new research-based course on quantum mechanics in which the conceptual issues of quantum mechanics are taught at an introductory level. Involves students in the discovery of how quantum phenomena deviate from classical everyday experiences. (Contains 31 references.) (Author/YDS)
... one place general interpretations of the Administrator which will provide “a practical guide to... CERTAIN EMPLOYEES OF MOTOR CARRIERS § 782.0 Introductory statement. (a) Since the enactment of the Fair... seek to apply it.” (Skidmore v. Swift & Co., 323 U.S. 134) (b) The interpretations contained in this...
... such interpretations of this Act “provide a practical guide to employers and employees as to how the... PAYMENTS UNDER THE FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT OF 1938 Interpretations § 531.25 Introductory statement. (a... responsibilities of administration and enforcement (Skidmore v. Swift, 323 U.S. 134). In order that these positions...
... AND HEALTH ACT OF 1970 General § 1977.1 Introductory statement. (a) The Occupational Safety and Health... Regulations Relating to Labor (Continued) OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR... general application designed to regulate employment conditions relating to occupational safety and health...
Caves, Roger W.
This introductory text presents a collection of articles from urban-studies journals to introduce undergraduate students to the interdisciplinary field of urban studies. The book is divided into 9 parts as follows: Part 1: Cities and Urbanism; part 2: Urban History; part 3: Urban Policy; part 4: Economic Development; part 5: Community Services and…
Snider, Brent R.; Eliasson, Janice B.
This teaching brief describes a 30-minute game where student groups compete in-class in an introductory time-series forecasting exercise. The students are challenged to "beat the instructor" who competes using forecasting techniques that will be subsequently taught. All forecasts are graphed prior to revealing the randomly generated…
Carroll, Michael P.
A section on "world religions" (WRs) is now routinely included in the religion chapters of introductory sociology textbooks. Looking carefully at these WR sections, however, two things seem puzzling. The first is that the criteria for defining a WR varies considerably from textbook to textbook; the second is that these WRs sections…
Wirth, Frederick H.
An introductory Natural Science course with a focus on the laboratory is described. The main function of the course is getting students prepared for required individual projects in science. A copy of the syllabus, a description of laboratory experiments, and the context of the course are included. (KR)
Full Text Available Principles of active learning were used to design and implement an introductory public health course. Students were introduced to the breadth and practice of public health through team and individual-based activities. Team assignments covered topics in epidemiology, biostatistics, health behavior, nutrition, maternal and child health, environment, and health policy. Students developed an appreciation of the population perspective through an experience trip and related intervention project in a public health area of their choice. Students experienced several key critical component elements of a public health undergraduate major; they cover key public health domains, experience public health practice, and integrated concepts with their assignments. In this paper, course assignments, lessons learned, and student successes are described. Given the increased growth in the undergraduate public health major, these active learning assignments may be of interest to undergraduate public health programs at both liberal arts colleges and research universities.
Dunbar, R. W.; Egger, A. E.; Schwartz, J. K.
As we bring new research-based learning approaches, curricular innovations, and student engagement practices into the introductory science classroom, expectations of teaching assistants (TAs) should have, and have, changed. Similarly, the 21st century teaching assistant has different expectations of us. Maintaining relevance in this context means bringing TAs into an integrated teaching team that supports effective learning for students and provides structured professional development opportunities for TAs. A number of support efforts on our campus, with counterparts at many other universities, seek to optimize the instructional impact of faculty and teaching assistants, thus opening the door to enhanced student engagement (e.g. the quality of effort students put forth, their persistence in science and/or engineering courses, and their perception of scientific relevance in everyday life). Among these efforts, School of Earth Sciences course development TAs work 1:1 in advance of the term with introductory course faculty to design exercises and course materials that meet clearly articulated student learning goals or pedagogical challenges. Throughout the process, TAs are mentored by the faculty as well as science pedagogy experts. Initially funded by a major teaching award, the School is now moving to institutionalize this successful program which has broadened the definition of the TA role. Another area of optimization, reflecting Shulman's concept of pedagogical content knowledge, is our campus mandate that TA development take place within a departmental, as well as general, context. Both Chemistry and Physics expect introductory course TAs to lead interactive, guided-inquiry or tutorial-style sections. Integrating these sections with lecture and positively reinforcing course goals requires TA buy-in and a set of pedagogical facilitation skills cultivated through course-specific training and active mentoring while teaching. To better support the mentoring process
Nelson, Matthew L.; Hauck, Roslin V.
The challenges associated with teaching a core introductory management information systems (MIS) course are well known (large class sizes serving a majority of non-MIS majors, sustaining student interests, encouraging class participation, etc.). This study offers a mechanism towards managing these challenges through the use of a simple and…
Evans, Jocelyn Jones; Lindrum, David
While previous scholarship suggests that "American government textbooks are more alike than they are different," an examination of the market's most frequently adopted texts suggests that this consistency does not extend much further than the subjects of major chapters. We explore the degree to which four major introductory American…
Magloughlin, J. F.
For the past several years, I have been creating short videos for use in large-enrollment introductory physical geology classes. The motivation for this project included 1) lack of appropriate depth in existing videos, 2) engagement of non-science students, 3) student indifference to traditional textbooks, 4) a desire to share the visual splendor of geology through virtual field trips, and 5) a desire to meld photography, animation, narration, and videography in self-contained experiences. These (HD) videos are information-intensive but short, allowing a focus on relatively narrow topics from numerous subdisciplines, incorporation into lectures to help create variety while minimally interrupting flow and holding students' attention, and manageable file sizes. Nearly all involve one or more field locations, including sites throughout the western and central continental U.S., as well as Hawaii, Italy, New Zealand, and Scotland. The limited scope of the project and motivations mentioned preclude a comprehensive treatment of geology. Instead, videos address geologic processes, locations, features, and interactions with humans. The videos have been made available via DVD and on-line streaming. Such a project requires an array of video and audio equipment and software, a broad knowledge of geology, very good computing power, adequate time, creativity, a substantial travel budget, liability insurance, elucidation of the separation (or non-separation) between such a project and other responsibilities, and, preferably but not essentially, the support of one's supervisor or academic unit. Involving students in such projects entails risks, but involving necessary technical expertise is virtually unavoidable. In my own courses, some videos are used in class and/or made available on-line as simply another aspect of the educational experience. Student response has been overwhelmingly positive, particularly when expectations of students regarding the content of the videos is made
Rege, Saumitra V.; Misto, Kara; Dollase, Richard; George, Paul
Objective. To evaluate healthcare students’ perceptions of an introductory interprofessional exercise and their team dynamics. Design. A workshop was developed, combining second-year medical students, fourth-year nursing students, and third-year pharmacy students to work as an interdisciplinary team. The teams alternated between working together on patient cases focusing on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma, and on the evaluation of standardized pneumonia patients. Teams were given the patients' health information and no other instructions. A faculty member and the standardized patient evaluated the students using a teamwork global rating scale. Assessment. Student survey results showed a positive response to interprofessional teamwork. The faculty members and standardized patients reported that the students worked as a cohesive unit and demonstrated good team communication. Conclusions. This introductory interprofessional experience had a positive impact on the students’ understanding of collaboration and teamwork. This type of experience will help students foster future collaborations as healthcare providers. PMID:23129853
Philosophy of medicine, narrowly defined as ontology and epistemology of medicine, is a well developed research field, yet education in this field is less well developed. The aim of this paper is to present an educational development in philosophy of medicine-an introductory course in philosophy of medicine. Central features of the course are described. Participants (medical undergraduate students) scored high on average. The conclusion is that further such educational ventures in philosophy of medicine should be developed and implemented.
Kost, Lauren; Pollock, Steven; Finkelstein, Noah
Our previous research showed that despite the use of interactive engagement techniques in the introductory physics course, the gap in performance between males and females on a mechanics conceptual learning survey persisted from pre- to post-test, at our institution. Such findings were counter to previously published work. Follow-up studies identified correlations between student performance on the conceptual learning survey and students' prior physics and math knowledge and their incoming attitudes and beliefs about physics and learning physics. The results indicate that the gender gap at our institution is predominantly associated with differences in males' and females' previous physics and math knowledge, and attitudes and beliefs. Our current work extends these results in two ways: 1) we look at the gender gap in the second semester of the introductory sequence and find results similar to those in the first semester course and 2) we identify ways in which males and females differentially experience several aspects of the introductory course.  Pollock, et al, Phys Rev: ST: PER 3, 010107.  Lorenzo, et al, Am J Phys 74, 118.  Kost, et al, PERC Proceedings 2008.
Full Text Available This study examined the written work of students in the introductory calculus-based electricity and magnetism course at the University of Arkansas. The students’ solutions to hourly exams were divided into a small set of countable features organized into three major categories, mathematics, language, and graphics. Each category was further divided into subfeatures. The total number of features alone explained more than 30% of the variance in exam scores and from 9% to 15% of the variance in conceptual posttest scores. If all features and subfeatures are used, between 44% and 49% of the variance in exam scores is explained and between 22% and 28% of the variance in conceptual posttest scores. The use of language is consistently positively correlated with both exam performance and conceptual understanding.
Wisniewski, John P.; Larson, A.
While exoplanet research has witnessed explosive growth over the past decade with over 350 exoplanets identified to date (http://exoplanet.eu), few education and public outreach tools capable of bringing the techniques and results of exoplanet science into the classroom have been developed. To help reduce this shortcoming, we have been developing and implementing a series of exoplanet-related active-learning exercises to be used in non-astronomy major introductory settings, including think-pair-share questions and peer-learning activities. We discuss some of these activities which we have field tested in undergraduate classes at the University of Washington. We also discuss our efforts to engage students in these classes in obtaining and analyzing astronomical observations of exoplanet host stars to identify and characterize exoplanet transit events. JPW acknowledges support from NSF Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship AST 08-02230.
Lee, Gregory T
This carefully written textbook offers a thorough introduction to abstract algebra, covering the fundamentals of groups, rings and fields. The first two chapters present preliminary topics such as properties of the integers and equivalence relations. The author then explores the first major algebraic structure, the group, progressing as far as the Sylow theorems and the classification of finite abelian groups. An introduction to ring theory follows, leading to a discussion of fields and polynomials that includes sections on splitting fields and the construction of finite fields. The final part contains applications to public key cryptography as well as classical straightedge and compass constructions. Explaining key topics at a gentle pace, this book is aimed at undergraduate students. It assumes no prior knowledge of the subject and contains over 500 exercises, half of which have detailed solutions provided.
The integrative nature of Earth System Science courses provides extensive opportunities to introduce students to geoethical inquiry focused on globally significant societal issues. Geoscience education has traditionally lagged in its efforts to increase student awareness of the significance of geologic knowledge to understanding and responsibly confronting causes and possible solutions for emergent, newly emerging, and future problems of anthropogenic cause and consequence. Developing an understanding of the human impact on the earth system requires early (lower division) and for geoscience majors, repeated (upper division) curricular emphasis on the interactions of the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, and pedosphere across space and through time. Capturing the interest of university students in globally relevant earth system issues and their ethical dimensions while first learning about the earth system is an important initial step in bringing geoethical deliberation and awareness to the next generation of geoscientists. Development of a new introductory Earth System Science course replacing a traditional introductory Physical Geology course at Montana State University has involved abandonment of concept-based content organization in favor of a place-based approach incorporating examination of the complex interactions of earth system components and emergent issues and dilemmas deriving from the unique component interactions that characterize each locale. Thirteen different place-based week-long modules (using web- and classroom-based instruction) were developed to ensure cumulative broad coverage across the earth geographically and earth system components conceptually. Each place-based instructional module contains content of societal relevance requiring synthesis, critical evaluation, and reflection by students. Examples include making linkages between deforestation driven by economics and increased seismicity in Haiti, agriculture and development
Wienhold, Caroline J.; Branchaw, Janet
The transition to college is challenging for most students, especially those who aspire to major in the science, technology, engineering, or mathematics disciplines, in which introductory courses can be large and instruction less than optimal. This paper describes a novel, disciplinary first-year seminar (FYS) course, Exploring Biology, designed…
Mylott, Elliot; Kutschera, Ellynne; Dunlap, Justin C.; Christensen, Warren; Widenhorn, Ralf
We will describe a one-quarter pilot algebra-based introductory physics course for pre-health and life science majors. The course features videos with biomedical experts and cogent biomedically inspired physics content. The materials were used in a flipped classroom as well as an all-online environment where students interacted with multimedia…
Maries, Alexandru; Singh, Chandralekha
Drawing appropriate diagrams is a useful problem solving heuristic that can transform a problem into a representation that is easier to exploit for solving it. One major focus while helping introductory physics students learn effective problem solving is to help them understand that drawing diagrams can facilitate problem solution. We conducted an…
Zhang, Ping; Ding, Lin; Mazur, Eric
This paper analyzes pre-post matched gains in the epistemological views of science students taking the introductory physics course at Beijing Normal University (BNU) in China. In this study we examined the attitudes and beliefs of science majors (n = 441) in four classes, one taught using traditional (lecture) teaching methods, and the other three…
Bruce, Peter C
Concise, thoroughly class-tested primer that features basic statistical concepts in the concepts in the context of analytics, resampling, and the bootstrapA uniquely developed presentation of key statistical topics, Introductory Statistics and Analytics: A Resampling Perspective provides an accessible approach to statistical analytics, resampling, and the bootstrap for readers with various levels of exposure to basic probability and statistics. Originally class-tested at one of the first online learning companies in the discipline, www.statistics.com, the book primarily focuses on application
Maroto, J A; Perez-Munuzuri, V; Romero-Cano, M S
We describe experiments on Benard-Marangoni convection which permit a useful understanding of the main concepts involved in this phenomenon such as, for example, Benard cells, aspect ratio, Rayleigh and Marangoni numbers, Crispation number and critical conditions. In spite of the complexity of convection theory, we carry out a simple and introductory analysis which has the additional advantage of providing very suggestive experiments. As a consequence, we recommend our device for use as a laboratory experiment for undergraduate students of the thermodynamics of nonlinear and fluid physics
Praise for the First Edition ""Stahl offers the solvability of equations from the historical point of view...one of the best books available to support a one-semester introduction to abstract algebra.""-CHOICE Introductory Modern Algebra: A Historical Approach, Second Edition presents the evolution of algebra and provides readers with the opportunity to view modern algebra as a consistent movement from concrete problems to abstract principles. With a few pertinent excerpts from the writings of some of the greatest mathematicians, the Second Edition uniquely facilitates the understanding of pi
Bagnuls, C.; Bervillier, C.
We critically review the use of the exact renormalization group equations (ERGE) in the framework of the scalar theory. We lay emphasis on the existence of different versions of the ERGE and on an approximation method to solve it: the derivative expansion. The leading order of this expansion appears as an excellent textbook example to underline the nonperturbative features of the Wilson renormalization group theory. We limit ourselves to the consideration of the scalar field (this is why it is an introductory review) but the reader will find (at the end of the review) a set of references to existing studies on more complex systems.
Welkowitz, Joan; Cohen, Jacob
Introductory Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences provides an introduction to statistical concepts and principles. This book emphasizes the robustness of parametric procedures wherein such significant tests as t and F yield accurate results even if such assumptions as equal population variances and normal population distributions are not well met.Organized into three parts encompassing 16 chapters, this book begins with an overview of the rationale upon which much of behavioral science research is based, namely, drawing inferences about a population based on data obtained from a samp
Maroto, J A [Group of Physics and Chemistry of Linares, Escuela Politecnica Superior, St Alfonso X El Sabio, 28, University of Jaen, E-23700 Linares, Jaen (Spain); Perez-Munuzuri, V [Group of Nonlinear Physics, University of Santiago de Compostela, E-15782 Santiago de Compostela (Spain); Romero-Cano, M S [Group of Complex Fluids Physics, Department of Applied Physics, University of Almeria, E-04120 Almeria (Spain)
We describe experiments on Benard-Marangoni convection which permit a useful understanding of the main concepts involved in this phenomenon such as, for example, Benard cells, aspect ratio, Rayleigh and Marangoni numbers, Crispation number and critical conditions. In spite of the complexity of convection theory, we carry out a simple and introductory analysis which has the additional advantage of providing very suggestive experiments. As a consequence, we recommend our device for use as a laboratory experiment for undergraduate students of the thermodynamics of nonlinear and fluid physics.
Narahari Achar, B. N.
It is customary in introductory survey courses in astronomy to devote some time to the history of astronomy. In the available text books only the Greek contribution receives any attention. Apart from Stonehenge and Chichenitza pictures, contributions from Babylon and China are some times mentioned. Hardly any account is given of ancient Indian astronomy. Even when something is mentioned it is incomplete or incorrect or both. Examples are given from several text books currently available. An attempt is made to correct this situation by sketching the contributions from the earliest astronomy of India, namely Vedaanga Jyotisha.
Cohen, Barry H; Lea, R Brooke
A comprehensive and user-friendly introduction to statistics for behavioral science students-revised and updated Refined over seven editions by master teachers, this book gives instructors and students alike clear examples and carefully crafted exercises to support the teaching and learning of statistics for both manipulating and consuming data. One of the most popular and respected statistics texts in the behavioral sciences, the Seventh Edition of Introductory Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences has been fully revised. The new edition presents all the topics students in the behavioral s
During the session on "Introductory College Physics Textbooks" at the 2007 Summer Meeting of the AAPT, there was a brief discussion about whether introductory physics should begin with one-dimensional motion or two-dimensional motion. Here we present the case that by starting with two-dimensional motion, we are able to introduce a considerable…
Shi, Jia; Wood, William B.; Martin, Jennifer M.; Guild, Nancy A.; Vicens, Quentin; Knight, Jennifer K.
We have developed and validated a tool for assessing understanding of a selection of fundamental concepts and basic knowledge in undergraduate introductory molecular and cell biology, focusing on areas in which students often have misconceptions. This multiple-choice Introductory Molecular and Cell Biology Assessment (IMCA) instrument is designed…
Griggs, Richard A.; Proctor, Derrick L.
Given the many changes in the introductory psychology textbook market in the past 2 decades and the lack of a recent citation study of introductory texts, we conducted a citation analysis of a stratified random sample of current texts. To provide a more comprehensive picture of current citation emphases, we extended our analysis to the top 60…
DeMoss, Michelle; Nicholson, Carolyn Y.
In this study, the authors examined whether introductory marketing textbooks contain the information that is needed to educate future business leaders about the important role of environmentally sustainable practices. We content-analyzed the 21 current introductory marketing textbooks for coverage of these practices. The results showed limited,…
Qualitative Research for Tobacco Control : A How-to Introductory Manual for Researchers and Development Practitioners. Couverture du livre Qualitative Research for Tobacco Control : A How-to Introductory Manual for. Auteur(s):. Alison Mathie et Anne Carnozzi. Maison(s) d'édition: CRDI. 15 janvier 2005. ISBN :.
Levine, David M.; Stephan, David F.
Introductory business statistics students often receive little guidance on how to apply the methods they learn to further business objectives they may one day face. And those students may fail to see the continuity among the topics taught in an introductory course if they learn those methods outside a context that provides a unifying framework.…
Woodard, Roger; McGowan, Herle
In 2005, the "Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education" (GAISE) college report described several recommendations for teaching introductory statistics. This paper discusses how a large multi-section introductory course was redesigned in order to implement these recommendations. The experience described discusses…
Brooks, Gordon P.; Raffle, Holly
All introductory statistics students must master certain basic descriptive statistics, including means, standard deviations and correlations. Students must also gain insight into such complex concepts as the central limit theorem and standard error. This article introduces and describes the Friendly Introductory Statistics Help (FISH) computer…
King, Gail Hoover; McConnell, Cheryl
Teaching introductory accounting courses can be both challenging and rewarding. In introductory financial and managerial accounting, students struggle with the unfamiliar terminology and concepts. However, managerial accounting offers distinct challenges in that managerial accounting reports used for decision-making are not publically available,…
Bartels, Jared M.; Milovich, Marilyn M.; Moussier, Sabrina
The present study examined the coverage of Stanford prison experiment (SPE), including criticisms of the study, in introductory psychology courses through an online survey of introductory psychology instructors (N = 117). Results largely paralleled those of the recently published textbook analyses with ethical issues garnering the most coverage,…
Abdul-Razzaq, Wathiq; Thakur, Saikat Chakraborty
We all know that we must improve the quality of teaching in science at all levels. Not only physicists but also many students from other areas of study take the introductory physics courses in college. Physics introductory laboratories (labs) can be one of the best tools to help these students understand applications of scientific principles that…
Greenwood, Nancy A.
Introductory sociology casts a wide net with regard to its audience and plays an important role in capturing the public eye as well as helping students to make more informed choices in their lives and communities. I ask six questions that help us as sociologists to think about how introductory sociology can better serve our discipline, our…
Kjonaas, Richard A.; Williams, Peggy E.; Counce, David A.; Crawley, Lindsey R.
A method for the synthesis of ibuprofen in introductory organic chemistry laboratory courses is reported. This experiment requires two 3-h lab sessions. All of the reactions and techniques are a standard part of any introductory organic chemistry course. In the first lab session, students reduce p-isobutylacetophenone to an alcohol and then…
Kruse, S.; Bank, C. G.; Esmaeili, S.; Jazayeri, S.; Liu, S.; Stoikopoulos, N.
The Software for Introductory Geophysics Toolkit (SIGKit) affords students the opportunity to create model data and perform simple processing of field data for various geophysical methods. SIGkit provides a graphical user interface built with the MATLAB programming language, but can run even without a MATLAB installation. At this time SIGkit allows students to pick first arrivals and match a two-layer model to seismic refraction data; grid total-field magnetic data, extract a profile, and compare this to a synthetic profile; and perform simple processing steps (subtraction of a mean trace, hyperbola fit) to ground-penetrating radar data. We also have preliminary tools for gravity, resistivity, and EM data representation and analysis. SIGkit is being built by students for students, and the intent of the toolkit is to provide an intuitive interface for simple data analysis and understanding of the methods, and act as an entrance to more sophisticated software. The toolkit has been used in introductory courses as well as field courses. First reactions from students are positive. Think-aloud observations of students using the toolkit have helped identify problems and helped shape it. We are planning to compare the learning outcomes of students who have used the toolkit in a field course to students in a previous course to test its effectiveness.
Lücke, O. H.; Linkimer, L.
5,6) showed a jump of nearly 25,000 followers. We see the RSN Facebook page as an opportunity to engage non-science audiences and encourage the population to participate in reporting seismic observations and thus providing intensity data for felt earthquakes. This approach to science education might transform the view of geological processes for Costa Ricans and might positively alter the current perception towards hazards.
Yates, Janet; Smith, Jennifer; James, David; Ferguson, Eamonn
It has been suggested that studying non-science subjects at A-level should be compulsory for medical students. Our admissions criteria specify only Biology, Chemistry and one or more additional subjects. This study aimed to determine whether studying a non-science subject for A-level is an independent predictor of achievement on the undergraduate medical course. The subjects of this retrospective cohort study were 164 students from one entry-year group (October 2000), who progressed normally on the 5-year undergraduate medical course at Nottingham. Pre-admission academic and socio-demographic data and undergraduate course marks were obtained. T-test and hierarchical multiple linear regression analyses were undertaken to identify independent predictors of five course outcomes at different stages throughout the course. There was no evidence that the choice of science or non-science as the third or fourth A-level subject had any influence on course performance. Demographic variables (age group, sex, and fee status) had some predictive value but ethnicity did not. Pre-clinical course performance was the strongest predictor in the clinical phases (pre-clinical Themes A&B (knowledge) predicted Clinical Knowledge, p A-level requirements should specify the choice of third or fourth subject.
Hufnagel, Beth; Deming, Grace L.; Landato, Janet M.; Hodari, Apriel K.
This quantitative study tests the hypothesis that undergraduates taking an introductory astronomy class for nonscience majors are susceptible to stereotype threat (ST). The Astronomy Diagnostic Test (ADT), a conceptual survey designed for introductory astronomy classes, was administered pre- and postcourse to two pairs (control and threatened) of the same class taught by the same professors, one pair at a public, suburban community college and the other pair at a large, state research university. One class of each pair was threatened postcourse by telling the students that their gender mattered on the ADT. The results showed no ST effect on the women in the university class. The college women underperformed and the men overperformed at a low statistical significance. The authors infer that Steele's requirement for domain identification as a condition is also required to strongly invoke ST for this sample of nonscience students.
Odom, A. Louis; Barrow, Lloyd H.
The data for this study were obtained from a sample of 117 biology majors enrolled in an introductory biology course. The Diffusion and Osmosis Diagnostic Test, composed of 12 two-tier items, was administered to the students. Among the major findings are: (1) there was no significant difference in scores of male and female students; (2) math…
Depression - major; Depression - clinical; Clinical depression; Unipolar depression; Major depressive disorder ... providers do not know the exact causes of depression. It is believed that chemical changes in the ...
Smith, Michael R.
I have taught algebra-based introductory physics for six years to liberal arts students. It was primarily a service course for students majoring in Athletic Training, Physical Therapy, Geology, Biology, and Pre-Med. The typical student was characterized by having a minimal math and problem-solving proficiency. There also was a pattern of students being predisposed to memorizing facts and formulas, and attempting to solve problems by finding the correct formula and "plugging in" numbers to get an answer. The students seemed to have a minimal ability in deductive reasoning and problem solving, starting from basic principles. It is no wonder that they entered the introductory physics service course with extreme trepidation, based upon a strongly perceived physics phobia. A standard lecture format was used for the class size of approximately 25-30 students; and an attempt was always made to engage the students through the Socratic approach, by asking leading questions during the course of the lecture. The students were relatively unprepared and couldn't participate in the class, and often responded antagonistically. They indicated they didn't want to be asked to think about an issue, but would rather just be told the facts so they could take specific notes for subsequent memorization. It was clear from the results of the open book exams given during the semester that the majority of students could not approach problem solving using deductive reasoning based on basic principles, but relied on attempting to force-fit the problem into a worked example in the text (often out of context, with illogical results). The absentee rate in the classroom was usually around 30-40%. The academic administration of my liberal arts university has the policy of formal course evaluations by the students at the end of each semester. The evaluation questionnaire appears to be primarily a measurement of the stress level of the student during the course, and the evaluation score I received
MacDonald, R.; Manduca, C. A.; Mogk, D. W.; Tewksbury, B. J.
The NAGT professional development program "On the Cutting Edge" recently surveyed 7000 geoscience faculty in the United States to develop a snapshot of current instructional practices in undergraduate geoscience courses, faculty strategies for learning new content and new teaching approaches, and faculty involvement in the geoscience education community. Over 2200 faculty responded to the survey which was conducted by the American Institute of Physics. Results for introductory courses (814 responses) indicate that lecture is the most common teaching strategy used in courses of all sizes. Many faculty incorporate some interactive activities in their courses. Most commonly, they use questioning, demonstrations, discussions, and in-class exercises. Less common, but not rare, are small group discussion or think-pair-share and classroom debates or role-playing. Activities involving problem solving, using quantitative skills, working with data and primarily literature, and structured collaboration are incorporated by many faculty in introductory courses, suggesting efforts to teach the process of science. Activities in which students address a problem of national or local interest, analyze their own data, or address problems of their own design are less common but not rare. Field experiences are common but not ubiquitous for students in introductory courses. A wide variety of assessment strategies are used in introductory courses of all sizes, including exams, quizzes, problem sets, papers, oral presentations, and portfolios. While papers are used for assessment more extensively in small classes, a significant number of faculty use papers in large classes (greater than 81 students). A majority of faculty use rubrics in grading. Faculty report that in the past two years, approximately one-third have made changes in the content of their introductory courses while just under half have changed the teaching methods they use. While faculty learn about both new content and
Kim, Dae Mann
This introductory textbook covers fundamental quantum mechanics from an application perspective, considering optoelectronic devices, biological sensors and molecular imagers as well as solar cells and field effect transistors. The book provides a brief review of classical and statistical mechanics and electromagnetism, and then turns to the quantum treatment of atoms, molecules, and chemical bonds. Aiming at senior undergraduate and graduate students in nanotechnology related areas like physics, materials science, and engineering, the book could be used at schools that offer interdisciplinary but focused training for future workers in the semiconductor industry and for the increasing number of related nanotechnology firms, and even practicing people could use it when they need to learn related concepts. The author is Professor Dae Mann Kim from the Korea Institute for Advanced Study who has been teaching Quantum Mechanics to engineering, material science and physics students for over 25 years in USA and Asia.
The Chern-Simons (CS) form evolved from an obstruction in mathematics into an important object in theoretical physics. In fact, the presence of CS terms in physics is more common than one may think. They are found in the studies of anomalies in quantum field theories and as Lagrangians for gauge fields, including gravity and supergravity. They seem to play an important role in high Tc superconductivity and in recently discovered topological insulators. CS forms are also the natural generalization of the minimal coupling between the electromagnetic field and a point charge when the source is not point-like but an extended fundamental object, a membrane. A cursory review of these ideas is presented at an introductory level.
Somers, William; Rooney, Frank; Ochoa, Romulo
The Wii, a video game console, is a very popular device with millions of units sold worldwide over the past two years. Although computationally it is not a powerful machine, to a physics educator its most important components can be its controllers. The Wiimote (or remote) controller contains three accelerometers, an infrared detector, and Bluetooth connectivity at a relatively low price. Thanks to available open source code, any PC with Bluetooth capability can detect the information sent out by the Wiimote. We have designed several experiments for introductory physics courses that make use of the accelerometers and Bluetooth connectivity. We have adapted the Wiimote to measure the: variable acceleration in simple harmonic motion, centripetal and tangential accelerations in circular motion, and the accelerations generated when students lift weights. We present the results of our experiments and compare them with those obtained when using motion and/or force sensors.
Hansen, Michael Reichhardt; Kristensen, Jens Thyge; Rischel, Hans
This paper presents an introductory programming course designed to teach programming as an intellectual activity. The course emphasizes understandable concepts which can be useful in designing programs, while the oddities of today's technology are considered of secondary importance. An important...... goal is to fight the trial-and-error approach to programming which is a result of the students battles with horribly designed and documented systems and languages prior to their studies at university. Instead, the authors strive for giving the students a good experience of programming as a systematic......, intellectual activity where the solution of a programming problem can be described in an understandable way. The approach is illustrated by an example which is a commented solution of a problem posed to the students in the course....
Full Text Available The number of students who leave majors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM due to a perception that courses are poorly taught is evidence that education reform in STEM is overdue. Despite decades of research that argues for student-centered teaching approaches, most introductory STEM courses are still taught in the large lecture format, focusing on rote memorization. While individual efforts in STEM educational reform are important, solutions will most certainly need to include institutional and cultural change. In biology, numerous national reports have called for educational reform to better prepare future scientists. We describe here a new, concept-based curriculum for Introductory Microbiology courses, designed to promote deep understanding of core concepts. Supported by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM and based on the overarching concepts and competencies presented in the AAAS/NSF report Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: A Call to Action, we hope it will empower instructors to adapt student-centered approaches so that students in Introductory Microbiology courses can leave the course with a core set of enduring understandings of microbiology.
The number of students who leave majors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) due to a perception that courses are poorly taught is evidence that education reform in STEM is overdue. Despite decades of research that argues for student-centered teaching approaches, most introductory STEM courses are still taught in the large lecture format, focusing on rote memorization. While individual efforts in STEM educational reform are important, solutions will most certainly need to include institutional and cultural change. In biology, numerous national reports have called for educational reform to better prepare future scientists. We describe here a new, concept-based curriculum for Introductory Microbiology courses, designed to promote deep understanding of core concepts. Supported by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and based on the overarching concepts and competencies presented in the AAAS/NSF report Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: A Call to Action, we hope it will empower instructors to adapt student-centered approaches so that students in Introductory Microbiology courses can leave the course with a core set of enduring understandings of microbiology.
Ryan A. Shanks
Full Text Available Introductory biology courses provide an important opportunity to prepare students for future courses, yet existing cookbook labs, although important in their own way, fail to provide many of the advantages of semester-long research experiences. Engaging, authentic research experiences aid biology students in meeting many learning goals. Therefore, overlaying a research experience onto the existing lab structure allows faculty to overcome barriers involving curricular change. Here we propose a working model for this overlay design in an introductory biology course and detail a means to conduct this lab with minimal increases in student and faculty workloads. Furthermore, we conducted exploratory factor analysis of the Experimental Design Ability Test (EDAT and uncovered two latent factors which provide valid means to assess this overlay model’s ability to increase advanced experimental design abilities. In a pre-test/post-test design, we demonstrate significant increases in both basic and advanced experimental design abilities in an experimental and comparison group. We measured significantly higher gains in advanced experimental design understanding in students in the experimental group. We believe this overlay model and EDAT factor analysis contribute a novel means to conduct and assess the effectiveness of authentic research experiences in an introductory course without major changes to the course curriculum and with minimal increases in faculty and student workloads.
Full Text Available The study is designed to examine students’ perceptions of the introductory Information Systems (IS course. It was an exploratory study in which 67 students participated. A quantitative approach was followed making use of questionnaires for the collection of data. Using the theory of reasoned action as a framework, the study explores the factors that influence non-IS major students’ perceived relevance of the IS introductory course. The analysis of collected data included descriptive and inferential statistics. Using multiple regression analysis, the results suggest that overall, the independent variables, relevance of the content, previous IT knowledge, relevance for professional practice, IT preference in courses and peers’ influence may account for 72% of the explanatory power for the dependent variable, perceived relevance of the IS course. In addition, the results have shown some strong predictors (IT preference and peers’ influence that influence students’ perceived relevance of the IS course. Practical work was found to be a strong mediating variable toward positive perceptions of IS. The results of this study suggest that students do indeed perceive the introductory IS course to be relevant and match their professional needs, but more practical work would enhance their learning. Implications for theory and practice are discussed as a result of the behavioural intention to perceive the IS course to be relevant and eventually to recruit more IS students.
Lawrence, K. T.; Malinconico, L. L.
A common challenge in introductory Geoscience courses is engaging students who often do not have a long- standing interest in science. In recent years Hollywood has produced a number of geoscience-themed films (Dante's Peak, Deep Impact, Day After Tomorrow, Inconvenient Truth), most of which contain kernels of scientific truth as well as gross misrepresentations of scientific reality. In our introductory courses (Geological Disasters: Agents of Chaos and Earth's Climate: Past Present and Future) we have had great success using these films as a way of both engaging students and accomplishing many of our course goals. Even though most of the students in these courses will not become geoscience majors, it is important for them to realize that they can make informed judgments about concepts portrayed in the popular media. We have incorporated short written movie critiques into our suite of introductory course laboratory exercises. Through these movie-critique labs, students have an opportunity to apply their new geoscience expertise to examining the validity of the scientific concepts presented in the film. Along the way, students start to see the relevance of course materials to their everyday lives, think more critically about how science is portrayed by non-scientists, synthesize what they have learned by applying their knowledge to a new problem, and improve their ability to communicate what they have learned. Despite the fact that these movie-critique labs require significantly more out-of-lab effort that our other introductory lab assignments, in our course evaluations many students rate the movie critiques as not only one of the most interesting lab exercises of the semester, but also the lab exercise containing the most educational value.
Yeshion, Theodore Elliot
Students' Conceptions of Science, Scientific Evidence, and Forensic Evidence during a University Introductory Forensic Science Course This study was designed to examine and understand what conceptions undergraduate students taking an introductory forensic science course had about scientific evidence. Because the relationships between the nature of science, the nature of evidence, and the nature of forensic evidence are not well understood in the science education literature, this study sought to understand how these concepts interact and affect students' understanding of scientific evidence. Four participants were purposefully selected for this study from among 89 students enrolled in two sections of an introductory forensic science course taught during the fall 2005 semester. Of the 89 students, 84 were criminal justice majors with minimal science background and five were chemistry majors with academic backgrounds in the natural and physical sciences. All 89 students completed a biographical data sheet and a pre-instruction Likert scale survey consisting of twenty questions relating to the nature of scientific evidence. An evaluation of these two documents resulted in a purposeful selection of four varied student participants, each of whom was interviewed three times throughout the semester about the nature of science, the nature of evidence, and the nature of forensic evidence. The same survey was administered to the participants again at the end of the semester-long course. This study examined students' assumptions, prior knowledge, their understanding of scientific inference, scientific theory, and methodology. Examination of the data found few differences with regard to how the criminal justice majors and the chemistry majors responded to interview questions about forensic evidence. There were qualitative differences, however, when the same participants answered interview questions relating to traditional scientific evidence. Furthermore, suggestions are
Orear, Jay; Salpeter, E. E.
Discusses the phenomenon of formation of white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes from dying stars for the purpose of providing college teachers with materials usable in the introductory physics course. (CC)
Students taught. Introductory Technology through team teaching approach performed ... Vocational education differs in both concept and status in different nations of ... completion of the course, can carry out simple daily maintenance of motor.
Everson, Michelle; Zieffler, Andrew; Garfield, Joan
This article introduces the recently adopted Guidelines for the Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education (GAISE) and provides two examples of introductory statistics courses that have been redesigned to better align with these guidelines.
Feiner, Susan F.; Morgan, Barbara A.
Reviews widely-used introductory economics textbooks, examining how issues relating to race and gender are treated. Suggests how stereotypical roles could be avoided in the future. Includes a table summarizing data from 21 textbooks. (Author/DH)
Fundamentals of Aerospace Engineering is a text book that provides an introductory, thorough overview of aeronautical engineering, and it is aimed at serving as reference for an undergraduate course on aerospace engineering.
Xu Ryan, Qing
The ability to solve problems in a variety of contexts is becoming increasingly important in our rapidly changing technological society. Problem-solving is a complex process that is important for everyday life and crucial for learning physics. Although there is a great deal of effort to improve student problem solving skills throughout the educational system, national studies have shown that the majority of students emerge from such courses having made little progress toward developing good problem-solving skills. The Physics Education Research Group at the University of Minnesota has been developing Internet computer coaches to help students become more expert-like problem solvers. During the Fall 2011 and Spring 2013 semesters, the coaches were introduced into large sections (200+ students) of the calculus based introductory mechanics course at the University of Minnesota. This dissertation, will address the research background of the project, including the pedagogical design of the coaches and the assessment of problem solving. The methodological framework of conducting experiments will be explained. The data collected from the large-scale experimental studies will be discussed from the following aspects: the usage and usability of these coaches; the usefulness perceived by students; and the usefulness measured by final exam and problem solving rubric. It will also address the implications drawn from this study, including using this data to direct future coach design and difficulties in conducting authentic assessment of problem-solving.
D. S. Lucas
A graduate level course for Thermal Hydraulics (T/H) was taught through Idaho State University in the spring of 2004. A numerical approach was taken for the content of this course since the students were employed at the Idaho National Laboratory and had been users of T/H codes. The majority of the students had expressed an interest in learning about the Courant Limit, mass error, semi-implicit and implicit numerical integration schemes in the context of a computer code. Since no introductory text was found the author developed notes taught from his own research and courses taught for Westinghouse on the subject. The course started with a primer on control volume methods and the construction of a Homogeneous Equilibrium Model (HEM) (T/H) code. The primer was valuable for giving the students the basics behind such codes and their evolution to more complex codes for Thermal Hydraulics and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). The course covered additional material including the Finite Element Method and non-equilibrium (T/H). The control volume primer and the construction of a three-equation (mass, momentum and energy) HEM code are the subject of this paper . The Fortran version of the code covered in this paper is elementary compared to its descendants. The steam tables used are less accurate than the available commercial version written in C Coupled to a Graphical User Interface (GUI). The Fortran version and input files can be downloaded at www.microfusionlab.com.
Students in introductory geology courses can easily become lost in the minutiae of terms and seemingly random ideas and theories. One way to avoid this and provide a holistic picture of each major subject area in a beginning course is to introduce, at the start of each section, the ruling paradigm, the processes, and resultant products. By use of these three Ps: paradigm, processes, and products, students have a reasonably complete picture of the subject area. If they knew nothing more than this simple construct, they would have an excellent perspective of the subject area. This provides a jumping off point for the instructor to develop the details. The three Ps can make course construction much more straightforward and complete. Students benefit since they have a clearer idea of what the subject is about and its importance. Retention may be improved and carryover to advanced courses may be aided. For faculty, the use of these three P's makes organizing a course more straightforward. Additionally, the instructor benefits include: 1. The main points are clearly stated, thus avoiding the problem of not covering the essential concepts. 2. The course topics hold together, pedagogically. There is significant opportunity for continuity of thought. 3. An outline is developed that is easily analyzed for holes or omissions. 4. A course emerges with a balance of topics, permitting appropriate time to be devoted to significant subject matter. 5. If a course is shared between faculty or passes from one faculty to another by semester or quarter, there is greater assurance that topics and concepts everyone agrees on can be adequately covered. 6. There is less guesswork involved in planning a course. New faculty have an approach that will make sense and allow them to feel less awash and more focused. In summary, taking time to construct a course utilizing the important paradigms, processes, and products can provide significant benefits to the instructor and the student. Material
Manduca, C. A.; MacDonald, R. H.; Merritts, D.; Savina, M.
Introductory courses are one of the most challenging teaching environments for geoscience faculty. Courses are often large, students have a wide variety of background and skills, and student motivation can include completing a geoscience major, preparing for a career as teacher, fulfilling a distribution requirement, and general interest. The Starting Point site (http://serc.carleton.edu/introgeo/index.html) provides help for faculty teaching introductory courses by linking together examples of different teaching methods that have been used in entry-level courses with information about how to use the methods and relevant references from the geoscience and education literature. Examples span the content of geoscience courses including the atmosphere, biosphere, climate, Earth surface, energy/material cycles, human dimensions/resources, hydrosphere/cryosphere, ocean, solar system, solid earth and geologic time/earth history. Methods include interactive lecture (e.g think-pair-share, concepTests, and in-class activities and problems), investigative cases, peer review, role playing, Socratic questioning, games, and field labs. A special section of the site devoted to using an Earth System approach provides resources with content information about the various aspects of the Earth system linked to examples of teaching this content. Examples of courses incorporating Earth systems content, and strategies for designing an Earth system course are also included. A similar section on Teaching with an Earth History approach explores geologic history as a vehicle for teaching geoscience concepts and as a framework for course design. The Starting Point site has been authored and reviewed by faculty around the country. Evaluation indicates that faculty find the examples particularly helpful both for direct implementation in their classes and for sparking ideas. The help provided for using different teaching methods makes the examples particularly useful. Examples are chosen from
Batz, Zachary; Olsen, Brian J; Dumont, Jonathan; Dastoor, Farahad; Smith, Michelle K
The high attrition rate among science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors has long been an area of concern for institutions and educational researchers. The transition from introductory to advanced courses has been identified as a particularly "leaky" point along the STEM pipeline, and students who struggle early in an introductory STEM course are predominantly at risk. Peer-tutoring programs offered to all students in a course have been widely found to help STEM students during this critical transition, but hiring a sufficient number of tutors may not be an option for some institutions. As an alternative, this study examines the viability of an optional peer-tutoring program offered to students who are struggling in a large-enrollment, introductory biology course. Struggling students who regularly attended peer tutoring increased exam performance, expert-like perceptions of biology, and course persistence relative to their struggling peers who were not attending the peer-tutoring sessions. The results of this study provide information to instructors who want to design targeted academic assistance for students who are struggling in introductory courses. © 2015 Z. Batz et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2015 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Batz, Zachary; Olsen, Brian J.; Dumont, Jonathan; Dastoor, Farahad; Smith, Michelle K.
The high attrition rate among science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors has long been an area of concern for institutions and educational researchers. The transition from introductory to advanced courses has been identified as a particularly “leaky” point along the STEM pipeline, and students who struggle early in an introductory STEM course are predominantly at risk. Peer-tutoring programs offered to all students in a course have been widely found to help STEM students during this critical transition, but hiring a sufficient number of tutors may not be an option for some institutions. As an alternative, this study examines the viability of an optional peer-tutoring program offered to students who are struggling in a large-enrollment, introductory biology course. Struggling students who regularly attended peer tutoring increased exam performance, expert-like perceptions of biology, and course persistence relative to their struggling peers who were not attending the peer-tutoring sessions. The results of this study provide information to instructors who want to design targeted academic assistance for students who are struggling in introductory courses. PMID:25976652
Kim, Dae Mann
The result of the nano education project run by the Korean Nano Technology Initiative, this has been recommended for use as official textbook by the Korean Nanotechnology Research Society. The author is highly experienced in teaching both physics and engineering in academia and industry, and naturally adopts an interdisciplinary approach here. He is short on formulations but long on applications, allowing students to understand the essential workings of quantum mechanics without spending too much time covering the wide realms of physics. He takes care to provide sufficient technical background and motivation for students to pursue further studies of advanced quantum mechanics and stresses the importance of translating quantum insights into useful and tangible innovations and inventions. As such, this is the only work to cover semiconductor nanotechnology from the perspective of introductory quantum mechanics, with applications including mainstream semiconductor technologies as well as (nano)devices, ranging from photodetectors, laser diodes, and solar cells to transistors and Schottky contacts. Problems are also provided to test the reader's understanding and supplementary material available includes working presentation files, solutions and instructors manuals. (orig.)
Smith, Geoffrey R.
Using module-based courses has been suggested to improve undergraduate science courses. A course based around a series of modules focused on major environmental issues might be an effective way to teach non-science majors about ecology and ecology's role in helping to solve environmental problems. I have used such a module-based environmental…
Kazempour, Mahsa; Amirshokoohi, Aidin
This article discusses the key components of a reform-based introductory undergraduate environmental science course for nonscience majors and elementary teacher candidates as well as the impact of such components on the participants. The main goals for the course were to actively engage the students in their learning and, in doing so, to enhance…
Brewe, Eric; Sawtelle, Vashti; Kramer, Laird H.; O'Brien, George E.; Rodriguez, Idaykis; Pamelá, Priscilla
We report the results of a five year evaluation of the reform of introductory calculus-based physics by implementation of Modeling Instruction (MI) at Florida International University (FIU), a Hispanic-serving institution. MI is described in the context of FIU’s overall effort to enhance student participation in physics and science broadly. Our analysis of MI from a “participationist” perspective on learning identifies aspects of MI including conceptually based instruction, culturally sensitive instruction, and cooperative group learning, which are consistent with research on supporting equitable learning and participation by students historically under-represented in physics (i.e., Black, Hispanic, women). This study uses markers of conceptual understanding as measured by the Force Concept Inventory (FCI) and odds of success as measured by the ratio of students completing introductory physics and earning a passing grade (i.e., C- or better) by students historically under-represented in physics to reflect equity and participation in introductory physics. FCI pre and post scores for students in MI are compared with lecture-format taught students. Modeling Instruction students outperform students taught in lecture-format classes on post instruction FCI (61.9% vs 47.9%, p<0.001 ), where these benefits are seen across both ethnic and gender comparisons. In addition, we report that the odds of success in MI are 6.73 times greater than in lecture instruction. Both odds of success and FCI scores within Modeling Instruction are further disaggregated by ethnicity and by gender to address the question of equity within the treatment. The results of this disaggregation indicate that although ethnically under-represented students enter with lower overall conceptual understanding scores, the gap is not widened during introductory physics but instead is maintained, and the odds of success for under-represented students is not different from majority students. Women
Full Text Available We report the results of a five year evaluation of the reform of introductory calculus-based physics by implementation of Modeling Instruction (MI at Florida International University (FIU, a Hispanic-serving institution. MI is described in the context of FIU’s overall effort to enhance student participation in physics and science broadly. Our analysis of MI from a “participationist” perspective on learning identifies aspects of MI including conceptually based instruction, culturally sensitive instruction, and cooperative group learning, which are consistent with research on supporting equitable learning and participation by students historically under-represented in physics (i.e., Black, Hispanic, women. This study uses markers of conceptual understanding as measured by the Force Concept Inventory (FCI and odds of success as measured by the ratio of students completing introductory physics and earning a passing grade (i.e., C− or better by students historically under-represented in physics to reflect equity and participation in introductory physics. FCI pre and post scores for students in MI are compared with lecture-format taught students. Modeling Instruction students outperform students taught in lecture-format classes on post instruction FCI (61.9% vs 47.9%, p<0.001, where these benefits are seen across both ethnic and gender comparisons. In addition, we report that the odds of success in MI are 6.73 times greater than in lecture instruction. Both odds of success and FCI scores within Modeling Instruction are further disaggregated by ethnicity and by gender to address the question of equity within the treatment. The results of this disaggregation indicate that although ethnically under-represented students enter with lower overall conceptual understanding scores, the gap is not widened during introductory physics but instead is maintained, and the odds of success for under-represented students is not different from majority students
Provides electronic mail addresses for resources and discussion groups related to the following academic majors: art, biology, business, chemistry, computer science, economics, health sciences, history, literature, math, music, philosophy, political science, psychology, sociology, and theater. (AEF)
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — This data set contains roadway centerlines for major roads (interstates and trunk highways) found on the USGS 1:24,000 mapping series. These roadways are current...
Alaie, Adrienne; Teller, Virginia; Qiu, Wei-gang
Since biomedical science has become increasingly data-intensive, acquisition of computational and quantitative skills by science students has become more important. For non-science students, an introduction to biomedical databases and their applications promotes the development of a scientifically literate population. Because typical college…
Full Text Available The ability to categorize problems based upon underlying principles, rather than surface features or contexts, is considered one of several proxy predictors of expertise in problem solving. With inspiration from the classic study by Chi, Feltovich, and Glaser, we assess the distribution of expertise among introductory physics students by asking three introductory physics classes, each with more than a hundred students, to categorize mechanics problems based upon similarity of solution. We compare their categorization with those of physics graduate students and faculty members. To evaluate the effect of problem context on students’ ability to categorize, two sets of problems were developed for categorization. Some problems in one set included those available from the prior study by Chi et al. We find a large overlap between calculus-based introductory students and graduate students with regard to their categorizations that were assessed as “good.” Our findings, which contrast with those of Chi et al., suggest that there is a wide distribution of expertise in mechanics among introductory and graduate students. Although the categorization task is conceptual, introductory students in the calculus-based course performed better than those in the algebra-based course. Qualitative trends in categorization of problems are similar between the non-Chi problems and problems available from the Chi study used in our study although the Chi problems used are more difficult on average.
Anna K. Wood
Full Text Available Interactive engagement activities are increasingly common in undergraduate physics teaching. As research efforts move beyond simply showing that interactive engagement pedagogies work towards developing an understanding of how they lead to improved learning outcomes, a detailed analysis of the way in which these activities are used in practice is needed. Our aim in this paper is to present a characterization of the type and duration of interactions, as experienced by students, that took place during two introductory physics courses (1A and 1B at a university in the United Kingdom. Through this work, a simple framework for analyzing lectures—the framework for interactive learning in lectures (FILL, which focuses on student interactions (with the lecturer, with each other, and with the material is proposed. The pedagogical approach is based on Peer Instruction (PI and both courses are taught by the same lecturer. We find lecture activities can be categorized into three types: interactive (25%, vicarious interactive (20% (involving questions to and from the lecturer, and noninteractive (55%. As expected, the majority of both interactive and vicarious interactive activities took place during PI. However, the way that interactive activities were used during non-PI sections of the lecture varied significantly between the two courses. Differences were also found in the average time spent on lecturer-student interactions (28% for 1A and 12% for 1B, although not on student-student interactions (12% and 12% or on individual learning (10% and 7%. These results are explored in detail and the implications for future research are discussed.
This talk will discuss using the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey (CLASS) to compare student attitudes towards the study of physics of two different groups. Northern Illinois University has two levels of introductory mechanics courses, one geared towards biology majors and pre-health professionals, and one for engineering and physics majors. The course for pre-health professionals is an algebra based course, while the course for engineering and physics majors is a calculus based course. We've adapted the CLASS into a twenty question survey that measures student attitudes towards the practice of and conceptions about physics. The survey is administered as a pre and post assessment to look at student attitudes before and after their first course in physics.
Crouch, Catherine H.; Heller, Kenneth
We describe restructuring the introductory physics for life science students (IPLS) course to better support these students in using physics to understand their chosen fields. Our courses teach physics using biologically rich contexts. Specifically, we use examples in which fundamental physics contributes significantly to understanding a biological system to make explicit the value of physics to the life sciences. This requires selecting the course content to reflect the topics most relevant to biology while maintaining the fundamental disciplinary structure of physics. In addition to stressing the importance of the fundamental principles of physics, an important goal is developing students' quantitative and problem solving skills. Our guiding pedagogical framework is the cognitive apprenticeship model, in which learning occurs most effectively when students can articulate why what they are learning matters to them. In this article, we describe our courses, summarize initial assessment data, and identify needs for future research.
Brownell, Sara E.; Wenderoth, Mary Pat
Although gender gaps have been a major concern in male-dominated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines such as physics and engineering, the numerical dominance of female students in biology has supported the assumption that gender disparities do not exist at the undergraduate level in life sciences. Using data from 23 large introductory biology classes for majors, we examine two measures of gender disparity in biology: academic achievement and participation in whole-class discussions. We found that females consistently underperform on exams compared with males with similar overall college grade point averages. In addition, although females on average represent 60% of the students in these courses, their voices make up less than 40% of those heard responding to instructor-posed questions to the class, one of the most common ways of engaging students in large lectures. Based on these data, we propose that, despite numerical dominance of females, gender disparities remain an issue in introductory biology classrooms. For student retention and achievement in biology to be truly merit based, we need to develop strategies to equalize the opportunities for students of different genders to practice the skills they need to excel. PMID:25185231
Minear, Nancy Ann
This dissertation addresses patterns of retention of undergraduate science, engineering and mathematics (SEM) students, with special attention paid to female and under represented minority students. As such, the study is focused on issues related to academic discipline and institutional retention, rather than the retention of students in the overall system of higher education. While previous retention studies have little to say about rates of retention that are specific to the sciences (or any other specific area of study) or employ models that rely on students' performance at the college level, this work address both points by identifying the post secondary academic performance characteristics of persisters and non-persisters in the sciences by gender, ethnicity and matriculating major as well as identifying introductory SEM course requirements that prevent students from persisting in sciencegender, ethnicity and matriculating major as well as identifying introductory SEM course requirements that prevent students from persisting in science majors. A secondary goal of investigating the usefulness of institutional records for retention research is addressed. Models produced for the entire population and selected subpopulations consistently classified higher-performing (both SEM and non-SEM grade point averages) students into Bachelor of Science categories using the number of Introductory Chemistry courses attempted at the university. For lower performing students, those with more introductory chemistry courses were classified as changing majors out of the sciences, and in general as completing a Bachelor of Arts degree. Performance in gatekeeper courses as a predictor of terminal academic status was limited to Introductory Physics for a small number of cases. Performance in Introductory Calculus and Introductory Chemistry were not consistently utilized as predictor variables. The models produced for various subpopulations (women, ethnic groups and matriculation
Hu, Dehui; Zwickl, Benjamin M.
We investigated physics students' epistemological views on measurements and validity of experimental results. The roles of experiments in physics have been underemphasized in previous research on students' personal epistemology, and there is a need for a broader view of personal epistemology that incorporates experiments. An epistemological framework incorporating the structure, methodology, and validity of scientific knowledge guided the development of an open-ended survey. The survey was administered to students in algebra-based and calculus-based introductory physics courses, upper-division physics labs, and physics Ph.D. students. Within our sample, we identified several differences in students' ideas about validity and uncertainty in measurement. The majority of introductory students justified the validity of results through agreement with theory or with results from others. Alternatively, Ph.D. students frequently justified the validity of results based on the quality of the experimental process and repeatability of results. When asked about the role of uncertainty analysis, introductory students tended to focus on the representational roles (e.g., describing imperfections, data variability, and human mistakes). However, advanced students focused on the inferential roles of uncertainty analysis (e.g., quantifying reliability, making comparisons, and guiding refinements). The findings suggest that lab courses could emphasize a variety of approaches to establish validity, such as by valuing documentation of the experimental process when evaluating the quality of student work. In order to emphasize the role of uncertainty in an authentic way, labs could provide opportunities to iterate, make repeated comparisons, and make decisions based on those comparisons.
Textbooks are powerful technologies that are foundational to introductory level courses. In the research site of an introductory economic classroom, the textbook is positioned as having status similar to that of a canonical religious text. This study investigated how student reading and writing can be problematic when introductory level courses…
Marcketti, Sara B.; Wang, Xinxin; Greder, Kate
At Iowa State University, the introductory textile science course is a required 4-credit class for all undergraduate students enrolled in the Apparel, Merchandising, and Design Program. Frustrated by a perceived gap between students who easily comprehended course material and those who complained and struggled, the instructor implemented an…
Chiang, Bea; Nouri, Hossein; Samanta, Subarna
The purpose of the research is to examine the effect of the two different teaching approaches in the first accounting course on student performance in a subsequent finance course. The study compares 128 accounting and finance students who took introductory financial accounting by either a user approach or a traditional preparer approach to examine…
Broeckelman-Post, Melissa A.; Pyle, Andrew S.
The purpose of this study was to compare student growth in public speaking and hybrid introductory communication skills courses on four outcomes: public speaking anxiety, self-perceived communication competence, intercultural effectiveness, and connected classroom climate. This study also sought to find out whether there were differences in the…
Malone, Marc P.
When students enter the basic public speaking classroom,When students enter the basic public speaking classroom, they are asked to develop an introductory speech. This assignment typically focuses on a speech of self-introduction for which there are several pedagogical underpinnings: it provides an immediate and relatively stress-free speaking…
Towner, Terri L.
Research on the influence of class size on student academic achievement is important for university instructors, administrators, and students. The article examines the influence of class size--a small section versus a large section--in introductory political science courses on student grades in two comparable semesters. It is expected that…
Haley, M. Ryan; Johnson, Marianne F.; Kuennen, Eric W.
Studies have yielded highly mixed results as to differences in male and female student performance in statistics courses; the role that professors play in these differences is even less clear. In this paper, we consider the impact of professor and student gender on student performance in an introductory business statistics course taught by…
Introductory textbooks teach a simple normative story about the importance of maximizing economic surplus that supports common policy claims. There is little defense of the claim that maximizing surplus is normatively important, which is not obvious to non-economists. Difficulties with the claim that society should maximize surplus are generally…
Data from nine introductory microeconomics classes was used to test the effect of student learning style on academic performance. The Kolb Learning Style Inventory was used to assess individual student learning styles. The results indicate that student learning style has no significant effect on performance, undermining the claims of those who…
The author examines the effects of different introductory microeconomics textbooks on student performance in subsequent economics courses (specifically, Intermediate Microeconomics I and Money and Banking). In some cases, the effects are significant and sizeable. There is also evidence of other variables affecting student performance in later…
Whitehead, George I., III; Smith, Stephanie H.; Losonczy-Marshall, Marta
The purpose of the present study was to identify the core references in introductory textbooks in two sub-disciplines of psychology: social psychology and developmental psychology. One research question was the extent to which the common references in these textbooks present the trends in contemporary research in each sub-discipline. An analysis…
Södervik, Ilona; Virtanen, Viivi; Mikkilä-Erdmann, Mirjamaija
University students' understanding of photosynthesis was examined in a large introductory biosciences class. The focus of this study was to first examine the conceptions of photosynthesis among students in class and then to investigate how a certain type of text could enhance students' understanding of photosynthesis. The study was based on pre-…
learner's dictionaries and bilingual English–Arabic dictionaries, and to determine to what ... Here, one has to differentiate between an introduction in a book and one in a .... study will analyze, compare and criticize the introductory matter in a set of .... designed for native speakers of English, especially for comprehension and.
Goldsmith, David W.
For the past 5 years I have been teaching my introductory geology class using a case-based method that promotes student engagement and inquiry. This article presents an explanation of how a case-based curriculum differs from a more traditional approach to the material. It also presents a statistical analysis of several years' worth of student…
Budd, D. A.; van der Hoeven Kraft, K. J.; McConnell, D. A.; Vislova, T.
Most research about reformed teaching practices in the college science classroom is based on instructor self-report. This research describes what is happening in some introductory geology courses at multiple institutions across the country using external observers. These observations are quantified using the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol…
This study examines the effect of the translation of traditional scientific vocabulary into plain English, a process referred to as Anglicization, on student learning in the context of introductory microbiology instruction. Data from Anglicized and Classical-vocabulary lab sections were collected. Data included exam scores as well as pre and…
Chirdon, William M.
This work describes how molecular simulation of polymerization reactions can be used to enrich introductory polymer or material science courses to give students a deeper understanding of free-radical chain and stepwise growth polymerization reactions. These simulations have proven to be effective media for instruction that do not require material…
Williamson, Kathryn E.; Willoughby, Shannon
Twenty-four free-response questions were developed to explore introductory college astronomy students' understanding of gravity in a variety of contexts, including in and around Earth, throughout the solar system, and in hypothetical situations. Questions were separated into three questionnaires, each of which was given to a section of…
Griggs, Richard A.; Jackson, Sherri L.; Christopher, Andrew N.; Marek, Pam
Explores changes in the introductory psychology textbook market through an analysis of edition, author, length, and content coverage of the volumes that comprise the current market. Finds a higher edition average, a decrease in the number of authors, an increase in text pages, and a focus on developmental psychology and sensation/perception. (CMK)
Griggs, Richard A.; Jackson, Sherri L.
Surveys psychology textbook authors and editors on their perceptions of the introductory psychology textbook market. Finds that the textbook market is divided into three levels according to quality, and that authors and editors are not familiar with most textbooks. Notes that the growth of used book companies has adversely affected the market.…
Lynch, Patrick; S. J.; Mizak, Pat
A growing interest in the communication to students of the mission and identity of a higher education institution prompted this study about the presence of Catholic, Jesuit values in the introductory religious studies course at a faith-based university. To conduct this study a survey instrument was developed, piloted, further refined, and then…
Duffus, Dwight; Olifer, Andrei
We describe two sets of courses designed to enhance the mathematical, statistical, and computational training of life science undergraduates at Emory College. The first course is an introductory sequence in differential and integral calculus, modeling with differential equations, probability, and inferential statistics. The second is an…
Malik, Sohail Iqbal; Coldwell-Neilson, Jo
High failure and drop-out rates from introductory programming courses continue to be of significant concern to computer science disciplines despite extensive research attempting to address the issue. In this study, we include the three entities of the didactic triangle, instructors, students and curriculum, to explore the learning difficulties…
Magalhães, Marcos Nascimento; Magalhães, Maria Cecilia Camargo
In this paper, we report on the impact of four activities and two interviews on the organization of an introductory statistics course attended by future mathematics teachers at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The activities were designed to enhance students' learning and collaborative knowledge construction, based on Vygotsky's…
This paper analyses introductory statistics students' verbal and gestural expressions as they interacted with a dynamic sketch (DS) designed using "Sketchpad" software. The DS involved numeric data points built on the number line whose values changed as the points were dragged along the number line. The study is framed on aggregate…
Hall, Megan R.; Rowell, Ginger Holmes
This paper describes 27 National Science Foundation supported grant projects that have innovations designed to improve teaching and learning in introductory statistics courses. The characteristics of these projects are compared with the six recommendations given in the "Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education (GAISE)…
van Es, Cindy; Weaver, Michelle M.
The Survey of Attitudes Toward Statistics or SATS was administered for three consecutive years to students in an Introductory Statistics course at Cornell University. Questions requesting demographic information and expected final course grade were added. Responses were analyzed to investigate possible differences between sexes and racial/ethnic…
Childers, Adam F.
Facebook provides businesses and organizations with copious data that describe how users are interacting with their page. This data affords an excellent opportunity to turn introductory statistics students into consultants to analyze the Facebook data using descriptive and inferential statistics. This paper details a semester-long project that…
Spence, Dianna J.; Bailey, Brad; Sharp, Julia L.
A multi-year study investigated the impact of incorporating student-directed discovery projects into introductory statistics courses. Pilot instructors at institutions across the United States taught statistics implementing student-directed projects with the help of a common set of instructional materials designed to facilitate such projects.…
Doehler, Kirsten; Taylor, Laura
This article is based on the experiences of two statistics professors who have taught students to write and effectively utilize code-based software in a college-level introductory statistics course. Advantages of using software and code-based software in this context are discussed. Suggestions are made on how to ease students into using code with…
This paper shows how the application of simple statistical methods can reveal to students important insights from climate data. While the popular press is filled with contradictory opinions about climate science, teachers can encourage students to use introductory-level statistics to analyze data for themselves on this important issue in public…
Casleton, Emily; Beyler, Amy; Genschel, Ulrike; Wilson, Alyson
Undergraduate students who have just completed an introductory statistics course often lack deep understanding of variability and enthusiasm for the field of statistics. This paper argues that by introducing the commonly underemphasized concept of measurement error, students will have a better chance of attaining both. We further present lecture…
This introductory lesson on teaching economics concepts contains sections on the following: purpose; objectives; time; materials needed; and step-by-step classroom procedures. The focus is on the economic problem of scarcity and opportunity costs. Attached is an original skit, "There's no such thing as a free lunch," and a chart that…
Ballard, Charles L.; Johnson, Marianne F.
The authors measure math skills with a broader set of explanatory variables than have been used in previous studies. To identify what math skills are important for student success in introductory microeconomics, they examine (1) the student's score on the mathematics portion of the ACT Assessment Test, (2) whether the student has taken calculus,…
Woods, David M.
Cloud computing is a rapidly emerging topic, but should it be included in an introductory IT course? The magnitude of cloud computing use, especially cloud infrastructure, along with students' limited knowledge of the topic support adding cloud content to the IT curriculum. There are several arguments that support including cloud computing in an…
Piccioni, R. G.
Too often, students in introductory courses are left with the impression that Einstein's special theory of relativity comes into play only when the relative speed of two objects is an appreciable fraction of the speed of light ("c"). In fact, relativistic length contraction, along with Coulomb's law, accounts quantitatively for the force on a…
Teixeira, Cláudia; Gomes, Delfina; Borges, Janete
The focus of this paper is an investigation into the approaches to studying of Portuguese students of introductory accounting using the short version of the ASSIST instrument. In doing so, it also examined the impact upon the strategy adopted of the discipline area of students and gender. The results validate the use of the inventory with students…
Ward, Roger A.; Grasha, Anthony F.
Provides a classroom demonstration designed to test an astrological hypothesis and help teach introductory psychology students about research design and data interpretation. Illustrates differences between science and nonscience, the role of theory in developing and testing hypotheses, making comparisons among groups, probability and statistical…
Mason, Andrew; Singh, Chandralekha
The ability to categorize problems based upon underlying principles, rather than surface features or contexts, is considered one of several proxy predictors of expertise in problem solving. With inspiration from the classic study by Chi, Feltovich, and Glaser, we assess the distribution of expertise among introductory physics students by asking…
Green, Tom L.
Purpose: The purpose of this article is to explore sustainability commitments' potential implications for the curriculum of introductory economics courses. Universities have signed the Talloires Declaration, committing themselves to promoting students' environmental literacy and ecological citizenship, thereby creating pressure to integrate…
MUHAMMAD SHUMAIL NAVEED
Full Text Available Programming is the core of computer science and due to this momentousness a special care is taken in designing the curriculum of programming courses. A substantial work has been conducted on the definition of programming courses, yet the introductory programming courses are still facing high attrition, low retention and lack of motivation. This paper introduced a tiny pre-programming language called LPL (Learners Programming Language as a ZPL (Zeroth Programming Language to illuminate novice students about elementary concepts of introductory programming before introducing the first imperative programming course. The overall objective and design philosophy of LPL is based on a hypothesis that the soft introduction of a simple and paradigm specific textual programming can increase the motivation level of novice students and reduce the congenital complexities and hardness of the first programming course and eventually improve the retention rate and may be fruitful in reducing the dropout/failure level. LPL also generates the equivalent high level programs from user source program and eventually very fruitful in understanding the syntax of introductory programming languages. To overcome the inherent complexities of unusual and rigid syntax of introductory programming languages, the LPL provide elementary programming concepts in the form of algorithmic and plain natural language based computational statements. The initial results obtained after the introduction of LPL are very encouraging in motivating novice students and improving the retention rate.
Pool, Richard F.; Turner, Gregory D.; Böttger, S. Anne
In recent years the need for ecological literacy and problem solving has increased, but there is no evidence that this need is reflected by increased ecology coverage at institutions of higher education (IHE) across the United States. Because introductory biology courses may serve to direct student interest toward particular biological categories…
Skolnick, Michael M.; Spooner, David L.
Modern computing systems exploit graphical user interfaces for interaction with users; as a result, introductory computer science courses must begin to teach the principles underlying such interfaces. This paper presents an approach to graphical user interface (GUI) implementation that is simple enough for beginning students to understand, yet…
Dees, Jonathan; Momsen, Jennifer L.; Niemi, Jarad; Montplaisir, Lisa
Phylogenetic trees are widely used visual representations in the biological sciences and the most important visual representations in evolutionary biology. Therefore, phylogenetic trees have also become an important component of biology education. We sought to characterize reasoning used by introductory biology students in interpreting taxa…
These introductory remarks deal with the reasons why the EPPO is perceived by some as a controversial body. These reasons are mirrored with the problem identification and the causes thereof. The size of EU fraud and related corruption and money laundering, both at the income and expenditure side, is
McGuinness, Michael J.
An international business simulation game designed for an introductory International Business course. The simulation game allows for student decision making and allows for the ready introduction of many topics which are covered in an International Business course. The simulation game has continued to be improved with student suggestions and has…
Ali, Azad; Smith, David
A department of computer science (CS) has faced a peculiar situation regarding their selection of introductory programming course. This course is a required course for the students enrolled in the CS program and is a prerequisite to their other advanced programming courses. At the same time, the course can be considered a general education course…
Brown, Lora Beth; Larsen, Katrina J.; Nyland, Nora K.; Eggett, Dennis L.
Objective: Describe eating competence, a positive and flexible way of conceptualizing eating attitudes and behaviors, in students enrolled in an introductory nutrition course. Methods: Online completion of the Satter Eating Competence Inventory (ecSI) and self-assessment of eating disorder status by 557 students (343 ages 18-20 years and 180 ages…
Podell, Joel; And Others
Describes various methodologies used at the Queensboro Community College, New York, to enrich some of the topics traditionally included in the introductory course such as union management relations, social responsibility and business ethics, internal organization structure, and small business management. (TA)
Brown, S. J.; White, S.; Power, N.
Using an educational data mining approach, first-year academic achievement of undergraduate nursing students, which included two compulsory courses in introductory human anatomy and physiology, was compared with achievement in a final semester course that transitioned students into the workplace. We hypothesized that students could be grouped…
Mundfrom, Daniel J.; Shaw, Dale G.; Thomas, Ann; Young, Suzanne; Moore, Alan D.
This study addresses the question, "What should graduate students know about research and statistics after completing an initial course?" Individuals who teach such courses at various Carnegie classifications of institutions were surveyed about the specific characteristics of an introductory graduate research course at their own institutions to…
Describes use of Nigerian author, Chinua Achebe's novel, "Things Fall Apart," in an introductory geography course at the secondary school or college level. Provides a summary of the book's story, which deals with the impact of colonialism and Christianity on the culture of eastern Nigeria. Includes recommended instructional strategies…
Shulman, Joel I.
Many of the principles of organic polymer chemistry are direct extensions of the information contained in the standard introductory organic chemistry course. Often, however, the discussion of macromolecules is relegated to a chapter at the end of the organic chemistry text and is covered briefly, if at all. Connecting the organic-chemical…
Taagepera, Mare; Arasasingham, Ramesh D.; King, Susan; Potter, Frank; Martorell, Ingrid; Ford, David; Wu, Jason; Kearney, Aaron M.
We report a comparative study using "knowledge space theory" (KAT) to assess the impact of a hands-on laboratory exercise that used molecular model kits to emphasize the connections between a plane of symmetry, Charity, and isomerism in an introductory organic chemistry course. The experimental design compared three groups of…
This paper empirically enlists Python plagiarism attacks that have been found on Introductory Programming course assignments for undergraduate students. According to our observation toward 400 plagiarism-suspected cases, there are 35 plagiarism attacks that have been conducted by students. It starts with comment & whitespace modification as…
Cotner, Sehoya; Gallup, Gordon G., Jr.
The typical introductory biology curriculum includes the nature of science, evolution and genetics. Laboratory activities are designed to engage students in typical subject areas ranging from cell biology and physiology, to ecology and evolution. There are few, if any, laboratory classes exploring the biology and evolution of human sexual…
McIver, Keith; Whitaker, Kathryn; De Delva, Vladimir; Farrell, Stephanie; Savelski, Mariano J.; Slater, C. Stewart
Textbook style problems including detailed solutions introducing pharmaceutical topics at the level of an introductory chemical engineering course have been created. The problems illustrate and teach subjects which students would learn if they were to pursue a career in pharmaceutical engineering, including the unique terminology of the field,…
Buxner, Sanlyn; Impey, Chris David; Formanek, Martin; Wenger, Matthew
Introductory astronomy courses are exciting opportunities to engage non-major students in scientific issues, new discoveries, and scientific thinking. Many undergraduate students take these courses to complete their general education requirements. Many free-choice learners also take these courses, but for their own interest. We report on a study comparing the basic science knowledge, interest in science, and information literacy of undergraduate students and free choice learners enrolled in introductory astronomy courses run by the University of Arizona. Undergraduate students take both in-person and online courses for college credit. Free choice learners enroll in massive open online courses (MOOCs), through commercial platforms, that can earn them a certificate (although most do not take advantage of that opportunity). In general, we find that undergraduate students outperform the general public on basic science knowledge and that learners in our astronomy MOOCs outperform the undergraduate students in the study. Learners in the MOOC have higher interest in science in general. Overall, learners in both groups report getting information about science from online sources. Additionally, learners’ judgement of the reliability of different sources of information is weakly related to their basic science knowledge and more strongly related to how they describe what it means to study something scientifically. We discuss the implications of our findings for both undergraduate students and free-choice learners as well as instructors of these types of courses.
Katherine Kinkela; Peter Harris; John Malindredos
With the possibility that International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)may replace or may change substantially the US Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) standards currently in place within the next decade, there is a question for accounting educators about how much of the current accounting curriculum should be devoted to IFRS. This is especially critical in the first levels of accounting, where the fundamentals of accounting are learned. While the major accounting firms are...
Many introductory, algebra-based physics students perform poorly on mathematical problem solving tasks in physics. There are at least two possible, distinct reasons for this poor performance: (1) students simply lack the mathematical skills needed to solve problems in physics, or (2) students do not know how to apply the mathematical skills they have to particular problem situations in physics. While many students do lack the requisite mathematical skills, a major finding from this work is that the majority of students possess the requisite mathematical skills, yet fail to use or interpret them in the context of physics. In this thesis I propose a theoretical framework to analyze and describe students' mathematical thinking in physics. In particular, I attempt to answer two questions. What are the cognitive tools involved in formal mathematical thinking in physics? And, why do students make the kinds of mistakes they do when using mathematics in physics? According to the proposed theoretical framework there are three major theoretical constructs: mathematical resources, which are the knowledge elements that are activated in mathematical thinking and problem solving; epistemic games, which are patterns of activities that use particular kinds of knowledge to create new knowledge or solve a problem; and frames, which are structures of expectations that determine how individuals interpret situations or events. The empirical basis for this study comes from videotaped sessions of college students solving homework problems. The students are enrolled in an algebra-based introductory physics course. The videotapes were transcribed and analyzed using the aforementioned theoretical framework. Two important results from this work are: (1) the construction of a theoretical framework that offers researchers a vocabulary (ontological classification of cognitive structures) and grammar (relationship between the cognitive structures) for understanding the nature and origin of
Kohl, Patrick B.; Kuo, H. Vincent
Prior work has characterized the gender gaps present in college-level introductory physics courses. Such work has also shown that research-based interactive engagement techniques can reduce or eliminate these gender gaps. In this paper, we study the gender gaps (and lack thereof) in the introductory calculus-based electricity and magnetism course at the Colorado School of Mines. We present eight semesters' worth of data, totaling 2577 students, with four semesters preceding a transition to Studio physics, and four following. We examine gender gaps in course grades, DFW (D grade, fail, or withdrawal) rates, and normalized gains on the Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism (CSEM), and consider factors such as student ACT scores and grades in prior math classes. We find little or no gap in male/female course grades and DFW rates, but substantial gaps in CSEM gains that are reduced somewhat by the transition to Studio physics.
Beckey, Jacob; Baker, Andrew; Aravind, Vasudeva; Clarion Team
As a part of introductory physics courses, students perform different standard lab experiments. Almost all of these experiments are prone to errors owing to factors like friction, misalignment of equipment, air drag, etc. Usually these types of errors are ignored by students and not much thought is paid to the source of these errors. However, paying attention to these factors that give rise to errors help students make better physics models and understand physical phenomena behind experiments in more detail. In this work, we explore common causes of errors in introductory physics experiment and suggest changes that will mitigate the errors, or suggest models that take the sources of these errors into consideration. This work helps students build better and refined physical models and understand physics concepts in greater detail. We thank Clarion University undergraduate student grant for financial support involving this project.
Kost, Lauren E.; Pollock, Steven J.; Finkelstein, Noah D.
Prior research has shown, at our institution: 1) males outperform females on conceptual assessments (a gender gap), 2) the gender gap persists despite the use of research-based reforms, and 3) the gender gap is correlated with students' physics and mathematics background and prior attitudes and beliefs [Kost, et al. PRST-PER, 5, 010101]. Our follow-up work begins to explore how males and females experience the introductory course differently and how these differences relate to the gender gap. We gave a survey to students in the introductory course in which we investigated students' physics identity and self-efficacy. We find there are significant gender differences in each of these three areas, and further find that these measures are weakly correlated with student conceptual performance, and moderately correlated with course grade.
Poduska, Ervin L.; Lunetta, Vincent N.
To what extent should technology and applied physics be included in introductory physics courses? What is the proper balance between pure and applied physics? Should physics teachers devote precious time to socially relevant issues like nuclear power and alternative sources of energy? How much time should be spent, if any, on applications that are more relevant to the student's world like cars, music, television and refrigeration? Does including applications reduce or enhance student understanding of important classical topics? A response to these questions must be based on goals for physics teaching, on knowledge of how students learn and on the nature of the physics discipline. Since there is not enough time to teach everything in an introductory course, priorities must be determined.
Howe, James; Sitar, David J.
After presenting at the North Carolina Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers during the fall 2016 meeting, we were encouraged to turn our poster into a paper. This article describes the strengthening of a bright star spectroscopy lab activity for introductory astronomy lab students (AST1002) at Appalachian State University. Explanations of the tools and methods used in the activity are included, particularly the preparation of additional materials using RSpec and calibrated instrument response curves.
Gary Gladding; Tim Stelzer; Michael Scott
The reliability and validity of professionally written multiple-choice exams have been extensively studied for exams such as the SAT, graduate record examination, and the force concept inventory. Much of the success of these multiple-choice exams is attributed to the careful construction of each question, as well as each response. In this study, the reliability and validity of scores from multiple-choice exams written for and administered in the large introductory physics courses at the Unive...
These proceedings enclose ten papers presented at the 1. European Conference on Neutron scattering (ECNS '96). The aim of the Introductory Course was fourfold: - to learn the basic principles of neutron scattering, - to get introduced into the most important classes of neutron scattering instruments, -to learn concepts and their transformation into neutron scattering experiments in various fields of condensed matter research, - to recognize the limitations of the neutron scattering technique as well as to the complementarity of other methods. figs., tabs., refs
International audience; Prior formative assessment research has shown positive achievement gains when classes using formative assessment are compared to classes that do not. However, little is known about what, if any, benefits of formative assessment occur within a class. The purpose of this study was to investigate the achievement of the students in introductory calculus using formative assessment at the two different participation levels observed in class. Although there was no significant...
Planinsic, Gorazd; Lindell, Anssi; Remskar, Maja
We present three experimental themes and one discussion theme that proved to be suitable for introducing nanoscience through topics that can be integrated into the existing introductory physics or teacher training courses. The experimental themes include two teaching models of an atomic force microscope (AFM) and an experiment with an elastic optical grating. They are all based on simple experiments that give also quantitative results and can be explained using basic physics theory.
Planinsic, Gorazd [Faculty for Mathematics and Physics, University of Ljubljana (Slovenia); Lindell, Anssi [Department of Teacher Education, University of Jyvaskyla (Finland); Remskar, Maja [Josef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana (Slovenia)
We present three experimental themes and one discussion theme that proved to be suitable for introducing nanoscience through topics that can be integrated into the existing introductory physics or teacher training courses. The experimental themes include two teaching models of an atomic force microscope (AFM) and an experiment with an elastic optical grating. They are all based on simple experiments that give also quantitative results and can be explained using basic physics theory.
Duffus, Dwight; Olifer, Andrei
We describe two sets of courses designed to enhance the mathematical, statistical, and computational training of life science undergraduates at Emory College. The first course is an introductory sequence in differential and integral calculus, modeling with differential equations, probability, and inferential statistics. The second is an upper-division course in computational neuroscience. We provide a description of each course, detailed syllabi, examples of content, and a brief discussion of the main issues encountered in developing and offering the courses.
Dake, L. S.
Several years ago I had to select a new textbook for my calculus-based introductory physics class. I subscribe to Just-in-Time Teaching methods,1 which require students to read the book before the material is covered in class. Thus, the readability of the text by the students is critical. However, I did not feel that I was the best judge of this…
Jayal, A; Lauria, S; Tucker, A; Swift, S
This paper compares two different approaches of teaching introductory programming by quantitatively analysing the student assessments in a real classroom. The first approach is to emphasise the principles of object-oriented programming and design using Java from the very beginning. The second approach is to first teach the basic programming concepts (loops, branch, and use of libraries) using Python and then move on to oriented programming using Java. Each approach was adopted for one academi...
OKUR , Prof.Dr. Mehmet C.
Teaching object oriented programming has become a rapidly expanding preference at various educational environments. However, teachers usually experience problems when introducing object oriented concepts and programming to beginners. How to teach the fundamentals of object oriented programming at an introductory level course is still a common subject for debate. In this paper, an evaluation of these problems is presented and some possible approaches for improving the quality and success of su...
Blissitt, Andrea Marie
Currently, many undergraduate nursing courses use blended-learning course formats with success; however, little evidence exists that supports the use of blended formats in introductory pathophysiology courses. The purpose of this study was to compare the scores on pre- and posttests and course satisfaction between traditional and blended course formats in an introductory nursing pathophysiology course. This study used a quantitative, quasi-experimental, nonrandomized control group, pretest-posttest design. Analysis of covariance compared pre- and posttest scores, and a t test for independent samples compared students' reported course satisfaction of the traditional and blended course formats. Results indicated that the differences in posttest scores were not statistically significant between groups. Students in the traditional group reported statistically significantly higher satisfaction ratings than students in the blended group. The results of this study support the need for further research of using blended learning in introductory pathophysiology courses in undergraduate baccalaureate nursing programs. Further investigation into how satisfaction is affected by course formats is needed. Copyright 2016, SLACK Incorporated.
Snyder, Julia J; Wiles, Jason R
This study evaluated hypothesized effects of the Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) instructional model on undergraduate peer leaders' critical thinking skills. This investigation also explored peer leaders' perceptions of their critical thinking skills. A quasi-experimental pre-test/post-test with control group design was used to determine critical thinking gains in PLTL/non-PLTL groups. Critical thinking was assessed using the California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST) among participants who had previously completed and been successful in a mixed-majors introductory biology course at a large, private research university in the American Northeast. Qualitative data from open-ended questionnaires confirmed that factors thought to improve critical thinking skills such as interaction with peers, problem solving, and discussion were perceived by participants to have an impact on critical thinking gains. However, no significant quantitative differences in peer leaders' critical thinking skills were found between pre- and post-experience CCTST measurements or between experimental and control groups.
O'Shea, Brian; Terry, Laura; Benenson, Walter
We present outcomes from curricular changes made to an introductory calculus-based physics course whose audience is primarily life sciences majors, the majority of whom plan to pursue postbaccalaureate studies in medical and scientific fields. During the 2011-2012 academic year, we implemented a Physics of the Life Sciences curriculum centered on a draft textbook that takes a novel approach to teaching physics to life sciences majors. In addition, substantial revisions were made to the homework and hands-on components of the course to emphasize the relationship between physics and the life sciences and to help the students learn to apply physical intuition to life sciences-oriented problems. Student learning and attitudinal outcomes were assessed both quantitatively, using standard physics education research instruments, and qualitatively, using student surveys and a series of postsemester interviews. Students experienced high conceptual learning gains, comparable to other active learning-based physics courses. Qualitatively, a substantial fraction of interviewed students reported an increased interest in physics relative to the beginning of the semester. Furthermore, more than half of students self-reported that they could now relate physics topics to their majors and future careers, with interviewed subjects demonstrating a high level of ability to come up with examples of how physics affects living organisms and how it helped them to better understand content presented in courses in their major.
We are all living in the era of globalization, and like it or not, it is going to change the way we practice epidemiology, the kinds of questions we ask, and the methods we use to answer them. Increasingly, pubic health problems are being shifted from rich countries to poor countries and from rich to poor populations within Western countries. There is increasing interest and concern about the situation in non-Western populations on the part of Western epidemiologists, with regards to collaborative research, skills transfer, and 'volunteerism' to enable the 'benefits' of Western approaches to epidemiology to be shared by the non-Western world. However, most existing collaborations benefit Western epidemiologists rather than the countries in which the research is conducted. Even when research in non-Western populations is conducted as a genuine collaboration, it can too often 'export failure' from the West. On the other hand, non-Western epidemiologists are increasingly developing new and innovative approaches to health research that are more appropriate to the global public health issues they are addressing. These include recognition of the importance of context and the importance of diversity and local knowledge, and a problem-based approach to addressing the major public health problems using appropriate technology. These debates formed the background for a plenary session on 'International Epidemiology and International Health' at the recent International Epidemiological Association (IEA) meeting in Montreal, and the papers from this session are presented here. The development of a truly global epidemiology can not only better address the public health problems in non-Western populations, but can shed light on the current limitations of epidemiology in addressing the major public health problems in the West.
Eddy, Sarah L; Brownell, Sara E; Wenderoth, Mary Pat
Although gender gaps have been a major concern in male-dominated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines such as physics and engineering, the numerical dominance of female students in biology has supported the assumption that gender disparities do not exist at the undergraduate level in life sciences. Using data from 23 large introductory biology classes for majors, we examine two measures of gender disparity in biology: academic achievement and participation in whole-class discussions. We found that females consistently underperform on exams compared with males with similar overall college grade point averages. In addition, although females on average represent 60% of the students in these courses, their voices make up less than 40% of those heard responding to instructor-posed questions to the class, one of the most common ways of engaging students in large lectures. Based on these data, we propose that, despite numerical dominance of females, gender disparities remain an issue in introductory biology classrooms. For student retention and achievement in biology to be truly merit based, we need to develop strategies to equalize the opportunities for students of different genders to practice the skills they need to excel. © 2014 S. L. Eddy et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2014 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Jennifer M. Wenner
Full Text Available We present the case for introductory geoscience courses as model venues for increasing the quantitative literacy (QL of large numbers of the college-educated population. The geosciences provide meaningful context for a number of fundamental mathematical concepts that are revisited several times in a single course. Using some best practices from the mathematics education community surrounding problem solving, calculus reform, pre-college mathematics and five geoscience/math workshops, geoscience and mathematics faculty have identified five pedagogical ideas to increase the QL of the students who populate introductory geoscience courses. These five ideas include techniques such as: place mathematical concepts in context, use multiple representations, use technology appropriately, work in groups, and do multiple-day, in-depth problems that place quantitative skills in multiple contexts. We discuss the pedagogical underpinnings of these five ideas and illustrate some ways that the geosciences represent ideal places to use these techniques. However, the inclusion of QL in introductory courses is often met with resistance at all levels. Faculty who wish to include quantitative content must use creative means to break down barriers of public perception of geoscience as qualitative, administrative worry that enrollments will drop and faculty resistance to change. Novel ways to infuse QL into geoscience classrooms include use of web-based resources, shadow courses, setting clear expectations, and promoting quantitative geoscience to the general public. In order to help faculty increase the QL of geoscience students, a community-built faculty-centered web resource (Teaching Quantitative Skills in the Geosciences houses multiple examples that implement the five best practices of QL throughout the geoscience curriculum. We direct faculty to three portions of the web resource: Teaching Quantitative Literacy, QL activities, and the 2006 workshop website
Shaibani, Saami J.
There has been an ever-increasing emphasis on the integration of material in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics during the past decade or so. However, there are two major requirements for accomplishing the effective delivery of such multidisciplinary content in the classroom: having high levels of expertise in all of the subjects; and, having the ability to combine the separate fields in a consistent manner without compromising academic purity. The research reported here involves a teacher with this skill set and it includes an example from kinematics, which is initially explored with standard treatment of concepts in mechanics and then developed with analysis employing algebra. As often happens, the non-trivial nature of the result in this case does not readily allow students to have a sense that the physics-based outcome is correct. This shortfall is remedied by adopting a complementary approach with geometry and calculus, which adds an independent perspective that reassures students by confirming the validity of the original answer. The enhanced quality of instruction achieved with the above methodology produces many benefits, including greater student understanding and more opportunities for active involvement by students in the learning process.
Baer, E. M.; Wenner, J. M.; Burn, H. E.
"The Math You Need, When You Need It" (TMYN) modules are finding use well beyond the courses for which they were originally written. However, faculty survey responses indicate that the modules are used in similar ways, suggesting that the overall design of the modules is effective. TMYN modules are online resources designed to help students develop quantitative skills in conjunction with introductory geology courses. Since 2010, 29 faculty members at 26 institutions used these asynchronous resources at in 68 different courses nationwide, impacting about 3000 students. After each use of the modules, instructors responded to a survey about their use of the modules and the impact on each course and student cohort. Of the 29 instructors, 16 responded with a total of 36 implementations, a 52% response rate. Survey responses indicate use of TMYN modules in classes well beyond their original design. The modules were originally designed for students in introductory geology classes, especially those targeted at non-geoscience majors. Sixty-nine percent (22/32) of TMYN courses included introductory geology courses such as Physical Geology, Earth System Science and Environmental Geology. The remainder of courses included multiple uses in oceanography and meteorology courses and more specialized geoscience courses such as geomorphology, structural geology and hydrology. Surveys suggest that only 63% of courses that used TMYN (20/32) were targeted to students in general education courses. Nine percent (3/32) of courses were targeted to STEM majors and 19% (6/32) were specifically targeted to geoscience majors, including upper-level courses. Despite the wide variety of institutions, instructors, classes, and student educational goals, faculty incorporated the modules into their curriculum in as originally designed, indicating that the overall design of the modules is effective. Twenty-two respondents indicate that modules were assigned immediately prior to using a skill in the
THESIS ANNOTATION Title: The Impact of Baby Swimming on Introductory and Elementary Swimming Training Aim: To assess the impact of 'baby swimming' on the successfulness in introductory and partly in elementary swimming training, and to find out whether also other circumstances (for example the length of attendance at 'baby swimming') have some influence on introductory swimming training. Methods: We used a questionnaire method for the parents of children who had attended 'baby swimming' and f...
DeVore, Seth; Marshman, Emily; Singh, Chandralekha
As research-based, self-paced electronic learning tools become increasingly available, a critical issue educators encounter is implementing strategies to ensure that all students engage with them as intended. Here, we first discuss the effectiveness of electronic learning tutorials as self-paced learning tools in large enrollment brick and mortar introductory physics courses and then propose a framework for helping students engage effectively with the learning tools. The tutorials were developed via research in physics education and were found to be effective for a diverse group of introductory physics students in one-on-one implementation. Instructors encouraged the use of these tools in a self-paced learning environment by telling students that they would be helpful for solving the assigned homework problems and that the underlying physics principles in the tutorial problems would be similar to those in the in-class quizzes (which we call paired problems). We find that many students in the courses in which these interactive electronic learning tutorials were assigned as a self-study tool performed poorly on the paired problems. In contrast, a majority of student volunteers in one-on-one implementation greatly benefited from the tutorials and performed well on the paired problems. The significantly lower overall performance on paired problems administered as an in-class quiz compared to the performance of student volunteers who used the research-based tutorials in one-on-one implementation suggests that many students enrolled in introductory physics courses did not effectively engage with the tutorials outside of class and may have only used them superficially. The findings suggest that many students in need of out-of-class remediation via self-paced learning tools may have difficulty motivating themselves and may lack the self-regulation and time-management skills to engage effectively with tools specially designed to help them learn at their own pace. We
Full Text Available As research-based, self-paced electronic learning tools become increasingly available, a critical issue educators encounter is implementing strategies to ensure that all students engage with them as intended. Here, we first discuss the effectiveness of electronic learning tutorials as self-paced learning tools in large enrollment brick and mortar introductory physics courses and then propose a framework for helping students engage effectively with the learning tools. The tutorials were developed via research in physics education and were found to be effective for a diverse group of introductory physics students in one-on-one implementation. Instructors encouraged the use of these tools in a self-paced learning environment by telling students that they would be helpful for solving the assigned homework problems and that the underlying physics principles in the tutorial problems would be similar to those in the in-class quizzes (which we call paired problems. We find that many students in the courses in which these interactive electronic learning tutorials were assigned as a self-study tool performed poorly on the paired problems. In contrast, a majority of student volunteers in one-on-one implementation greatly benefited from the tutorials and performed well on the paired problems. The significantly lower overall performance on paired problems administered as an in-class quiz compared to the performance of student volunteers who used the research-based tutorials in one-on-one implementation suggests that many students enrolled in introductory physics courses did not effectively engage with the tutorials outside of class and may have only used them superficially. The findings suggest that many students in need of out-of-class remediation via self-paced learning tools may have difficulty motivating themselves and may lack the self-regulation and time-management skills to engage effectively with tools specially designed to help them learn at their
Schen, Melissa S.
Scientific reasoning is a skill of critical importance to those students who seek to become professional scientists. Yet, there is little research on the development of such reasoning in science majors. In addition, scientific reasoning is often investigated as two separate entities: hypothetico-deductive reasoning and argumentation, even though these skills may be linked. With regard to argumentation, most investigations look at its use in discussing socioscientific issues, not in analyzing scientific data. As scientists often use the same argumentation skills to develop and support conclusions, this avenue needs to be investigated. This study seeks to address these issues and establish a baseline of both hypothetico-deductive reasoning and argumentation of scientific data of biology majors through their engagement in introductory biology coursework. This descriptive study investigated the development of undergraduates' scientific reasoning skills by assessing them multiple times throughout a two-quarter introductory biology course sequence for majors. Participants were assessed at the beginning of the first quarter, end of the first quarter, and end of the second quarter. A split-half version of the revised Lawson Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning (LCTSR) and a paper and pencil argumentation instrument developed for this study were utilized to assess student hypothetico-deductive reasoning and argumentation skills, respectively. To identify factors that may influence scientific reasoning development, demographic information regarding age, gender, science coursework completed, and future plans was collected. Evidence for course emphasis on scientific reasoning was found in lecture notes, assignments, and laboratory exercises. This study did not find any trends of improvement in the students' hypothetico-deductive reasoning or argumentation skills either during the first quarter or over both quarters. Specific difficulties in the control of variables and
An intelligent dialogue needs a basis, i.e. a common language, a joint interest in reaching agreements, and a consensus on common and mutually accepted targets. One tact is immediately evident, the basis o dialogue varied during the last decades. The sixties were characterized by a technical and objective formulation of questions: people wanted to understand nuclear power and its peaceful utilization. During the seventies this discussion was slowly replaced by a dialogue about the necessity and impacts of nuclear power: people wanted to understand the social role of nuclear issues. From that time on nuclear industry became the example by means of which the structure and the development of the national and the international society have been discussed. The beginning of the eighties showed a slight return to a balanced dialogue up to the shock of Chernobyl which pushed the social discussion to a new peak. 'New uncovering', most of them exaggerated and irrelevant, gave no chance to come back to an objective dialogue thus far. The nuclear community certainly notified this development. Public relations strategies tried to deal with the changing public interest from purely technical questions to those related to the human society and the standard of values. But apart from a certain time lag a severe handicap appeared: a common language was missing. Dialogue will only have a future chance (at least with a broad majority of people) if the pros and cons of nuclear power mutually agree upon a common and essential assumption underlining all different approaches: mankind has to improve the conditions of life on our limited globe in order to meet the threatening challenges of the future. How can one trigger this process towards a new confidence? The problem is two-fold. (1) The modified standard of values in our saturated industrialized countries leads to a low awareness for material precautions of life. Nevertheless, nuclear power is such a material precaution. Thus, one has
Bich Ha, Nguyen
Having grown rapidly during the last two decades, and successfully synthesized the achievements of physics, chemistry, life science as well as information and computational science and technology, nanoscience and nanotechnology have emerged as interdisciplinary fields of modern science and technology with various prospective applications towards environmental protection and the sustainable development of industry, agriculture, public health etc. At the present time, there exist many textbooks, monographs and encyclopedias on nanoscience and nanotechnology. They present to readers the whole process of development from the emergence of new scientific ideas to comprehensive studies of concrete subjects. They are useful for experienced scientists in nanoscience and nanotechnology as well as related scientific disciplines. However, there are very few textbooks on nanoscience and nanotechnology for beginners—senior undergraduate and junior graduate students. Published by Garland Science in August 2011, Introductory Nanoscience: Physical and Chemical Concepts by Masaru Kuno is one of these rare textbooks. The purpose of this book is twofold. In a pedagogical manner the author presents the basic physical and chemical concepts of nanoscience and nanotechnology. Students with a background knowledge in general chemistry and semiclassical quantum physics can easily understand these concepts. On the other hand, by carefully studying the content of this textbook, readers can learn how to derive a large number of formulae and expressions which they will often use in their study as well as in their future research work. A distinguishing feature of the book is the inclusion of a large number of thought problems at the end of each chapter for demonstrating how to calculate the numerical values of almost all physical quantities involved in the theoretical and experimental studies of all subjects of nanoscience and nanotechnology. The author has successfully achieved both of the
Harris, D J; Hammond, P
The Physical Basis of Electronics: An Introductory Course, Second Edition is an 11-chapter text that discusses the physical concepts of electronic devices. This edition deals with the considerable advances in electronic techniques, from the introduction of field effect transistors to the development of integrated circuits. The opening chapters discuss the fundamentals of vacuum electronics and solid-state electronics. The subsequent chapters deal with the other components of electronic devices and their functions, including semiconductor diode and transistor as an amplifier and a switch. The d
This report presents an introductory review of the potential effects of earthquakes on groundwater systems with respect to the performance of underground repositories for radioactive waste in Britain. An approach to modelling these effects within the scope of general environmental simulation codes is presented. The relevant literature is reviewed and it is concluded that, although pertinent information exists, no clear relationship between seismic intensity and the degree of fracturing has been established. Recommendations are made for further work on fracture development to complement existing research into the effects of long-term changes on the integrity of radioactive waste disposal facilities. (author)
Jessica S. Ancker
Full Text Available Introductory statistical concepts are some of the most challenging to convey in quantitative literacy courses. Analogies supplemented by visual illustrations can be highly effective teaching tools. This literature review shows that to exploit the power of analogies, teachers must select analogies familiar to the audience, explicitly link the analog with the target concept, and avert misconceptions by explaining where the analogy fails. We provide guidance for instructors and a series of visual analogies for use in teaching medical and health statistics.
Dake, L. S.
Several years ago I had to select a new textbook for my calculus-based introductory physics class. I subscribe to Just-in-Time Teaching methods, which require students to read the book before the material is covered in class. Thus, the readability of the text by the students is critical. However, I did not feel that I was the best judge of this factor, so I turned the textbook selection into a class project. The students unanimously chose one textbook, which I have now successfully used for three years. The project was decidedly worthwhile, and I gained considerable insight into what students prefer in a textbook.
Amos, Nathaniel R.
This dissertation presents a series of studies pertaining to introductory physics students' abilities to derive physical meaning from symbolic integrals (e.g., the integral of vdt) and their components, namely differentials and differential products (e.g., dt and vdt, respectively). Our studies focus on physical meaning in the form of interpretations (e.g., "the total displacement of an object") and units (e.g., "meters"). Our first pair of studies independently attempted to identify introductory-level mechanics students' common conceptual difficulties with and unproductive interpretations of physics integrals and their components, as well as to estimate the frequencies of these difficulties. Our results confirmed some previously-observed incorrect interpretations, such as the notion that differentials are physically meaningless; however, we also uncovered two new conceptualizations of differentials, the "rate" (differentials are "rates" or "derivatives") and "instantaneous value" (differentials are values of physical variables "at an instant") interpretations, which were exhibited by more than half of our participants at least once. Our next study used linear regression analysis to estimate the strengths of the inter-connections between the abilities to derive physical meaning from each of differentials, differential products, and integrals in both first- and second-semester, calculus-based introductory physics. As part of this study, we also developed a highly reliable, multiple choice assessment designed to measure students' abilities to connect symbolic differentials, differential products, and integrals with their physical interpretations and units. Findings from this study were consistent with statistical mediation via differential products. In particular, students' abilities to extract physical meaning from differentials were seen to be strongly related to their abilities to derive physical meaning from differential products, and similarly differential
Full Text Available The aim of this article is to support a positive campaign against gender violence, or violence against women, by offering an introductory account of its symbolism. First, I set out the case for taking gender and masculinity to be the keys to understanding the symbolism of violence in the conetxt of gender relations. I then use that analysis to bring into focus those cases of violence which are otherwise hidden or unrecognised. Lastly, I offer suggestions as to how the debate may be continued.
Kost-Smith, Lauren Elizabeth
The underrepresentation and underperformance 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 in these courses is critical for future study and careers in physics (and other sciences). Using data gathered from roughly 10,000 undergraduate students, we identify and model gender differences in the introductory physics courses in three areas: student performance, retention, and psychological factors. We observe gender differences on several measures in the introductory physics courses: females are less likely to take a high school physics course than males and have lower standardized mathematics test scores; males outscore females on both pre- and post-course conceptual physics surveys and in-class exams; and males have more expert-like attitudes and beliefs about physics than females. These background differences of males and females account for 60% to 70% of the gender gap that we observe on a post-course survey of conceptual physics understanding. In analyzing underlying psychological factors of learning, we find that female students report lower self-confidence related to succeeding in the introductory courses (self-efficacy) and are less likely to report seeing themselves as a "physics person". Students' self-efficacy beliefs are significant predictors of their performance, even when measures of physics and mathematics background are controlled, and account for an additional 10% of the gender gap. Informed by results from these studies, we implemented and tested a psychological, self-affirmation intervention aimed at enhancing female students' performance in Physics 1. Self-affirmation reduced the gender gap in performance on both in-class exams and the post-course conceptual physics survey. Further, the benefit of the self
Bowler, D. R.; Fattebert, J.-L.; Gillan, M. J.; Haynes, P. D.; Skylaris, C.-K.
It has been just over twenty years since the publication of the seminal paper on molecular dynamics with ab initio methods by Car and Parrinello , and the contribution of density functional theory (DFT) and the related techniques to physics, chemistry, materials science, earth science and biochemistry has been huge. Nevertheless, significant improvements are still being made to the performance of these standard techniques; recent work suggests that speed improvements of one or even two orders of magnitude are possible . One of the areas where major progress has long been expected is in O(N), or linear scaling, DFT, in which the computer effort is proportional to the number of atoms. Linear scaling DFT methods have been in development for over ten years  but we are now in an exciting period where more and more research groups are working on these methods. Naturally there is a strong and continuing effort to improve the efficiency of the methods and to make them more robust. But there is also a growing ambition to apply them to challenging real-life problems. This special issue contains papers submitted following the CECAM Workshop 'Linear-scaling ab initio calculations: applications and future directions', held in Lyon from 3-6 September 2007. A noteworthy feature of the workshop is that it included a significant number of presentations involving real applications of O(N) methods, as well as work to extend O(N) methods into areas of greater accuracy (correlated wavefunction methods, quantum Monte Carlo, TDDFT) and large scale computer architectures. As well as explicitly linear scaling methods, the conference included presentations on techniques designed to accelerate and improve the efficiency of standard (that is non-linear-scaling) methods; this highlights the important question of crossover—that is, at what size of system does it become more efficient to use a linear-scaling method? As well as fundamental algorithmic questions, this brings up
Ellis, Mark C.; McCoy, Clair W.
Measures the effects of cognitive-style field dependence/field independence on students' ability to discern form in music. Applies tests to 119 nonmusic majors enrolled in an introductory music course. Finds field-independent subjects scored significantly higher than field-dependent subjects. Identifies variables affecting learning for both…
Gaze, Catherine M.
The present study investigates the frequency and confidence with which college students endorse popular psychological myths, contrasting introductory psychology students (at the beginning and end of the course) with upper-level psychology majors and students who have never taken Introduction to Psychology. This study builds on the existing…
Cundiff, Jessica L.; Vescio, Theresa K.; Loken, Eric; Lo, Lawrence
The present research examined whether gender-science stereotypes were associated with science identification and, in turn, science career aspirations among women and men undergraduate science majors. More than 1,700 students enrolled in introductory science courses completed measures of gender-science stereotypes (implicit associations and…
Cornerstone courses bridge introductory content from lower-level survey courses with the more advanced theoretical and methodological content of upper-level, major-only courses. Cornerstones are implemented with the goal of better preparing students for advanced coursework and/or assisting them with understanding their major and its associated…
Ivanjek, L.; Shaffer, P. S.; McDermott, L. C.; Planinic, M.; Veza, D.
This is the second of two closely related articles (Paper I and Paper II) that together illustrate how research in physics education has helped guide the design of instruction that has proved effective in improving student understanding of atomic spectroscopy. Most of the more than 1000 students who participated in this four-year investigation were science majors enrolled in the introductory calculus-based physics course at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle, WA, USA. The others included graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants at UW and physics majors in introductory and advanced physics courses at the University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia. About half of the latter group were preservice high school physics teachers. Paper I describes how several conceptual and reasoning difficulties were identified among university students as they tried to relate a discrete line spectrum to the energy levels of atoms in a light source. This second article (Paper II) illustrates how findings from this research informed the development of a tutorial that led to improvement in student understanding of atomic emission spectra.
Marshman, Emily; Sayer, Ryan; Henderson, Charles; Singh, Chandralekha
At large research universities, physics graduate teaching assistants (TAs) are often responsible for grading in courses at all levels. However, few studies have focused on TAs' grading practices in introductory and advanced physics courses. This study was designed to investigate whether physics graduate TAs grade students in introductory physics…
Hopper, K. Megan; Huxford, John
This study explores how introductory news writing textbooks address issues surrounding emotional labor and its consequences, both for journalists and for those they interview. Eighteen of the highest-selling introductory news-writing textbooks were selected for qualitative analysis. Results showed the term and concept of emotional labor--the…
Logtenberg, Albert; van Boxtel, Carla; van Hout-Wolters, Bernadette
This study investigates questions students ask related to an introductory text about a new topic in the history classroom. The effects of a narrative, problematizing, and expository introductory text on the situational interest of students and the number and type of student-generated questions, are compared. Participants are 174 students in higher…
Momsen, Jennifer L.; Long, Tammy M.; Wyse, Sara A.; Ebert-May, Diane
Introductory biology courses are widely criticized for overemphasizing details and rote memorization of facts. Data to support such claims, however, are surprisingly scarce. We sought to determine whether this claim was evidence-based. To do so we quantified the cognitive level of learning targeted by faculty in introductory-level biology courses.…
Srougi, Melissa C.; Miller, Heather B.
Math skills vary greatly among students enrolled in introductory chemistry courses. Students with weak math skills (algebra and below) tend to perform poorly in introductory chemistry courses, which is correlated with increased attrition rates. Previous research has shown that retention of main ideas in a peer learning environment is greater when…
Moss, Elizabeth; Cervato, Cinzia
As part of a campus-wide effort to transform introductory science courses to be more engaging and more accurately convey the excitement of discovery in science, the curriculum of an introductory physical geology lab course was redesigned. What had been a series of ''cookbook'' lab activities was transformed into a sequence of activities based on…
Kizilcik, Hasan Sahin; Yavas, Pervin Ünlü
The aim of this study is to identify the opinions of pre-service physics teachers about the difficulties in introductory quantum physics topics. In this study conducted with twenty-five pre-service physics teachers, the case study method was used. The participants were interviewed about introductory quantum physics topics. The interviews were…
Rajpaul, Vinesh; Allie, Saalih; Blyth, Sarah-Louise
We report on research carried out to improve teaching and student engagement in the introductory astronomy course at the University of Cape Town. This course is taken by a diverse range of students, including many from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. We describe the development of an instrument, the Introductory Astronomy Questionnaire…
Buskit, William; Cush, David T.
Examines aspects of the introductory psychology textbook market through a publishing house survey. Aspects covered are the current and future number of introductory texts, fewer textbook publishers, custom publishing, changing content, and computer technologies. Discusses the results of the publishers' responses and provides statistical tables of…
Scott, Amy N.; McNair, Delores E.; Lucas, Jonathan C.; Land, Kirkwood M.
Introductory science, math, and engineering courses often have problems related to student engagement, achievement, and course completion. To begin examining these issues in greater depth, this pilot study compared student engagement, achievement, and course completion in a small and large section of an introductory biology class. Results based on…
Christensen, Jolene; Warnick, Brian K.; Spielmaker, Debra; Tarpley, Rudy S.; Straquadine, Gary S.
This study identified and prioritized the agricultural in-service needs of introductory level career and technical education teachers in Utah. The Utah State Board of Education requires that all seventh grade students complete an introductory career and technical education course as their first formal career exploration experience. One component…
Amstelveen, Raoul H.
The purpose of this study was to design and implement a Classroom Response System, also known as a "clicker," to increase attendance in introductory statistics courses at an undergraduate university. Since 2010, non-attendance had been prevalent in introductory statistics courses. Moreover, non-attendance created undesirable classrooms…
Hldreth, Laura A.; Robison-Cox, Jim; Schmidt, Jade
This study examines the transferability of results from previous studies of simulation-based curriculum in introductory statistics using data from 3,500 students enrolled in an introductory statistics course at Montana State University from fall 2013 through spring 2016. During this time, four different curricula, a traditional curriculum and…
Chen, Qihui; Okediji, Tade O.
In this article, the authors illustrate how incentives can improve student performance in introductory economics courses. They implemented a policy experiment in a large introductory economics class in which they reminded students who scored below an announced cutoff score on the midterm exam about the risk of failing the course. The authors…
Beaudin, Laura; Berdiev, Aziz N.; Kaminaga, Allison Shwachman; Mirmirani, Sam; Tebaldi, Edinaldo
The authors describe a unique approach to enhancing student learning at the introductory economics level that utilizes a multi-section, team-based competition. The competition is structured to supplement learning throughout the entire introductory course. Student teams are presented with current economic issues, trends, or events, and use economic…
This article examines whether first-year students in introductory economics courses get better grades if they have other students in their on-campus residential unit who either are taking the same course or have taken the course in the past. The study uses nine years of data for the introductory economics course at Reed College. The author finds…
Engleberg, Isa N.; Ward, Susan M.; Disbrow, Lynn M.; Katt, James A.; Myers, Scott A.; O'Keefe, Patricia
In most academic disciplines, there is "one" introductory course that presents an overview of the discipline and introduces fundamental, discipline-specific principles and competencies. However, in Communication Studies, the discipline recognizes and offers multiple course options that may serve as the introductory course. This project…
Students in introductory programming classes often articulate their questions and information needs incompletely. Consequently, the automatic classification of student questions to provide automated tutorial responses is a challenging problem. This dissertation analyzes 411 questions from an introductory Java programming course by reducing the…
Whaley, Arthur L.; Clay, William A. L.; Broussard, Dominique
The present study describes a culturally relevant approach to introductory psychology textbook selection for students attending a historically Black college/university (HBCU). The following multistage procedure was used: (1) a survey of HBCU psychology departments was conducted to ascertain how they selected their introductory psychology…
Nikula, Uolevi; Sajaniemi, Jorma; Tedre, Matti; Wray, Stuart
Students often find that learning to program is hard. Introductory programming courses have high drop-out rates and students do not learn to program well. This paper presents experiences from three educational institutions where introductory programming courses were improved by adopting Python as the first programming language and roles of…
Teodorescu, Raluca E.; Bennhold, Cornelius; Feldman, Gerald; Medsker, Larry
This paper describes research on a classification of physics problems in the context of introductory physics courses. This classification, called the Taxonomy of Introductory Physics Problems (TIPP), relates physics problems to the cognitive processes required to solve them. TIPP was created in order to design educational objectives, to develop…
Traxler, Adrienne; Brewe, Eric
We report on seven years of attitudinal data using the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey from University Modeling Instruction (UMI) sections of introductory physics at Florida International University. University Modeling Instruction is a curricular and pedagogical transformation of introductory university physics that engages students in building and testing conceptual models in an integrated lab and lecture learning environment. This work expands upon previous studies that reported consistently positive attitude shifts in UMI courses; here, we disaggregate the data by gender and ethnicity to look for any disparities in the pattern of favorable shifts. We find that women and students from statistically underrepresented ethnic groups have gains that are comparable to those of men and students from well-represented ethnic groups on this attitudinal measure, and that this result holds even when interaction effects of gender and ethnicity are included. We conclude with suggestions for future work in UMI courses and for attitudinal equity investigations generally. We encourage researchers to expand their scope beyond simple performance gaps when considering equity concerns, and to avoid relying on a single measure to evaluate student success. Finally, we conjecture that students' social and academic networks are one means by which attitudinal and efficacy beliefs about the course are propagated.
Huberth, Madeline; Chen, Patricia; Tritz, Jared; McKay, Timothy A.
Large introductory courses are at a disadvantage in providing personalized guidance and advice for students during the semester. We introduce E2Coach (an Expert Electronic Coaching system), which allows instructors to personalize their communication with thousands of students. We describe the E2Coach system, the nature of the personalized support it provides, and the features of the students who did (and did not) opt-in to using it during the first three terms of its use in four introductory physics courses at the University of Michigan. Defining a ‘better-than-expected’ measure of performance, we compare outcomes for students who used E2Coach to those who did not. We found that moderate and high E2Coach usage was associated with improved performance. This performance boost was prominent among high users, who improved by 0.18 letter grades on average when compared to nonusers with similar incoming GPAs. This improvement in performance was comparable across both genders. E2Coach represents one way to use technology to personalize education at scale, contributing to the move towards individualized learning that is becoming more attainable in the 21st century. PMID:26352403
Barsoum, Mark J.; Sellers, Patrick J.; Campbell, A. Malcolm; Heyer, Laurie J.; Paradise, Christopher J.
We redesigned the undergraduate introductory biology course by writing a new textbook (Integrating Concepts in Biology [ICB]) that follows first principles of learning. Our approach emphasizes primary data interpretation and the utility of mathematics in biology, while de-emphasizing memorization. This redesign divides biology into five big ideas (information, evolution, cells, emergent properties, homeostasis), addressing each at five levels of organization (molecules, cells, organisms, populations, ecological systems). We compared our course outcomes with two sections that used a traditional textbook and were taught by different instructors. On data interpretation assessments administered periodically during the semester, our students performed better than students in the traditional sections (p = 0.046) and exhibited greater improvement over the course of the semester (p = 0.015). On factual content assessments, our students performed similarly to students in the other sections (p = 0.737). Pre- and postsemester assessment of disciplinary perceptions and self-appraisal indicate that our students acquired a more accurate perception of biology as a discipline and may have developed a more realistic evaluation of their scientific abilities than did the control students (p < 0.05). We conclude that ICB improves critical thinking, metacognition, and disciplinary perceptions without compromising content knowledge in introductory biology. PMID:23463233
Full Text Available We report on seven years of attitudinal data using the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey from University Modeling Instruction (UMI sections of introductory physics at Florida International University. University Modeling Instruction is a curricular and pedagogical transformation of introductory university physics that engages students in building and testing conceptual models in an integrated lab and lecture learning environment. This work expands upon previous studies that reported consistently positive attitude shifts in UMI courses; here, we disaggregate the data by gender and ethnicity to look for any disparities in the pattern of favorable shifts. We find that women and students from statistically underrepresented ethnic groups have gains that are comparable to those of men and students from well-represented ethnic groups on this attitudinal measure, and that this result holds even when interaction effects of gender and ethnicity are included. We conclude with suggestions for future work in UMI courses and for attitudinal equity investigations generally. We encourage researchers to expand their scope beyond simple performance gaps when considering equity concerns, and to avoid relying on a single measure to evaluate student success. Finally, we conjecture that students’ social and academic networks are one means by which attitudinal and efficacy beliefs about the course are propagated.
Huberth, Madeline; Chen, Patricia; Tritz, Jared; McKay, Timothy A
Large introductory courses are at a disadvantage in providing personalized guidance and advice for students during the semester. We introduce E2Coach (an Expert Electronic Coaching system), which allows instructors to personalize their communication with thousands of students. We describe the E2Coach system, the nature of the personalized support it provides, and the features of the students who did (and did not) opt-in to using it during the first three terms of its use in four introductory physics courses at the University of Michigan. Defining a 'better-than-expected' measure of performance, we compare outcomes for students who used E2Coach to those who did not. We found that moderate and high E2Coach usage was associated with improved performance. This performance boost was prominent among high users, who improved by 0.18 letter grades on average when compared to nonusers with similar incoming GPAs. This improvement in performance was comparable across both genders. E2Coach represents one way to use technology to personalize education at scale, contributing to the move towards individualized learning that is becoming more attainable in the 21st century.
Armbruster, Peter; Patel, Maya; Johnson, Erika; Weiss, Martha
We describe the development and implementation of an instructional design that focused on bringing multiple forms of active learning and student-centered pedagogies to a one-semester, undergraduate introductory biology course for both majors and nonmajors. Our course redesign consisted of three major elements: 1) reordering the presentation of the course content in an attempt to teach specific content within the context of broad conceptual themes, 2) incorporating active and problem-based learning into every lecture, and 3) adopting strategies to create a more student-centered learning environment. Assessment of our instructional design consisted of a student survey and comparison of final exam performance across 3 years-1 year before our course redesign was implemented (2006) and during two successive years of implementation (2007 and 2008). The course restructuring led to significant improvement of self-reported student engagement and satisfaction and increased academic performance. We discuss the successes and ongoing challenges of our course restructuring and consider issues relevant to institutional change.
Zwolak, Justyna P.; Dou, Remy; Williams, Eric A.; Brewe, Eric
Increasing student retention (successfully finishing a particular course) and persistence (continuing through a sequence of courses or the major area of study) is currently a major challenge for universities. While students' academic and social integration into an institution seems to be vital for student retention, research into the effect of interpersonal interactions is rare. We use network analysis as an approach to investigate academic and social experiences of students in the classroom. In particular, centrality measures identify patterns of interaction that contribute to integration into the university. Using these measures, we analyze how position within a social network in a Modeling Instruction (MI) course—an introductory physics course that strongly emphasizes interactive learning—predicts their persistence in taking a subsequent physics course. Students with higher centrality at the end of the first semester of MI are more likely to enroll in a second semester of MI. Moreover, we found that chances of successfully predicting individual student's persistence based on centrality measures are fairly high—up to 75%, making the centrality a good predictor of persistence. These findings suggest that increasing student social integration may help in improving persistence in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.
Walsh, E. O.; Davis, E.
Geology can be a hard sell to college students, especially to college students attending small, liberal arts institutions in localities that lack exaggerated topography. At these schools, Geology departments that wish to grow must work diligently to attract students to the major; professors must be able to convince a wider audience of students that geology is relevant to their everyday lives. Toward this end, a Physical Geology course was linked with an introductory Sociology course through the common theme of Consumption. The same students took the two courses in sequence, beginning with the Sociology course and ending with Physical Geology; thus, students began by discussing the role of consumption in society and ended by learning about the geological processes and implications of consumption. Students were able to ascertain the importance of geology in their daily lives by connecting Earth processes to specific products they consume, such as cell phones and bottled water. Students were also able to see the connection between seemingly disparate fields of study, which is a major goal of the liberal arts. As a theme, Consumption worked well to grab the attention of students interested in diverse issues, such as environmental science or social justice. A one-hour lecture illustrating the link between sociology and geology was developed for presentation to incoming freshmen and their parents to advertise the course. Initial response has been positive, showing an increase in awareness of geological processes among students with a wide range of interests.
Lee, Albert H.
Many educators understand that lectures are cost effective but not learning efficient, so continue to search for ways to increase active student participation in this traditionally passive learning environment. In-class polling systems, or "clickers", are inexpensive and reliable tools allowing students to actively participate in lectures by answering multiple-choice questions. Students assess their learning in real time by observing instant polling summaries displayed in front of them. This in turn motivates additional discussions which increase the opportunity for active learning. We wanted to develop a comprehensive clicker methodology that creates an active lecture environment for a broad spectrum of students taking introductory physics courses. We wanted our methodology to incorporate many findings of contemporary learning science. It is recognized that learning requires active construction; students need to be actively involved in their own learning process. Learning also depends on preexisting knowledge; students construct new knowledge and understandings based on what they already know and believe. Learning is context dependent; students who have learned to apply a concept in one context may not be able to recognize and apply the same concept in a different context, even when both contexts are considered to be isomorphic by experts. On this basis, we developed question sequences, each involving the same concept but having different contexts. Answer choices are designed to address students preexisting knowledge. These sequences are used with the clickers to promote active discussions and multiple assessments. We have created, validated, and evaluated sequences sufficient in number to populate all of introductory physics courses. Our research has found that using clickers with our question sequences significantly improved student conceptual understanding. Our research has also found how to best measure student conceptual gain using research-based instruments
Laine, E. P.; Field, C.
The Campus Compact for New Hampshire (Gordon, 2003) introduced a practical model for designing service-learning exercises or components for new or existing courses. They divided the design and implementation process into eight concrete areas, the “8-Block Model”. Their goal was to demystify the design process of service learning courses by breaking it down into interconnected components. These components include: project design, community partner relations, the problem statement, building community in the classroom, building student capacity, project management, assessment of learning, and reflection and connections. The project design component of the “8-Block Model” asks that the service performed be consistent with the learning goals of the course. For science courses students carry out their work as a way of learning science and the process of science, not solely for the sake of service. Their work supports the goals of a community partner and the community partner poses research problems for the class in a letter on their letterhead. Linking student work to important problems in the community effectively engages students and encourages them to work at more sophisticated levels than usually seen in introductory science classes. Using team-building techniques, the classroom becomes a safe, secure learning environment that encourages sharing and experimentation. Targeted lectures, labs, and demonstrations build the capacity of students to do their research. Behind the scenes project management ensures student success. Learning is assessed using a variety of tools, including graded classroom presentations, poster sessions, and presentations and reports to community partners. Finally, students reflect upon their work and make connections between their research and its importance to the well being of the community. Over the past 10 years, we have used this approach to design and continually modify an introductory oceanography course for majors and non-majors
This book introduces readers to fundamental concepts in fuzzy logic. It describes the necessary theoretical background and a number of basic mathematical models. Moreover, it makes them familiar with fuzzy control, an important topic in the engineering field. The book offers an unconventional introductory textbook on fuzzy logic, presenting theory together with examples and not always following the typical mathematical style of theorem-corollaries. Primarily intended to support engineers during their university studies, and to spark their curiosity about fuzzy logic and its applications, the book is also suitable for self-study, providing a valuable resource for engineers and professionals who deal with imprecision and non-random uncertainty in real-world applications.
Cody, Jason A.; Wiser, Dawn C.
A four-exercise laboratory sequence for introductory chemistry integrating hands-on, student-centered experience with computer modeling has been designed and implemented. The progression builds from exploration of molecular shapes to intermolecular forces and the impact of those forces on chemical separations made with gas chromatography and distillation. The sequence ends with an exploration of molecular orbitals. The students use the computers as a tool; they build the molecules, submit the calculations, and interpret the results. Because of the construction of the sequence and its placement spanning the semester break, good laboratory notebook practices are reinforced and the continuity of course content and methods between semesters is emphasized. The inclusion of these techniques in the first year of chemistry has had a positive impact on student perceptions and student learning.
Durelle, Jeremy; Jones, Jennifer; Merriman, Steven; Balan, Aurelian
Light sensor probes are useful in experiments that investigate seasonal variations and the nature of light. However, having a dedicated light probe is not always possible or even convenient for many instructors. Modern smartphone technology gives instructors the ability to use built-in light sensors as an inexpensive alternative. This introductory experiment will have students use a smartphone loaded with a light detection app to quantitatively determine how changing latitude on Earth changes flux received. The purpose is to have students discover how the different seasons arise from the Earth-Sun system. While performing the experiment and analyzing the data, students will also discover the following important and relevant physical relationships: distance from light source and light brightness (flux), latitude and flux, and Earth's orientation and location (latitude) of maximum flux. By piecing all of these relationships together, students are able to explain the origins of the different seasons based on the data they collected.
Grennell, Drew; Boudreaux, Andrew
In the Western Washington University physics department, a project is underway to develop research-based laboratory curriculum for the introductory calculus-based course. Instructional goals not only include supporting students' conceptual understanding and reasoning ability, but also providing students with opportunities to engage in metacognition. For the latter, our approach has been to scaffold reflective thinking with guided questions. Specific instructional strategies include analysis of alternate reasoning presented in fictitious dialogues and comparison of students' initial ideas with their lab group's final, consensus understanding. Assessment of student metacognition includes pre- and post- course data from selected questions on the CLASS survey, analysis of written lab worksheets, and student opinion surveys. CLASS results are similar to a traditional physics course and analysis of lab sheets show that students struggle to engage in a metacognitive process. Future directions include video studies, as well as use of additional written assessments adapted from educational psychology.
Bergin, Susan; Reilly, Ronan
A model for predicting student performance on introductory programming modules is presented. The model uses attributes identified in a study carried out at four third-level institutions in the Republic of Ireland. Four instruments were used to collect the data and over 25 attributes were examined. A data reduction technique was applied and a logistic regression model using 10-fold stratified cross validation was developed. The model used three attributes: Leaving Certificate Mathematics result (final mathematics examination at second level), number of hours playing computer games while taking the module and programming self-esteem. Prediction success was significant with 80% of students correctly classified. The model also works well on a per-institution level. A discussion on the implications of the model is provided and future work is outlined.
Ramón S. Barthelemy
Full Text Available Understanding course climate is important for improving students’ experiences and increasing the likelihood of their persistence in STEM fields. This study presents climate survey results from 523 students taking introductory biology at the University of Michigan. Principal component analysis revealed that a student’s climate experience is comprised of five main elements: comfort, school avoidance, relationship to course, academic stress, and discomfort. Of these climate factors, comfort, school avoidance, and relationship to course were significant predictors of course satisfaction, and academic stress was a significant predictor of persistence. The results indicated the importance of a positive climate that is facilitated by the instructor in order to promote a positive student experience. Climate may be an important metric for institutions to track across time and course.
Starr, Julian; Sobczak, Robert; Iqbal, Zohaib; Ochoa, Romulo
The Wii, a video game console by Nintendo, utilizes several different controllers, such as the Wii remote (Wiimote) and the balance board, for game-playing. The balance board was introduced in early 2008. It contains four strain gauges and has Bluetooth connectivity at a relatively low price. Thanks to available open source code, such as GlovePie, any PC with Bluetooth capability can detect the information sent out by the balance board. Based on the ease with which the forces measured by each strain gauge can be obtained, we have designed several experiments for introductory physics courses that make use of this device. We present experiments to measure the forces generated when students lift their arms with and without added weights, distribution of forces on an extended object when weights are repositioned, and other normal forces cases. The results of our experiments are compared with those predicted by Newtonian mechanics. )
Matsui, Yoshio; Asakawa, Naoki; Iwamori, Satoru
An introductory program “Exercise for engineers in mechanical disassembly” is an exercise that ten students of every team disassemble a motor scooter to the components and then assemble again to the initial form in 15 weeks. The purpose of this program is to introduce mechanical engineering by touching the real machine and learning how it is composed from various mechanical parts to the students at the early period after the entrance into the university. Additional short lectures by young teachers and a special lecture by a top engineer in the industry encourage the students to combine the actual machine and the mechanical engineering subjects. Furthermore, various educations such as group leader system, hazard prediction training, parts filing are included in this program. As a result, students recognize the importance of the mechanical engineering study and the way of group working.
Coletta, Vincent; Wikholm, Colin; Pascoe, Daniel
Most physics instructors believe that adequate sleep is important in order for students to perform well on problem solving, and many instructors advise students to get plenty of sleep the night before an exam. After years of giving such advice to students at Loyola Marymount University (LMU), one of us decided to find out how many hours students actually do sleep the night before an exam, and how that would relate to their performance. The effect of inadequate sleep on exam performance was explored in a second-semester introductory physics course. At the end of the final exam, students reported the number of hours they slept the night before. Sleep deprivation corresponded to lower final exam scores. The main purpose of this study is to provide evidence that instructors can provide to their students to convince them that their time is better spent sleeping rather than studying all night before an exam.
Alexandre Fagundes Faria
Full Text Available In Science Education, notably in Physics Teaching, there are research based instructional strategies that are renown by their potential to promote conceptual development. It is likely that many of these strategies lead to more elaborate learning; promoting, for instance, scientific thinking development. Scientific thinking might be construed as the sum of domain-specific knowledge and domain-general strategies. Here is reported an investigation of domain-general strategies used by students on tasks proposed in a Newtonian Dynamics activity inspired by “Tutorials in Introductory Physics”. Nineteen volunteers, aged 15-17, participated; all were students in electronics or computer science from a Brazilian vocational high school. The school activities proposed to the students have been regularly used in the Physics course for seven years. Therefore, there was no special interventions prepared with research purposes. Data collection involved audio and video recordings of students’ teamwork; field notes; and photographs of student’s notebooks and of posters teams presented in classes. Data analysis was based on categorization of domain-general strategies used by students. We found that students used four domain-general strategies on the proposed tasks: evidence-based reasoning, assessment of the reasoning line, reason based on operational definition and hypothetic-deductive reasoning. These findings suggest that activities inspired by the “Tutorials in Introductory Physics” favor the learning of scientific concepts plus further – and yet more elaborate – learning. These results place a demand on the field of Science Education to refine the strategies of data collection and data analysis as a way to identify the use of other domain-general strategies by students in similar contexts, as well as the expansion of research to other schools contexts.
Milner-Bolotin, Marina M.; Kotlicki, A.; Rieger, G.; Bates, F.; Moll, R.; McPhee, K.; Nashon, S.
We describe Interactive Lecture Experiments (ILE), which build on Interactive Lecture Demonstrations proposed by Sokoloff and Thornton (2004) and extends it by providing students with the opportunity to analyze experiments demonstrated in the lecture outside of the classroom. Real time experimental data is collected, using Logger Pro combined with the digital video technology. This data is uploaded to the Internet and made available to the students for further analysis. Student learning is assessed in the following lecture using conceptual questions (clickers). The goal of this project is to use ILE to make large lectures more interactive and promote student interest in science, critical thinking and data analysis skills. We report on the systematic study conducted using the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey, Force Concept Inventory, open-ended physics problems and focus group interviews to determine the impact of ILE on student academic achievement, motivation and attitudes towards physics. Three sections of students (750 students) experienced four ILE experiments. The surveys were administered twice and academic results for students who experienced the ILE for a particular topic were compared to the students, from a different section, who did not complete the ILE for that topic. Additional qualitative data on students’ attitudes was collected using open ended survey questions and interviews. We will present preliminary conclusions about the role of ILEs as an effective pedagogy in large introductory physics courses. Sokoloff, D.R. and R.K. Thornton (2004). Interactive Lecture Demonstrations: Active Learning in Introductory Physics, J.Wiley & Sons, INC. Interactive Lecture Experiments: http://www.physics.ubc.ca/ year1lab/p100/LectureLabs/lectureLabs.html
Shiau, Stephanie; Kahn, Linda G; Platt, Jonathan; Li, Chihua; Guzman, Jason T; Kornhauser, Zachary G; Keyes, Katherine M; Martins, Silvia S
Although the flipped classroom model has been widely adopted in medical education, reports on its use in graduate-level public health programs are limited. This study describes the design, implementation, and evaluation of a flipped classroom redesign of an introductory epidemiology course and compares it to a traditional model. One hundred fifty Masters-level students enrolled in an introductory epidemiology course with a traditional format (in-person lecture and discussion section, at-home assignment; 2015, N = 72) and a flipped classroom format (at-home lecture, in-person discussion section and assignment; 2016, N = 78). Using mixed methods, we compared student characteristics, examination scores, and end-of-course evaluations of the 2016 flipped classroom format and the 2015 traditional format. Data on the flipped classroom format, including pre- and post-course surveys, open-ended questions, self-reports of section leader teaching practices, and classroom observations, were evaluated. There were no statistically significant differences in examination scores or students' assessment of the course between 2015 (traditional) and 2016 (flipped). In 2016, 57.1% (36) of respondents to the end-of-course evaluation found watching video lectures at home to have a positive impact on their time management. Open-ended survey responses indicated a number of strengths of the flipped classroom approach, including the freedom to watch pre-recorded lectures at any time and the ability of section leaders to clarify targeted concepts. Suggestions for improvement focused on ways to increase regular interaction with lecturers. There was no significant difference in students' performance on quantitative assessments comparing the traditional format to the flipped classroom format. The flipped format did allow for greater flexibility and applied learning opportunities at home and during discussion sections.
Gordon, E. S.
Fitchburg State University has a diverse student population comprised largely of students traditionally underrepresented in higher education, including first-generation, low-income, and/or students with disabilities. Approximately half of our incoming students require developmental math coursework, but often enroll in science classes prior to completing those courses. Since our introductory geoscience courses (Oceanography, Meteorology, Geology, Earth Systems Science) do not have prerequisites, many students who take them lack basic math skills, but are taking these courses alongside science majors. In order to provide supplemental math instruction without sacrificing time for content, "The Math You Need, When You Need It (TMYN), a set of online math tutorials placed in a geoscience context, will be implemented in three of our introductory courses (Oceanography, Meteorology, and Earth Systems Science) during Fall, 2011. Students will complete 5-6 modules asynchronously, the topics of which include graphing skills, calculating rates, unit conversions, and rearranging equations. Assessment of quantitative skills will be tracked with students' pre- and post-test results, as well as individual module quiz scores. In addition, student assessment results from Oceanography will be compared to student data from Academic Year 2010-11, during which quantitative skills were evaluated with pre- and post-test questions, but students did not receive online supplemental instruction.
Full Text Available In our pilot studies, we found that many introductory physics textbook illustrations with supporting text for sound standing waves of air columns in open-open, open-closed, and closed-closed pipes inhibit student understanding of sound standing wave phenomena due to student misunderstanding of how air molecules move within these pipes. Based on the construct of meaningful learning from cognitive psychology and semiotics, a quasiexperimental study was conducted to investigate the comparative effectiveness of two alternative approaches to student understanding: a traditional textbook illustration approach versus a newly designed air molecule motion illustration approach. Thirty volunteer students from introductory physics classes were randomly assigned to two groups of 15 each. Both groups were administered a presurvey. Then, group A read the air molecule motion illustration handout, and group B read a traditional textbook illustration handout; both groups were administered postsurveys. Subsequently, the procedure was reversed: group B read the air molecule motion illustration handout and group A read the traditional textbook illustration handout. This was followed by a second postsurvey along with an exit research questionnaire. The study found that the majority of students experienced meaningful learning and stated that they understood sound standing wave phenomena significantly better using the air molecule motion illustration approach. This finding provides a method for physics education researchers to design illustrations for abstract sound standing wave concepts, for publishers to improve their illustrations with supporting text, and for instructors to facilitate deeper learning in their students on sound standing waves.
Sarantopoulos, Helen D.
Purpose. The purpose of this study was to identify, according to the Productivity Environment Preference Survey (PEPS) instrument, which learning-style domains (environmental, emotional, sociological, and physiological) were favored among Latino/Hispanic community college students enrolled in introductory biology classes in a large, urban community college. An additional purpose of this study was to determine whether statistically significant differences existed between the learning-style preferences and the demographic variables of age, gender, number of prior science courses, second language learner status, and earlier exposure to scientific information. Methodology. The study design was descriptive and ex post facto. The sample consisted of a total of 332 Latino/Hispanic students enrolled in General Biology 3. Major findings. The study revealed that Latino/Hispanic students enrolled in introductory biology at a large urban community college scored higher for the learning preference element of structure. Students twenty-five years and older scored higher for the learning preference elements of light, design, persistence, responsibility, and morning time (p learning-style preferences were found between second English language learners and those who learned English as their primary language (p tactile (p learning-style model and instruments and on recent learning-style research articles on ethnically diverse groups of adult learners; and (2) Instructors should plan their instruction to incorporate the learning-style preferences of their students.
Full Text Available This study describes the implementation and effectiveness of small-group active engagement (GAE exercises in an introductory biology course (BSCI207 taught in a large auditorium setting. BSCI207 (Principles of Biology III—Organismal Biology is the third introductory core course for Biological Sciences majors. In fall 2014, the instructors redesigned one section to include GAE activities to supplement lecture content. One section (n = 198 employed three lectures per week. The other section (n = 136 replaced one lecture per week with a GAE class. We explored the benefits and challenges associated with implementing GAE exercises and their relative effectiveness for unique student groups (e.g., minority students, high- and low-grade point average [GPA] students. Our findings show that undergraduates in the GAE class exhibited greater improvement in learning outcomes than undergraduates in the traditional class. Findings also indicate that high-achieving students experienced the greatest benefit from GAE activities. Some at-risk student groups (e.g., two-year transfer students showed comparably low learning gains in the course, despite the additional support that may have been afforded by active learning. Collectively, these findings provide valuable feedback that may assist other instructors who wish to revise their courses and recommendations for institutions regarding prerequisite coursework approval policies.
Full Text Available Students� attitude, including perceived usefulness, is generally associated with academic success. The related research in statistics education has focused almost exclusively on the role of attitude in explaining and predicting academic learning outcomes, hence there is a paucity of research evidence on how attitude (particularly perceived usefulness impacts students� intentions to use and stay engaged in statistics beyond the introductory course. This study explored the relationship between college students� perception of the usefulness of an introductory statistics course, their beliefs about where statistics will be most useful, and their intentions to take another statistics course. A cross-sectional study of 106 students was conducted. The mean rating for usefulness was 4.7 (out of 7, with no statistically significant differences based on gender and age. Sixty-four percent reported that they would consider taking another statistics course, and this subgroup rated the course as more useful (p = .01. The majority (67% reported that statistics would be most useful for either graduate school or research, whereas 14% indicated their job, and 19% were undecided. The �undecided� students had the lowest mean rating for usefulness of the course (p = .001. Addressing data, in the context of real-world problem-solving and decision-making, could facilitate students to better appreciate the usefulness and practicality of statistics. Qualitative research methods could help to elucidate these findings.
April H. Reed
Full Text Available Pair programming is a collaborative programming practice that places participants in dyads, working in tandem at one computer to complete programming assignments. Pair programming studies with Computer Science (CS and Software Engineering (SE majors have identified benefits such as technical productivity, program/design quality, academic performance, and increased satisfaction for their participants. In this paper, pair programming is studied with Management Information Systems (MIS majors, who (unlike CS and SE majors taking several programming courses typically take only one programming course and often struggle to develop advanced programming skills within that single course. The researchers conducted two pair programming experiments in an introductory software development course for MIS majors over three semesters to determine if pair programming could enhance learning for MIS students. The program results, researchers’ direct observations, and participants’ responses to a survey questionnaire were analyzed after each experiment. The results indicate that pair programming appears to be beneficial to MIS students’ technical productivity and program design quality, specifically the ability to create programs using high-level concepts. Additionally, results confirmed increased student satisfaction and reduced frustration, as the pairs worked collaboratively to produce a program while actively communicating and enjoying the process.
Holt, Doris L.; Swanson, Janice Goodnow
Explores how colleges and universities are responding to the directives of the Accounting Education Change Commission for introductory accounting classes and whether these classrooms use cooperative learning techniques. (Author/JOW)
Switzer, Paul V.; Fritz, Ann H.
Presents a hands-on, investigative lab activity for use in an introductory zoology course. Tests the behavioral hypothesis that substrate texture affects earthworm locomotor ability. Provides background information on earthworm locomotion followed by details of the lab exercise. (NB)
This report presents materials that can be used as the basis for a module on signalized intersections in the introductory : course in transportation engineering. The materials were developed based on studies of the work of students who took : this in...
"This is a great book for social science students. Clearly written, with many examples, Garner certainly makes learning and teaching introductory statistics a joy!" - Nikolaos Liodakis, Wilfrid Laurier University.
Crockett, G. V.
Describes course format, materials development, and evaluation of an introductory economics course which stressed problem solving techniques and conceptual skills instead of rote memorization of factual content. For journal availability, see SO 506 029. (AV)
Sweeney, M. Jane Barr; And Others
This survey examined class size, teaching methods, and the one-semester/two-semester organization of the introductory economics course. Student satisfaction with respect to their institution was also studied. (Author/RM)
Nation, Jack R.; And Others
Discusses the Programmed Achievement learning system in an introductory psychology course. This system is based on an instructional system of motivation and reward in which a crucial ingredient is the testing procedure. (Author/JR)
Julia J Snyder
Full Text Available This study evaluated hypothesized effects of the Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL instructional model on undergraduate peer leaders' critical thinking skills. This investigation also explored peer leaders' perceptions of their critical thinking skills. A quasi-experimental pre-test/post-test with control group design was used to determine critical thinking gains in PLTL/non-PLTL groups. Critical thinking was assessed using the California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST among participants who had previously completed and been successful in a mixed-majors introductory biology course at a large, private research university in the American Northeast. Qualitative data from open-ended questionnaires confirmed that factors thought to improve critical thinking skills such as interaction with peers, problem solving, and discussion were perceived by participants to have an impact on critical thinking gains. However, no significant quantitative differences in peer leaders' critical thinking skills were found between pre- and post-experience CCTST measurements or between experimental and control groups.
D. S. Lucas
A graduate level course for Thermal Hydraulics (T/H) was taught through Idaho State University in the spring of 2004. A numerical approach was taken for the content of this course since the students were employed at the Idaho National Laboratory and had been users of T/H codes. The majority of the students had expressed an interest in learning about the Courant Limit, mass error, semi-implicit and implicit numerical integration schemes in the context of a computer code. Since no introductory text was found the author developed notes taught from his own research and courses taught for Westinghouse on the subject. The course started with a primer on control volume methods and the construction of a Homogeneous Equilibrium Model (HEM) (T/H) code. The primer was valuable for giving the students the basics behind such codes and their evolution to more complex codes for Thermal Hydraulics and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). The course covered additional material including the Finite Element Method and non-equilibrium (T/H). The control volume primer and the construction of a three-equation (mass, momentum and energy) HEM code are the subject of this paper . The Fortran version of the code covered in this paper is elementary compared to its descendants. The steam tables used are less accurate than the available commercial version written in C Coupled to a Graphical User Interface (GUI). The Fortran version and input files can be downloaded at www.microfusionlab.com
Vaughn, Jessica; Kerr, Kevin; Zielenski, Christopher; Toppel, Brianna; Johnson, Lauren; McCauley, Patrina; Turner, Christopher J.
Objectives. To implement and evaluate a 3-year reflective writing program incorporated into introductory pharmacy practice experiences (IPPEs) in the first- through third-year of a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) program. Design. Reflective writing was integrated into 6 IPPE courses to develop students’ lifelong learning skills. In their writing, students were required to self-assess their performance in patient care activities, identify and describe how they would incorporate learning opportunities, and then evaluate their progress. Practitioners, faculty members, and fourth-year PharmD students served as writing preceptors. Assessment. The success of the writing program was assessed by reviewing class performance and surveying writing preceptor’s opinions regarding the student’s achievement of program objectives. Class pass rates averaged greater than 99% over the 8 years of the program and the large majority of the writing preceptors reported that student learning objectives were met. A support pool of 99 writing preceptors was created. Conclusions. A 3-year reflective writing program improved pharmacy students’ reflection and reflective writing skills. PMID:23788811
Snyder, Julia J.; Wiles, Jason R.
This study evaluated hypothesized effects of the Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) instructional model on undergraduate peer leaders’ critical thinking skills. This investigation also explored peer leaders’ perceptions of their critical thinking skills. A quasi-experimental pre-test/post-test with control group design was used to determine critical thinking gains in PLTL/non-PLTL groups. Critical thinking was assessed using the California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST) among participants who had previously completed and been successful in a mixed-majors introductory biology course at a large, private research university in the American Northeast. Qualitative data from open-ended questionnaires confirmed that factors thought to improve critical thinking skills such as interaction with peers, problem solving, and discussion were perceived by participants to have an impact on critical thinking gains. However, no significant quantitative differences in peer leaders’ critical thinking skills were found between pre- and post-experience CCTST measurements or between experimental and control groups. PMID:25629311
Wieman, Carl; Holmes, N. G.
We have analyzed the impact of taking an associated lab course on the scores on final exam questions in two large introductory physics courses. Approximately a third of the students who completed each course also took an accompanying instructional lab course. The lab courses were fairly conventional, although they focused on supporting the mastery of a subset of the introductory physics topics covered in the associated course. Performance between students who did and did not take the lab cour...
Robert, G.; Merriman, J. D.; Ceylan, G. M.
As an expansion of universal design for learning, IDL provides a framework for opening up and adapting classroom interaction systems, minimizing barriers through promoting perception, engagement, expression, and accommodation for diverse learners. We implemented an introductory-level laboratory for communicating the concept of magma viscosity using the guidelines and principles of IDL. We developed the lab as a mini-implementation project for an IDL course offered by the University of Missouri (MU) Graduate School. The laboratory was subsequently taught during the summer session of Principles of Geology in our Department of Geological Sciences. Traditional geology laboratories rely heavily on visual aids, either physical (rocks and minerals) or representative (idealized cartoons of processes, videos), with very few alternative representations and descriptions made available to the students. Our main focus for this new lab was to diversify the means of representation available to the students (and instructor) to make the lab as equitable and flexible as possible. We considered potential barriers to learning arising from the physical lab environment, from the means of representation, engagement and expression, and tried to minimize them upfront. We centred the laboratory on the link between volcano shape and viscosity as an applied way to convey that viscosity is the resistance to flow. The learning goal was to have the students observe that more viscous eruptives resulted in steeper-sided volcanoes through experimentation. Students built their own volcanoes by erupting lava (foods of various viscosities) onto the Earth's surface (a piece of sturdy cardboard with a hole for the 'vent') through a conduit (pastry bag). Such a hands on lab exercise allows students to gain a tactile and visual, i.e., physical representation of an abstract concept. This specific exercise was supported by other, more traditional, means of representation (e.g., lecture, videos, cartoons, 3D
Jayson M. Nissen
Full Text Available [This paper is part of the Focused Collection on Gender in Physics.] There is growing evidence of persistent gender achievement gaps in university physics instruction, not only for learning physics content, but also for developing productive attitudes and beliefs about learning physics. These gaps occur in both traditional and interactive-engagement (IE styles of physics instruction. We investigated one gender gap in the area of attitudes and beliefs. This was men’s and women’s physics self-efficacy, which comprises students’ thoughts and feelings about their capabilities to succeed as learners in physics. According to extant research using pre- and post-course surveys, the self-efficacy of both men and women tends to be reduced after taking traditional and IE physics courses. Moreover, self-efficacy is reduced further for women than for men. However, it remains unclear from these studies whether this gender difference is caused by physics instruction. It may be, for instance, that the greater reduction of women’s self-efficacy in physics merely reflects a broader trend in university education that has little to do with physics per se. We investigated this and other alternative causes, using an in-the-moment measurement technique called the Experience Sampling Method (ESM. We used ESM to collect multiple samples of university students’ feelings of self-efficacy during four types of activity for two one-week periods: (i an introductory IE physics course, (ii students’ other introductory STEM courses, (iii their non-STEM courses, and (iv their activities outside of school. We found that women experienced the IE physics course with lower self-efficacy than men, but for the other three activity types, women’s self-efficacy was not reliably different from men’s. We therefore concluded that the experience of physics instruction in the IE physics course depressed women’s self-efficacy. Using complementary measures showing the IE
Berry, Stacy Jane
There has been an increased emphasis for college instruction to incorporate more active and collaborative involvement of students in the learning process. These views have been asserted by The Association of American Colleges (AAC), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and The National Research Counsel (NRC), which are advocating for the modification of traditional instructional techniques to allow students the opportunity to be more cooperative (Task Group on General Education, 1988). This has guided educators and facilitators into shifting teaching paradigms from a teacher centered to a more student-centered curriculum. The present study investigated achievement outcomes and attitudes of learners in a large enrollment (n ~ 200), introductory geology course using a student centered learning cycle format of instruction versus another similar section that used a traditional lecture format. Although the course is a recruiting class for majors, over 95% of the students that enroll are non-majors. Measurements of academic evaluation were through four unit exams, classroom communication systems, weekly web-based homework, in-class activities, and a thematic collaborative poster/paper project and presentation. The qualitative methods to investigate the effectiveness of the teaching design included: direct observation, self-reporting about learning, and open-ended interviews. By disaggregating emerging data, we tried to concentrate on patterns and causal relationships between achievement performance and attitudes regarding learning geology. Statistical analyses revealed positive relationships between student engagement in supplemental activities and achievement mean scores within and between the two sections. Completing weekly online homework had the most robust relationship with overall achievement performance. Contrary to expectations, a thematic group project only led to modest gains in achievement performance, although the social and professional gains could be
Carolina Roig Catini
Full Text Available This article consists of an introductory exposition to the Marxist critique of law that, as we aim to demonstrate, provides relevant conceptual contributions to critical reflection on the specifically capitalistic social relations of education. It is an analysis of the fundamental concepts that circumscribe the social function of massive education in capitalism, under hegemony of the school form: workforce and subject of law. The mercantile social nexus, under the aegis of the blind and automatic movement of capital accumulation foresees not only the generalization of the worker "free" from the means of production, but also the universalization of the law-form, which conceals the economic subordination under the mask of equality between private owners. In the first section we briefly resumed a critical interpretation of the work presented by Karl Marx in Capital, in order to move on to the Marxist critique of law and in the second part, based on Evgène Pachukanis, Walter Benjamin and Bernard Edelman´s studies. Based on this presentation, we extract, by way of conclusion and in a preliminary way, some theoretical consequences for the apprehension of the specifically capitalist way of education. Keywords: Education. Work. Merchandise.
Benegas, J.; Flores, J. Sirur
This longitudinal study reports the results of a replication of Tutorials in Introductory Physics in high schools of a Latin-American country. The main objective of this study was to examine the suitability of Tutorials for local science education reform. Conceptual learning of simple resistive electric circuits was determined by the application of the single-response multiple-choice test "Determining and Interpreting Resistive Electric Circuits Concepts Test" (DIRECT) to high school classes taught with Tutorials and traditional instruction. The study included state and privately run schools of different socioeconomic profiles, without formal laboratory space and equipment, in classes of mixed-gender and female-only students, taught by novice and experienced instructors. Results systematically show that student learning is significantly higher in the Tutorials classes compared with traditional teaching for all of the studied conditions. The results also show that long-term learning (one year after instruction) in the Tutorials classes is highly satisfactory, very similar to the performance of the samples of college students used to develop the test DIRECT. On the contrary, students following traditional instruction returned one year after instruction to the poor performance (students attending seven universities in Spain and four Latin-American countries. Some replication and adaptation problems and difficulties of this experience are noted, as well as recommendations for successful use of Tutorials in high schools of similar educational systems.
McKinnon, Mark Lee
Cognitive research has indicated that the difference between males and females is negligible. Paradoxically, in traditionally-taught college level introductory physics courses, males have outperformed females. UC Davis' Physics 7A (the first class of a three-quarter Introduction to Physics sequence for Life-Science students), however, counters this trend since females perform similarly to males. The gender-based performance difference within the other two quarters (Physics 7B & 7C) of the radically restructured, active-learning physics sequence still echo the traditionally-taught courses. In one experiment, I modified the laboratory activity instructions of the Physics 7C course to encourage further group interaction. These modifications did not affect the gender-based performance difference. In a later experiment, I compared students' performance on different forms of assessment for certain physics concepts during the Physics 7C course. Over 500 students took weekly quizzes at different times. The students were given different quiz questions on the same topics. Several quiz questions seemed to favor males while others were more gender equitable. I highlighted comparisons between a few pairs of questions that assessed students' understanding of the same physical concept. Males tended to perform better in responding to questions that seemed to require spatial visualization. Questions that required greater understanding of the physical concept or scientific model were more gender neutral.
Henderson, Rachel; DeVore, Seth; Michaluk, Lynnette; Stewart, John
Within the general university environment, students' perceived self-efficacy has been widely studied and findings suggest it plays a role in student success. The current research adapted a self-efficacy survey, from the ``Self-Efficacy for Learning Performance'' subscale of the Motivated Learning Strategies Questionnaire and administered it to the introductory, calculus-based physics classes (N=1005) over the fall 2015 and spring 2016 semesters. This assessment measured students' self-efficacy in domains including the physics class, other science and mathematics classes, and their intended future career. The effect of gender was explored with the only significant gender difference (p gender difference was not explained by a student's performance which was measured by test average. However, a mediation analysis showed that students' overall academic self-efficacy, measured by their math and science self-efficacy, acts as a mediator for the effect of test average on self-efficacy towards the physics class domain. This mediation effect was significant for both female (p < . 01) and male students (p < . 001) however, it was more pronounced for male students.
Barsoum, Mark J; Sellers, Patrick J; Campbell, A Malcolm; Heyer, Laurie J; Paradise, Christopher J
We redesigned the undergraduate introductory biology course by writing a new textbook (Integrating Concepts in Biology [ICB]) that follows first principles of learning. Our approach emphasizes primary data interpretation and the utility of mathematics in biology, while de-emphasizing memorization. This redesign divides biology into five big ideas (information, evolution, cells, emergent properties, homeostasis), addressing each at five levels of organization (molecules, cells, organisms, populations, ecological systems). We compared our course outcomes with two sections that used a traditional textbook and were taught by different instructors. On data interpretation assessments administered periodically during the semester, our students performed better than students in the traditional sections (p = 0.046) and exhibited greater improvement over the course of the semester (p = 0.015). On factual content assessments, our students performed similarly to students in the other sections (p = 0.737). Pre- and postsemester assessment of disciplinary perceptions and self-appraisal indicate that our students acquired a more accurate perception of biology as a discipline and may have developed a more realistic evaluation of their scientific abilities than did the control students (p biology.
Geller, Benjamin D.; Turpen, Chandra; Crouch, Catherine H.
We explore the sources of student engagement with curricular content in an Introductory Physics for Life Science (IPLS) course at Swarthmore College. Do IPLS students find some life-science contexts more interesting than others, and, if so, what are the sources of these differences? We draw on three sources of student data to answer this question: (1) quantitative survey data illustrating how interested students were in particular contexts from the curriculum, (2) qualitative survey data in which students describe the source of their interest in these particular contexts, and (3) interview data in which students reflect on the contexts that were and were not of interest to them. We find that examples that make interdisciplinary connections with students' other coursework in biology and chemistry, and examples that make connections to what students perceive to be the "real world," are particularly effective at fostering interest. More generally, students describe being deeply engaged with contexts that foster a sense of coherence or have personal meaning to them. We identify various "engagement pathways" by which different life-science students engage with IPLS content, and suggest that a curriculum needs to be flexible enough to facilitate these different pathways.
Eley, Thalia C; Rijsdijk, Frühling
This introductory guide presents the main two analytical approaches used by molecular geneticists: linkage and association. Traditional linkage and association methods are described, along with more recent advances in methodologies such as those using a variance components approach. New methods are being developed all the time but the core principles of linkage and association remain the same. The basis of linkage is the transmission of a marker along with a disease within families, whereas association is based on the comparison of marker frequencies in case and control groups. It is becoming increasingly clear that effect sizes of individual markers on diseases and traits are likely to be very small. As such, much greater power is needed, and correspondingly greater sample sizes. Although non-replication is still a problem, molecular genetic studies in some areas such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are starting to show greater convergence. Epidemiologists and other researchers with large well-characterized samples will be well placed to use these methods. Inter-disciplinary studies can then ask far more interesting questions such as those relating to developmental, multivariate and gene-environment interaction hypotheses.
Nagy, Péter; Tasnádi, Péter
Investigation of chaotic motions and cooperative systems offers a magnificent opportunity to involve modern physics into the basic course of mechanics taught to engineering students. In the present paper it will be demonstrated that Zeeman Machine can be a versatile and motivating tool for students to get introductory knowledge about chaotic motion via interactive simulations. It works in a relatively simple way and its properties can be understood very easily. Since the machine can be built easily and the simulation of its movement is also simple the experimental investigation and the theoretical description can be connected intuitively. Although Zeeman Machine is known mainly for its quasi-static and catastrophic behaviour, its dynamic properties are also of interest with its typical chaotic features. By means of a periodically driven Zeeman Machine a wide range of chaotic properties of the simple systems can be demonstrated such as bifurcation diagrams, chaotic attractors, transient chaos and so on. The main goal of this paper is the presentation of an interactive learning material for teaching the basic features of the chaotic systems through the investigation of the Zeeman Machine.
The introductory Astronomy course can be enriched by adding a service learning component to it. This enables students to interact with and educate the general public about matters of outer space. At Slippery Rock University we have incorporated this idea into our Astronomy and Space Science courses. Working in groups, the students do a presentation which is often interdisciplinary. Frequently the department gets requests from schools to do a show specifically tailored to a topic like the solar system or constellations. Such projects are beneficial to students in many ways. They demand a thorough knowledge of the subject matter so as to communicate to the audience in a clear and nontechnical manner. The students also experience first hand the difficulties involved in coordinating a group effort. They learn to take responsibility for their allocated part and how to combine effectively to make the entire show a success. Interacting with various age groups demands a versatility in planning content and public speaking skills not easily available elsewhere in a traditional education. Our planetarium facilities help in attracting diverse audiences from preschoolers to senior citizens. Performance in these shows constitutes twenty five percent of course grade. Feedback from audience groups helps refine future shows by subsequent student cohorts.
Ford, Emily; Solomon, Daniela; Adams, Jon; Graves, Nicholas
For CAM to feature prominently in health care decision-making there is a need to expand the evidence-base and to further incorporate economic evaluation into research priorities.In a world of scarce health care resources and an emphasis on efficiency and clinical efficacy, CAM, as indeed do all other treatments, requires rigorous evaluation to be considered in budget decision-making. Economic evaluation provides the tools to measure the costs and health consequences of CAM interventions and thereby inform decision making. This article offers CAM researchers an introductory framework for understanding, undertaking and disseminating economic evaluation. The types of economic evaluation available for the study of CAM are discussed, and decision modelling is introduced as a method for economic evaluation with much potential for use in CAM. Two types of decision models are introduced, decision trees and Markov models, along with a worked example of how each method is used to examine costs and health consequences. This is followed by a discussion of how this information is used by decision makers. Undoubtedly, economic evaluation methods form an important part of health care decision making. Without formal training it can seem a daunting task to consider economic evaluation, however, multidisciplinary teams provide an opportunity for health economists, CAM practitioners and other interested researchers, to work together to further develop the economic evaluation of CAM.
Background For CAM to feature prominently in health care decision-making there is a need to expand the evidence-base and to further incorporate economic evaluation into research priorities. In a world of scarce health care resources and an emphasis on efficiency and clinical efficacy, CAM, as indeed do all other treatments, requires rigorous evaluation to be considered in budget decision-making. Methods Economic evaluation provides the tools to measure the costs and health consequences of CAM interventions and thereby inform decision making. This article offers CAM researchers an introductory framework for understanding, undertaking and disseminating economic evaluation. The types of economic evaluation available for the study of CAM are discussed, and decision modelling is introduced as a method for economic evaluation with much potential for use in CAM. Two types of decision models are introduced, decision trees and Markov models, along with a worked example of how each method is used to examine costs and health consequences. This is followed by a discussion of how this information is used by decision makers. Conclusions Undoubtedly, economic evaluation methods form an important part of health care decision making. Without formal training it can seem a daunting task to consider economic evaluation, however, multidisciplinary teams provide an opportunity for health economists, CAM practitioners and other interested researchers, to work together to further develop the economic evaluation of CAM. PMID:21067622
Gröber, Sebastian; Klein, Pascal; Kuhn, Jochen
Introductory mechanics physics courses at the transition from school to university are a challenge for students. They are faced with an abrupt and necessary increase of theoretical content and requirements on their conceptual understanding of phyiscs. In order to support this transition we replaced part of the mandatory weekly theory-based paper-and-pencil problems with video analysis problems of equal content and level of difficulty. Video-based problems (VBP) are a new problem format for teaching physics from a linked sequence of theoretical and video-based experimental tasks. Experimental tasks are related to the well-known concept of video motion analysis. This introduction of an experimental part in recitations allows the establishment of theory–experiment interplay as well as connections between physical content and context fields such as nature, technique, everyday life and applied physics by conducting model-and context-related experiments. Furthermore, laws and formulas as predominantly representative forms are extended by the use of diagrams and vectors. In this paper we give general reasons for this approach, describe the structure and added values of VBP, and show that they cover a relevant part of mechanics courses at university. Emphasis is put on theory–experiment interplay as a structural added value of VBP to promote students' construction of knowledge and conceptual understanding. (paper)
Nagy, P.; Tasnádi, P.
Investigation of chaotic motions and cooperative systems offers a magnificent opportunity to involve modern physics into the basic course of mechanics taught to engineering students. In the present paper it will be demonstrated that Zeeman Machine can be a versatile and motivating tool for students to get introductory knowledge about chaotic motion via interactive simulations. It works in a relatively simple way and its properties can be understood very easily. Since the machine can be built easily and the simulation of its movement is also simple the experimental investigation and the theoretical description can be connected intuitively. Although Zeeman Machine is known mainly for its quasi-static and catastrophic behaviour, its dynamic properties are also of interest with its typical chaotic features. By means of a periodically driven Zeeman Machine a wide range of chaotic properties of the simple systems can be demonstrated such as bifurcation diagrams, chaotic attractors, transient chaos and so on. The main goal of this paper is the presentation of an interactive learning material for teaching the basic features of the chaotic systems through the investigation of the Zeeman Machine. 1. –
Holstein, Sarah E.; Mickley Steinmetz, Katherine R.; Miles, John D.
One challenge that many neuroscience instructors face is how to teach students to communicate within the field. The goal of this project was to improve students’ scientific writing in an introductory psychology laboratory course that serves as a feeder course into the neuroscience curriculum. This course included a scaffolded approach - breaking assignments into different sections that build upon each other to allow for more direction and feedback on each section. Students were also provided with examples of scientific writing, given direction on finding and reading journal articles, and were taught how to effectively peer review a paper. Research papers were assessed before (Year 1) and after (Year 2) this scaffolded approach was instituted. The assessment included measures of “Genre Knowledge” for each section of a research paper (abstract, introduction, method, results, discussion) as well as measures of “Writing Elements” (grammar, formatting, clarity, transitions, building to the hypothesis, using evidence). The results indicated that there was an improvement for Genre Knowledge scores when comparing Year 1 to Year 2. However, there was no systematic improvement in Writing Elements. This suggests that this teaching technique was most effective in improving students’ ability to write within the scientific genre. The logistics of implementing such an approach are discussed. PMID:25838801
The session provides a short introduction of E-Groups and how to use it to efficiently manage mailing lists at CERN. Alongside a general overview of the E-Groups application, E-Groups specific terminology, the management of dynamic and static groups and the specific settings for mails and archives are discussed in detail. The course is intended to give newcomers a clear idea of what E-Groups are and how they can be used at CERN. It should enable users to be more efficient when being confronted in particular with: the creation of dynamic and static E-groups and the decision whether the one or the other type is more appropriate, the management of E-group memberships, and the setting of mailing/archiving related properties. The session will also focus on some best practices and give general advice on how to use E-Groups. This introductory training session is given jointly by members of the IT-OIS and GS-AIS groups and is intended for any member at CERN potentially being confronted with the ...
Full Text Available The reliability and validity of professionally written multiple-choice exams have been extensively studied for exams such as the SAT, graduate record examination, and the force concept inventory. Much of the success of these multiple-choice exams is attributed to the careful construction of each question, as well as each response. In this study, the reliability and validity of scores from multiple-choice exams written for and administered in the large introductory physics courses at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign were investigated. The reliability of exam scores over the course of a semester results in approximately a 3% uncertainty in students’ total semester exam score. This semester test score uncertainty yields an uncertainty in the students’ assigned letter grade that is less than 1 / 3 of a letter grade. To study the validity of exam scores, a subset of students were ranked independently based on their multiple-choice score, graded explanations, and student interviews. The ranking of these students based on their multiple-choice score was found to be consistent with the ranking assigned by physics instructors based on the students’ written explanations ( r>0.94 at the 95% confidence level and oral interviews (r=0.94−0.09+0.06 .
Full Text Available Abstract Background For CAM to feature prominently in health care decision-making there is a need to expand the evidence-base and to further incorporate economic evaluation into research priorities. In a world of scarce health care resources and an emphasis on efficiency and clinical efficacy, CAM, as indeed do all other treatments, requires rigorous evaluation to be considered in budget decision-making. Methods Economic evaluation provides the tools to measure the costs and health consequences of CAM interventions and thereby inform decision making. This article offers CAM researchers an introductory framework for understanding, undertaking and disseminating economic evaluation. The types of economic evaluation available for the study of CAM are discussed, and decision modelling is introduced as a method for economic evaluation with much potential for use in CAM. Two types of decision models are introduced, decision trees and Markov models, along with a worked example of how each method is used to examine costs and health consequences. This is followed by a discussion of how this information is used by decision makers. Conclusions Undoubtedly, economic evaluation methods form an important part of health care decision making. Without formal training it can seem a daunting task to consider economic evaluation, however, multidisciplinary teams provide an opportunity for health economists, CAM practitioners and other interested researchers, to work together to further develop the economic evaluation of CAM.
Kudish, Philip; Shores, Robin; McClung, Alex; Smulyan, Lisa; Vallen, Elizabeth A; Siwicki, Kathleen K
Study group meetings (SGMs) are voluntary-attendance peer-led team-learning workshops that supplement introductory biology lectures at a selective liberal arts college. While supporting all students' engagement with lecture material, specific aims are to improve the success of underrepresented minority (URM) students and those with weaker backgrounds in biology. Peer leaders with experience in biology courses and training in science pedagogy facilitate work on faculty-generated challenge problems. During the eight semesters assessed in this study, URM students and those with less preparation attended SGMs with equal or greater frequency than their counterparts. Most agreed that SGMs enhanced their comprehension of biology and ability to articulate solutions. The historical grade gap between URM and non-URM students narrowed slightly in Biology 2, but not in other biology and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics courses. Nonetheless, URM students taking introductory biology after program implementation have graduated with biology majors or minors at the same rates as non-URM students, and have enrolled in postcollege degree programs at equal or greater rates. These results suggest that improved performance as measured by science grade point average may not be necessary to improve the persistence of students from underrepresented groups as life sciences majors. © 2016 P. Kudish et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Farnsworth, K. L.; House, M.; Hovan, S. A.
A recent workshop sponsored by SERC-On the Cutting Edge brought together science educators from a range of schools across the country to discuss new approaches in teaching oceanography. In discussing student interest in our classes, we were struck by the fact that students are drawn to emotional or controversial topics such as whale hunting and tsunami hazard and that these kinds of topics are a great vehicle for introducing more complex concepts such as wave propagation, ocean upwelling and marine chemistry. Thus, we have developed an approach to introductory oceanography that presents students with real-world issues in the ocean sciences and requires them to explore the science behind them in order to improve overall ocean science literacy among non-majors and majors at 2 and 4 year colleges. We have designed a project-based curriculum built around topics that include, but are not limited to: tsunami hazard, whale migration, ocean fertilization, ocean territorial claims, rapid climate change, the pacific trash patch, overfishing, and ocean acidification. Each case study or project consists of three weeks of class time and is structured around three elements: 1) a media analysis; 2) the role of ocean science in addressing the issue; 3) human impact/response. Content resources range from textbook readings, popular or current print news, documentary film and television, and data available on the world wide web from a range of sources. We employ a variety of formative assessments for each case study in order to monitor student access and understanding of content and include a significant component of in-class student discussion and brainstorming guided by faculty input to develop the case study. Each study culminates in summative assessments ranging from exams to student posters to presentations, depending on the class size and environment. We envision this approach for a range of classroom environments including large group face-to-face instruction as well as hybrid
Mlenga, Francis Howard
The purpose of the study was to determine factors affecting elementary female student teachers' choice of science as a major at college level in Zimbabwe. The study was conducted at one of the Primary School Teachers' Colleges in Zimbabwe. A sample of two hundred and thirty-eight female student teachers was used in the study. Of these one hundred and forty-two were non-science majors who had been randomly selected, forty-one were science majors and forty-five were math majors. Both science and math majors were a convenient sample because the total enrollment of the two groups was small. All the subjects completed a survey questionnaire that had sixty-eight items. Ten students from the non-science majors were selected for individual interviews and the same was done for the science majors. A further eighteen were selected from the non-science majors and divided into three groups of six each for focus group interviews. The same was done for the science majors. The interviews were audio taped and transcribed. Data from the survey questionnaires were analyzed using Binary Logistic Regression which predicted factors that affected students' choice of science as a major. The transcribed interview data were analyzed used using domain, taxonomic and componential analyses. Results of the study indicated that elementary female students' choice of science as a major at college level is affected by students' attitudes toward science, teacher behavior, out-of-school experiences, role models, gender stereotyping, parental influence, peer influence, in-school experiences, and societal expectations, namely cultural and social expectations.
Savage, Lauren Michelle Williams
The introductory physics mechanics course at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte has a history of relatively high DFW rates. In 2011, the course was redesigned from the traditional lecture format to the inverted classroom format (flipped). This format inverts the classroom by introducing material in a video assigned as homework while the instructor conducts problem solving activities and guides discussions during the regular meetings. This format focuses on student-centered learning and is more interactive and engaging. To evaluate the effectiveness of the new method, final exam data over the past 10 years was mined and the pass rates examined. A normalization condition was developed to evaluate semesters equally. The two teaching methods were compared using a grade distribution across multiple semesters. Students in the inverted class outperformed those in the traditional class: "A"s increased by 22% and "B"s increased by 38%. The final exam pass rate increased by 12% under the inverted classroom approach. The same analysis was used to compare the written and online final exam formats. Surprisingly, no students scored "A"s on the online final. However, the percent of "B"s increased by 136%. Combining documented best practices from a literature review with personal observations of student performance and attitudes from first hand classroom experience as a teaching assistant in both teaching methods, reasons are given to support the continued use of the inverted classroom approach as well as the online final. Finally, specific recommendations are given to improve the course structure where weaknesses have been identified.
Lee, Cherin Ann
The nature of an undergraduate, nonmajors biology laboratory was investigated in this study. Student participants were enrolled in a general education biology laboratory course at the University of Northern Iowa. The researcher's purpose was to gain a characterization of the instructional format and laboratory activities experienced by students. Interpretation of student and instructor responses enabled an insider's view of the biology laboratory. The laboratory period was consistently described by both students and instructors as having three parts, Beginning, Middle, and End, with the End being of special importance for conceptual development. The instructional format of the three instructors differed within the three portions of the laboratory period, ranging from an inquiry-oriented, partial learning cycle to a fairly expository model labeled inform/verify/practice. There was striking similarity in intrasectional student and teacher descriptions of instructional format. Additionally, students experiencing the alternate instructor provided the same characterizations of instructional format as those provided by the instructor's usual students. There were no discernible patterns of instructional format based on sex or reasoning level. In addition to the central role of instructional format, three areas of importance emerged: the social aspects of learning, the collaborative and cooperative nature of laboratory work and learning, and the role of self-efficacy. Theory developed from and grounded in the data showed six factors important in the introductory college biology laboratory: collaborative and cooperative learning, student-student and teacher-student interactions, attitude and self-efficacy, learning process and learning style, effective instructional format, and science content. These factors were found to be similar to factors identified in the literature as important in K-12 science education. These factors were set in the context of schooling and learning
Full Text Available This longitudinal study reports the results of a replication of Tutorials in Introductory Physics in high schools of a Latin-American country. The main objective of this study was to examine the suitability of Tutorials for local science education reform. Conceptual learning of simple resistive electric circuits was determined by the application of the single-response multiple-choice test “Determining and Interpreting Resistive Electric Circuits Concepts Test” (DIRECT to high school classes taught with Tutorials and traditional instruction. The study included state and privately run schools of different socioeconomic profiles, without formal laboratory space and equipment, in classes of mixed-gender and female-only students, taught by novice and experienced instructors. Results systematically show that student learning is significantly higher in the Tutorials classes compared with traditional teaching for all of the studied conditions. The results also show that long-term learning (one year after instruction in the Tutorials classes is highly satisfactory, very similar to the performance of the samples of college students used to develop the test DIRECT. On the contrary, students following traditional instruction returned one year after instruction to the poor performance (<20% shown before instruction, a result compatible with the very low level of conceptual knowledge of basic physics recently determined by a systematic study of first-year students attending seven universities in Spain and four Latin-American countries. Some replication and adaptation problems and difficulties of this experience are noted, as well as recommendations for successful use of Tutorials in high schools of similar educational systems.
What makes problem solving in physics difficult? How do students solve physics problems, and how does this compare to an expert physicist's strategy? Over the past twenty years, physics education research has revealed several differences between novice and expert problem solving. The work of Chi, Feltovich, and Glaser demonstrates that novices tend to categorize problems based on surface features, while experts categorize according to theory, principles, or concepts1. If there are differences between how problems are categorized, then are there differences between how physics problems are solved? Learning more about the problem solving process, including how students like to learn and what is most effective, requires both qualitative and quantitative analysis. In an effort to learn how novices and experts solve introductory electricity problems, a series of in-depth interviews were conducted, transcribed, and analyzed, using both qualitative and quantitative methods. One-way ANOVA tests were performed in order to learn if there are any significant problem solving differences between: (a) novices and experts, (b) genders, (c) students who like to answer questions in class and those who don't, (d) students who like to ask questions in class and those who don't, (e) students employing an interrogative approach to problem solving and those who don't, and (f) those who like physics and those who dislike it. The results of both the qualitative and quantitative methods reveal that inquiry-based problem solving is prevalent among novices and experts, and frequently leads to the correct physics. These findings serve as impetus for the third dimension of this work: the development of Choose Your Own Adventure Physics(c) (CYOAP), an innovative teaching tool in physics which encourages inquiry-based problem solving. 1Chi, M., P. Feltovich, R. Glaser, "Categorization and Representation of Physics Problems by Experts and Novices", Cognitive Science, 5, 121--152 (1981).
Smith, Rachel Clara
The field of physics is heavily male dominated in America. Thus, half of the population of our country is underrepresented and underserved. The identification of factors that contribute to gender disparity in physics is necessary for educators to address the individual needs of students, and, in particular, the separate and specific needs of female students. In an effort to determine if any correlations could be established or strengthened between sex, gender identity, social network, algebra skill, scientific reasoning ability, and/or student attitude, a study was performed on a group of 82 students in an introductory algebra based physics course. The subjects each filled out a survey at the beginning of the semester of their first semester of algebra based physics. They filled out another survey at the end of that same semester. These surveys included physics content pretests and posttests, as well as questions about the students' habits, attitudes, and social networks. Correlates of posttest score were identified, in order of significance, as pretest score, emphasis on conceptual learning, preference for male friends, number of siblings (negatively correlated), motivation in physics, algebra score, and parents' combined education level. Number of siblings was also found to negatively correlate with, in order of significance, gender identity, preference for male friends, emphasis on conceptual learning, and motivation in physics. Preference for male friends was found to correlate with, in order of significance, emphasis on conceptual learning, gender identity, and algebra score. Also, gender identity was found to correlate with emphasis on conceptual learning, the strongest predictor of posttest score other than pretest score.
Randjbar-Daemi, S.; Strathdee, J.
The aim of these lectures is to provide an introduction to a first quantized formulation of string theory. This amounts to developing a consistent set of prescriptions for the perturbative computation of on-shell string amplitudes. The principal tool in this development is 2-dimensional conformal field theory on oriented manifolds of finite genus without boundaries (we treat only closed strings). This class of theory is much simpler than 4-dimensional quantum gravity with which it has many similarities. The geometry is not dynamical in this case, and the matter fields are not sensitive to local features of the geometry but only to global properties which can be characterized by a finite set of parameters (moduli). This can be formulated as field theory on a Riemann surface. We specialize mainly to free field theories for which the quantization problem can be completely solved by elementary means. An introduction to the general case will be given in Lectures II and III where the algebraic approach is discussed. The mathematics of Riemann surfaces is a well developed subject whose formalism is reviewed along with some of the principal theorems in Lecture IV. Physical string states are realized in the Hilbert space of a conformal field theory by the action of so-called ''vertex operators'' on the field theory vacuum state. Correlation functions of these vertex operators serve as ingredients for the computation of string amplitudes. They are to be integrated so as to include the contributions of all conformally inequivalent geometries, and a further manipulation (the GSO projection) is to be performed. These steps are to be regarded as part of the string prescription. They are introduced ad hoc to meet invariance and unitarity requirements. However, in these introductory lectures we give a description only of the integration over geometries (Lecture VII). The GSO projection, and related questions of modular invariance and unitarity are beyond the scope of these
Randjbar-Daemi, S.; Strathdee, J.
The aim of these lectures is to provide an introduction to a first quantized formulation of string theory. This amounts to developing a consistent set of prescriptions for the perturbative computation of on-shell string amplitudes. The principal tool in this development is 2-dimensional conformal field theory on oriented manifolds of finite genus without boundaries (we treat only closed strings). This class of theory is much simpler than 4-dimensional quantum gravity with which it has many similarities. The geometry is not dynamical in this case, and the matter fields are not sensitive to local features of the geometry but only to global properties which can be characterized by a finite set of parameters (moduli). This can be formulated as field theory on a Riemann surface. We specialize mainly to free field theories for which the quantization problem can be completely solved by elementary means. An introduction to the general case will be given in Lectures II and III where the algebraic approach is discussed. The mathematics of Riemann surfaces is a well developed subject whose formalism is reviewed along with some of the principal theorems in Lecture IV. Physical string states are realized in the Hilbert space of a conformal field theory by the action of so-called ''vertex operators'' on the field theory vacuum state. Correlation functions of these vertex operators serve as ingredients for the computation of string amplitudes. They are to be integrated so as to include the contributions of all conformally inequivalent geometries, and a further manipulation (the GSO projection) is to be performed. These steps are to be regarded as part of the string prescription. The are introduced ad hoc to meet invariance and unitarity requirements. However, in these introductory lectures we give a description only of the integration over geometries (Lecture VII). The GSO projection, and related questions of modular invariance and unitarity are beyond the scope of these lectures
Full Text Available Social Science Education as a subject field in schools is an intrinsic pluridisciplinary feature, whatever disciplines are included, however it may be organised and wherever it may be institutionalised. Civic education, economic education, social education and historical education each comprise several academic disciplines even if they are thought to be completely independent subjects. From the start on, disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity are on the agenda for any subject related to social science education and are one of its main problems. For these introductory remarks interdisciplinarity can be simply defined as relating two or more academic disciplines or school subjects to each other if this is done in a purposeful, systematic, explicit and reflective way. The overarching goal is to improve education that is to enhance students' understandings of the worlds and their abilities to act within and towards them. A relationship between disciplines or subjects which misses one or more of the four characteristics can be called pluridisciplinary or multidisciplinary (cf. Audigier 2006. In the following I first want to discuss some aspects of disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity at schools and at universities and the weakness of interdisciplinarity. I sketch some social science based ideas on the interrelationship between the subject structure of the academic world and the world of schools (3. and of some tendency to commonalities or even unification of social sciences and related competencies (4.. I conclude with some remarks on different kinds of knowledge (5.. Last but not least, I'll give an overview on the papers in this issue of the Journal of Social Science Education (6..
Hall, Nicholas; Webb, David
The role of autonomy in the student experience in a large-enrollment undergraduate introductory physics course was studied from a self-determination theory perspective. A correlational study investigated whether certain aspects of the student experience correlated with how autonomy supportive (versus controlling) students perceived their instructors to be. An autonomy-supportive instructor acknowledges students' perspectives and feelings and provides students with information and opportunities for choice while minimizing external pressures (e.g., incentives or deadlines). It was found that the degree to which students perceived their instructors as autonomy supportive was positively correlated with student interest and enjoyment in learning physics (β =0.31***) and negatively correlated with student anxiety about taking physics (β =-0.23**). It was also positively correlated with how autonomous (versus controlled) students' reasons for studying physics became over the duration of the course (i.e., studying physics more because they wanted to versus had to; β =0.24***). This change in autonomous reasons for studying physics was in turn positively correlated with student performance in the course (β =0.17*). Additionally, the degree to which students perceived their instructors as autonomy supportive was directly correlated with performance for those students entering the course with relatively autonomous reasons for studying physics (β =0.25**). In summary, students who perceived their instructors as more autonomy supportive tended to have a more favorable motivational, affective, and performance experience in the course. The findings of the present study are consistent with experimental studies in other contexts that argue for autonomy-supportive instructor behaviors as the cause of a more favorable student experience.
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Song, Jong Soon; Na, Mang Yun; Lee, Goung Jin; Yang, Won Sik [Chosun University, Gwangju (Korea)
In this research, there are two major tasks. The first one is a development of digital course-ware program for introductory nuclear engineering. For this task, a development of lecture note is followed by lecture Slide files in html file format, which is based on web. For this purpose, following activities were performed; collection of related materials. planning of overall courseware, writing of lecture note and exercise plan, and securing the computer programs and codes needed. The second task of this research is to plan and install several hardwares in a multimedia class room as a digital education platform. The platform includes smart board with touch screen functionality, network server and personal computers. The digital education platform was established as a multimedia class room in the 2nd College of Engineering building, room 16210 by using the Server-Client environment and smart board, personal computer, and internet was connected by a TCP/IP way. For the courseware, hypertext was supported to be web-based, and photo, picture, data and related web links including text were developed in a close relation, it is possible for students to study big amounts of information in a systemized way and to maximize the learning efficiency. The whole range of introductory nuclear engineering course was divided into nuclear fuel cycle, reactor theory, heat transport, and reactor control, and digital contents were developed by each experts, but the final format of the courseware was maintained consistently for easy understanding . Also, the reactor experiment courseware developed by Kyunghee University can be utilized on this platform. 5 refs., 36 figs., 4 tabs. (Author)
Full Text Available Drawing appropriate diagrams is a useful problem solving heuristic that can transform a problem into a representation that is easier to exploit for solving it. One major focus while helping introductory physics students learn effective problem solving is to help them understand that drawing diagrams can facilitate problem solution. We conducted an investigation in which two different interventions were implemented during recitation quizzes in a large enrollment algebra-based introductory physics course. Students were either (i asked to solve problems in which the diagrams were drawn for them or (ii explicitly told to draw a diagram. A comparison group was not given any instruction regarding diagrams. We developed rubrics to score the problem solving performance of students in different intervention groups and investigated ten problems. We found that students who were provided diagrams never performed better and actually performed worse than the other students on three problems, one involving standing sound waves in a tube (discussed elsewhere and two problems in electricity which we focus on here. These two problems were the only problems in electricity that involved considerations of initial and final conditions, which may partly account for why students provided with diagrams performed significantly worse than students who were not provided with diagrams. In order to explore potential reasons for this finding, we conducted interviews with students and found that some students provided with diagrams may have spent less time on the conceptual analysis and planning stage of the problem solving process. In particular, those provided with the diagram were more likely to jump into the implementation stage of problem solving early without fully analyzing and understanding the problem, which can increase the likelihood of mistakes in solutions.
Maries, Alexandru; Singh, Chandralekha
Drawing appropriate diagrams is a useful problem solving heuristic that can transform a problem into a representation that is easier to exploit for solving it. One major focus while helping introductory physics students learn effective problem solving is to help them understand that drawing diagrams can facilitate problem solution. We conducted an investigation in which two different interventions were implemented during recitation quizzes in a large enrollment algebra-based introductory physics course. Students were either (i) asked to solve problems in which the diagrams were drawn for them or (ii) explicitly told to draw a diagram. A comparison group was not given any instruction regarding diagrams. We developed rubrics to score the problem solving performance of students in different intervention groups and investigated ten problems. We found that students who were provided diagrams never performed better and actually performed worse than the other students on three problems, one involving standing sound waves in a tube (discussed elsewhere) and two problems in electricity which we focus on here. These two problems were the only problems in electricity that involved considerations of initial and final conditions, which may partly account for why students provided with diagrams performed significantly worse than students who were not provided with diagrams. In order to explore potential reasons for this finding, we conducted interviews with students and found that some students provided with diagrams may have spent less time on the conceptual analysis and planning stage of the problem solving process. In particular, those provided with the diagram were more likely to jump into the implementation stage of problem solving early without fully analyzing and understanding the problem, which can increase the likelihood of mistakes in solutions.
Hoffman, Kathleen; Leupen, Sarah; Dowell, Kathy; Kephart, Kerrie; Leips, Jeff
Redesigning undergraduate biology courses to integrate quantitative reasoning and skill development is critical to prepare students for careers in modern medicine and scientific research. In this paper, we report on the development, implementation, and assessment of stand-alone modules that integrate quantitative reasoning into introductory biology courses. Modules are designed to improve skills in quantitative numeracy, interpreting data sets using visual tools, and making inferences about biological phenomena using mathematical/statistical models. We also examine demographic/background data that predict student improvement in these skills through exposure to these modules. We carried out pre/postassessment tests across four semesters and used student interviews in one semester to examine how students at different levels approached quantitative problems. We found that students improved in all skills in most semesters, although there was variation in the degree of improvement among skills from semester to semester. One demographic variable, transfer status, stood out as a major predictor of the degree to which students improved (transfer students achieved much lower gains every semester, despite the fact that pretest scores in each focus area were similar between transfer and nontransfer students). We propose that increased exposure to quantitative skill development in biology courses is effective at building competency in quantitative reasoning. © 2016 K. Hoffman, S. Leupen, et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Matthew J Gibson
Full Text Available Objectives: The primary objective of the study is to identify the barriers to providing Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experiences (IPPEs in the hospital setting. Methods: Potential barriers to IPPEs were identified via literature review and interviews with current IPPE preceptors from various institutions. Based on this information, an electronic survey was developed and distributed to IPPE preceptors in order to assess student, preceptor, logistical and college or school of pharmacy related barriers that potentially exist for providing IPPE in the hospital setting. Results: Sixty-eight of the 287 eligible survey respondents (24% completed the electronic survey. Seventy-six percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that available time was a barrier to precepting IPPE students even though a majority of respondents reported spending a third or more of their day with an IPPE student when on rotation. Seventy-three percent of respondents disagreed or strongly disagreed that all preceptors have consistent performance expectations for students, while just 46% agreed or strongly agreed that they had adequate training to precept IPPEs. Sixty-five percent of respondents agreed that IPPE students have the ability to be a participant in patient care and 70% of preceptors believe that IPPE students should be involved in patient care. Conclusions: Conducting IPPEs in the institutional setting comes with challenges. Based on the results of this study, experiential directors and colleges/schools of pharmacy could make a positive impact on the quality and consistency of IPPEs by setting student expectations and training preceptors on appropriate and consistent expectations for students. Type: Original Research
Novick, Laura R; Catley, Kefyn M
The ability to interpret and reason from Tree of Life (ToL) diagrams has become a vital component of science literacy in the 21st century. This article reports on the effectiveness of a research-based curriculum, including an instructional booklet, laboratory, and lectures, to teach the fundamentals of such tree thinking in an introductory biology class for science majors. We present the results of a study involving 117 undergraduates who received either our new research-based tree-thinking curriculum or business-as-usual instruction. We found greater gains in tree-thinking abilities for the experimental instruction group than for the business-as-usual group, as measured by performance on our novel assessment instrument. This was a medium size effect. These gains were observed on an unannounced test that was administered ∼5-6 weeks after the primary instruction in tree thinking. The nature of students' postinstruction difficulties with tree thinking suggests that the critical underlying concept for acquiring expert-level competence in this area is understanding that any specific phylogenetic tree is a subset of the complete, unimaginably large ToL. © 2016 L. R. Novick and K. M. Catley. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
Momsen, Jennifer L; Long, Tammy M; Wyse, Sara A; Ebert-May, Diane
Introductory biology courses are widely criticized for overemphasizing details and rote memorization of facts. Data to support such claims, however, are surprisingly scarce. We sought to determine whether this claim was evidence-based. To do so we quantified the cognitive level of learning targeted by faculty in introductory-level biology courses. We used Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives to assign cognitive learning levels to course goals as articulated on syllabi and individual items on high-stakes assessments (i.e., exams and quizzes). Our investigation revealed the following: 1) assessment items overwhelmingly targeted lower cognitive levels, 2) the cognitive level of articulated course goals was not predictive of the cognitive level of assessment items, and 3) there was no influence of course size or institution type on the cognitive levels of assessments. These results support the claim that introductory biology courses emphasize facts more than higher-order thinking.
Burko, Lior M.
Introductory calculus--based physics textbooks state that electromagnetic waves are transverse and list many of their properties, but most such textbooks do not bring forth arguments why this is so. Both physical and theoretical arguments are at a level appropriate for students of courses based on such books, and could be readily used by instructors of such courses. Here, we discuss two physical arguments (based on polarization experiments and on lack of monopole electromagnetic radiation), and the full argument for the transversality of (plane) electromagnetic waves based on the integral Maxwell equations. We also show, at a level appropriate for the introductory course, why the electric and magnetic fields in a wave are in phase and the relation of their magnitudes. We have successfully integrated this approach in the calculus--based introductory physics course at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
Full Text Available Students often receive their first college-level computer training in introductory information systems courses. Students and faculty frequently expect this training to develop a level of student computer competence that will support computer use in future courses. In this study, we applied measures of computer self-efficacy to students in a typical introductory IS course. The measures provided useful evidence that student perceptions of their ability to use computers effectively in the future significantly improved as a result of their training experience. The computer self-efficacy measures also provided enhanced insight into course-related factors of practical concern to IS educators. Study results also suggest computer self-efficacy measures may be a practical and informative means of assessing computer-training outcomes in the introductory IS course context
Vu, Viet Quoc
STEM education reform in higher education is framed around the need to improve student learning outcomes, increase student retention, and increase the number of underrepresented minorities and female students in STEM fields, all of which would ultimately contribute to America's competitiveness and prosperity. To achieve these goals, education reformers call for an increase in the adoption of research-based "promising practices" in classrooms. Despite efforts to increase the adoption of more promising practices in classrooms, postsecondary instructors are still likely to lecture and use traditional teaching approaches. To shed light on this adoption dilemma, a mix-methods study was conducted. First, instructional practices in large introductory STEM courses were identified, followed by an analysis of factors that inhibit or contribute to the use of promising practices. Data were obtained from classroom observations (N = 259) of large gateway courses across STEM departments and from instructor interviews (N = 67). Results show that instructors are already aware of promising practices and that change strategies could move from focusing on the development and dissemination of promising practices to focusing on improving adoption rates. Teaching-track instructors such as lecturers with potential for security of employment (LPSOE) and lecturers with security of employment (LSOE) have adopted promising practices more than other instructors. Interview data show that LPSOEs are also effective at disseminating promising practices to their peers, but opinion leaders (influential faculty in a department) are necessary to promote adoption of promising practices by higher ranking instructors. However, hiring more LPSOEs or opinion leaders will not be enough to shift instructional practices. Variations in the adoption of promising practices by instructors and across departments show that any reform strategy needs to be systematic and take into consideration how information is
Zeilik, Michael; Bisard, Walter
Reports on students' preexisting knowledge and examines misconceptions among nonscience major undergraduate students. Focuses on evaluating results of misconceptions in selected astronomy courses. (YDS)
Kazimoglu, Cagin; Kiernan, Mary; Bacon, Liz; MacKinnon, Lachlan
This paper outlines an innovative game-based approach to learning introductory programming that is grounded in the development of computational thinking at an abstract conceptual level, but also provides a direct contextual relationship between game-play and learning traditional introductory programming. The paper proposes a possible model for,…
Hassad, Rossi A.
This study examined the teaching practices of 227 college instructors of introductory statistics (from the health and behavioral sciences). Using primarily multidimensional scaling (MDS) techniques, a two-dimensional, 10-item teaching practice scale, TISS (Teaching of Introductory Statistics Scale), was developed and validated. The two dimensions…
Papadakis, Stamatios; Kalogiannakis, Michail; Orfanakis, Vasileios; Zaranis, Nicholas
Teaching programming is a complex task. The task is even more challenging for introductory modules. There is an ongoing debate in the teaching community over the best approach to teaching introductory programming. Visual block-based programming environments allow school students to create their own programs in ways that are more accessible than in…
Millennial students often possess characteristics at odds with typical lecture-based approaches to introductory accounting courses. The author introduces an approach for reaching millennial students early in introductory accounting courses in ways that fit millennials' characteristics. This article describes the use of the board game Monopoly[R]…
Cheng, K.; Caglar, Mehmet
Lab is an important component of students' learning in a traditional lecture-lab setting of introductory physics courses. Using standard mechanics concepts and baseline surveys as well as independent classroom observations, the effects of TA mentorship in Lecture on students' learning of physics concepts and problem-solving skills among different student subgroups taught by other TAs and lecturers using different level of student interactive engagement in classes have been analyzed. Our data indicate that in lecture training of TA promotes lecture/lab synergism in improvement students' learning of mechanics in large introductory physics classes.
Willoughby, Shannon D.
Introductory astronomy is one of the most widely taught classes in the country and the majority of the students who take these classes are non-science majors. Because this demographic of students makes up the majority of astronomy enrollments, it is especially important as instructors that we do our best to make sure these students don't finish…
Introduction. After patients survived major trauma, their prospects, in terms of the consequences for functioning, are uncertain, which may impact severely on patient, family and society. The studies in this thesis describes the long-term outcomes of severe injured patients after major trauma. In
Workman Ford, K.; Ford, K. R.
Undergraduate introductory geology courses are required in many colleges nationwide as part of the general education requirement. As a result, a large portion of those students are non-majors and most are not science majors. Textbooks used in these courses are often extensive with respect to the amount of material covered which tends to be overwhelming to the average student. Thus, students often purchase the pricey textbook but turn to their smartphones, notebooks, and laptops for answers. Before the development of the internet, students spent many hours in libraries and with their textbooks organizing and retrieving information. However, new technologies in the 21st century have essentially replaced traditional textbooks with students turning to online search engines, such as Google, to study and to complete homework assignments. Presently, online search engines may be more intuitive, but what's going on in the background isn't intuitive at all, and few students have a clear understanding of how search engines operate. Effectively this leads to students without the conception of how to build an adequate search strategy independent of search engines. Often, students are directed to online encyclopedias that may have erroneous information. Here, we employ an alternative to traditional textbooks and online search engines by implementing a guidebook with electronic resources for online activities and homework assignments. The proposed guidebook is roughly modeled after the American Geosciences Institute's Geoscience Handbook: AGI Data Sheets 4th, revised edition, and will include diagrams, graphs, charts, and pictures of basic geologic principles, processes, and earth materials. Along with the information, each topic will have online resources including sites for general reading, specific assignments that require visiting scientifically sound websites (i.e., USGS, GSA, AGU, Science, Nature), online self-assessment activities, and Google Earth activities. In addition
Hall, Nicholas Ron
The role of autonomy in the student experience in a large-enrollment undergraduate introductory physics course was studied from a Self-Determination Theory perspective with two studies. Study I, a correlational study, investigated whether certain aspects of the student experience correlated with how autonomy supportive (vs. controlling) students perceived their instructors to be. An autonomy supportive instructor acknowledges students' perspectives, feelings, and perceptions and provides students with information and opportunities for choice, while minimizing external pressures. It was found that the degree to which students perceived their instructors as autonomy supportive was positively correlated with student interest and enjoyment in learning physics (beta=0.31***) and negatively correlated with student anxiety about taking physics (beta=-0.23**). It was also positively correlated with how autonomous (vs. controlled) students' reasons for studying physics became over the duration of the course (i.e., studying physics more because they wanted to vs. had to; beta=0.24***). This change in autonomous reasons for studying physics was in turn positively correlated with student performance in the course (beta=0.17*). Additionally, the degree to which students perceived their instructors as autonomy supportive was directly correlated with performance for those students entering the course with relatively autonomous reasons for studying physics (beta=0.25**). In summary, students who perceived their instructors as more autonomy supportive tended to have a more favorable experience in the course. If greater autonomy support was in fact the cause of a more favorable student experience, as suggested by Self-determination Theory and experimental studies in other contexts, these results would have implications for instruction and instructor professional development in similar contexts. I discuss these implications. Study II, an experimental study, investigated the effect
Campbell-Stone, E.; Myers, J. D.
In recent decades, humankind has recognized that current levels of resource utilization are seriously impacting our planet's life support systems and threatening the ability of future generations to provide for themselves. The concept of sustainability has been promoted by a variety of national and international organizations as a method to devise ways to adjust humanity's habits and consumption to levels that can be maintained over the long term, i.e. sustained. Courses on sustainability are being offered at many universities and colleges, but most are taught outside of science departments; they are often designed around policy concerns or focus primarily on environmental impacts while neglecting the science of sustainability. Because the three foundations necessary to implement sustainability are sustainability governance, sustainability accounting, and sustainability science, it is imperative that science departments play an active role in preparing citizens and professionals for dealing with sustainability issues. The geosciences are one of the scientific disciplines that offer a logical foundation from which to teach sustainability science. Geoscientists can also offer a unique and relevant geologic perspective on sustainability issues. The authors have developed an introductory, interdisciplinary course entitled 'Global Sustainability: Managing Earth's Resources' that integrates scientific disciplines in the examination of real world sustainability issues. In-depth understanding of physical, Earth and biological science principles are necessary for students to identify the limits and constraints imposed on important issues facing modern society, e.g. water, energy, population growth, etc. This course exposes students to all the scientific principles that apply directly to sustainability. The subject allows the instructors to present open-ended, multifaceted and complex problems relevant to today's industrialized and globalized world, and it encourages
Full Text Available This paper analyzes pre-post matched gains in the epistemological views of science students taking the introductory physics course at Beijing Normal University (BNU in China. In this study we examined the attitudes and beliefs of science majors (n=441 in four classes, one taught using traditional (lecture teaching methods, and the other three taught with Peer Instruction (PI. In two of the PI classes, student peer groups were constantly changing throughout the semester, while in the other PI class student groups remained fixed for the duration of the semester. The results of the pre- and post-test using the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey showed that students in traditional lecture settings became significantly more novicelike in their beliefs about physics and learning physics over the course of a semester, a result consistent with what was reported in the literature. However, all three of the classes taught using the PI method improved student attitudes and beliefs about physics and learning physics. In the PI class with fixed peer groups, students exhibited a greater positive shift in attitudes and beliefs than in the other PI class with changing peer groups. The study also looked at gender differences in student learning attitudes. Gender results revealed that female science majors in the PI classes achieved a greater positive shift in attitudes and beliefs after instruction than did male students.
Lents, Nathan H.; Cifuentes, Oscar E.
This study is an experimental introduction of web-based lecture delivery into a majors-level introductory biology course. Web-based delivery, achieved through the use of prerecorded Voice-Over PowerPoint video lectures, was introduced on a limited basis to an experimental section while a control group, with the same instructor, received standard…
Teixeira, Cláudia; Gomes, Delfina; Borges, Janete
In Portugal, the massive expansion and diversification of higher education has led to a large and diverse student population. This has impacted on the complexity of the higher education learning environment and has implications for the teaching and learning activities. Thus, the current study examines Portuguese introductory accounting students'…
Sadek, Christopher M.; Brown, Brenna A.; Wan, Hayley
This two-part laboratory experiment is designed to be a cost-effective method for teaching basic organic laboratory techniques (recrystallization, thin-layer chromatography, column chromatography, vacuum filtration, and melting point determination) to large classes of introductory organic chemistry students. Students are exposed to different…
O'Connell, Stephen D.; Lang, Guido
A field experiment was conducted to investigate whether personalized e-mail reminders can improve study consistency and learning outcomes in an introductory-level undergraduate course. By randomly assigning whether nearly 300 students would receive occasional e-mail messages encouraging out-of-class study, we find that these reminders increased…
Planinsic, Gorazd; Gojkosek, Mihael
Transparent prism foil is part of a backlight system in LCD monitors that are widely used today. This paper describes the optical properties of the prism foil and several pedagogical applications suitable for undergraduate introductory physics level. Examples include experiments that employ refraction, total internal reflection, diffraction and image formation in a nontrivial way and are therefore particularly useful for active learning strategies.
Planinsic, Gorazd; Gojkosek, Mihael, E-mail: email@example.com [Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, University of Ljubljana, Jadranska 19 (Slovenia)
Transparent prism foil is part of a backlight system in LCD monitors that are widely used today. This paper describes the optical properties of the prism foil and several pedagogical applications suitable for undergraduate introductory physics level. Examples include experiments that employ refraction, total internal reflection, diffraction and image formation in a nontrivial way and are therefore particularly useful for active learning strategies.
Happ, Roland; Zlatkin-Troitschanskaia, Olga; Schmidt, Susanne
In this article, the authors present the findings of a pretest-posttest measurement of the economic knowledge of students in introductory economics courses in undergraduate study programs in Germany. The responses of 403 students to 14 items selected from the "Test of Economic Literacy" (Soper and Walstad 1987) were analyzed to identify…
Johnson, Ronald; Kennon, Tillman
Hypotheses of population genetics are derived and tested by students in the introductory genetics laboratory classroom as they explore the effects of biotic variables (physical traits of fruit flies) and abiotic variables (island size and distance) on fruit fly populations. In addition to this hypothesis-driven experiment, the development of…
De Pedro, Kris Tunac; Jackson, Christopher; Campbell, Erin; Gilley, Jade; Ciarelli, Brock
The Lawrence King murder and other tragedies surrounding transgender youth have prompted a national discussion about the need for schools to be more supportive and inclusive of transgender students. In this multi-authored reflection, the authors describe a series of three introductory activities in an undergraduate educational studies course aimed…
Amos, Nathaniel; Heckler, Andrew F.
In the context of introductory physics, we study student conceptual understanding of differentials, differential products, and integrals and possible pathways to understanding these quantities. We developed a multiple choice conceptual assessment employing a variety of physical contexts probing physical understanding of these three quantities and…
Glover, Robert W.; Tagliarina, Daniel
Political science is a challenging field, particularly when it comes to undergraduate teaching. If we are to engage in something more than uncritical ideological instruction, it demands from the student a willingness to approach alien political ideas with intellectual generosity. Yet, students within introductory classes often harbor inherited…
Evans, Heather K.
In this article, the author addresses both the costs and benefits of implementing clickers into an introductory political science course. Comparing student responses to a mid-semester survey in both a clicker and non-clicker course, the results show that students have higher satisfaction of the course and instructor, higher exam scores, and feel…
Cappelleri, D. J.; Vitoroulis, N.
This paper presents a series of novel project-based learning labs for an introductory robotics course that are developed into a semester-long Robotic Decathlon. The last three events of the Robotic Decathlon are used as three final one-week-long project tasks; these replace a previous course project that was a semester-long robotics competition.…