WorldWideScience

Sample records for non-science major introductory

  1. Using a dynamic, introductory-level volcanoes class as a means to introduce non-science majors to the geosciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, G. W.

    2012-12-01

    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 (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 itself—I take the opportunity in the first two weeks to introduce students to basic geology, including tectonics, earth materials, surface processes, and geologic time. In fact, this is a vital segment of the class, as the students

  2. Engaging Non-Science Majors Through Citizen Science Projects In Inquiry-Based Introductory Geoscience Laboratory Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphreys, R. R.; Hall, C.; Colgan, M. W.; Rhodes, E.

    2010-12-01

    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

  3. "Did You Say 50% of My Grade?"--Teaching Introductory Physics to Non-Science Majors through a Haunted Physics Lab

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donaldson, Nancy

    2010-01-01

    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…

  4. Science of Food and Cooking: A Non-Science Majors Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miles, Deon T.; Bachman, Jennifer K.

    2009-01-01

    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…

  5. A Sustainable Energy Laboratory Course for Non-Science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nathan, Stephen A.; Loxsom, Fred

    2016-10-01

    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 for high school and undergraduate students, especially non-science majors. Thirteen hands-on exercises provide an overview of sustainable energy by demonstrating the basic principles of wind power, photovoltaics, electric cars, lighting, heating/cooling, insulation, electric circuits, and solar collectors. The order of content presentation and instructional level (secondary education or college) can easily be modified to suit instructor needs and/or academic programs (e.g., engineering, physics, renewable and/or sustainable energy).

  6. An Inquiry-Based Approach to Teaching Space Weather to Undergraduate Non-Science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cade, W. B., III

    2016-12-01

    Undergraduate Space Weather education is an important component of creating a society that is knowledgeable about space weather and its societal impacts. The space physics community has made great strides in providing academic education for students, typically physics and engineering majors, who are interested in pursuing a career in the space sciences or space weather. What is rarely addressed, however, is providing a broader space weather education to undergraduate students as a whole. To help address this gap, I have created an introductory space weather course for non-science majors, with the idea of expanding exposure to space weather beyond the typical physics and engineering students. The philosophy and methodologies used in this course will be presented, as well as the results of the first attempts to teach it. Using an approach more tailored to the non-scientist, courses such as this can be an effective means of broadening space weather education and outreach.

  7. Computer-based Astronomy Labs for Non-science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, A. B. E.; Murray, S. D.; Ward, R. A.

    1998-12-01

    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.

  8. Biological Science as an Audio-Tutorial System of Instruction for the Non-Science Major

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hacket, Dorothy; Holt Imy V.

    1973-01-01

    Describes an audiotutorial program in Biological Science offered to non-science majors at Western Michigan University and reports the results of an evaluative investigation relating to this program. (JR)

  9. Discovery of the Collaborative Nature of Science with Undergraduate Science Majors and Non-Science Majors through the Identification of Microorganisms Enriched in Winogradsky Columns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez, Jasmine; Pinedo, Catalina Arango; Forster, Brian M

    2015-12-01

    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.

  10. Using Environmental Science as a Motivational Tool to Teach Physics to Non-Science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busch, Hauke C.

    2010-01-01

    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,…

  11. Using Environmental Science as a Motivational Tool to Teach Physics to Non-Science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busch, Hauke C.

    2010-01-01

    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,…

  12. Discovery of the Collaborative Nature of Science with Undergraduate Science Majors and Non-Science Majors through the Identification of Microorganisms Enriched in Winogradsky Columns

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    Jasmine Ramirez

    2015-08-01

    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

  13. Using Environmental Science as a Motivational Tool to Teach Physics to Non-science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busch, Hauke C.

    2010-12-01

    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, worksheets, and interactive classroom learning techniques such as Peer Instruction (PI) and SCALE-UP.2 It was found that the new course showed an increase in students' class participation, attendance, and overall interest, with most rating their science experience as very positive.

  14. Using the Theme of Mass Extinctions to Teach Science to Non-Science Major College and University Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boness, D. A.

    2013-12-01

    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.

  15. Undergraduate non-science majors' descriptions and interpretations of scientific data visualizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swenson, Sandra Signe

    Professionally developed and freely accessible through the Internet, scientific data maps have great potential for teaching and learning with data in the science classroom. Solving problems or developing ideas while using data maps of Earth phenomena in the science classroom may help students to understand the nature and process of science. Little is known about how students perceive and interpret scientific data visualizations. This study was an in-depth exploration of descriptions and interpretations of topographic and bathymetric data maps made by a population of 107 non-science majors at an urban public college. Survey, interviews, and artifacts were analyzed within an epistemological framework for understanding data collected about the Earth, by examining representational strategies used to understand maps, and by examining student interpretations using Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. The findings suggest that the majority of students interpret data maps by assuming iconicity that was not intended by the maps creator; that students do not appear to have a robust understanding of how data is collected about Earth phenomena; and that while most students are able to make some kinds of interpretations of the data maps, often their interpretations are not based upon the actual data the map is representing. This study provided baseline information of student understanding of data maps from which educators may design curriculum for teaching and learning about Earth phenomena.

  16. Lens Inquiry: An Astronomy Lab for Non-science Majors at Hartnell Community College

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    Putnam, Nicole M; McGrath, Elizabeth J; Lai, David K; Moth, Pimol

    2010-01-01

    We describe a three hour inquiry activity involving converging lenses and telescopes as part of a semester-long astronomy lab course for non-science majors at Hartnell Community College in Salinas, CA. Students were shown several short demonstrations and given the chance to experiment with the materials, after which there was a class discussion about the phenomena they observed. Students worked in groups of 2-4 to design their own experiments to address a particular question of interest to them and then presented their findings to the class. An instructor-led presentation highlighted the students' discoveries and the lab's content goals, followed by a short worksheet-based activity that guided them in applying their new knowledge to build a simple telescope using two converging lenses. The activity was successful in emphasizing communication skills and giving students opportunities to engage in the process of science in different ways. One of the biggest challenges in designing this activity was covering all ...

  17. Providing a Scientific Foundation in Climate Studies for Non-Science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brey, J. A.; Geer, I. W.; Moran, J. M.; Weinbeck, R. S.; Mills, E. W.; Lambert, J.; Blair, B. A.; Hopkins, E. J.; O'Neill, K. L.; Hyre, H. R.; Nugnes, K. A.; Moses, M. N.

    2010-12-01

    Climate change has become a politically charged topic, creating the necessity for a scientifically literate population. Therefore, the American Meteorological Society (AMS), in partnership with NASA, has produced an introductory level, climate science course that engages students, allows for course flexibility, and boosts scientific knowledge about climate. This course shares NASA’s goal of observing, understanding, and modeling the Earth system, to discover how it is changing, to better predict change, and to understand the consequences for life. In Spring 2010, AMS Climate Studies was piloted to determine the most effective method to foster an understanding of some of the more difficult concepts of climate science. This study was offered as part of the NASA grant. This presentation will report the results of that study. Faculty and students from fourteen colleges and universities throughout the country evaluated the course using pre- and post-test questions, which included multiple choice and short answer questions, weekly course content evaluations, and an extensive post-course evaluation. The large majority of participating teachers rated the overall course, scientific content, internet delivery, and study materials as ‘good’, the most positive response available. Feedback from faculty members as well as suggestions from NASA reviewers were used to enhance the final version of the textbook and Investigations Manual for the Fall 2010 academic semester. Following the proven course work of AMS Weather and AMS Ocean Studies, AMS Climate Studies is a turnkey package utilizing both printed and online materials. It covers topics such as the water in Earth’s climate system, paleoclimates, along with climate change and public policy. The Investigations include 30 complimentary lab-style activities including the Conceptual Energy Model, which explores the flow of energy from space to Earth. Additionally, the course website features Current Climate Studies where

  18. Impact of backwards faded scaffolding approach to inquiry-based astronomy laboratory experiences on undergraduate non-science majors' views of scientific inquiry

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  19. Non-science majors gain valuable insight studying clinical trials literature: an evidence-based medicine library assignment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Janet S; Martin, Lucy; Curtin, Dara; Penhale, Sara; Trueblood, Nathan A

    2004-12-01

    When faced with a diagnosis, it is empowering to be able to assess the evidence of treatment effectiveness and safety. To teach this skill to non-science majors, we assigned the "Responsible Patienthood Project" (RPP). For the RPP, students studied an array of disease and treatment literature: the final product of their work was a poster presentation, in which they did an in-depth analysis of one primary article, thus encouraging critical evaluation of experimental design, methods, and conclusions. Post-RPP, there was a 35% decrease in the student perception that they would unquestioningly accept a recommended treatment for a hypothetical diagnosis, and a 40% increase in the perception that they would consult a combination of resources, including primary articles. We recommend this project based on our results that suggest 1) non-science majors are able to successfully access and assess primary scientific literature, 2) students felt empowered by the RPP, and 3) skills in information gathering, via library instruction, may serve as a particularly helpful lifelong learning tool.

  20. Using Internet-Based Robotic Telescopes to Engage Non-Science Majors in Astronomical Observation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berryhill, K. J.; Coble, K.; Slater, T. F.; McLin, K. M.; Cominsky, L. R.

    2013-12-01

    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

  1. Scientific reasoning abilities of non-science majors in physics-based courses

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    Moore, J Christopher

    2011-01-01

    We have found that non-STEM majors taking either a conceptual physics or astronomy course at two regional comprehensive institutions score significantly lower pre-instruction on the Lawson's Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning (LCTSR) in comparison to national average STEM majors. The majority of non-STEM students can be classified as either concrete operational or transitional reasoners in Piaget's theory of cognitive development, whereas in the STEM population formal operational reasoners are far more prevalent. In particular, non-STEM students demonstrate significant difficulty with proportional and hypothetico-deductive reasoning. Pre-scores on the LCTSR are correlated with normalized learning gains on various concept inventories. The correlation is strongest for content that can be categorized as mostly theoretical, meaning a lack of directly observable exemplars, and weakest for content categorized as mostly descriptive, where directly observable exemplars are abundant. Although the implementation of...

  2. Putting Students on the Hot Seat to Stimulate Interest in Biology in Non-Science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fowler, Samantha R.

    2012-01-01

    The Hot Seat is a discussion-based activity that requires students enrolled in a biology course for non-majors to pose a question to the class that is related to the current lecture topic and facilitate a brief class discussion. This paper describes the Hot Seat, how it is assessed, and how it has influenced students' attitudes toward the course…

  3. Spatial abilities, Earth science conceptual understanding, and psychological gender of university non-science majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  4. Improving scientific learning and supporting civic engagement for undergraduate non-science majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Alana Presley

    In prior research focusing on teaching and learning science, a definitive trend toward a new approach for undergraduate non-major science courses has emerged. Instruction should be refocused from information-transfer to giving students experiences that allow them to explore and engage in their new knowledge and find ways to integrate it into their everyday lives. One technique is to focus class material on real issues of interest and relevance. Course development that allows for civic engagement and self discovery connects learning to the lives of students and their communities. This study used a quasi-- experimental design to see if students who engaged in their learning had improved learning gains, increased motivation, and ability to relate it to their lives. The results showed that students were more motivated to connect the subject to their lives when they engaged through civic engagement projects. Techniques used in this research can be used in the future to develop science courses that focus on the needs of 21st century learners.

  5. Study of Introductory Geology lab sections for education majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldwin, Kathryn A.

    This study began with a concern that many elementary teachers hold negative attitudes toward science, lack the confidence to teach science, and/or do not feel qualified to teach science. This quasi-experimental study examined preservice teachers' beliefs regarding teaching science pre and post semester in an Introductory Geology course. Data for the study was collected for three semesters from preservice teachers enrolled in an Introductory Geology lab designed for elementary education majors. After obtaining informed consent, the Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument Form B (STEBI-B), and a course survey, were administered during the first and last lab class sessions. Paired t-tests were performed to examine changes in Personal Science Teaching Efficacy (PSTE), Science Teaching Outcome Expectancy (STOE), feelings of success in the course, and comfort level with science topics. Surveys were paired using a code provided by the preservice teachers at the top of the survey. In addition, written responses regarding the experience of the elementary education majors' lab section were also examined. Results of this study indicate a significant difference in Personal Science Teaching Efficacy (PSTE), feelings of success for lab, feelings of success in lecture, and comfort level with science topics. No significant differences were found in Science Teaching Outcome Expectancy (STOE) or feelings of success in the course overall. Written comments suggest preservice teachers found their experience in the education majors' lab to be better than other students in the course. The reasons the preservice teachers believed their experience to be better was: they were with like majors, obtained lesson plans and ideas, the material presented was relevant to their future careers as teachers, the Teaching Assistant characteristics, and a smaller class size. This study indicates that it is possible for changes in preservice teachers' science teaching self-efficacy and comfort level

  6. The Effect of a Computer Program Designed with Constructivist Principles for College Non-Science Majors on Understanding of Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wielard, Valerie Michelle

    2013-01-01

    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,…

  7. The Impact of Transformational Leadership, Experiential Learning, and Reflective Journaling on the Conservation Ethic of Tertiary-Level Non-Science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Bradley Robert

    2013-01-01

    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…

  8. Elementary School Teachers' Knowledge of Model Functions and Modeling Processes: A Comparison of Science and Non-Science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Jing-Wen

    2014-01-01

    This study aimed to: (a) understand practicing teachers' knowledge of model functions and modeling processes, (b) compare the similarities and differences between the knowledge of science and non-science major teachers, and (c) explore the possible reasons for the similarities and differences between the knowledge of these 2 groups. A 4-point…

  9. Assessing Outcomes of a Realistic Major Preview in an Introductory Sport Management Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierce, David; Wanless, Elizabeth; Johnson, James

    2014-01-01

    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…

  10. How Are Non-Geography Majors Motivated in a Large Introductory World Geography Course?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Seung Won; Huynh, Niem Tu

    2015-01-01

    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…

  11. Introductory geology for elementary education majors utilizing a constructivist approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, L.M.; Kelso, P.R.; Rexroad, C.B.

    2001-01-01

    "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.

  12. The Tyranny of Majority--On the Introductory of On Liberty

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    武虹; 黎奇

    2013-01-01

    Everyone is born with inviolable human rights. The basic one is liberty. In history, people have made great efforts to be emancipated from tyranny, for they held it a firm belief that with efforts made, freedom they would get. However, John Stuart Mill, a famous English philosopher during the Victorian age, presented us a dif-ferent view on tyranny and liberty in the introductory of his famous work—On Liberty. The tyranny of majority makes it impossible for people achieve the real liberty. Once people overthrow the former government, they will form a new tyranny, which is more formidable than the former one.

  13. Case studies of community college non-science majors: Effects of self-regulatory interventions on biology self-efficacy and biological literacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurer, Matthew J.

    Science literacy has been at the heart of current reform efforts in science education. The focus on developing essential skills needed for individual ability to be literate in science has been at the forefront of most K--12 science curricula. Reform efforts have begun to stretch into the postsecondary arena as well, with an ever increasing dialogue regarding the need for attention to science literacy by college students, especially non-science majors. This study set out to investigate how the use of self-regulatory interventions (specifically, goal setting, concept mapping, and reflective writing) affected student biology self-efficacy and biological literacy. This study employed a qualitative research design, analyzing three case studies. Participants in the study received ten self-regulatory interventions as a set of portfolio assignments. Portfolio work was qualitatively analyzed and coded for self-efficacy, as well as evidence of biological literacy. A biology self-efficacy survey was administered pre- and post- to provide a means of self-efficacy data triangulation. Literacy data was supported via a biological literacy rubric, constructed specifically for this study. Results indicated that mastery experiences were the source of biology self-efficacy. Self-efficacy for specific tasks increased over time, and changes in self-efficacy were corroborated by the self-efficacy survey. Students were found to express biological literacy at nominal, functional, or conceptual levels depending on the specific task. This was supported by data from the biological literacy rubric scores. Final conclusions and implications for the study indicated the need for further research with more samples of students in similar and different contexts. Given the fact that the literature in this area is sparse, the results obtained here have only begun to delve into this area of research. Generalization to other biology courses or contexts outside of the one presented in this study was

  14. Testing a Model of the Relationship of Demographic, Affective, and Fitness Variables to Academic Achievement among Non-Science Majors at an Independent University

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  15. Student anxiety in introductory biology classrooms: Perceptions about active learning and persistence in the major.

    Science.gov (United States)

    England, Benjamin J; Brigati, Jennifer R; Schussler, Elisabeth E

    2017-01-01

    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.

  16. The Science Teaching Self-Efficacy of Prospective Elementary Education Majors Enrolled in Introductory Geology Lab Sections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldwin, Kathryn A.

    2014-01-01

    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…

  17. The Science Teaching Self-Efficacy of Prospective Elementary Education Majors Enrolled in Introductory Geology Lab Sections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldwin, Kathryn A.

    2014-01-01

    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…

  18. Effects of Node-Link Mapping on Non-Science Majors' Meaningful Learning and Conceptual Change in a Life-Science Survey Lecture Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park-Martinez, Jayne Irene

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of node-link mapping on students' meaningful learning and conceptual change in a 1-semester introductory life-science course. This study used node-link mapping to integrate and apply the National Research Council's (NRC, 2005) three principles of human learning: engaging students' prior…

  19. Research and Teaching: Photovoice as a Pedagogical Tool--Student Engagement in Undergraduate Introductory Chemistry for Nonscience Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stroud, Mary W.

    2014-01-01

    This study explores the use of Photovoice as a pedagogical tool in two introductory undergraduate chemistry courses for nonscience majors. Photovoice, historically linked to participatory action research, is a qualitative mode of inquiry in which the perspectives provided in narratives and pictures are generally personal, subjective, and unique.…

  20. Using Video Analysis and Biomechanics to Engage Life Science Majors in Introductory Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephens, Jeff

    There is an interest in Introductory Physics for the Life Sciences (IPLS) as a way to better engage students in what may be their only physical science course. In this talk I will present some low cost and readily available technologies for video analysis and how they have been implemented in classes and in student research projects. The technologies include software like Tracker and LoggerPro for video analysis and low cost high speed cameras for capturing real world events. The focus of the talk will be on content created by students including two biomechanics research projects performed over the summer by pre-physical therapy majors. One project involved assessing medial knee displacement (MKD), a situation where the subject's knee becomes misaligned during a squatting motion and is a contributing factor in ACL and other knee injuries. The other project looks at the difference in landing forces experienced by gymnasts and cheer-leaders while performing on foam mats versus spring floors. The goal of this talk is to demonstrate how easy it can be to engage life science majors through the use of video analysis and topics like biomechanics and encourage others to try it for themselves.

  1. Measuring the Impact of App Inventor for Android and Studio-Based Learning in an Introductory Computer Science Course for Non-Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, Khuloud Nasser

    2012-01-01

    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…

  2. Measuring the Impact of App Inventor for Android and Studio-Based Learning in an Introductory Computer Science Course for Non-Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmad, Khuloud Nasser

    2012-01-01

    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…

  3. Enhancing Introductory Student Motivation with a Major-Managed Course Blog: A Pilot Study

    CERN Document Server

    August, Ashley A; Cory, Bryant T; Finkley, Elliott R; Jones, Robbie D; Marshall, Dennis W; Rowley, Phillip C; Lane, W Brian

    2011-01-01

    Enhancing motivation and learning attitudes in an introductory physics course is an important but difficult task that can be achieved through class blogging. We incorporated into an introductory course a blog operated by upper-level physics students. Using the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey (CLASS), periodic in-class surveys, analysis of student blog comments, and post-instructional interviews, we evaluate how the blog combined with class instruction provided the students with a better sense of relevance and confidence and outline recommendations for future use of this strategy.

  4. Venturing toward better teaching: STEM professors' efforts to improve their introductory undergraduate pedagogy at major research universities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schell, Julie Anne

    This study explored 20 tenured professors' teaching improvement efforts in introductory undergraduate science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) classrooms at two major American research universities (MRUS). It identified the mechanisms central to these professors' efforts to improve their undergraduate teaching and the influences and resources shaping those efforts. Despite the billions of federal dollars invested in STEM educational enhancement, STEM professors' teaching improvement efforts are little understood. This research examined this problem through analysis of 40 in-depth interviews (two per participating professor), 36 observations of professors' classroom teaching, and hundreds of documents representing professors' instructional efforts and career progression. The following propositions summarize key study findings: First, contrary to prevailing views, some STEM professors in MRUs do engage in efforts to improve their introductory teaching. Second, some of these professors employ creative, strategic, and systematic designs in so doing. Third, STEM professors' teaching improvement efforts are contextualized by internal and external forces that may facilitate or stymie their teaching improvement endeavors. Finally, STEM professors may be aware of institutional and external resources available to them as supports toward introductory STEM teaching improvement. Taken together, the data suggest that some university STEM professors do engage in efforts to improve their teaching and that such effort may be more common than popular opinion holds. The study revealed the inaccuracy of common beliefs and policy assumptions that the large majority of MRU-based STEM professors neglect their introductory teaching, do not care about it, lack knowledge about students and pedagogy, and prefer use of (and consistently rely on) conventional teaching approaches. To the contrary, all 20 participating professors were found to devote extensive energy toward

  5. Enhancing the Educational Astronomical Experience of Non-Science Majors With the Use of an iPad and Telescope (Abstract)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gill, R. M.; Burin, M. J.

    2012-12-01

    General Education (GE) classes are designed to broaden the understanding of all college and university students in areas outside their major interest. However, most GE classes are lecture type and do not facilitate hands-on experimental or observational activities related to the specific subject matter. Utilizing several astronomy application programs (apps), currently available for the iPad and iPhone, in conjunction with a small inexpensive telescope allows students unique hands-on experiences to explore and observe astronomical objects and concepts independently outside of class. These activities enhance the student's overall GE experience in a unique way not possible prior to the development of this technology.

  6. How gender and reformed introductory physics impacts student success in advanced physics courses and continuation in the physics major

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, Idaykis; Potvin, Geoff; Kramer, Laird H.

    2016-12-01

    [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.

  7. Predicting Student Success in a Major's Introductory Biology Course via Logistic Regression Analysis of Scientific Reasoning Ability and Mathematics Scores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, E. David; Bowling, Bethany V.; Markle, Ross E.

    2017-02-01

    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.

  8. Humor to the Rescue: How to Make Introductory Economics an Appealing Social Science for Non-Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, George H.

    2014-01-01

    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…

  9. Does Participation in a Computer-Based Learning Program in Introductory Financial Accounting Course Lead to Choosing Accounting as a Major?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owhoso, Vincent; Malgwi, Charles A.; Akpomi, Margaret

    2014-01-01

    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])…

  10. Does Participation in a Computer-Based Learning Program in Introductory Financial Accounting Course Lead to Choosing Accounting as a Major?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owhoso, Vincent; Malgwi, Charles A.; Akpomi, Margaret

    2014-01-01

    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])…

  11. High school and college introductory science education experiences: A study regarding perceptions of university students persisting in science as a major area of study

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  12. Laboratory Activity to Effectively Teach Introductory Geomicrobiology Concepts to Non-Geology Majors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Massimiliano Marvasi

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available 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 microbialinduced 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.

  13. Laboratory activity to effectively teach introductory geomicrobiology concepts to non-geology majors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marvasi, Massimiliano; Davila-Vazquez, Yarely C; Martinez, Lilliam Casillas

    2013-01-01

    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.

  14. Observing Projects in Introductory Astronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, M. Suzanne

    2016-01-01

    Introductory astronomy classes without laboratory components face a unique challenge of how to expose students to the process of science in the framework of a lecture course. As a solution to this problem small group observing projects are incorporated into a 40 student introductory astronomy class composed primarily of non-science majors. Students may choose from 8 observing projects such as graphing the motion of the moon or a planet, measuring daily and seasonal motions of stars, and determining the rotation rate of the Sun from sunspots. Each group completes two projects, requiring the students to spend several hours outside of class making astronomical observations. Clear instructions and a check-list style observing log help students with minimal observing experience to take accurate data without direct instructor assistance. Students report their findings in a lab report-style paper, as well as in a formal oral or poster presentation. The projects serve a double purpose of allowing students to directly experience concepts covered in class as well as providing students with experience collecting, analyzing, and presenting astronomical data.

  15. State of laboratory manual instruction in California community college introductory (non-majors) biology laboratory instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Priest, Michelle

    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

  16. Promoting Student Inquiry Using "Zea Mays" (Corn) Cultivars for Hypothesis-Driven Experimentation in a Majors Introductory Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, Amy C.; Peters, Brenda J.; Bendixen, Conrad W.

    2014-01-01

    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…

  17. Promoting Student Inquiry Using "Zea Mays" (Corn) Cultivars for Hypothesis-Driven Experimentation in a Majors Introductory Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blair, Amy C.; Peters, Brenda J.; Bendixen, Conrad W.

    2014-01-01

    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…

  18. Introductory Overviews

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jakeman, A.J.; Hamilton, S.H.; Athanasiadis, I.N.; Pierce, S.A.

    2015-01-01

    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 m

  19. Introductory Chemistry

    OpenAIRE

    Baron, Mark; Gonzalez-Rodriguez, Jose; Stevens, Gary; Gray, Nathan; Atherton, Thomas; Winn, Joss

    2010-01-01

    Teaching and Learning resources for the 1st Year Introductory Chemistry course (Forensic Science). 30 credits. These are Open Educational Resources (OER), made available for re-use under a Creative Commons license.

  20. Introductory remarks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kiefer, Friedemann; Schulte-Merker, Stefan

    2014-01-01

    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.

  1. Data Analysis Activities and Problems for the Computer Science Major in a Post-calculus Introductory Statistics Course

    OpenAIRE

    Sanchez, Juana

    2011-01-01

    The material presented here is a very small subset of problems currently being prepared for a larger instructional improvement pro ject funded by the Office of Instructional Development (OID) at UCLA. The objective of the pro ject is to create a manual with data sets and contextual problems for Computer Science majors that will complement the textbooks used in the calculus-based upper-division Applied Statistics course. More than one third of the students in this course are from Computer Sci...

  2. Shaping Attitudes Toward Science in an Introductory Astronomy Class

    CERN Document Server

    Wittman, D

    2009-01-01

    At many universities, astronomy is a popular way for non-science majors to fulfill a general education requirement. Because general-education astronomy may be the only college-level science course taken by these students, it is the last chance to shape the science attitudes of these future journalists, teachers, politicians, and voters. I report on an attempt to measure and induce changes in science attitudes in my general-education astronomy course. I describe construction of the attitude survey, classroom activities designed to influence attitudes, and give numerical results indicating a significant improvement. In contrast, the literature on attitudes in introductory physics courses generally reports stagnation or decline. I briefly comment on some plausible explanations for this difference.

  3. Introductory Persian.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stilo, Donald L.; And Others

    This introductory text for Persian was designed for use in intensive Peace Corps training, with emphasis on the field of teaching English as a foreign language. The text includes an introduction which gives the language instructor a brief outline of how to teach the course. Each lesson consists of a dialogue followed by pattern practices of…

  4. A Sustainable Energy Laboratory Course for Non-Science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nathan, Stephen A.; Loxsom, Fred

    2016-01-01

    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…

  5. Developing Scientific Literacy in Non-science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winrich, C.; Holt, S.; Philips, J.; Laprise, S.; Simons, L.

    2004-12-01

    We present a three-tiered interdisciplinary program designed for business students at Babson College. At the foundation level, we introduce fundamental ideas in physical and biological science as they relate to a particular theme. In the intermediate tier, we discuss the technologies that arise from the broad understanding of science developed at the previous level, and their impact on society. In the optional advanced tier, we further explore the relationship between science and society. At all levels, the broader impact of technological and scientific progress is explored through discussion of current events, works of art, and popular culture.

  6. News clippings for introductory astronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bobrowsky, Matthew

    1999-09-01

    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.

  7. Introductory graph theory

    CERN Document Server

    Chartrand, Gary

    1984-01-01

    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

  8. Introductory statistics

    CERN Document Server

    Ross, Sheldon M

    2005-01-01

    In this revised text, master expositor Sheldon Ross has produced a unique work in introductory statistics. The text's main merits are the clarity of presentation, contemporary examples and applications from diverse areas, and an explanation of intuition and ideas behind the statistical methods. To quote from the preface, ""It is only when a student develops a feel or intuition for statistics that she or he is really on the path toward making sense of data."" Ross achieves this goal through a coherent mix of mathematical analysis, intuitive discussions and examples.* Ross's clear writin

  9. Introductory statistics

    CERN Document Server

    Ross, Sheldon M

    2010-01-01

    In this 3rd edition revised text, master expositor Sheldon Ross has produced a unique work in introductory statistics. The text's main merits are the clarity of presentation, contemporary examples and applications from diverse areas, and an explanation of intuition and ideas behind the statistical methods. Concepts are motivated, illustrated and explained in a way that attempts to increase one's intuition. To quote from the preface, ""It is only when a student develops a feel or intuition for statistics that she or he is really on the path toward making sense of data."" Ross achieves this

  10. [How to distinguish science from non science].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antiseri, D

    1991-01-01

    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.

  11. Introductory Comments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jolanta Sujecka

    2016-12-01

    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.

  12. Concept Maps in Introductory Statistics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witmer, Jeffrey A.

    2016-01-01

    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.

  13. Essays on Eclipses, Transits and Occultations as Teaching Tools in the Introductory Astronomy College Course

    CERN Document Server

    Dcruz, Noella L

    2014-01-01

    We occasionally include projects in our learner-centered introductory astronomy college course to enable non-science major students explore some astronomical concepts in more detail than otherwise. Such projects also highlight ongoing or upcoming astronomical events. We hope that students will feel more interested in astronomy through projects tied to astronomical events. In Spring 2012, we offered short essays focused on eclipses, transits and occultations to promote the rare transit of Venus that occurred on June 5th, 2012. We asked students to write two short essays from three that were offered. The essays contained descriptive and conceptual parts. They were meant to serve as teaching tools. 62% of 106 essays from 55 students earned A, B or C grades. 21% of 47 feedback survey respondents felt the essays increased their interest in astronomy. 49% of respondents felt that the essays were not educationally beneficial and should not be offered again. The most common written response to our survey indicated th...

  14. Using Science Fiction Movies in Introductory Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dark, Marta L.

    2005-10-01

    This paper discusses the use of science fiction movies in introductory physics courses at Spelman College. There are several reasons to use these movies in the classroom environment. Movies are a visual learning aid. Introductory physics students show a strong interest in participating in movie-related activities compared to standard group problem-solving sessions. Finally, these activities encourage creative thinking and can be used to develop writing skills. The students involved with these movie-based activities have included biology and pre-medical majors taking general physics. In the introductory level courses, physics, chemistry, and engineering majors worked on movie-based activities.

  15. Mathematization in introductory physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  16. A National Study Assessing the Teaching and Learning of Introductory Astronomy Part II: Analysis of Student Demographics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudolph, Alexander; Prather, E. E.; Brissenden, G.; Consiglio, D.; Gonzaga, V.

    2010-01-01

    This is the second in a series of reports on a national study of the teaching and learning of astronomy in general education, non-science major, introductory college astronomy courses (Astro 101). The results show dramatic improvement in student learning with increased use of interactive learning strategies even after controlling for individual student characteristics. In addition, we find that the positive effects of interactive learning strategies apply equally to men and women, across ethnicities, for students with all levels of prior mathematical preparation and physical science course experience, independent of GPA, and regardless of primary language. These results powerfully illustrate that all categories of students can benefit from the effective implementation of interactive learning strategies.

  17. CAS Introductory Course in Italy

    CERN Multimedia

    2008-01-01

    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...

  18. Teaching Introductory Psychology: Tips from "ToP"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griggs, Richard A., Ed.; Jackson, Sherri L., Ed.

    2011-01-01

    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…

  19. Do College Introductory Biology Courses Increase Student Ecological Literacy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheruvelil, Kendra Spence; Ye, Xuemei

    2012-01-01

    College introductory biology educators have an opportunity to increase ecological literacy. This research used a pre-/postsurvey design to ask the following questions: (a) What level of ecological literacy do underclass science majors have? (b) What demographic factors are related to ecological literacy? and (c) Does taking introductory organismal…

  20. Integrated Circuits in the Introductory Electronics Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    English, Thomas C.; Lind, David A.

    1973-01-01

    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)

  1. Inference and the Introductory Statistics Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfannkuch, Maxine; Regan, Matt; Wild, Chris; Budgett, Stephanie; Forbes, Sharleen; Harraway, John; Parsonage, Ross

    2011-01-01

    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…

  2. Teaching Introductory Physics with an Environmental Focus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinuk, Mathew ``Sandy''; Moll, Rachel F.; Kotlicki, Andrzej

    2010-09-01

    Throughout North America the curriculum of introductory physics courses is nearly standardized. In 1992, Tobias wrote that four texts dominate 90% of the introductory physics market and current physics education research is focusing on how to sustain educational reforms.2 The instructional team at the University of British Columbia (UBC) recently implemented some key curriculum and pedagogical changes in Physics 100, their algebra-based introductory course for non-physics majors. These changes were aimed at improving their students' attitudes toward physics and their ability to apply physics concepts to useful real-life situations. In order to demonstrate that physics is relevant to real life, a theme of energy and environment was incorporated into the course.

  3. 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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heyer, Inge; Slater, Stephanie J.; Slater, Timothy F.

    2013-12-01

    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

  4. Introductory statistical thermodynamics

    CERN Document Server

    Dalarsson, Nils; Golubovic, Leonardo

    2011-01-01

    Introductory Statistical Thermodynamics is a text for an introductory one-semester course in statistical thermodynamics for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students in physics and engineering. The book offers a high level of detail in derivations of all equations and results. This information is necessary for students to grasp difficult concepts in physics that are needed to move on to higher level courses. The text is elementary, self contained, and mathematically well-founded, containing a number of problems with detailed solutions to help students to grasp the more difficult

  5. Teaching the Media and Information Technology Major an Introduction to Engineering of Modern Communication Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Zakzewski

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available The Information Revolution has had a profound impact on technical and non-technical professions. Therefore, an understanding of the basic scientific and engineering principles behind computers and electronic communication is important for students from all disciplines, especially those students majoring in Media and Information Technology (MIT. The Department of Physics and Electrical Engineering at The University of Scranton has met this need through a two semester series of courses for the non-science major entitled Introduction to Consumer Technology (PHYS 104 and Information Technology (PHYS 204. Although these courses assume no prior engineering background, they provide a meaningful technical experience that includes a quantitative approach to problem solving. This paper will outline the challenges faced teaching engineering to the non-engineering major and the topics covered in the first semester of these introductory engineering courses.

  6. Extending and Evaluating and Novel Course Reform of introductory Mechanics

    CERN Document Server

    Caballero, Marcos D

    2011-01-01

    The research presented in this thesis was motivated by the need to improve introductory physics courses. Introductory physics courses are generally the first courses in which students learn to create models to solve complex problems. However, many students taking introductory physics courses fail to acquire a command of the concepts, methods and tools presented in these courses. The reforms proposed by this thesis focus on altering the content of introductory courses rather than content delivery methods as most reforms do. This thesis explores how the performance on a widely used test of conceptual understanding in mechanics compares between students taking a course with updated and modified content and students taking a traditional course. Better performance by traditional students was found to stem from their additional practice on the types of items which appeared on the test. The results of this work brought into question the role of the introductory physics course for non-majors. One aspect of this new r...

  7. Introductory real analysis

    CERN Document Server

    Kolmogorov, A N; Silverman, Richard A

    1975-01-01

    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.

  8. Sustainable careers: Introductory chapter

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heijden, B.I.J.M. van der; Vos, A de

    2015-01-01

    In this introductory chapter we will introduce the concept of ‘sustainable careers’ within the broader framework of contemporary careers. Departing from changes in the career context with regard to the dimensions of time, social space, agency and meaning, we advocate a fresh perspective on careers t

  9. Introductory Spanish IV.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dade County Public Schools, Miami, FL.

    This introductory conversational course in Spanish is intended primarily for use in the classroom. The student is to learn some general differences between Argentina and the United States and how to better describe his friends. The common verbs "tener,""venir,""ir,""dar," and those that change "e" are presented. Additional uses of "ser" and…

  10. An Introductory Lisp Parser.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loritz, Donald

    1987-01-01

    Gives a short grammar of the Lisp computer language. Presents an introductory English parser (Simparse) as an example of how to write a parser in Lisp. Lists references for further explanation. Intended as preparation for teachers who may use computer-assisted language instruction in the future. (LMO)

  11. Evidence for anecdotes: Examining use of stories in introductory biology courses with a mixed-methods approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreps, Jennifer Susan

    2005-11-01

    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 < .01) with teaching experience, until 26 years of teaching, when it declined. The student survey uncovered no significant differences in story use by gender or ethnicity, although non-science majors reported that their instructors used stories significantly more frequently (p < .01) than did science majors. Simultaneous-entry multiple regression analyses indicated that there was a significant positive relationship between story use and cognitive and

  12. Sensors an introductory course

    CERN Document Server

    Kalantar-zadeh, Kourosh

    2013-01-01

    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...

  13. Introductory statistical inference

    CERN Document Server

    Mukhopadhyay, Nitis

    2014-01-01

    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

  14. Healthcare and biomedical technology in the 21st century an introduction for non-science majors

    CERN Document Server

    Baran, George R; Samuel, Solomon Praveen

    2014-01-01

    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...

  15. A Different Kind of Science for the Non-Science Major.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibarra, Hector

    This paper reports on a small scale study undertaken at the University of Iowa to examine whether students perceive a difference as to the value of learning in General Education Requirement (GER) science classes compared to learning in science application courses. It also explores the need for a different approach to the teaching of science…

  16. The Art of Astronomy: A New General Education Course for Non-Science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilachowski, Catherine A.; van Zee, Liese

    2017-01-01

    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.

  17. Developing New Pedagogy to Teach Planet Formation to Undergraduate Non-Science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Molly; Impey, Chris David; Buxner, Sanlyn

    2016-06-01

    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.

  18. Relativity in Introductory Physics

    CERN Document Server

    Baylis, W E

    2004-01-01

    A century after its formulation by Einstein, it is time to incorporate special relativity early in the physics curriculum. The approach advocated here employs a simple algebraic extension of vector formalism that generates Minkowski spacetime, displays covariant symmetries, and enables calculations of boosts and spatial rotations without matrices or tensors. The approach is part of a comprehensive geometric algebra with applications in many areas of physics, but only an intuitive subset is needed at the introductory level. The approach and some of its extensions are given here and illustrated with insights into the geometry of spacetime.

  19. Teaching Elementary Accounting to Non-Accounting Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lloyd, Cynthia B.; Abbey, Augustus

    2009-01-01

    A central recurring theme in business education is the optimal strategy for improving introductory accounting, the gateway subject of business education. For many students, especially non-accounting majors, who are required to take introductory accounting as a requirement of the curriculum, introductory accounting has become a major obstacle for…

  20. Modern introductory physics

    CERN Document Server

    Holbrow, Charles H; Amato, Joseph C; Galvez, Enrique; Parks, M. Elizabeth

    2010-01-01

    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...

  1. Using Analogies to Learn Introductory Physics

    CERN Document Server

    Lin, Shih-Yin

    2016-01-01

    Identifying the relevant physics principles is a central component of problem solving. A major goal of most introductory physics courses is to help students discern the deep similarities between problems based upon the physics principles so that they can transfer what they learned by solving one problem to solve another problem which involves the same principle. We conducted an investigation in which 251 calculus- and algebra-based introductory physics students were asked explicitly in the recitation quiz to learn from a solved problem and then solve another problem that has different surface features but the same underlying physics principles. We find that many students were able to discern the deep similarities between the problems. When the solved problem was provided, students were likely to invoke the correct principles; however, more scaffolding is needed to help students apply these principles correctly.

  2. A National Study Assessing the Teaching and Learning of Introductory Astronomy; Part II: Analysis of Student Demographics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prather, E. E.; Consiglio, D.; Rudolph, A. L.; Brissenden, G.

    2011-09-01

    This is the second in a series of reports on a national study of the teaching and learning of astronomy in general education, non-science major, introductory astronomy courses (Astro 101). We report here on the analysis of how individual student characteristics affect student learning in these classes, and whether the demonstrated positive effect of interactive learning strategies on student learning differs based on these characteristics. This analysis was conducted using data from nearly 2000 students enrolled in 69 Astro 101 classes taught across the country. These students completed a 15-question demographic survey, in addition to completing the 26-question Light and Spectroscopy Concept Inventory (LSCI) pre- and post-instruction. The LSCI was used to determine student learning via a normalized gain calculated for each student. A multivariate regression analysis was conducted to determine how ascribed characteristics (personal demographic and family characteristics), obtained characteristics (academic achievement and student major), and the use of interactive learning strategies predict student learning in these classes. The results show dramatic improvement in student learning with increased use of interactive learning strategies even after controlling for individual characteristics. In addition, we find that the positive effects of interactive learning strategies are the same for strong and weak students, men and women, across ethnicities, and regardless of primary language. The research strongly suggests all students benefit from interactive learning strategies.

  3. Integrating Excel Spreadsheets into the Introductory Astronomy Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keohane, Jonathan W.; Bartlett, J. L.; Bloom, S. D.; Foy, J. P.; Thurman, H. O.

    2008-05-01

    At Hampden-Sydney College, we teach a one-semester introductory astronomy class targeting non-science majors. This course fulfills the laboratory science requirement, and as such the class is obligated to teach transferable skills such as basic numeracy, quantitative reasoning and data analysis. To this end, we explicitly teach the use of the most commonly available data analysis program, which is currently Microsoft Excel. The laboratory sciences are ideally suited to teaching these skills. During each laboratory session, students explore an astronomical phenomenon related to the lectures for that week. Randomly assigned partners use computers to analyze their data in spreadsheets and to write detailed reports structured like journal articles. We present nine Excel templates, along with the corresponding laboratory instructions, that are designed to teach general data analysis techniques using spreadsheets within the context of a traditional astronomy laboratory. These exercises begin with basic calculations and move toward more complex ones such as least squares fitting of sine functions and calculating distances from measured magnitudes and assumed luminosities. Laboratory Exercises with Excel TemplatesMeasuring AnglesThis first lab uses the small angle formula.Jupiter's MoonsThe students take data with the CLEA lab of Jupiter's moons, but complete the data analysis using Excel. This includes least squares fitting of sine functions.Astrometry and ParallaxThe students complete the Astrometry of Asteroids CLEA lab, but perform the parallax calculations using Excel.The Resolution of a TelescopeThe students measure the resolution of their naked eyes and a telescope, using two eye charts, along with the theoretical resolution of the telescope for comparison.The Light Gathering Power of a TelescopeThe students observe a light bulb using a telescope equipped with a photometer and a mask of variable aperture.Solar RadiationThe students measure the length of a solar day

  4. Introductory physics going soft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langbeheim, Elon; Livne, Shelly; Safran, Samuel A.; Yerushalmi, Edit

    2012-01-01

    We describe an elective course on soft matter at the level of introductory physics. Soft matter physics serves as a context that motivates the presentation of basic ideas in statistical thermodynamics and their applications. It also is an example of a contemporary field that is interdisciplinary and touches on chemistry, biology, and physics. We outline a curriculum that uses the lattice gas model as a quantitative and visual tool, initially to introduce entropy, and later to facilitate the calculation of interactions. We demonstrate how free energy minimization can be used to teach students to understand the properties of soft matter systems such as the phases of fluid mixtures, wetting of interfaces, self-assembly of surfactants, and polymers. We discuss several suggested activities in the form of inquiry projects which allow students to apply the concepts they have learned to experimental systems.

  5. Indiana secondary students' evolution learning experiences and demarcations of science from non-science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donnelly, Lisa A.

    2007-12-01

    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

  6. Teaching introductory physics a sourcebook

    CERN Document Server

    Swartz, Clifford E

    1996-01-01

    Introductory physics attracts a wide variety of students, with different backgrounds, levels of preparedness, and academic destinations. To many, the course is one of the most daunting in the science curriclum, full of arcane principles that are difficult to grasp. To others, it is one of the most highly anticipated -the first step on the path to the upper reaches of scientific inquiry. In their years as instructors and as editors of The Physics Teacher, Clifford E. Swartz and the late Thomas Miner developed and encountered many innovative and effective ways of introducing students to the fundamental principles of physics. Teaching Introductory Physics brings these strategies, insights and techniques to you in a unique, convenient volume. This is a reference and a tutorial book for teachers of an introductory physics course at any level. It has review articles on most of the topics of introductory physics, providing background information and suggestions about presentation and relative importance. Whether you...

  7. Introductory Statistics in the Garden

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagaman, John C.

    2017-01-01

    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.

  8. Teaching Introductory Psychology in the Community College Classroom: Enhancing Student Understanding and Retention of Essential Information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debb, Scott M.; Debb, Sharon M.

    2012-01-01

    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…

  9. An Analysis of Learning Objectives and Content Coverage in Introductory Psychology Syllabi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Homa, Natalie; Hackathorn, Jana; Brown, Carrie M.; Garczynski, Amy; Solomon, Erin D.; Tennial, Rachel; Sanborn, Ursula A.; Gurung, Regan A. R.

    2013-01-01

    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…

  10. An Analysis of Learning Objectives and Content Coverage in Introductory Psychology Syllabi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Homa, Natalie; Hackathorn, Jana; Brown, Carrie M.; Garczynski, Amy; Solomon, Erin D.; Tennial, Rachel; Sanborn, Ursula A.; Gurung, Regan A. R.

    2013-01-01

    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…

  11. A MOOC for Introductory Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schatz, Michael

    2014-03-01

    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.

  12. Inference and the introductory statistics course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfannkuch, Maxine; Regan, Matt; Wild, Chris; Budgett, Stephanie; Forbes, Sharleen; Harraway, John; Parsonage, Ross

    2011-10-01

    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 hypothetical probabilistic reasoning process is examined in some depth. We argue that the revolution in the teaching of inference must begin. We also discuss some perplexing issues, problematic areas and some new insights into language conundrums associated with introducing the logic of inference through randomization methods.

  13. Teaching Introductory Geoscience: A Cutting Edge Workshop Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manduca, C.; Tewksbury, B.; Egger, A.; MacDonald, H.; Kirk, K.

    2008-12-01

    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.

  14. Examining issues of underrepresented minority students in introductory physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  15. Team-Based Learning Improves Course Outcomes in Introductory Psychology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Travis, Lisa L.; Hudson, Nathan W.; Henricks-Lepp, Genevieve M.; Street, Whitney S.; Weidenbenner, Jennifer

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated the influence of team-based learning (TBL) methods on exam performance and student satisfaction in an introductory psychology class. Fifteen instructors teaching 29 sections (with a combined enrollment of approximately 1,130 students) were randomly assigned to use TBL for 7 of 12 major topics or to use lecture. All students…

  16. Effect of Written Presentation on Performance in Introductory Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, John; Ballard, Shawn

    2010-01-01

    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…

  17. Recommended ACS Syllabus for Introductory Courses in Polymer Chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seymour, Raymond B.

    1982-01-01

    Provides syllabus for courses in introductory polymer chemistry (including major topics and recommended time allotments) and currently available textbooks and audio courses which may be used with the syllabus. Syllabus topics are congruent with those used in American Chemical Society (ACS) standardized examination in polymer chemistry. (Author/JN)

  18. Academic Performance in Introductory Accounting: Do Learning Styles Matter?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Lin Mei; Laswad, Fawzi

    2015-01-01

    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…

  19. Effect of Written Presentation on Performance in Introductory Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, John; Ballard, Shawn

    2010-01-01

    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…

  20. Academic Performance in Introductory Accounting: Do Learning Styles Matter?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Lin Mei; Laswad, Fawzi

    2015-01-01

    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…

  1. An Analysis of Learners in Introductory Astronomy Massive Open Online Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buxner, Sanlyn; Formanek, Martin; Impey, Chris David; Wenger, Matthew

    2016-06-01

    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.

  2. Engaging Students In Modeling Instruction for Introductory Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brewe, Eric

    2016-05-01

    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.

  3. Creativity and Introductory Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guilaran, Ildefonso J.

    2012-01-01

    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…

  4. Multiple Choice Testing for Introductory Astronomy: Design Theory Using Bloom's Taxonomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Arthur; Shawl, Stephen J.

    2013-01-01

    Professors who teach introductory astronomy to students not majoring in science desire them to comprehend the concepts and theories that form the basis of the science. They are usually less concerned about the myriad of

  5. From Gatekeeping to Engagement: A Multicontextual, Mixed Method Study of Student Academic Engagement in Introductory STEM Courses

    OpenAIRE

    Gasiewski, Josephine A.; Eagan, M. Kevin; Garcia, Gina A.; Hurtado, Sylvia; Chang, Mitchell J.

    2011-01-01

    The lack of academic engagement in introductory science courses is considered by some to be a primary reason why students switch out of science majors. This study employed a sequential, explanatory mixed methods approach to provide a richer understanding of the relationship between student engagement and introductory science instruction. Quantitative survey data were drawn from 2,873 students within 73 introductory science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses across 15 col...

  6. Improving Introductory Astronomy Education in American Colleges and Universities: A Review of Recent Progress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waller, William H.; Slater, Timothy F.

    2011-11-01

    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 of recent developments, issues, approaches, and resources, we describe and document key instructional assets that have been made available to college and university faculty who wish to enhance their teaching of introductory astronomy. We find that although faculty support has progressed intermittently, there exist numerous programs and resources that faculty can access to increase student engagement and learning in astronomy. As funding support for these various instructional assets have waxed and waned, the professional societies have served as vital anchors and agents for advancing the profession of astronomy education at the introductory undergraduate level. Our findings, though focused on astronomy education, can be applied to the practice of introductory undergraduate education throughout the Earth and space sciences.

  7. Failure Rates in Introductory Programming

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bennedsen, Jens; Caspersen, Michael Edelgaard

    2007-01-01

    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...

  8. Student Expectations in Introductory Physics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redish, Edward F.; Saul, Jeffery M.; Steinberg, Richard N.

    Students' understanding of what science is about and how it is done and their expectations as to what goes on in a science course play a powerful role in what they can get out of introductory college physics. This is particularly true when there is a large gap between what the students expect to do and what the instructor expects them to do. This…

  9. Semantics in Teaching Introductory Physics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, H. Thomas

    1999-01-01

    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…

  10. Fourier Analysis in Introductory Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huggins, Elisha

    2007-01-01

    In an after-dinner talk at the fall 2005 meeting of the New England chapter of the AAPT, Professor Robert Arns drew an analogy between classical physics and Classic Coke. To generations of physics teachers and textbook writers, classical physics was the real thing. Modern physics, which in introductory textbooks "appears in one or more extra…

  11. Information Literacy in Introductory Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firooznia, Fardad; Andreadis, Debra K.

    2006-01-01

    Incorporating information literacy exercises into the science curriculum will help students to navigate through the myriad of information available in different formats, and to become better scientific thinkers and writers. Here we describe how we incorporated such exercises in introductory biology and evaluate their effectiveness in achieving our…

  12. Citizen Science: The Small World Initiative Improved Lecture Grades and California Critical Thinking Skills Test Scores of Nonscience Major Students at Florida Atlantic University.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caruso, Joseph P; Israel, Natalie; Rowland, Kimberly; Lovelace, Matthew J; Saunders, Mary Jane

    2016-03-01

    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.

  13. Non-Science Oriented Students and the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ben-Zvi, Ruth

    1999-01-01

    Describes the development, implementation, and evaluation of a module called "Energy and the Human Being" within the framework of a program aimed at non-science-oriented students in senior high schools in Israel. Finds that students' attitudes toward science were positive and their understanding of the scientific concepts involved was…

  14. Physics Myth Busting: A Lab-Centered Course for Non-Science Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madsen, Martin John

    2011-01-01

    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…

  15. Introductory physics: The new scholasticism

    CERN Document Server

    Hogg, D W; Hogg, David W.; Mahajan, Sanjoy

    2004-01-01

    Most introductory physics textbooks neglect air resistance in situations where an astute student can observe that it dominates the dynamics. We give examples from many books. Using dimensional analysis we discuss the significance of air resistance. Our discussion can be used to mitigate the baleful influence of these textbooks. Incorrectly neglecting air resistance is just one of their many unphysical teachings. Shouldn't we require at a minimum that our textbooks be physically correct?

  16. Introductory remarks on complex multiplication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harvey Cohn

    1982-01-01

    Full Text Available Complex multiplication in its simplest form is a geometric tiling property. In its advanced form it is a unifying motivation of classical mathematics from elliptic integrals to number theory; and it is still of active interest. This interrelation is explored in an introductory expository fashion with emphasis on a central historical problem, the modular equation between j(z and j(2z.

  17. Introductory analysis a deeper view of calculus

    CERN Document Server

    Bagby, Richard J

    2000-01-01

    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

  18. Factors associated with the success of first-time African American freshmen taking introductory science lecture courses at a private HBCU

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  19. Strengthening introductory psychology: A new model for teaching the introductory course.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurung, Regan A R; Hackathorn, Jana; Enns, Carolyn; Frantz, Susan; Cacioppo, John T; Loop, Trudy; Freeman, James E

    2016-01-01

    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.

  20. Pathogenetics. An introductory review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Saad Zaghloul Salem

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Pathogenetics refers to studying the different aspects of initiation/development/progression and pathogenesis of genetic defects. It comprises the study of mutagens or factors capable of affecting the structural integrity of the genetic material leading to mutational changes that, in the majority of cases, result in harmful effects due to the resulting disturbances of functions of mutated components of the genome. The study of mutagens depicts different types of mutagenic factors, their nature, their classification according to their effects on the genetic material and their different modes of action. The study of mutation involves different types of mutations classified according to various parameters, e.g. magnitude, severity, target of mutational event as well as its nature, which can be classified, in turn, according to whether it is spontaneous or induced, static or dynamic, somatic or germinal mutation etc. Finally, pathogenetics comprises studying and delineating the different and innumerable pathophysiological alterations and pathogenetic mechanisms that are directly and indirectly involved in, and leading to, the development of genetic disorders, coupled with a parallel study of various anti-mutation mechanisms that play critical roles in minimizing the drastic effects of mutational events on the genetic material and in effective protection against the development of these diseases.

  1. Characterizing the epistemological development of physics majors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth Gire

    2009-02-01

    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.

  2. Effect of written presentation on performance in introductory physics

    OpenAIRE

    Shawn Ballard; John Stewart

    2010-01-01

    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 c...

  3. Effect of written presentation on performance in introductory physics

    OpenAIRE

    Shawn Ballard; John Stewart

    2010-01-01

    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 c...

  4. Evaluating and Extending a Novel Course Reform of Introductory Mechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caballero, Marcos Daniel

    The research presented in this thesis was motivated by the need to improve introductory physics courses. Introductory physics courses are generally the first courses in which students learn to create models to solve complex problems. However, many students taking introductory physics courses fail to acquire a command of the concepts, methods and tools presented in these courses. The reforms proposed by this thesis focus on altering the content of introductory courses rather than content delivery methods as most reforms do. This thesis explores how the performance on a widely used test of conceptual understanding in mechanics compares between students taking a course with updated and modified content and students taking a traditional course. Better performance by traditional students was found to stem from their additional practice on the types of items which appeared on the test. The results of this work brought into question the role of the introductory physics course for non-majors. One aspect of this new role is the teaching of new methods such as computation (the use of a computer to solve numerically, simulate and visualize physical problems). This thesis explores the potential benefits for students who learn computation as part of physics course. After students worked through a suite of computational homework problems, many were able to model a new physical situation with which they had no experience. The failure of some students to model this new situation might have stemmed from their unfavorable attitudes towards learning computation. In this thesis, we present the development of a new tool for characterizing students' attitudes. Preliminary measurements indicated significant differences between successful and unsuccessful students.

  5. A National Study Assessing the Teaching and Learning of Introductory Astronomy; Part I: The Effect of Interactive Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudolph, Alexander; Prather, E. E.; Brissenden, G.; Schlingman, W. M.; CATS

    2009-01-01

    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 30 institutions around the United States 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 (Naffected student learning, we developed and administered an Interactivity Assessment Instrument (IAI). This short survey, completed by instructors, allowed us to estimate the fraction of total classroom time that was dedicated to the use of interactive learning strategies. Pre-instruction LSCI scores were clustered around 25% (24±2%), independent of class size and institution type; however, the normalized gains for these classes varied from about (-)0.07-0.50. These two results suggest that the differences in gain were due to instruction in the classroom, not the size of class or type of 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 interactive instruction. 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 the higher interactivity classes was quite wide, suggesting that the use of interactive learning strategies is not sufficient by itself to achieve high student gains. We acknowledge the NSF for funding under Award No. 0715517, a CCLI Phase III Grant for the Collaboration of Astronomy Teaching Scholars (CATS) Program.

  6. A National Study Assessing the Teaching and Learning of Introductory Astronomy; Part I: The Effect of Interactive Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prather, E. E.; Rudolph, A. L.; Brissenden, G.; Schlingman, W. M.

    2011-09-01

    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 large (N˜180) and were from all types of institutions, including both 2-year and 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.

  7. The use of Multiple Representations to Enhance Student Mental Model Development of a Complex Earth System in an Introductory Geoscience Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sell, K. S.; Heather, M. R.; Herbert, B. E.

    2004-12-01

    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

  8. Using R for introductory statistics

    CERN Document Server

    Verzani, John

    2014-01-01

    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

  9. Using VMD: an introductory tutorial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsin, Jen; Arkhipov, Anton; Yin, Ying; Stone, John E; Schulten, Klaus

    2008-12-01

    VMD (Visual Molecular Dynamics) is a molecular visualization and analysis program designed for biological systems such as proteins, nucleic acids, lipid bilayer assemblies, etc. This unit will serve as an introductory VMD tutorial. We will present several step-by-step examples of some of VMD's most popular features, including visualizing molecules in three dimensions with different drawing and coloring methods, rendering publication-quality figures, animating and analyzing the trajectory of a molecular dynamics simulation, scripting in the text-based Tcl/Tk interface, and analyzing both sequence and structure data for proteins.

  10. Using VMD - An Introductory Tutorial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsin, Jen; Arkhipov, Anton; Yin, Ying; Stone, John E.; Schulten, Klaus

    2010-01-01

    VMD (Visual Molecular Dynamics) is a molecular visualization and analysis program designed for biological systems such as proteins, nucleic acids, lipid bilayer assemblies, etc. This unit will serve as an introductory VMD tutorial. We will present several step-by-step examples of some of VMD’s most popular features, including visualizing molecules in three dimensions with different drawing and coloring methods, rendering publication-quality figures, animate and analyze the trajectory of a molecular dynamics simulation, scripting in the text-based Tcl/Tk interface, and analyzing both sequence and structure data for proteins. PMID:19085979

  11. 16 CFR 502.101 - Introductory offers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 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... duration in excess of 6 months. (4) At the time of making the introductory offer promotion, the...

  12. 29 CFR 531.25 - Introductory statement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 29 Labor 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Introductory statement. 531.25 Section 531.25 Labor Regulations Relating to Labor (Continued) WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR REGULATIONS WAGE PAYMENTS UNDER THE FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT OF 1938 Interpretations § 531.25 Introductory statement. (a...

  13. Introductory Psychology Textbooks: An Objective Analysis Update

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griggs, Richard A.; Jackson, Sherri L.

    2013-01-01

    It has been 13 years since the last objective analysis of full-length introductory psychology textbooks was published and 15 years since the textbook copyright period used in that study, 1995-1997. Given the importance of informed textbook evaluation and selection to the introductory course but the difficulty of this task because of the large…

  14. The Memorability of Introductory Psychology Revisited

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landrum, R. Eric; Gurung, Regan A. R.

    2013-01-01

    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.…

  15. Psychology Ethics in Introductory Psychology Textbooks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zucchero, Renee' A.

    2011-01-01

    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…

  16. The Memorability of Introductory Psychology Revisited

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landrum, R. Eric; Gurung, Regan A. R.

    2013-01-01

    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.…

  17. Psychology Ethics in Introductory Psychology Textbooks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zucchero, Renee' A.

    2011-01-01

    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…

  18. Introductory Guide to European Corporate Law

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fomcenco, Alex

    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....

  19. Introductory Guide to European Corporate Law

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fomcenco, Alex

    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....

  20. Worldviews of Introductory Astronomy Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Chrystin; Wallace, C. S.; Brissenden, G.; Prather, E. E.; Collaboration of Astronomy Teaching Scholars (CATS)

    2014-01-01

    As a part of a larger project to study introductory astronomy students’ worldviews and beliefs about the role of science in society, we examined students’ responses to a subset of questions designed to probe students’ worldviews and how they change after taking a general education, introductory astronomy course (Astro 101). Specifically, we looked at about 400 students’ choices for the top ten scientific discoveries in the past 150 years. We collected students’ rankings twice: Once at the start of their Astro 101 class and once at the end. We created a rubric that we used to categorize the responses and we established the inter-rater reliability of the rubric. Our results show that students preferentially answered with topics related to technology and health and medicine. The data also show that there was an increase, pre- to post-instruction, in the number of responses in the technology and health and medicine categories. We also saw a decrease in the number of responses in the science category. These results imply that an aspect of the course specifically implemented to broaden student’s views on science in relation to society was successful. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. AST-0847170, for the California-Arizona Minority Partnership for Astronomy Research and Education (CAMPARE) program. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

  1. Reducing the failure rate in introductory physics classes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saul, Jeff; Coulombe, Patrick; Lindell, Rebecca

    2017-01-01

    Calculus-based introductory physics courses are often among the most difficult at many colleges and universities. With the national movement to increase STEM majors, the introductory calculus-based courses need to be less of a weed-out course and more of a course that propels students forward into successful majors. This talk discusses two approaches to reduce DFW rates and improve student retention: studio courses and parachute courses. Studio courses integrate lecture/laboratory into one course where the primary mode of instruction is small group activities. Typically, any students enrolled in the college or university can enroll in a studio version of the course. Parachute courses on the other hand, focus on the poor performing students. Designed so that students not doing well in an introductory physics course can switch into the parachute class mid-semester without harm to their GPA. In addition, the parachute course focuses on helping students build the knowledge and skills necessary for success when retaking the calculus-based Physics course. The studio course format has been found to reduce DFW rates at several universities by 40-60% compared with separate lecture and laboratory format versions of the same courses, while parachutes courses were less successful. At one university, the parachute course succeeded in helping 80% of students maintain their GPA, but only helped 20% successfully pass the calculus-based physics course.

  2. The teacher's role in college level classes for non-science majors: A constructivist approach for teaching prospective science teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbas, Abdullah Othman

    1997-12-01

    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.

  3. Finding Out What They Really Think: Assessing Non-Science Majors' Views of the Nature of Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck-Winchatz, Bernhard; Parra, Ruben D.

    2013-01-01

    As institutions of higher learning are increasingly held accountable for student outcomes, faculty are faced with the challenge to clearly articulate and assess what students should learn in their courses. We report on the assessment of a liberal studies learning outcome related to the nature of science, which involved 178 students from 41…

  4. When Science and Information Literacy Meet: An Approach to Exploring the Sources of Science News with Non-Science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majetic, Cassie; Pellegrino, Catherine

    2014-01-01

    The skill set associated with lifelong scientific literacy often includes the ability to decode the content and accuracy of scientific research as presented in the media. However, students often find decoding science in the media difficult, due to limited content knowledge and shifting definitions of accuracy. Faculty have developed a variety of…

  5. Understandings of Nature of Science and Multiple Perspective Evaluation of Science News by Non-Science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leung, Jessica Shuk Ching; Wong, Alice Siu Ling; Yung, Benny Hin Wai

    2015-01-01

    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…

  6. Finding Out What They Really Think: Assessing Non-Science Majors' Views of the Nature of Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck-Winchatz, Bernhard; Parra, Ruben D.

    2013-01-01

    As institutions of higher learning are increasingly held accountable for student outcomes, faculty are faced with the challenge to clearly articulate and assess what students should learn in their courses. We report on the assessment of a liberal studies learning outcome related to the nature of science, which involved 178 students from 41…

  7. Social justice pedagogies and scientific knowledge: Remaking citizenship in the non-science classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  8. Biomedical Applications for Introductory Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuszynski, J. A.; Dixon, J. M.

    2001-12-01

    Can be utilized in either Algebra or Calculus-based courses and is available either as a standalone text or as a supplement for books like Cutnell PHYSICS, 5e or Halliday, Resnick, & Walker FUNDAMENTALS OF PHYSICS, 6e. Math level is Algebra & Trigonometry; however, a few examples require the use of integration and differentiation. Unlike competing supplements, Tuszinski offers both a wealth of engaging biomedical applications as well as quantitative problem-solving. The quantitative problem-solving is presented in the form of worked examples and homework problems. The quantitative problem-solving is presented in the form of worked examples and homework problems. The standard organization facilitates the integration of the material into most introductory courses.

  9. Introductory course on differential equations

    CERN Document Server

    Gorain, Ganesh C

    2014-01-01

    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.

  10. Contrasting grading approaches in introductory physics and quantum mechanics: The case of graduate teaching assistants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshman, Emily; Sayer, Ryan; Henderson, Charles; Singh, Chandralekha

    2017-06-01

    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 and quantum mechanics using different criteria and if so, why they may be inclined to do so. To investigate possible discrepancies in TAs' grading approaches in courses at different levels, we implemented a sequence of instructional activities in a TA professional development course that asked TAs to grade student solutions of introductory physics and upper-level quantum mechanics problems and explain why, if at all, their grading approaches were different or similar in the two contexts. We analyzed the differences in TAs' grading approaches in the two contexts and discuss the reasons they provided for the differences in their grading approaches in introductory physics and quantum mechanics in individual interviews, class discussions, and written responses. We find that a majority of the TAs graded solutions to quantum mechanics problems differently than solutions to introductory physics problems. In quantum mechanics, the TAs focused more on physics concepts and reasoning and penalized students for not showing evidence of understanding. The findings of the study have implications for TA professional development programs, e.g., the importance of helping TAs think about the difficulty of a problem from an introductory students' perspective and reflecting on the benefits of formative assessment.

  11. Mathematics Preparation and Success in Introductory College Science Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avallone, L. M.; Geiger, L. C.; Luebke, A. E.

    2008-12-01

    It is a long-held belief that adequate mathematics preparation is a key to success in introductory college science courses. Indeed, a number of recent studies have tested mathematics "fluency" and compared that to performance in introductory physics or chemistry courses. At the University of Colorado at Boulder, we administered a twenty-question math assessment to incoming first-year students as part of orientation registration. The intent of this tool was to provide information for advising new college students about their readiness for college-level science courses, both those for science majors and those for non-scientists. In this presentation we describe the results of the mathematics assessment for two incoming classes in the College of Arts and Sciences at CU-Boulder (about 9,000 students) and its predictive capabilities for success in introductory science courses. We also analyze student performance in these courses (i.e., course grade) with respect to ACT and/or SAT scores. We will present data on the relative success of students in college science courses both with and without prior college-level mathematics courses as well.

  12. The mass-luminosity relation in an introductory astronomy lab

    Science.gov (United States)

    LoPresto, Michael C.

    2016-11-01

    Exposing students in general education science courses of lower mathematical levels to experiments that make use of quantitative skills such as collecting and analyzing data is very important because they provide examples of how science is actually done. Experiments with relatively simple procedures that are also interesting and engaging which serve this purpose can be hard to find. This can especially be true for introductory college astronomy courses; however, courses of this type often do still have a laboratory component because most students, regardless of major, are required to take at least one laboratory science course. When required to work with data in a quantitative fashion, the difficulty students with lower mathematical skills often have is that any actual physical meaning of an experiment can become completely lost in a procedure that, to them, seems to be purely an exercise in complex mathematics and for which they have resorted to simply following by rote, from which, perhaps needless to say, they are likely to learn little or nothing. I have seen this happen numerous times and it has inspired me to focus on attempting to develop meaningful laboratory experiences for students of lower mathematical level courses, such as introductory astronomy and conceptual physics, that involve both the gathering and analysis of numerical data. What follows is a simple experiment of this type on the mass-luminosity relation for stars on the main sequence of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram that has proven useful for an introductory astronomy laboratory course.

  13. Introductory biology and ecological literacy: A critical cultural analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellogg, Joseph Damian

    Despite the lack of accepted standards for the introductory biology course for students majoring in biology, the content and format of the first-year biology course is remarkably uniform in terms of both curriculum and pedagogy. This investigation is a critical cultural analysis of the purpose of, and practices within, undergraduate biology education in general, and the introductory biology course in particular. Drawing on a theoretical framework that combines critical philosophical inquiry, ecological literacy, science studies, and cultural studies, I argue that the failure of biology educators within the university to acknowledge the diversity of their student body and to actively engage social and ecological issues has resulted in a curriculum that has almost no meaning for students, and that is socially and ecologically irresponsible. This work is a search for meaningful alternatives. Within this work, I attempt to provide biology educators, as well as would-be reformers, with a seldom-seen view of academic biology. This is done to unsettle the status quo, and to initiate processes of seeking out spaces for change. Through the discourses of critical pedagogy and ecological literacy I examine the laboratories, lecture halls, teaching practices, and course materials that students encounter as they experience "the study of life." Additionally, I place the genesis and evolution of the introductory biology course within the sociohistorical context of reform in science education and academic biology in an effort to explain the amazing and problematic stability of this course.

  14. Introductory Biology Textbooks Under-Represent Scientific Process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dara B. Duncan

    2011-08-01

    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.

  15. Using Isomorphic Problems to Learn Introductory Physics

    CERN Document Server

    Lin, Shih-Yin

    2016-01-01

    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 and 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 sc...

  16. Generating a Gender Balance: making introductory information systems courses a positive experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosemary Stockdale

    2007-12-01

    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.

  17. Plasma medicine: an introductory review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kong, M. G.; Kroesen, G.; Morfill, G.; Nosenko, T.; Shimizu, T.; van Dijk, J.; Zimmermann, J. L.

    2009-11-01

    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.

  18. I'll Tell You What You Think: An Exercise in Pseudoscience Debunking in an Introductory Astronomy Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caton, Dan

    2013-01-01

    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…

  19. Guided Inquiry Activities for Learning about the Macro- and Micronutrients in Introductory Nutrition Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Andri L.; Purcell, Rebecca J.; Vaughan, Joel M.

    2015-01-01

    Most students enroll in general education introductory nutrition classes because they want to improve their diets in order to lose weight or enhance athletic performance. These nonscience majors are often less interested in learning about the fundamental biochemical principles underlying nutrition or are surprised that this foundational knowledge…

  20. Emphasizing Concepts and Reasoning Skills in Introductory College Molecular Cell Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Barbara S.

    2001-01-01

    Presents the results of a two-year project to implement recommendations for reform of college-level introductory science courses. Studies student reactions in a course required for biology majors and concludes that critical thinking skills can be successfully integrated with the study of process in science. (Contains 30 references.) (DDR)

  1. The Impact of the Introductory IS Course on Students' Perceptions of IS Professionals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akbulut, Asli Yagmur

    2015-01-01

    Increasing the number of students pursuing Information Systems (IS) majors and careers is vital to the advancement of our knowledge-based economy. Literature suggests that one of the main reasons for students' lack of interest in IS has been the negative stereotypical image of IS professionals. Research has also emphasized that the introductory IS…

  2. Teaching Introductory Programming to IS Students: The Impact of Teaching Approaches on Learning Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xihui; Zhang, Chi; Stafford, Thomas F.; Zhang, Ping

    2013-01-01

    Introductory programming courses are typically required for undergraduate students majoring in Information Systems. Instructors use different approaches to teaching this course: some lecturing and assigning programming exercises, others only assigning programming exercises without lectures. This research compares the effects of these two teaching…

  3. Development of Online Cognitive and Algorithm Tests as Assessment Tools in Introductory Computer Science Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avancena, Aimee Theresa; Nishihara, Akinori; Vergara, John Paul

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents the online cognitive and algorithm tests, which were developed in order to determine if certain cognitive factors and fundamental algorithms correlate with the performance of students in their introductory computer science course. The tests were implemented among Management Information Systems majors from the Philippines and…

  4. Teaching Introductory Programming to IS Students: The Impact of Teaching Approaches on Learning Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xihui; Zhang, Chi; Stafford, Thomas F.; Zhang, Ping

    2013-01-01

    Introductory programming courses are typically required for undergraduate students majoring in Information Systems. Instructors use different approaches to teaching this course: some lecturing and assigning programming exercises, others only assigning programming exercises without lectures. This research compares the effects of these two teaching…

  5. Learning from the Starry Message: Using Galileo's "Sidereus Nuncius" in Introductory Astronomy Classes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiesner, Matthew P.

    2015-01-01

    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…

  6. Degree of Mathematics Fluency and Success in Second-Semester Introductory Chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leopold, Doreen Geller; Edgar, Barbara

    2008-01-01

    We report on the contents and results for 360 students of a mathematics assessment administered at the start of the second-semester introductory chemistry course required for science and engineering majors at the University of Minnesota. This calculator-free, 20-question, 30-minute, multiple-choice, diagnostic quiz includes questions selected…

  7. Service-Learning in Introductory Chemistry: Supplementing Chemistry Curriculum in Elementary Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esson, Joan M.; Stevens-Truss, Regina; Thomas, Anne

    2005-01-01

    The service-learning project involving the second term of introductory chemistry at Kalamazoo College and a local elementary school is a success. The students' responses toward the service-learning project are positive and there is evidence that this project is increasing the number of students who eventually become chemistry majors.

  8. Effect of Task Presentation on Students' Performances in Introductory Statistics Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomasetto, Carlo; Matteucci, Maria Cristina; Carugati, Felice; Selleri, Patrizia

    2009-01-01

    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…

  9. Success in an Introductory Operations Research Course: A Case Study at the United Arab Emirates University

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yousef, Darwish Abdulrahman

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence of a number of factors such as high school major, high school score, gender, Stat105, Maths I, Maths II grades, and grade point average (GPA) on students' academic performance in an introductory operations research (OR) course at the department of Business Administration--College of…

  10. Students Own Their Introductory Chemistry Experience: Becoming an Element for a Semester

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fautch, Jessica M.; Foresman, James B.

    2017-01-01

    Introductory science courses serve a population of students in the major (i.e., chemistry) as well as those students outside the discipline (i.e., premed, biology, engineering). In an effort to help this diverse population of students connect personally with the content of the course, we sought ways to include student-centered activities, provide…

  11. Learning from the Starry Message: Using Galileo's "Sidereus Nuncius" in Introductory Astronomy Classes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiesner, Matthew P.

    2015-01-01

    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…

  12. Student Motivational Profiles in an Introductory MIS Course: An Exploratory Cluster Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Klara

    2014-01-01

    This study profiles students in an introductory MIS course according to a variety of variables associated with choice of academic major. The data were collected through a survey administered to 12 sections of the course. A two-step cluster analysis was performed with gender as a categorical variable and students' perceptions of task value…

  13. Introductory Psychology: How Student Experiences Relate to Their Understanding of Psychological Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toomey, Thomas; Richardson, Deborah; Hammock, Georgina

    2017-01-01

    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…

  14. Textbook Readability and Student Performance in Online Introductory Corporate Finance Classes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, Chien-Chih

    2015-01-01

    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,…

  15. Guided Inquiry Activities for Learning about the Macro- and Micronutrients in Introductory Nutrition Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Andri L.; Purcell, Rebecca J.; Vaughan, Joel M.

    2015-01-01

    Most students enroll in general education introductory nutrition classes because they want to improve their diets in order to lose weight or enhance athletic performance. These nonscience majors are often less interested in learning about the fundamental biochemical principles underlying nutrition or are surprised that this foundational knowledge…

  16. Reworking the science curriculum: A case study in the interdependence between introductory biology and multiculturalism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Persell, Roger

    1994-12-01

    Multiculturalism has emerged as the major influence in revising science curricula and teaching, yet misunderstanding about the history and theoretical underpinnings of multiculturalism has made the separation of political and education reform contentious and difficult. Within the context of a new college-wide pluralism and diversity requirement, a large introductory biology course at Hunter College of the City University of New York is now the testing ground for an interdependent model of multicultural education. The implications for multiculturalism, science pedagogy, and the pivotal role of introductory courses are discussed.

  17. Animating Newton: Introductory Physics with History and Applets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fowler, Michael

    2001-11-01

    Over the last ten years, I have developed a physics course for non-science majors, Galileo and Einstein, tracing the historical development of dynamics. The historical approach has proved to be very effective in engaging these students. Communication is further improved by judicious use of applets, for example an animated version of Newton's famous diagram of launching a cannonball into orbit from the top of an imaginary mountain. The one-semester course is given annually with an enrollment over one hundred. All the materials are readily available on the web (from google.com, type in galileo einstein). I will give some illustrations of how I have used this material both for these students and in working with high school teachers in Virginia.

  18. Gravitational Wave Detection in the Introductory Lab

    CERN Document Server

    Burko, Lior M

    2016-01-01

    Great physics breakthroughs are rarely included in the introductory physics or astronomy course. General relativity and binary black hole coalescence are no different, and can be included in the introductory course only in a very limited sense. However, we can design activities that directly involve the detection of GW150914, the designation of the Gravitation Wave signal detected on September 14, 2015, thereby engage the students in this exciting discovery directly. The activities naturally do not include the construction of a detector or the detection of gravitational waves. Instead, we design it to include analysis of the data from GW150914, which includes some interesting analysis activities for students of the introductory course. The same activities can be assigned either as a laboratory exercise or as a computational project for the same population of students. The analysis tools used here are simple and available to the intended student population. It does not include the sophisticated analysis tools,...

  19. Introductory mathematics for the life sciences

    CERN Document Server

    Phoenix, David

    2002-01-01

    Introductory Mathematics for the Life Sciences offers a straightforward introduction to the mathematical principles needed for studies in the life sciences. Starting with the basics of numbers, fractions, ratios, and percentages, the author explains progressively more sophisticated concepts, from algebra, measurement, and scientific notation through the linear, power, exponential, and logarithmic functions to introductory statistics. Worked examples illustrate concepts, applications, and interpretations, and exercises at the end of each chapter help readers apply and practice the skills they develop. Answers to the exercises are posted at the end of the text.

  20. Developing and validating a conceptual survey to assess introductory physics students’ understanding of magnetism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jing; Singh, Chandralekha

    2017-03-01

    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

  1. SoSTI Course: An Elective Science Course for Thai Upper Secondary School Non-Science Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pruekpramool, Chaninan; Phonphok, Nason; White, Orvil L.; Musikul, Kusalin

    2013-01-01

    This study is aimed to develop the interdisciplinary SoSTI (science of sound in traditional Thai musical instruments) course for Thai non-science upper secondary school students to study the students' attitudes toward science before and after studying from the course. The SoSTI course development is based on the interdisciplinary concept model and…

  2. Crossword Puzzles as Learning Tools in Introductory Soil Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbarick, K. A.

    2010-01-01

    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…

  3. Macromod: Computer Simulation For Introductory Economics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Thomas

    1977-01-01

    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)

  4. Freeing the Creative Writer: An Introductory Lesson.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehrle, Lisa

    1990-01-01

    Describes an introductory creative writing lesson in which students gave low grades to passages they later learned were written by William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway. Reports that the students graded mainly on mechanics and grammar (and very little on content). Notes that students began to learn to manipulate the various aspects of writing. (RS)

  5. Assessing Schematic Knowledge of Introductory Probability Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birney, Damian P.; Fogarty, Gerard J.; Plank, Ashley

    2005-01-01

    The ability to identify schematic knowledge is an important goal for both assessment and instruction. In the current paper, schematic knowledge of statistical probability theory is explored from the declarative-procedural framework using multiple methods of assessment. A sample of 90 undergraduate introductory statistics students was required to…

  6. "World Religions" in Introductory Sociology Textbooks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, Michael P.

    2017-01-01

    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…

  7. "World Religions" in Introductory Sociology Textbooks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, Michael P.

    2017-01-01

    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…

  8. Exploring Urban America: An Introductory Reader.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  9. Teaching Quantum Mechanics on an Introductory Level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muller, Rainer; Wiesner, Hartmut

    2002-01-01

    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)

  10. 31 CFR 248.1 - Introductory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... FOREIGN COUNTRIES OR UNITED STATES TERRITORIES OR POSSESSIONS § 248.1 Introductory. This part governs the issuance of substitutes for checks of the United States drawn on United States dollar or foreign currency accounts, maintained with designated depositaries in foreign countries or territories or possessions of...

  11. Beat the Instructor: An Introductory Forecasting Game

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snider, Brent R.; Eliasson, Janice B.

    2013-01-01

    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…

  12. Gravitational Wave Detection in the Introductory Lab

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burko, Lior M.

    2017-01-01

    Great physics breakthroughs are rarely included in the introductory physics course. General relativity and binary black hole coalescence are no different, and can be included in the introductory course only in a very limited sense. However, we can design activities that directly involve the detection of GW150914, the designation of the Gravitation Wave signal detected on September 14, 2015, thereby engage the students in this exciting discovery directly. The activities naturally do not include the construction of a detector or the detection of gravitational waves. Instead, we design it to include analysis of the data from GW150914, which includes some interesting analysis activities for students of the introductory course. The same activities can be assigned either as a laboratory exercise or as a computational project for the same population of students. The analysis tools used here are simple and available to the intended student population. It does not include the sophisticated analysis tools, which were used by LIGO to carefully analyze the detected signal. However, these simple tools are sufficient to allow the student to get important results. We have successfully assigned this lab project for students of the introductory course with calculus at Georgia Gwinnett College.

  13. Teaching Health Care in Introductory Economics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cutler, David M.

    2017-01-01

    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…

  14. Beat the Instructor: An Introductory Forecasting Game

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snider, Brent R.; Eliasson, Janice B.

    2013-01-01

    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…

  15. An Infiltration Exercise for Introductory Soil Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbarick, K. A.; Ippolito, J. A.; Butters, G.; Sorge, G. M.

    2005-01-01

    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.…

  16. Using isomorphic problems to learn introductory physics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shih-Yin Lin

    2011-08-01

    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.

  17. Teaching Quantum Mechanics on an Introductory Level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muller, Rainer; Wiesner, Hartmut

    2002-01-01

    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)

  18. Exploring Interdisciplinary Themes in Introductory Psychology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritchey, Kristin A.; Bott, Jennifer P.

    2010-01-01

    We describe a method for helping introductory psychology students identify interdisciplinary connections among 5 social science disciplines. Pre- and posttest data assessed 359 undergraduates' understanding of psychology's relation to other fields. Results indicate the method is effective and provides one way for individual instructors to address…

  19. Evolving Roles For Teaching Assistants In Introductory Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunbar, R. W.; Egger, A. E.; Schwartz, J. K.

    2008-12-01

    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

  20. Clicking to Learn: A Case Study of Embedding Radio-Frequency Based Clickers in an Introductory Management Information Systems Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Matthew L.; Hauck, Roslin V.

    2008-01-01

    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…

  1. Telling the Story of the American Presidency: Examining the Content and Perspective of Presidency Chapters in Introductory American Politics Texts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Jocelyn Jones; Lindrum, David

    2013-01-01

    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…

  2. Should applicants to Nottingham University Medical School study a non-science A-level? A cohort study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James David

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available 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 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. Results 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 Conclusion This study of one year group at Nottingham Medical School provided no evidence that the admissions policy on A-level requirements should specify the choice of third or fourth subject.

  3. Using Social Networks to Educate Seismology to Non-Science Audiences in Costa Rica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lücke, O. H.; Linkimer, L.

    2013-12-01

    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.

  4. Community structure in introductory physics course networks

    CERN Document Server

    Traxler, Adrienne L

    2015-01-01

    Student-to-student interactions are foundational to many active learning environments, but are most often studied using qualitative methods. Network analysis tools provide a quantitative complement to this picture, allowing researchers to describe the social interactions of whole classrooms as systems. Past results from introductory physics courses have suggested a sharp division in the formation of social structure between large lecture sections and small studio classroom environments. Extending those results, this study focuses on calculus-based introductory physics courses at a large public university with a heavily commuter and nontraditional student population. Community detection network methods are used to characterize pre- and post-course collaborative structure in several sections, and differences are considered between small and large classes. These results are compared with expectations from earlier findings, and comment on implications for instruction and further study.

  5. Quantum random walks - an introductory overview

    CERN Document Server

    Kempe, J

    2003-01-01

    This article aims to provide an introductory survey on quantum random walks. Starting from a physical effect to illustrate the main ideas we will introduce quantum random walks, review some of their properties and outline their striking differences to classical walks. We will touch upon both physical effects and computer science applications, introducing some of the main concepts and language of present day quantum information science in this context. We will mention recent developments in this new area and outline some open questions.

  6. Introductory phonetics and phonology of English

    CERN Document Server

    Daniel, Iyabode Omolara

    2011-01-01

    Introductory Phonetics and Phonology of English attempts to give a practical guide to the learner in all ramifications of theoretical and practical uses of the phonetics and phonology of the English language. Useful suggestions and tips were also given on how to do it yourself to overcome the terror of the sounds of English. An attempt was also made to give detailed information on the workings of the prosodic features of English. This was especially necessary, as they remain, largely, the mos...

  7. Research Projects In Introductory Physics: Impacts On Student Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinuk, Mathew ``Sandy''; Moll, Rachel; Kotlicki, Andrzej

    2009-11-01

    Over the last two years UBC has completely revamped their introductory course for non-physics majors to present physics in terms of everyday situations and to reinforce connections between classroom physics and real-world phenomena throughout the course. One of the key changes was the incorporation of a final project where groups of students research and present on a topic of their choice related to the course. Students were asked to quantitatively model a real-world situation to make a choice or settle a dispute. At the midpoint and end of the 2008 course students were surveyed with a single transfer problem that tested students' ability to apply physics concepts in real-world contexts. The post-test showed students were more likely to engage in simple (rate)*(time) estimates rather than applying more sophisticated physics principles. Implications for instruction and future work are discussed.

  8. Effect of written presentation on performance in introductory physics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shawn Ballard

    2010-10-01

    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.

  9. Barriers to Teaching Introductory Physical Geography Online

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael E. RITTER

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available 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 introductory physical geography course has a diverse population of students with disparate educational needs and goals that impacts its ability to be delivered online. Online learning is further complicated when lab courses require specialized laboratory equipment and fieldwork. A survey of geography departments in the United States was conducted to determine barriers to the deployment of introductory physical geography lab courses. Lack of faculty interest, faculty resources, and pedagogical concerns were found to be the most important barriers to deploying online physical geography lab courses. Knowing the challenges faced by geography departments offering online courses provides insight into where valuable support services and resources can best be used to address them. Recent advances in blogging, podcasting, lecture capture, web conferencing, and augmented reality are offered as solutions to the concerns expressed by survey respondents.

  10. Genost: A System for Introductory Computer Science Education with a Focus on Computational Thinking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walliman, Garret

    Computational thinking, the creative thought process behind algorithmic design and programming, is a crucial introductory skill for both computer scientists and the population in general. In this thesis I perform an investigation into introductory computer science education in the United States and find that computational thinking is not effectively taught at either the high school or the college level. To remedy this, I present a new educational system intended to teach computational thinking called Genost. Genost consists of a software tool and a curriculum based on teaching computational thinking through fundamental programming structures and algorithm design. Genost's software design is informed by a review of eight major computer science educational software systems. Genost's curriculum is informed by a review of major literature on computational thinking. In two educational tests of Genost utilizing both college and high school students, Genost was shown to significantly increase computational thinking ability with a large effect size.

  11. Introductory Astronomy as a Measure of Grade Inflation

    CERN Document Server

    Schombert, James

    2010-01-01

    We use four years of introductory astronomy scores to analyze the ability of the current population to perform college level work and measure the amount of grade inflation across various majors. Using an objective grading scale, one that is independent of grading curves, we find that 29% of intro astronomy students fail to meet minimal standards for college level work. Of the remaining students, 41% achieve satisfactory work, 30% achieve mastery of the topics. Intro astronomy scores correlate with SAT and college GPA. Sequential mapping of the objective grade scheme onto GPA finds that college grades are inflated by 0.2 for natural sciences majors, 0.3 for social sciences, professional schools and undeclared majors), 0.5 for humanities majors. It is unclear from the data whether grade inflation is due to easier grading curves or depression of course material. Experiments with student motivation tools indicates that poor student performance is due to deficiency in student abilities rather than social factors (...

  12. Myriapoda, Tardigrada, and Other Cryptozoics in Introductory Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoaks, Ralph D.

    1974-01-01

    Describes procedures for collecting and using cryptozoic invertebrates in introductory biology classes to develop interest in invertebrate ecology, behavior, physiology, morphology, and taxonomy. (PEB)

  13. R. M. Harrison and S. J. De Mora: Introductory Chemistry for the Environmental Sciences [book review

    OpenAIRE

    2000-01-01

    Harrison and De Mora have revised the first edition of their book, Introductory Chemistry for the Environmental Sciences, which has an intended reading audience of college or university undergraduates who are studying or majoring in the environmental sciences, environmental chemistry, or ecology. Their intent is to present the basic concepts of chemistry within the context of the thermodynamic universe known at ‘the environment'.

  14. Fostering the Development of Quantitative Life Skills through Introductory Astronomy: Can it be Done?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Follette, Katherine B.; McCarthy, D. W.

    2012-01-01

    We present preliminary results from a student survey designed to test whether the all-important life skill of numeracy/quantitative literacy can be fostered and improved upon in college students through the vehicle of non-major introductory courses in Astronomy. Many instructors of introductory science courses for non-majors would state that a major goal of our classes is to teach our students to distinguish between science and pseudoscience, truth and fiction, in their everyday lives. It is difficult to believe that such a skill can truly be mastered without a fair amount of mathematical sophistication in the form of arithmetic, statistical and graph reading skills that many American college students unfortunately lack when they enter our classrooms. In teaching what is frequently their "terminal science course in life” can we instill in our students the numerical skills that they need to be savvy consumers, educated citizens and discerning interpreters of the ever-present polls, studies and surveys in which our society is awash? In what may well be their final opportunity to see applied mathematics in the classroom, can we impress upon them the importance of mathematical sophistication in interpreting the statistics that they are bombarded with by the media? Our study is in its second semester, and is designed to investigate to what extent it is possible to improve important quantitative skills in college students through a single semester introductory Astronomy course.

  15. Using Biomedically Relevant Multimedia Content in an Introductory Physics Course for Life Science and Pre-Health Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mylott, Elliot; Kutschera, Ellynne; Dunlap, Justin C.; Christensen, Warren; Widenhorn, Ralf

    2016-01-01

    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…

  16. Using Phylogenetic Analysis to Detect Market Substitution of Atlantic Salmon for Pacific Salmon: An Introductory Biology Laboratory Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cline, Erica; Gogarten, Jennifer

    2012-01-01

    We describe a laboratory exercise developed for the cell and molecular biology quarter of a year-long majors' undergraduate introductory biology sequence. In an analysis of salmon samples collected by students in their local stores and restaurants, DNA sequencing and phylogenetic analysis were used to detect market substitution of Atlantic salmon…

  17. Peer Instruction in Introductory Physics: A Method to Bring about Positive Changes in Students' Attitudes and Beliefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ping; Ding, Lin; Mazur, Eric

    2017-01-01

    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…

  18. Energy and Matter: Differences in Discourse in Physical and Biological Sciences Can Be Confusing for Introductory Biology Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartley, Laurel M.; Momsen, Jennifer; Maskiewicz, April; D'Avanzo, Charlene

    2012-01-01

    Biology majors often take introductory biology, chemistry, and physics courses during their first two years of college. The various and sometimes conflicting discourse about and explanations of matter and energy in these courses may contribute to confusion and alternative conceptions (those that differ from scientific consensus) in biology…

  19. Using Biomedically Relevant Multimedia Content in an Introductory Physics Course for Life Science and Pre-Health Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mylott, Elliot; Kutschera, Ellynne; Dunlap, Justin C.; Christensen, Warren; Widenhorn, Ralf

    2016-01-01

    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…

  20. Energy and Matter: Differences in Discourse in Physical and Biological Sciences Can Be Confusing for Introductory Biology Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartley, Laurel M.; Momsen, Jennifer; Maskiewicz, April; D'Avanzo, Charlene

    2012-01-01

    Biology majors often take introductory biology, chemistry, and physics courses during their first two years of college. The various and sometimes conflicting discourse about and explanations of matter and energy in these courses may contribute to confusion and alternative conceptions (those that differ from scientific consensus) in biology…

  1. Peer Instruction in Introductory Physics: A Method to Bring about Positive Changes in Students' Attitudes and Beliefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ping; Ding, Lin; Mazur, Eric

    2017-01-01

    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…

  2. Incorporating Geoethics in Introductory Earth System Science Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, J.

    2014-12-01

    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

  3. Introductory Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences

    CERN Document Server

    Cohen, Barry H; Lea, R Brooke

    2012-01-01

    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

  4. Astronomical problems an introductory course in astronomy

    CERN Document Server

    Vorontsov-Vel'Yaminov, B A

    1969-01-01

    Astronomical Problems: An Introductory Course in Astronomy covers astronomical problems, together with a summary of the theory and the formula to be exercised. The book discusses the types of problems solved with the help of the celestial globe and how to solve astronomical problems. The text tackles problems on interpolation, the celestial sphere, systems of celestial coordinates, and culmination. Problems about the rising and setting of a heavenly body, precession, planetary movement, and parallax and aberration are also considered. The book presents problems about refraction, the apparent m

  5. Written Composition: The Introductory and Concluding Paragraphs

    OpenAIRE

    Cvetka Sokolov

    2012-01-01

    The introductory and concluding paragraphs deserve special attention in written composition classes since the effect of the whole essay depends greatly on the way in which the writer begins and ends it. Apart from stating the main idea of the composition, the introduction should attract the reader’s attention, persuading him or her that the text is worth reading. In a good conclusion the writer reminds the reader of the main idea again, and finishes in a vivid and memorable way. The article d...

  6. The Pythagorean Roots of Introductory Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarage, James B.

    2013-03-01

    Much of the mathematical reasoning employed in the typical introductory physics course can be traced to Pythagorean roots planted over two thousand years ago. Besides obvious examples involving the Pythagorean theorem, I draw attention to standard physics problems and derivations which often unknowingly rely upon the Pythagoreans' work on proportion, music, geometry, harmony, the golden ratio, and cosmology. Examples are drawn from mechanics, electricity, sound, optics, energy conservation and relativity. An awareness of the primary sources of the mathematical techniques employed in the physics classroom could especially benefit students and educators at schools which encourage integration of their various courses in history, science, philosophy, and the arts.

  7. Curricular Adaptations in Introductory Physics Labs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dreyfus, Benjamin W.; Ewell, Mary; Moore, Kimberly

    2017-01-01

    When curricular materials are disseminated to new sites, there can be a tension between fidelity to the original intent of the developers and adaptation to local needs. In this case study we look at a lab activity that was initially developed for an introductory physics for the life sciences (IPLS) course at the University of Maryland, then implemented at George Mason University with significant adaptations. The goals of the two implementations were overlapping, but also differed in ways that are reflected in the two versions of the lab. We compare student lab report data from the two sites to examine the impacts of the adaptation on how students engaged with the lab.

  8. Introductory modern algebra a historical approach

    CERN Document Server

    Stahl, Saul

    2013-01-01

    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

  9. Introductory statistics and analytics a resampling perspective

    CERN Document Server

    Bruce, Peter C

    2014-01-01

    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

  10. Introductory analysis of Benard-Marangoni convection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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)

    2007-03-15

    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.

  11. Introductory statistics for the behavioral sciences

    CERN Document Server

    Welkowitz, Joan; Cohen, Jacob

    1971-01-01

    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

  12. Intersections of Gender, Race, and Class in Introductory Textbooks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puentes, Jennifer; Gougherty, Matthew

    2013-01-01

    We update Ferree and Hall’s (1996) examination of the stratification systems of gender, race, and class in introductory textbooks. Using a sample of textbooks from 2003 through 2010, we explore 24 introductory sociology textbooks to determine the relationship between categories of gender, race, and class and levels of analysis. Previous research…

  13. Toward Publicly Responsive Sociology Curricula: The Role of Introductory Sociology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenwood, Nancy A.

    2013-01-01

    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…

  14. A Diagnostic Assessment for Introductory Molecular and Cell Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Jia; Wood, William B.; Martin, Jennifer M.; Guild, Nancy A.; Vicens, Quentin; Knight, Jennifer K.

    2010-01-01

    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…

  15. Using a Common Experience to Teach Introductory Managerial Accounting

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Gail Hoover; McConnell, Cheryl

    2010-01-01

    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,…

  16. Coverage of the Stanford Prison Experiment in Introductory Psychology Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartels, Jared M.; Milovich, Marilyn M.; Moussier, Sabrina

    2016-01-01

    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,…

  17. Toward Publicly Responsive Sociology Curricula: The Role of Introductory Sociology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenwood, Nancy A.

    2013-01-01

    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…

  18. Redesigning a Large Introductory Course to Incorporate the GAISE Guidelines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodard, Roger; McGowan, Herle

    2012-01-01

    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…

  19. An Evidence-Based Approach to Introductory Chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Philip

    2014-01-01

    Drawing on research into students' understanding, this article argues that the customary approach to introductory chemistry has created difficulties for students. Instead of being based on the notion of "solids, liquids and gases", introductory chemistry should be structured to develop the concept of a substance. The concept of a…

  20. Beginning Introductory Physics with Two-Dimensional Motion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huggins, Elisha

    2009-01-01

    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…

  1. A Diagnostic Assessment for Introductory Molecular and Cell Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Jia; Wood, William B.; Martin, Jennifer M.; Guild, Nancy A.; Vicens, Quentin; Knight, Jennifer K.

    2010-01-01

    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…

  2. Teaching Introductory Business Statistics Using the DCOVA Framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, David M.; Stephan, David F.

    2011-01-01

    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.…

  3. Teaching outside the Can: A New Approach to Introductory Biology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ronsheim, Margaret L.; Pregnall, A. Marshall; Schwarz, Jodi; Schlessman, Mark A.; Raley-Susman, Kathleen M.

    2009-01-01

    We describe a new approach to teaching introductory biology. Our introductory experience for undergraduates is a laboratory course that is entirely inquiry and discovery based. We introduce our students to fundamental concepts in biology in the framework of three multi-week laboratory modules, each of which is an open-ended investigation of a…

  4. Effectiveness in Agricultural Engineering: introductory course.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arce, A.; Tarquis, A. M.; Cartagena, M. C.

    2009-04-01

    A great number of our incoming students do not have the prerequisite knowledge expected from studying Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics in the engineering degree. In some cases, they did not take Chemistry lessons at Secondary School. In other cases, students do not have enough level to follow the lessons at university. If we want to avoid failure in University, all of these students should do some extra work. In some School of Technical University of Madrid, students seek optional introductory courses to acquire the technical basic necessary knowledge to start education in High School, avoiding as far as possible the failure of the first course and in many cases the abandonment. These courses began in Agricultural School in 2005. The course is given during the month of September and includes a total of 5 ECTS that are distributed among different fundamental subjects: Mathematics (40%), Physics (30%) and Chemistry (30%). Course contents include a review of Secondary School concepts as well as others that the different Departments consider necessary to follow the subject at the first engineering course properly. In this work the results obtained during the last four years are showed on the students' formation and knowledge of these fundamental subjects prior to the introductory course and their level of participation, beside the degree of students' satisfaction gathered in the surveys. In addition, a case study in Chemistry is presented showing teaching techniques and learning activities used as well as the knowledge and abilities acquired.

  5. Using multimedia modules to better prepare students for introductory physics lecture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhongzhou Chen

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available It is known that introductory physics students rarely, if ever, read the textbook prior to coming to lecture. In this study, we report results from a curriculum intervention in a large enrollment introductory physics class that addresses this problem. In particular, we introduced web-based multimedia learning modules (MLMs as a “prelecture assignment” designed to better prepare students before coming to lecture. We used student performance on “preflight questions” that they answer prior to lecture as a measure of their before-lecture understanding of the physics concepts. We found significant improvement in student performance and on the vast majority of these preflight questions as compared to that from previous semesters in which MLMs were not available. We found significant improvement for all students, independent of their background or ability level.

  6. Should Students be Provided Diagrams or Asked to Draw Them While Solving Introductory Physics Problems?

    CERN Document Server

    Maries, Alex

    2016-01-01

    Drawing appropriate diagrams is a useful problem solving heuristic that can transform a given problem into a representation that is easier to exploit for solving it. A major focus while helping introductory physics students learn problem solving is to help them appreciate that drawing diagrams facilitates problem solution. We conducted an investigation in which 111 students in an algebra-based introductory physics course were subjected to two different interventions during recitation quizzes throughout the semester. They were either (1) asked to solve problems in which the diagrams were drawn for them or (2) explicitly told to draw a diagram. A comparison group was not given any instruction regarding diagrams. We developed a rubric to score the problem-solving performance of students in different intervention groups. Here, we present some surprising results for problems which involve considerations of initial and final conditions.

  7. Peaks and decays of student knowledge in an introductory E&M course

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eleanor C. Sayre

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available A common format for assessment of learning is pretesting and post-testing. In this study, we collect student test data several times per week throughout a course, allowing for the measurement of the changes in student knowledge with a time resolution on the order of a few days. To avoid the possibility of test-retest effects, separate and quasirandom subpopulations of students are tested on a variety of tasks. We report on data taken in a calculus-based introductory E&M class populated primarily by engineering majors. Unsurprisingly for a traditional introductory course, there is little change in many conceptual questions. However, the data suggest that some student performance peaks and decays rapidly during a quarter, a pattern consistent with memory research yet unmeasurable by pretesting and post-testing. In addition, it appears that some course topics can interfere with prior knowledge, decreasing performance on questions related to earlier topics in the course.

  8. Freshman Biology Majors' Misconceptions about Diffusion and Osmosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  9. Development of a responsive and constructivist portfolio-based assessment of a writing-to-learn curriculum in introductory astronomy: A case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Mary

    As the primary evaluator of a National Science Foundation grant-supported project to develop an introductory, writing-to-learn-based astronomy curriculum, my goal was to help design and test materials that would meet the learning needs of non-science majors, especially women and minorities, and promote their science literacy. My immediate problem was to create a context-sensitive assessment that engages teachers' goals and objectives while reconciling these with the diverse needs, interests, and abilities of students. To that end, I developed a responsive or stakeholder-focused constructivist assessment based upon Guba and Lincoln's fourth generation evaluation. Both responsive and constructivist, my-approach reflects recent developments in sociocognitive theories of writing and learning, especially those by Linda Flower. Flower focuses on the literate act or learning task, such as writing a summary, as the basic unit of analysis. Not the act itself but the "site" at which it occurs is of main interest. This is where the tension between the private "self" and the public "other" provides an opportunity for meaning to evolve as students explore alternate writing and learning strategies through inner acts of negotiation. Because the new astronomy curriculum centered around students keeping a learning log or process portfolio, portfolios afforded the ideal documentary evidence of the site at which students negotiate meanings and strategies. The portfolio-based assessment, therefore, centers upon having evaluators or teacher-researchers identify and interpret how students represent learning tasks to themselves and develop strategies to complete these tasks. Researchers next compare and judge their own interpretations of these behaviors according to the pre-ordinate objectives of the curriculum. Then the key stakeholders (i.e., evaluators, students, and teachers), through hermeneutic and dialectic interchanges, reconstruct or recondition these pre-ordmate evaluation

  10. Profiles of Motivated Self-Regulation in College Computer Science Courses: Differences in Major versus Required Non-Major Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shell, Duane F.; Soh, Leen-Kiat

    2013-01-01

    The goal of the present study was to utilize a profiling approach to understand differences in motivation and strategic self-regulation among post-secondary STEM students in major versus required non-major computer science courses. Participants were 233 students from required introductory computer science courses (194 men; 35 women; 4 unknown) at…

  11. Instructional Practices in Introductory Geoscience Courses: Results of a National Faculty Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDonald, R.; Manduca, C. A.; Mogk, D. W.; Tewksbury, B. J.

    2004-12-01

    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

  12. A collaborative learning approach for service-oriented introductory physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Michael R.

    1997-03-01

    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

  13. Sustaining Educational Reforms in Introductory Physics

    CERN Document Server

    Pollock, Steven J

    2008-01-01

    While it is well known which curricular practices can improve student performance on measures of conceptual understanding, the sustaining of these practices and the role of faculty members in implementing these practices are less well understood. We present a study of the hand-off of Tutorials in Introductory Physics from initial adopters to other instructors at the University of Colorado, including traditional faculty not involved in physics education research. The study examines the impact of implementation of Tutorials on student conceptual learning across eight first-semester, and seven second-semester courses, for fifteen faculty over twelve semesters, and includes roughly 4000 students. It is possible to demonstrate consistently high, and statistically indistinguishable, student learning gains for different faculty members; however, such results are not the norm, and appear to rely on a variety of factors. Student performance varies by faculty background - faculty involved in, or informed by physics edu...

  14. A Theory Based Introductory Programming Course

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Michael Reichhardt; Kristensen, Jens Thyge; Rischel, Hans

    1999-01-01

    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....

  15. Written Composition: The Introductory and Concluding Paragraphs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cvetka Sokolov

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The introductory and concluding paragraphs deserve special attention in written composition classes since the effect of the whole essay depends greatly on the way in which the writer begins and ends it. Apart from stating the main idea of the composition, the introduction should attract the reader’s attention, persuading him or her that the text is worth reading. In a good conclusion the writer reminds the reader of the main idea again, and finishes in a vivid and memorable way. The article discusses problems that occur in introductions and conclusions written by secondary school pupils and students of English. They are classified into three categories: coherence breaks, inappropriate length and inappropriate style. Finally, various types of tasks designed to remedy the difficulties are suggested.

  16. Introductory statistical inference with the likelihood function

    CERN Document Server

    Rohde, Charles A

    2014-01-01

    This textbook covers the fundamentals of statistical inference and statistical theory including Bayesian and frequentist approaches and methodology possible without excessive emphasis on the underlying mathematics. This book is about some of the basic principles of statistics that are necessary to understand and evaluate methods for analyzing complex data sets. The likelihood function is used for pure likelihood inference throughout the book. There is also coverage of severity and finite population sampling. The material was developed from an introductory statistical theory course taught by the author at the Johns Hopkins University’s Department of Biostatistics. Students and instructors in public health programs will benefit from the likelihood modeling approach that is used throughout the text. This will also appeal to epidemiologists and psychometricians.  After a brief introduction, there are chapters on estimation, hypothesis testing, and maximum likelihood modeling. The book concludes with secti...

  17. Obstacles to Mathematization in Introductory Physics

    CERN Document Server

    Brahmia, S; Kanim, S E

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated that although physics students are generally successful executing mathematical procedures in context, they struggle with the use of mathematical concepts for sense making. University physics instructors often note that their students struggle with basic algebraic reasoning, a foundation on which more advanced mathematical thinking rests. However, little systematic research has been done to measure and categorize difficulties in this population. This paper describes a large-scale study (N > 600) designed to investigate trends in student reasoning with ratio and proportion, quantification, and symbolizing within the calculus-based introductory physics course. Although the assessment items require mathematical reasoning typically taught at the middle school level in mathematics courses, we find success rates of about 50% among calculus-based physics students. For many of these students, numerical complexity and physical context interferes with basic arithmetic reasoning. We argue...

  18. Introductory quantum mechanics for applied nanotechnology

    CERN Document Server

    Kim, Dae Mann

    2015-01-01

    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.

  19. Measuring and Advancing Experimental Design Ability in an Introductory Course without Altering Existing Lab Curriculum†

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shanks, Ryan A.; Robertson, Chuck L.; Haygood, Christian S.; Herdliksa, Anna M.; Herdliska, Heather R.; Lloyd, Steven A.

    2017-01-01

    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. PMID:28904647

  20. Physics instructors are not blank slates either: An exploratory study of introductory physics instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Willyetta Adele

    2009-11-01

    The purpose of the study was to investigate the views of the nature of science and the classroom practices of instructors who teach introductory physics at a research intensive university. A study of this nature is necessary because calls to change how science is taught have been made since the 1800's, yet the methods of instruction have remained virtually unchanged. The conflict between how science is taught and how students learn science can be remedied by effective professional development at the university. However, training on the change process is virtually nonexistent in teacher education programs and in teacher professional development workshops at all levels. The Views About Science Survey (VASS) was first administered to a sample of twenty-nine physics instructors and graduate assistants who have taught introductory physics courses within the last five years. To assess instructional practices in introductory physics at a research extensive university, a purposeful, stratified sample of 56 classes was observed. The interactions between the students and teachers were analyzed using the Flanders Interaction Analysis. The findings suggest that the physics instructors hold a mixed view of the nature of science. The instructors' views do not necessarily indicate how they teach physics. The results also showed that the professors reported that they use elements of effective teaching practices throughout their instruction. The results of the classroom observations revealed that non interactive lecture is the dominate instructional method used. The Flander's confirms that the majority of the class time is spent with the teacher talking and the student passively listening.

  1. A Planetary System Exploration Project for Introductory Astronomy and Astrobiology Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rees, Richard F.

    2015-01-01

    I have created three-part projects for the introductory astronomy and astrobiology courses at Westfield State University which simulate the exploration of a fictional planetary system. The introductory astronomy project is an initial reconnaissance of the system by a robotic spacecraft, culminating in close flybys of two or three planets. The astrobiology project is a follow-up mission concluding with the landing of a roving lander on a planet or moon. Student responses in earlier parts of each project can be used to determine which planets are targeted for closer study in later parts. Highly realistic views of the planets from space and from their surfaces can be created using programs such as Celestia and Terragen; images and video returned by the spacecraft are thus a highlight of the project. Although designed around the particular needs and mechanics of the introductory astronomy and astrobiology courses for non-majors at WSU, these projects could be adapted for use in courses at many different levels.

  2. Perceived Relevance of an Introductory Information Systems Course to Prospective Business Students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irene Govender

    2013-12-01

    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.

  3. Measuring and Advancing Experimental Design Ability in an Introductory Course without Altering Existing Lab Curriculum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan A. Shanks

    2017-05-01

    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.

  4. A Module-Based Environmental Science Course for Teaching Ecology to Non-Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Geoffrey R.

    2010-01-01

    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…

  5. Geology in the Movies: Using Hollywood Films as a Teaching Tool in Introductory Geosciences Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, K. T.; Malinconico, L. L.

    2008-12-01

    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.

  6. Students' conceptions of evidence during a university introductory forensic science course

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  7. Improving the Introductory Astronomy Experience with Robotic Telescopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gelderman, R.

    2003-12-01

    Students in general education, introductory astronomy courses have often enrolled in the course because they love the pretty pictures. Providing outdoor, nighttime observing "/tmp/tdbedit27518" 42L, 1781C courses have often enrolled in the course because they love the pretty pictures. Providing outdoor, nighttime observing experiences is one of the major draws for many successful Astro 101-type courses. However, the typical weather conditions for most of North America usually forces postponements, rescheduling, or cancellation of half or more of the attempted observing sessions. This frustrates both the students and the instructors, decreasing the enjoyment and instructional potential of the observing experience. In this poster we discuss how students in our Astro 101-type classes have benefitted from a combination of hands-on observing, planetarium software exercises, and the ability to request observations from robotic telescopes. The electronic images produced by the student's requests are minimally processed and e-mailed to each requesting student as a jpeg file. Evaluation of this combination of experiences indicates that student's appreciate the ability to collect their own images and that the sense of ownership fosters greater understanding of the astrophysics related to the observed objects.

  8. Active Learning Strategies for Introductory Light and Optics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sokoloff, David R.

    2016-01-01

    There is considerable evidence that traditional approaches are ineffective in teaching physics concepts, including light and optics concepts. A major focus of the work of the Activity Based Physics Group has been on the development of active learning curricula like RealTime Physics (RTP) labs and Interactive Lecture Demonstrations (ILDs). Among the characteristics of these curricula are: (1) use of a learning cycle in which students are challenged to compare predictions—discussed with their peers in small groups—to observations of the physical world, (2) use of guided hands-on work to construct basic concepts from observations, and (3) use of computer-based tools. It has been possible to change the lecture and laboratory learning environments at a large number of universities, colleges, and high schools without changing the structure of the introductory course. For example, in the United States, nearly 200 physics departments have adopted RTP, and many others use pre-publication, open-source versions or have adopted the RTP approach to develop their own labs. Examples from RTP and ILDs (including optics magic tricks) are described in this paper.

  9. Internet computer coaches for introductory physics problem solving

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  10. Teaching Thermal Hydraulics & Numerical Methods: An Introductory Control Volume Primer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D. S. Lucas

    2004-10-01

    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.

  11. Evolution of an Environmentally Themed Introductory Physics Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinuk, Mathew; Kotlicki, Andrzej; Rieger, Georg

    2009-05-01

    In 2007, motivated by research showing many students don't make connections between classroom physics and real-world phenomena, we fundamentally changed the curriculum and pedagogy of Phys 100, a large introductory course for non-physics majors at UBC. Our goal was to enable our students to use scientific knowledge to critically think about real world problems such as transportation and climate change. All topics in the course are now taught with strong connections to applications in the real world. For example conservation of energy is explored using models of home heating and the Earth's energy balance. Real-world connections are reinforced through weekly tutorials where students apply physics to context-rich real world problems, and through explicit discussion of real world analogues to lab experiments. These examples increase students' ability to see physics happening in the real world and encourage them to use their knowledge outside the classroom. This talk will discuss the evolution of the course over the first two years of implementation and results from exams and research on student attitudes.

  12. Introducing CFD in Introductory Undergraduate Fluid Mechanics Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cimbala, John M.

    2005-11-01

    Many instructors want to introduce CFD into their introductory junior-level fluid mechanics course, but cannot because it requires several hours of class time at the cost of displacement of other basic material. A simple but effective method is now available that has been used successfully at Penn State since Spring 2005. It requires minimal instructor preparation time and only about one class period. Namely, immediately after solving the Navier-Stokes equation analytically for simple flows such as Couette and Poiseuille flow, CFD is introduced as a modern tool for solving the same equations numerically. The application of CFD (grid generation, boundary conditions, etc.), rather than numerical algorithms, is stressed. Homework problems are then assigned using pre-defined templates for FlowLab, a student-friendly analysis and visualization package created by Fluent, Inc. The templates and exercises are designed to support and emphasize the theory and concepts taught in class and in the textbook. For example, the new textbook by Cengel and Cimbala (McGraw-Hill 2006) contains 46 end-of-chapter homework problems that are used in conjunction with 42 FlowLab templates. Each exercise has been designed with two major learning objectives in mind: (1) enhance student understanding of a specific fluid mechanics concept, and (2) introduce the student to a specific capability and/or limitation of CFD through hands-on practice.

  13. Eating competence of college students in an introductory nutrition course.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Lora Beth; Larsen, Katrina J; Nyland, Nora K; Eggett, Dennis L

    2013-01-01

    Describe eating competence, a positive and flexible way of conceptualizing eating attitudes and behaviors, in students enrolled in an introductory nutrition course. 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 21-26 years; 377 females) at the beginning of 1 semester. Analysis of variance and post hoc Tukey adjusted tests were used. The mean ecSI score was 30.7 ± 0.29; 47.4% were classified as eating competent, or ecSI ≥ 32. Mean ecSI was higher for males than females (29.4 ± 0.95 vs 27.4 ± 0.77; P students who never had an eating disorder, compared with those reporting current (32.0 ± 0.43 vs 22.9 ± 1.91; P Students had limited eating competence, but a majority of males were eating competent. Students who had never had an eating disorder had higher eating competence than students with current or past disorders. Examining nutrition courses as currently taught may reveal ways courses could contribute to eating competence. Copyright © 2013 Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Teaching Introductory Organic Chemistry: 'Blooming' beyond a Simple Taxonomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pungente, Michael D.; Badger, Rodney A.

    2003-07-01

    Undergraduate students often experience fear and trepidation when studying introductory organic chemistry: the majority of these students use a memorization approach to the material, sacrificing understanding. This paper describes one way the problem can be resolved. The cognitive working level we emphasize in our teaching practice involves making the necessary connections between the general chemistry principles that students have learned (or at least have been exposed to in their senior high school years and have revisited again in their university freshman year) and the many reactions and mechanisms they will encounter in organic chemistry. Educating students early in the course about the various levels of the cognitive process and the necessary working level of cognition for success in organic chemistry teaches connections between the general chemistry principles and reaction mechanisms. This empowers students to approach the subject from a perspective of understanding rather than memorization, and replaces fear and trepidation with confidence. In addition, this can help narrow the gap between what instructors expect from their students and what their students think is sufficient to master the course content.

  15. Effects of Team Teaching on Students Performance in Introductory ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    FIRST LADY

    randomly selected from four schools in Akwa Ibom State for the study. Data for the study was collected ... Introductory Technology through team teaching approach performed significantly better than ..... Nairobi, Kenya. December 6. -8. Mbaba ...

  16. Implementing New Reform Guidelines in Teaching Introductory College Statistics Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Everson, Michelle; Zieffler, Andrew; Garfield, Joan

    2008-01-01

    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.

  17. Some Insights Regarding a Popular Introductory Gas Law Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    DePierro, Ed; Garafalo, Fred

    2005-01-01

    The Dumas method provides a relatively simple way to determine the molar mass of volatile chemical compounds. A potential source of error in the Dumas molar mass method as it is often practiced in introductory chemistry laboratories is reported.

  18. Ethics Content in Introductory Accounting Textbooks: An Analysis and Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bracken, Robert M.; Urbancic, Frank R.

    1999-01-01

    Analysis of the coverage of ethics in 24 introductory accounting textbooks showed that, in response to past criticisms, many authors now integrate ethical issues and include reinforcing assignments and case materials. (SK)

  19. Black Holes and Pulsars in the Introductory Physics Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orear, Jay; Salpeter, E. E.

    1973-01-01

    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)

  20. Study Tips: How Helpful Do Introductory Psychology Students Find Them?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balch, William R.

    2001-01-01

    Discusses a systematic approach to six study tips recommended to introductory psychology students to improve their study skills. Presents the results of student ratings (n=114) based upon the tips for helpfulness and degree of use. Includes references. (CMK)

  1. Family Migration History: A Project in Introductory Cultural Geography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fredrich, Barbara E.

    1977-01-01

    Describes an activity intended to heighten teaching effectiveness and student interest in college-level introductory cultural geography. By tracing their family's migration history, students experience a sense of time, place, and cultural heritage. (Author)

  2. Evaluating a Redesigned Large-enrollment Introductory Science Survey Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slater, Timothy F.; Slater, S. J.; Lyons, D. J.; in Astronomy, Cognition; Physics; Earth sciences Research CAPER Team

    2009-05-01

    Over the past two years, faculty in the we have engaged in a major course redesign effort for the undergraduate general education science requirement with the goal of improving student learning and attitudes while, at the same time, dramatically reducing costs of offering such a course. Using a reformed teaching framework of learner-centered education, the large-enrollment, introductory geosciences survey course was overhauled to include interactive lectures, just-in-time online quizzes, a next-generation textbook, and weekly discussions lead by graduate students and undergraduate peer mentors. We used a 2-group, pre-post, multiple-measures, mixed-method quasi-experimental study design. The Geosciences Concept Inventory (GCI) was given as a pre-test/post-test to students in the pre-modified course and the reformed course to compare student learning in terms of gain scores. Students in the unmodified course had a pre-test GCI percentage correct of 28.67 (SD=11.45, n=96) which increased to 45.26 (SD=11.76, n=84) on the post-test. After course redesign, students had a pre-test GCI percentage correct of 38.62 (SD=8.42, n=144) which increased a post-test GCI score of 48.73 (SD=7.49, n=132). In a similar way, the Likert-style Attitudes Toward Science Survey was given as an end-of-class post-test to students in the pre-modified course and as a pre-test/post-test the reformed course to compare student attitudes between the courses. The average ranking on a 5-point scale as a pre-test was 3.454 (SD=1.259, n=508) whereas the post-tests for the unmodified course was 3.49 (SD=1.05, n=101) and 3.50 (SD=1.127, n=369) for the reformed course. As is commonly observed in many instances, there are no statistical differences evident among the survey results. In contrast, 14 hours of interview and focus group transcripts reveal that students find the reformed course to be relevant to their lives and educationally satisfying, both of which are infrequently observed among traditional

  3. Teaching Introductory Geology by a Paradigm, Process and Product Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reams, M.

    2008-12-01

    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

  4. A preliminary study on introductory teaching of PLC

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wang-hanyan; Xu Hong-Pin

    2015-01-01

    #%The focus of this paper is the introductory teaching of PLC (Programmable Logic Control er) in secondary vocational schools,In order to make the students know PLC intuitively and progressively,the introductory teaching are offered based on the combination of PLC and relay system.This paper guide students to understand the plc control by jog motor control and self-locking control,and the obvious result is obtained.

  5. Podcasts as Tools in Introductory Environmental Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Vatovec

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Technological tools have increasingly become a part of the college classroom, often appealing to teachers because of their potential to increase student engagement with course materials. Podcasts in particular have gained popularity as tools to better inform students by providing access to lectures outside of the classroom. In this paper, we argue that educators should expand course materials to include prepublished podcasts to engage students with both course topics and a broader skill set for evaluating readily available media. We present a pre- and postassignment survey evaluation assessing student preferences for using podcasts and the ability of a podcast assignment to support learning objectives in an introductory environmental studies course. Overall, students reported that the podcasts were useful tools for learning, easy to use, and increased their understanding of course topics. However, students also provided insightful comments on visual versus aural learning styles, leading us to recommend assigning video podcasts or providing text-based transcripts along with audio podcasts. A qualitative analysis of survey data provides evidence that the podcast assignment supported the course learning objective for students to demonstrate critical evaluation of media messages. Finally, we provide recommendations for selecting published podcasts and designing podcast assignments.

  6. Stereotyped: investigating gender in introductory science courses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauer, Shanda; Momsen, Jennifer; Offerdahl, Erika; Kryjevskaia, Mila; Christensen, Warren; Montplaisir, Lisa

    2013-01-01

    Research in science education has documented achievement gaps between men and women in math and physics that may reflect, in part, a response to perceived stereotype threat. Research efforts to reduce achievement gaps by mediating the impact of stereotype threat have found success with a short values-affirmation writing exercise. In biology and biochemistry, however, little attention has been paid to the performance of women in comparison with men or perceptions of stereotype threat, despite documentation of leaky pipelines into professional and academic careers. We used methodologies developed in physics education research and cognitive psychology to 1) investigate and compare the performance of women and men across three introductory science sequences (biology, biochemistry, physics), 2) document endorsement of stereotype threat in these science courses, and 3) investigate the utility of a values-affirmation writing task in reducing achievement gaps. In our study, analysis of final grades and normalized learning gains on content-specific concept inventories reveals no achievement gap in the courses sampled, little stereotype threat endorsement, and no impact of the values-affirmation writing task on student performance. These results underscore the context-dependent nature of achievement gaps and stereotype threat and highlight calls to replicate education research across a range of student populations.

  7. Podcasts as tools in introductory environmental studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vatovec, Christine; Balser, Teri

    2009-01-01

    Technological tools have increasingly become a part of the college classroom, often appealing to teachers because of their potential to increase student engagement with course materials. Podcasts in particular have gained popularity as tools to better inform students by providing access to lectures outside of the classroom. In this paper, we argue that educators should expand course materials to include prepublished podcasts to engage students with both course topics and a broader skill set for evaluating readily available media. We present a pre- and postassignment survey evaluation assessing student preferences for using podcasts and the ability of a podcast assignment to support learning objectives in an introductory environmental studies course. Overall, students reported that the podcasts were useful tools for learning, easy to use, and increased their understanding of course topics. However, students also provided insightful comments on visual versus aural learning styles, leading us to recommend assigning video podcasts or providing text-based transcripts along with audio podcasts. A qualitative analysis of survey data provides evidence that the podcast assignment supported the course learning objective for students to demonstrate critical evaluation of media messages. Finally, we provide recommendations for selecting published podcasts and designing podcast assignments.

  8. Introductory lecture: basic quantities in model biomembranes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagle, John F

    2013-01-01

    One of the many aspects of membrane biophysics dealt with in this Faraday Discussion regards the material moduli that describe energies at a supramolecular level. This introductory lecture first critically reviews differences in reported numerical values of the bending modulus K(C), which is a central property for the biologically important flexibility of membranes. It is speculated that there may be a reason that the shape analysis method tends to give larger values of K(C) than the micromechanical manipulation method or the more recent X-ray method that agree very well with each other. Another theme of membrane biophysics is the use of simulations to provide exquisite detail of structures and processes. This lecture critically reviews the application of atomic level simulations to the quantitative structure of simple single component lipid bilayers and diagnostics are introduced to evaluate simulations. Another theme of this Faraday Discussion was lateral heterogeneity in biomembranes with many different lipids. Coarse grained simulations and analytical theories promise to synergistically enhance experimental studies when their interaction parameters are tuned to agree with experimental data, such as the slopes of experimental tie lines in ternary phase diagrams. Finally, attention is called to contributions that add relevant biological molecules to bilayers and to contributions that study the exciting shape changes and different non-bilayer structures with different lipids.

  9. Using Citizen Science to Engage Introductory Students: From Streams to the Solar System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carolin Cardamone

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available We present two examples of citizen science learning activities, with discussion of how these activities align with teaching strategies shown to increase retention of under-represented minorities and improve learning for all students in science. For introductory science students from diverse backgrounds, citizen science provides a unique hands-on opportunity to engage students in the process of scientific discovery and to contribute to real science through their curriculum. These tools also increase engagement of science majors and address the current national priority of increasing student retention in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM fields.

  10. Using Citizen Science to Engage Introductory Students: From Streams to the Solar System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardamone, Carolin; Lobel, Lisa

    2016-03-01

    We present two examples of citizen science learning activities, with discussion of how these activities align with teaching strategies shown to increase retention of under-represented minorities and improve learning for all students in science. For introductory science students from diverse backgrounds, citizen science provides a unique hands-on opportunity to engage students in the process of scientific discovery and to contribute to real science through their curriculum. These tools also increase engagement of science majors and address the current national priority of increasing student retention in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

  11. A Bioinformatics Module for Use in an Introductory Biology Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alaie, Adrienne; Teller, Virginia; Qiu, Wei-gang

    2012-01-01

    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…

  12. A Bioinformatics Module for Use in an Introductory Biology Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alaie, Adrienne; Teller, Virginia; Qiu, Wei-gang

    2012-01-01

    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…

  13. Toward equity through participation in Modeling Instruction in introductory university physics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Brewe

    2010-05-01

    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

  14. Designing Inductive Instructional Activities in a Teacher Training Program to Enhance Conceptual Understandings in Science for Thai Science and Non-Science Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narjaikaew, Pattawan; Jeeravipoonvarn, Varanya; Pongpisanou, Kanjana; Lamb, Dennis

    2016-01-01

    Teachers are viewed as the most significant factor affecting student learning. However, research in science education showed that teachers often demonstrate misunderstandings of science very similar to students. The purpose of this research was to correct conceptual difficulties in science of Thai primary school science and non-science teachers…

  15. Reforming an Undergraduate Environmental Science Course for Nonscience Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazempour, Mahsa; Amirshokoohi, Aidin

    2013-01-01

    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…

  16. Reforming an Undergraduate Environmental Science Course for Nonscience Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazempour, Mahsa; Amirshokoohi, Aidin

    2013-01-01

    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…

  17. Assessing expertise in introductory physics using categorization task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Mason

    2011-10-01

    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.

  18. Creating and Teaching a Web-Based, University-Level Introductory Chemistry Course that Incorporates Laboratory Exercises and Active Learning Pedagogies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phipps, Linda R.

    2013-01-01

    An introductory, nonscience-majors chemistry course was converted to a Web-based course. The differences in student populations, teaching strategies, laboratory methods, and learning outcomes are described. Practical information is also given on the use of software and other online technology to implement course conversion. (Contains 2 tables.)

  19. Epistemic Impact on Group Problem Solving for Different Science Majors

    CERN Document Server

    Mason, Andrew J

    2016-01-01

    Implementation of cognitive apprenticeship in an introductory physics lab group problem solving exercise may be mitigated by epistemic views toward physics of non-physics science majors. Quantitative pre-post data of the Force Concept Inventory (FCI) and Colorado Learning Attitudes About Science Survey (CLASS) of 39 students of a first-semester algebra-based introductory physics course, while describing typical results for a traditional-format course overall (g = +0.14), suggest differences in epistemic views between health science majors and life science majors which may correlate with differences in pre-post conceptual understanding. Audiovisual data of student lab groups working on a context-rich problem and students' written reflections described each group's typical dynamics and invoked epistemic games. We examined the effects of framework-based orientation (favored by biology majors) and performance-based orientation (favored by computer science, chemistry, and health science majors) on pre-post attitud...

  20. From F=ma to Flying Squirrels: Curricular Change in an Introductory Physics Course

    CERN Document Server

    O'Shea, Brian W; Benenson, Walter

    2013-01-01

    We present outcomes from curricular changes made to an introductory calculus-based physics course whose audience is primarily life science majors, the majority of whom plan to pursue post-baccalaureate studies in medical and scientific fields. During the 2011-12 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 science 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 to learn to apply physical intuition to life science-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 post-semester interviews. Students experienced high conceptual learning gains, comparable to other active learning-based physics cour...

  1. Peer discussions in lecture-based tutorials in introductory physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leinonen, Risto; Asikainen, Mervi A.; Hirvonen, Pekka E.

    2017-06-01

    This study analyzes the types of peer discussion that occur during lecture-based tutorial sessions. It focuses in particular on whether discussions of this kind have certain characteristics that might indicate success in the post-testing phase. The data were collected during an introductory physics course. The main data set was gathered with the aid of audio recordings. Data-driven content analysis was applied in the analysis to facilitate the placement of students' discussions in particular categories related to different types of discussions. Four major discussion types were found: discussions related to the content knowledge, metalevel discussions including metaconceptual and metacognitive elements, discussions related to practical issues, and creating a base for discussion, seen here in the order of their prevalence. These categories were found to possess individual substructures that involved, for example, asking and answering questions, participating in a dialogue, or disagreeing with a peer. Analyzing the substructures of the categories revealed that there were evident differences between the groups, some of them related to the group size. With regard to the characteristics of discussions considered to be connected to a better learning outcome, it was observed that a great number of lines uttered related to the physics content or metalevel discussions seemed to have a direct bearing on success in the post test at the group level. For individual students, answering content-related questions posed by their peers might also indicate success in the post test. We would encourage researchers to continue this type of research in order to discover the essential characteristics of students' discussions that facilitate learning.

  2. Characterizing interactive engagement activities in a flipped introductory physics class

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Anna K.; Galloway, Ross K.; Donnelly, Robyn; Hardy, Judy

    2016-06-01

    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.

  3. Symmetry and aesthetics in introductory physics: An experiment in interdisciplinary physics and fine arts education

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Veen, Janet Krause

    In a recent editorial in Physics Today (July, 2006, p. 10) the ability of physicists to "imagine new realities" was correlated with what have been traditionally considered non-scientific qualities of imagination and creativity, which are usually associated with fine arts. In view of the current developments in physics of the 21st Century, including the searches for cosmic dark energy and evidence from the Large Hadron Collider which, it is hoped, will verify or refute the proposals of String Theory, the importance of developing creativity and imagination through education is gaining recognition. Two questions are addressed by this study: First, How can we bring the sense of aesthetics and creativity, which are important in the practice of physics, into the teaching and learning of physics at the introductory college level, without sacrificing the mathematical rigor which is necessary for proper understanding of physics? Second, How can we provide access to physics for a diverse population of students which includes physics majors, arts majors, and future teachers? An interdisciplinary curriculum which begins with teaching math as a language of nature, and utilizes arts to help visualize the connections between mathematics and the physical universe, may provide answers to these questions. In this dissertation I describe in detail the case study of the eleven students - seven physics majors and four arts majors - who participated in an experimental course, Symmetry and Aesthetics in Introductory Physics, in Winter Quarter, 2007, at UCSB's College of Creative Studies. The very positive results of this experiment suggest that this model deserves further testing, and could provide an entry into the study of physics for physics majors, liberal arts majors, future teachers, and as a foundation for media arts and technology programs.

  4. Assessing Expertise in Introductory Physics Using Categorization Task

    CERN Document Server

    Mason, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    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 ...

  5. Introductory physics in biological context: An approach to improve introductory physics for life science students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crouch, Catherine H.; Heller, Kenneth

    2014-05-01

    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.

  6. Gender Gaps in Achievement and Participation in Multiple Introductory Biology Classrooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brownell, Sara E.; Wenderoth, Mary Pat

    2014-01-01

    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

  7. Major Roads

    Data.gov (United States)

    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...

  8. Major Links.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderson, Tona

    1995-01-01

    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)

  9. An Approach to Introductory Education in Ube National College of Technology

    OpenAIRE

    杉本, 憲司; 日髙, 良和; 内堀, 晃彦; 中野, 陽一; 城戸, 秀樹

    2014-01-01

    Introductory Education is implemented for 1st year to 3rd year students, and is “matrix-type fundamental education”, with Introductory Education as the horizontal axis across departments in each year group, and specialist education forming the vertical axis for each department at Ube National College of Technology. This paper reports on the process of establishing this Introductory Education program, the content of the program, and the effects of implementation of Introductory Education. Ov...

  10. To use or no to use diagrams: The effect of drawing a diagram in solving introductory physics problems

    CERN Document Server

    Maries, Alexandru

    2016-01-01

    Drawing appropriate diagrams is a useful problem solving heuristic that can transform a give problem into a representation that is easier to exploit for solving it. A major focus while helping introductory physics students learn problem solving is to help them appreciate that drawing a diagram facilitates problem solution. We conducted an investigation in which 111 students in an algebra-based introductory physics course were subjected to two different interventions during recitation quizzes throughout the semester. They were either (1) asked to solve problems in which the diagrams were drawn for them or (2) explicitly told to draw a diagram. A comparison group was not given any instruction regarding diagrams. We developed a rubric to score the problem-solving performance of students in different intervention groups. We investigated two problems involving electric field and electric force and found that students who draw expert-like diagrams are more successful problem solvers and that a higher level of detai...

  11. Choices in higher education: Majoring in and changing from the sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  12. Mobility of College-level Student Ideas as Revealed by the Geoscience Concept Inventory: Implications for Teaching Introductory Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, S. W.; Libarkin, J.

    2008-12-01

    Through the administration of the Geoscience Concept Inventory (GCI) in over 50 introductory college-level geosciences courses nationwide, we identified little to no pre- to post-test gain on many of the GCI questions. Although it may seem reasonable to attribute these results to the entrenchment of ideas in this population of students, a closer look at individual matched pre- and post-tests shows that student ideas about the Earth are extremely mobile rather than entrenched. For those individual GCI questions that show low or no gain from pre- to post-test, individual students are typically switching between wrong answers, rather than holding on to one particular alternative conception. Of the 21 GCI questions that showed a normalized gain of college-level geosciences courses. We suggest that students may have difficulty settling on a correct geosciences conception because of the shaky supporting-science underpinnings upon which these geosciences concepts are built. An important question stemming from these results is "when does learning occur in college-level courses?". Given that students in most introductory geosciences courses show little or no overall gain over the course of a semester, when do our geology majors gain a firm conceptual understanding of our fundamental geosciences topics, what role does the introductory course play in their learning, and are there strategies that can be employed in introductory courses to enhance learning for those students who will only take one college-level geosciences course? In light of findings available from GCI and other research, we suggest that longitudinal studies of learning in the geosciences are needed for time periods longer than a semester, and that more attention be paid to when conceptual change occurs for our majors.

  13. Alternatives to the Anthology: Rethinking an Introductory Literature Course.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandman, John

    A college educator (trained in composition) encountered some problems when he began teaching an introductory literature course. In the first year of the course, he used a fiction anthology as his textbook. The class examined one story at a time, and attempts to compare readings seemed forced. The teacher realized that anthologies are narrow in…

  14. Teaching Perspectives among Introductory Computer Programming Faculty in Higher Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mainier, Michael J.

    2011-01-01

    This study identified the teaching beliefs, intentions, and actions of 80 introductory computer programming (CS1) faculty members from institutions of higher education in the United States using the Teacher Perspectives Inventory. Instruction method used inside the classroom, categorized by ACM CS1 curriculum guidelines, was also captured along…

  15. The Approaches to Studying of Portuguese Students of Introductory Accounting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, Cláudia; Gomes, Delfina; Borges, Janete

    2013-01-01

    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…

  16. The Sociological Imagination -- A Basis for Teaching of Introductory Sociology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patton, Michael Quinn

    1974-01-01

    The problem in teaching introductory sociology is to determine what can be extracted from the sociological tradition and the current crisis in sociology that will help students lead more meaningful lives. The answer lies in kindling the sociological imagination by the development of a sociology curriculum based upon the study of contemporary youth…

  17. Incorporating Code-Based Software in an Introductory Statistics Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doehler, Kirsten; Taylor, Laura

    2015-01-01

    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…

  18. Impact Crater Experiments for Introductory Physics and Astronomy Laboratories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claycomb, J. R.

    2009-01-01

    Activity-based collisional analysis is developed for introductory physics and astronomy laboratory experiments. Crushable floral foam is used to investigate the physics of projectiles undergoing completely inelastic collisions with a low-density solid forming impact craters. Simple drop experiments enable determination of the average acceleration,…

  19. Implementing Recommendations for Introductory Biology by Writing a New Textbook

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barsoum, Mark J.; Sellers, Patrick J.; Campbell, A. Malcolm; Heyer, Laurie J.; Paradise, Christopher J.

    2013-01-01

    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…

  20. Autonomy and the Student Experience in Introductory Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Nicholas Ron

    2013-01-01

    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…

  1. Using Astrology to Teach Research Methods to Introductory Psychology Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Roger A.; Grasha, Anthony F.

    1986-01-01

    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…

  2. Ecology Content in Introductory Biology Courses: A Comparative Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pool, Richard F.; Turner, Gregory D.; Böttger, S. Anne

    2013-01-01

    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…

  3. Topical and Applied Interests of Introductory Psychology Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stalder, Daniel R.; Stec, Deborah A.

    2007-01-01

    Using forced-choice and continuous measures, introductory psychology students reported highest interest for the topical areas of clinical and social psychology (over biological, cognitive, and developmental) and for the applied areas of education and health (over business, environment, and law) at both the beginning and end of semesters. Among…

  4. The Portrayal of Intelligence in Introductory Educational Psychology Textbooks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lusk, Danielle L.; Jones, Brett D.

    2011-01-01

    Because of the importance of students' and teachers' implicit beliefs about intelligence, we designed a study to determine: (a) How is intelligence defined--as a malleable or fixed entity--in introductory educational psychology textbooks? and (b) To what extent are classroom applications of intelligence topics included in the textbooks? We…

  5. Public Image of Counseling Psychology: What Introductory Psychology Textbooks Say.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixon, David N.; Vrochopoulos, Sam; Burton, Jennifer

    1997-01-01

    Examines the adequacy of descriptions of counseling psychology and its professionals in introductory psychology textbooks compared to the descriptions of other applied areas of psychology. Results indicate that counseling psychology is less represented than industrial or organizational and clinical psychology and more represented than school…

  6. Polymerization Simulator for Introductory Polymer and Material Science Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chirdon, William M.

    2010-01-01

    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…

  7. Transitioning from Introductory Calculus to Formal Limit Conceptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagle, Courtney

    2013-01-01

    The limit concept is a fundamental mathematical notion both for its practical applications and its importance as a prerequisite for later calculus topics. Past research suggests that limit conceptualizations promoted in introductory calculus are far removed from the formal epsilon-delta definition of limit. In this article, I provide an overview…

  8. Effect of Introductory Counseling Course on Retention Rates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Phelan, Mary Hall; Fulkerson, James

    This study examined the effects of an introductory counseling course on retention rates of students at Western Kentucky University (WKU). Rates of graduation after 4, 5, and 6 years for 400 freshmen and 474 sophomores enrolled in an academic orientation and preparation course between 1990 and 1994 were compared with WKU and regional rates during…

  9. The Effects of Different Teaching Approaches in Introductory Financial Accounting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiang, Bea; Nouri, Hossein; Samanta, Subarna

    2014-01-01

    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…

  10. Introductory Anatomy and Physiology in an Undergraduate Nursing Curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, S. J.; White, S.; Power, N.

    2017-01-01

    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…

  11. Ecology Content in Introductory Biology Courses: A Comparative Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pool, Richard F.; Turner, Gregory D.; Böttger, S. Anne

    2013-01-01

    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…

  12. Do Business Communication Courses Improve Student Performance in Introductory Marketing?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcal, Leah E.; Hennessey, Judith E.; Curren, Mary T.; Roberts, William W.

    2005-01-01

    In this study, the authors investigated whether completion of a business communications course improved student performance in an introductory marketing management course. Regression analysis indicated that students who completed the communications course received higher grades than the otherwise comparable students. In addition, marketing majors…

  13. Introductory Biology Labs... They Just Aren't Sexy Enough!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotner, Sehoya; Gallup, Gordon G., Jr.

    2011-01-01

    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…

  14. Rhetorical Analysis as Introductory Speech: Jumpstarting Student Engagement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malone, Marc P.

    2012-01-01

    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…

  15. Challenges in Understanding Photosynthesis in a University Introductory Biosciences Class

    Science.gov (United States)

    Södervik, Ilona; Virtanen, Viivi; Mikkilä-Erdmann, Mirjamaija

    2015-01-01

    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-…

  16. Using Data from Climate Science to Teach Introductory Statistics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witt, Gary

    2013-01-01

    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…

  17. Incorporating Code-Based Software in an Introductory Statistics Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doehler, Kirsten; Taylor, Laura

    2015-01-01

    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…

  18. Does the Choice of Introductory Microeconomics Textbook Matter?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pyne, Derek

    2007-01-01

    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…

  19. Learning Styles and Student Performance in Introductory Economics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunton, Bruce

    2015-01-01

    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…

  20. The Importance of Attendance in an Introductory Textile Science Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcketti, Sara B.; Wang, Xinxin; Greder, Kate

    2013-01-01

    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…

  1. Learners Programming Language a Helping System for Introductory Programming Courses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MUHAMMAD SHUMAIL NAVEED

    2016-07-01

    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.

  2. Student Interpretations of Phylogenetic Trees in an Introductory Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dees, Jonathan; Momsen, Jennifer L.; Niemi, Jarad; Montplaisir, Lisa

    2014-01-01

    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…

  3. The Importance of Introductory Statistics Students Understanding Appropriate Sampling Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menil, Violeta C.

    2005-01-01

    In this paper the author discusses the meaning of sampling, the reasons for sampling, the Central Limit Theorem, and the different techniques of sampling. Practical and relevant examples are given to make the appropriate sampling techniques understandable to students of Introductory Statistics courses. With a thorough knowledge of sampling…

  4. Teaching Introductory Undergraduate Physics Using Commercial Video Games

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohanty, Soumya D.; Cantu, Sergio

    2011-01-01

    Commercial video games are increasingly using sophisticated physics simulations to create a more immersive experience for players. This also makes them a powerful tool for engaging students in learning physics. We provide some examples to show how commercial off-the-shelf games can be used to teach specific topics in introductory undergraduate…

  5. The Effect of Vocabulary on Introductory Microbiology Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, Emily

    2011-01-01

    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…

  6. The Influence of Introductory Accounting Courses on Career Choices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cangelosi, James S.; And Others

    1985-01-01

    This study investigated what factors affect undergraduate students' consideration of careers in accounting as they matriculate through a typical sequence of introductory accounting courses. Findings indicate that students believe that accountants are likely to find secure positions, those positions are likely to provide healthy incomes, and…

  7. Rhetorical Analysis as Introductory Speech: Jumpstarting Student Engagement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malone, Marc P.

    2012-01-01

    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…

  8. Demonstrating the Gambler's Fallacy in an Introductory Statistics Class.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riniolo, Todd C.; Schmidt, Louis A.

    1999-01-01

    Describes a classroom demonstration called the Gambler's Fallacy where students in an introductory psychology statistics class participate in simulated gambling using weekly results from professional football game outcomes over a 10 week period. Explains that the demonstration illustrates that random processes do not self-correct and statistical…

  9. Osmotic Stressing, Membrane Leakage, and Fluorescence: An Introductory Biochemistry Demonstration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seu, Kalani J.

    2015-01-01

    A fluorescence demonstration is described that incorporates several fundamental aspects of an introductory biochemistry course. A variation of a known leakage assay is utilized to prepare vesicles containing a quenched fluorophore. The vesicles are exposed to several osmotic environments ranging from isotonic to hypotonic. The degree of vesicle…

  10. Do Business Communication Courses Improve Student Performance in Introductory Marketing?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcal, Leah E.; Hennessey, Judith E.; Curren, Mary T.; Roberts, William W.

    2005-01-01

    In this study, the authors investigated whether completion of a business communications course improved student performance in an introductory marketing management course. Regression analysis indicated that students who completed the communications course received higher grades than the otherwise comparable students. In addition, marketing majors…

  11. Service-Learning in Introductory Statistics at Kalamazoo College

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nordmoe, Eric D.

    2007-01-01

    Kalamazoo College is a selective, liberal arts college located in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with total enrollment of approximately 1200 students. The primary introductory statistics course at Kalamazoo College is Applied Statistics I (Math 260). Working in small groups of 3 or 4 members each, students were required to formulate a question of interest,…

  12. Student Attitudes, Conceptions, and Achievement in Introductory Undergraduate College Statistics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Brian

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to measure student attitudes toward and conceptions about statistics, both before and after an introductory undergraduate college statistics class. Relationships between those attitudes and conceptions, as well as their relationships to achievement in statistics, were also studied. Significant correlations were found…

  13. Student Understanding of Gravity in Introductory College Astronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williamson, Kathryn E.; Willoughby, Shannon

    2012-01-01

    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…

  14. Polymeric, Metallic, and Other Glasses in Introductory Chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkes, Stephen J.

    2008-01-01

    Non-ceramic glasses are not adequately discussed in introductory chemistry. Such glasses include polycarbonate, which many corrective lenses are made of, amber, enamel, gelatin, hard candy, coal, refrigerated glycerol, and metallic glasses that have been marketed in recent decades. What is usually discussed in elementary texts is siliceous glass,…

  15. Student Success in Intensive versus Traditional Introductory College Chemistry Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Mildred V.; Wilson, Linda A.; Sanger, Michael J.

    2012-01-01

    The goal of this study was to determine whether students would be more successful in a traditional 15-week introductory college chemistry course or an intensive three-week version of the same course. In addition to course format, we also analyzed whether the students' academic experience (measured as the number of college credit hours taken by…

  16. Integrating Symmetry in Stereochemical Analysis in Introductory Organic Chemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taagepera, Mare; Arasasingham, Ramesh D.; King, Susan; Potter, Frank; Martorell, Ingrid; Ford, David; Wu, Jason; Kearney, Aaron M.

    2011-01-01

    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…

  17. The Effect of Vocabulary on Introductory Microbiology Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, Emily

    2011-01-01

    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…

  18. Using Eportfolios to Aid Reflection in Introductory Psychology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siporin, Sheldon

    2013-01-01

    Electronic portfolios (EP) are an academic version of online social media (e.g., Facebook) that archive student work and support integrated learning. Despite limited theory, advocates believe EP enhances the reflective process. Thirty-six students in introductory psychology at Pace University were invited to create EP and complete optional EP…

  19. Coverage of Research Ethics in Introductory and Social Psychology Textbooks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korn, James H.

    1984-01-01

    A content analysis of college-level introductory and social psychology textbooks showed that many texts do not discuss ethics at all and, if they do, it is usually in one or two pages. Things that classroom teachers can do to fill this important gap are discussed. (RM)

  20. Integrating Research Ethics into the Introductory Psychology Course Curriculum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Celia B.; Kuther, Tara L.

    1997-01-01

    Describes an experiment where faculty at two universities integrated six case studies on research ethics into their introductory psychology curricula. Suggests that students who received the ethics modules were better able to identify and understand moral issues. Includes a statistical analysis of assessment and a brief discussion of instructional…

  1. Theories of Gender Hierarchy for an Introductory Women's Studies Class

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jabbra, Nancy W.

    2008-01-01

    Issues of gender hierarchy are central in an introductory women's studies class. The author wishes to give students an overview of some of the classical feminist theories and also some of the newest thinking. Also, through showing them multiple feminist perspectives, she would like them to learn that there is no single hegemonic feminist view. Her…

  2. Using Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" in Introductory Geography Courses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hathaway, James

    1993-01-01

    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…

  3. Coverage of the Stanford Prison Experiment in Introductory Psychology Textbooks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griggs, Richard A.

    2014-01-01

    Zimbardo's 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE), one of the most famous studies in psychology, is discussed in most introductory textbooks. The present study is concerned with the nature of this coverage, given that there have been myriad criticisms, especially recently, of the SPE. These criticisms concern both Zimbardo's situationist…

  4. A Practical Polymerase Chain Reaction Laboratory for Introductory Biology Classes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowlus, R. David; Grether, Susan C.

    1996-01-01

    Presents a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) laboratory exercise that can be performed by introductory biology students in 1 45- to 55-minute class period. Includes a general description of the polymerase chain reaction, materials needed, procedure, and details of interest to teachers. (JRH)

  5. Peer Discussions in Lecture-Based Tutorials in Introductory Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leinonen, Risto; Asikainen, Mervi A.; Hirvonen, Pekka E.

    2017-01-01

    This study analyzes the types of peer discussion that occur during lecture-based tutorial sessions. It focuses in particular on whether discussions of this kind have certain characteristics that might indicate success in the post-testing phase. The data were collected during an introductory physics course. The main data set was gathered with the…

  6. Student and Professor Gender Effects in Introductory Business Statistics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haley, M. Ryan; Johnson, Marianne F.; Kuennen, Eric W.

    2007-01-01

    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…

  7. Who Does Extra-Credit Work in Introductory Science Courses?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Randy

    2005-01-01

    On the first day of classes, 81% of students in an introductory biology course claimed that they would submit extra-credit work if given the opportunity. When given two chances for extra-credit work, fewer than one-fourth of students submitted one or both assignments. Students who submitted extra-credit work were more likely to attend class,…

  8. Lecturers' Perspectives on How Introductory Economic Courses Address Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Tom L.

    2015-01-01

    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…

  9. A Pilot Study Teaching Metrology in an Introductory Statistics Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casleton, Emily; Beyler, Amy; Genschel, Ulrike; Wilson, Alyson

    2014-01-01

    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…

  10. Introductory Level Problems Illustrating Concepts in Pharmaceutical Engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    McIver, Keith; Whitaker, Kathryn; De Delva, Vladimir; Farrell, Stephanie; Savelski, Mariano J.; Slater, C. Stewart

    2012-01-01

    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,…

  11. Science Fiction and Introductory Sociology: The "Handmaid" in the Classroom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laz, Cheryl

    1996-01-01

    Focuses on the uses of science fiction to teach sociology and develop critical and creative thinking. Maintains that in the last 20 years science fiction has become concerned increasingly with social themes. Concludes with a detailed description of the use of "The Handmaid's Tale" in an introductory sociology course. (MJP)

  12. Introductory Critical Literacy Practices for Urban Preservice Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meller, Wendy B.; Hatch, J. Amos

    2008-01-01

    This article describes introductory practices used to prepare future urban teachers to implement critical literacy strategies in their classrooms. Based in a teacher education program designed to prepare teachers for urban multicultural settings, the authors provide an overview of critical approaches to literacy instruction, a rationale for why…

  13. Introductory Biology Labs... They Just Aren't Sexy Enough!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cotner, Sehoya; Gallup, Gordon G., Jr.

    2011-01-01

    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…

  14. Core References in Introductory Social Psychology and Developmental Psychology Textbooks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehead, George I., III; Smith, Stephanie H.; Losonczy-Marshall, Marta

    2017-01-01

    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…

  15. The Effects of Different Teaching Approaches in Introductory Financial Accounting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiang, Bea; Nouri, Hossein; Samanta, Subarna

    2014-01-01

    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…

  16. Class Size and Academic Achievement in Introductory Political Science Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Towner, Terri L.

    2016-01-01

    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…

  17. Students' Approaches to Study in Introductory Accounting Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elias, Rafik Z.

    2005-01-01

    Significant education research has focused on the study approaches of students. Two study approaches have been clearly identified: deep and surface. In this study, the author examined the way in which students approach studying introductory accounting courses. In general, he found that GPA and expected course grade were correlated positively with…

  18. A Simulation Game for an Introductory Course in International Business

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGuinness, Michael J.

    2004-01-01

    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…

  19. Student Understanding of Gravity in Introductory College Astronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williamson, Kathryn E.; Willoughby, Shannon

    2012-01-01

    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…

  20. The Importance of Attendance in an Introductory Textile Science Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcketti, Sara B.; Wang, Xinxin; Greder, Kate

    2013-01-01

    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…

  1. Lecturers' Perspectives on How Introductory Economic Courses Address Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Tom L.

    2015-01-01

    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…

  2. A Model for Teaching an Introductory Programming Course Using ADRI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malik, Sohail Iqbal; Coldwell-Neilson, Jo

    2017-01-01

    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…

  3. The Introductory College Business Course: A New Dimension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podell, Joel; And Others

    1977-01-01

    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)

  4. Special Relativity and Magnetism in an Introductory Physics Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piccioni, R. G.

    2007-01-01

    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…

  5. Introductory Life Science Mathematics and Quantitative Neuroscience Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffus, Dwight; Olifer, Andrei

    2010-01-01

    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…

  6. A Proposal for More Sophisticated Normative Principles in Introductory Economics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Stephen

    2017-01-01

    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…

  7. Eating Competence of College Students in an Introductory Nutrition Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Lora Beth; Larsen, Katrina J.; Nyland, Nora K.; Eggett, Dennis L.

    2013-01-01

    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…

  8. Osmotic Stressing, Membrane Leakage, and Fluorescence: An Introductory Biochemistry Demonstration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seu, Kalani J.

    2015-01-01

    A fluorescence demonstration is described that incorporates several fundamental aspects of an introductory biochemistry course. A variation of a known leakage assay is utilized to prepare vesicles containing a quenched fluorophore. The vesicles are exposed to several osmotic environments ranging from isotonic to hypotonic. The degree of vesicle…

  9. Introductory Anatomy and Physiology in an Undergraduate Nursing Curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, S. J.; White, S.; Power, N.

    2017-01-01

    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…

  10. In Search of Introductory Psychology's Classic Core Vocabulary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griggs, Richard A.; Mitchell, Montserrat C.

    2002-01-01

    Examines whether there was a common vocabulary present within introductory psychology textbooks during the 1950s and if a classic core vocabulary exists. Reports that no common core existed in the textbooks during the 1950s, but there is a set of 100 classic vocabulary terms. (CMK)

  11. Introductory Graduate Research Courses: An Examination of the Knowledge Base.

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  12. Using a Hybrid Approach to Facilitate Learning Introductory Programming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cakiroglu, Unal

    2013-01-01

    In order to facilitate students' understanding in introductory programming courses, different types of teaching approaches were conducted. In this study, a hybrid approach including comment first coding (CFC), analogy and template approaches were used. The goal was to investigate the effect of such a hybrid approach on students' understanding in…

  13. Public Speaking versus Hybrid Introductory Communication Courses: Exploring Four Outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broeckelman-Post, Melissa A.; Pyle, Andrew S.

    2017-01-01

    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…

  14. The Continuing Saga of Little Albert in Introductory Psychology Textbooks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griggs, Richard A.

    2014-01-01

    Inaccuracies, especially concerning the stimulus generalization findings, in textbook descriptions of the Little Albert study have been well documented since the 1970s. However, there has not been a systematic examination of introductory psychology textbooks since the 1980s to determine whether such inaccuracies still persist. This study filled…

  15. Factors Affecting Performance in an Introductory Sociology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwenda, Maxwell

    2011-01-01

    This study examines factors affecting students' performances in an Introductory Sociology course over five semesters. Employing simple and ordered logit regression models, the author explains final grades by focusing on individual demographic and educational characteristics that students bring into the classroom. The results show that a student's…

  16. Integrative Biology: A Capstone Course for an Introductory Biology Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaplin, Susan B.; Hartung, Nancy Z.

    2012-01-01

    A capstone to the biology introductory curriculum was developed with the specific goals of enhancing integration of course content, promoting development of oral presentation skills and critical reading and thinking skills, and introducing ecological principles omitted from the rest of the core. Classes of 12 to 16 students were team taught by…

  17. Learning Styles and Student Performance in Introductory Economics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunton, Bruce

    2015-01-01

    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…

  18. Challenging Disciplinary Boundaries in the First Year: A New Introductory Integrated Science Course for STEM Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gentile, Lisa; Caudill, Lester; Fetea, Mirela; Hill, April; Hoke, Kathy; Lawson, Barry; Lipan, Ovidiu; Kerckhove, Michael; Parish, Carol; Stenger, Krista; Szajda, Doug

    2012-01-01

    To help undergraduates make connections among disciplines so they are able to approach, evaluate, and contribute to the solutions of important global problems, our campus has been focused on interdisciplinary research and education opportunities across the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. This paper describes…

  19. Introductory animal science-based instruction influences attitudes on animal agriculture issues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bobeck, E A; Combs, D K; Cook, M E

    2014-02-01

    The demographics of incoming university animal science majors have shifted from students with a farm background to urban students with no history of direct livestock contact. Research completed before the Internet was a central source of information indicated that incoming urban students tend to express no opinion or a neutral opinion regarding livestock agriculture issues. Due to the changing background of incoming students enrolled in introductory university-level animal science classes, we sought to determine 1) if livestock background (self-identified as raised in a farm or urban setting), sex, or animal science career interest influenced the opinions of incoming students regarding critical issues involving livestock farming practices and 2) if 15 wk of introductory animal science instruction changed student opinions. A total of 224 students were given 2 identical anonymous surveys (start and end of 15 wk) with 5 demographic questions and 9 animal issue statements. For each statement, students marked their opinion by placing a vertical line on a continuous 130 mm horizontal line, where a vertical line placed at 0 mm = strongly agree and 130 mm = strongly disagree. Data were analyzed by ANOVA to determine any significant effects of instruction, background, sex, and future career preference on survey responses. Before instruction, urban students were less agreeable than farm students that animal farming was moral and humane and that farmers are concerned about animal welfare and livestock are of value to society (P ≤ 0.05). Urban students were more likely than farm students to purchase organic foods or food based on environmental/welfare standards (P ≤ 0.05). Introductory animal science instruction resulted in students becoming more agreeable that animal farming was humane, farmers are concerned about animal welfare, and animal agriculture is a value to society (P ≤ 0.05). Postinstruction, students were more likely to buy food products based on price (P

  20. Field and Classroom Strategies for Improving Critical Thinking on Introductory Geoscience Field Trips

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boryta, M. D.; Walker, B.; Long, T.

    2011-12-01

    Although field experiences for introductory geoscience students have tremendous potential with respect to recruiting and retaining majors and enriching their understanding of geologic concepts, implementing field trips that promote critical thinking for introductory students is challenging. After observing that many of our students struggled at applying concepts they learned in the classroom to unfamiliar field areas, we developed teaching strategies and instructional materials for the classroom and the field to promote critical thinking and self-directed learning on field trips. We assessed the effectiveness of these modifications using video, interviews, student field trip reports and field notebooks. Student co-inquirers played a vital role during the project in field instruction and data analysis. We will discuss think-alouds, the importance of repetition in the classroom, allowing adequate processing time, field trip preparation exercises for the classroom, and other significant pedagogical changes that we made. Video of students in the field at the beginning, middle, and end of the project will be shown to illustrate the progressive changes in students' approaches to outcrop analysis over the course of the project.

  1. Measuring the impact of an instructional laboratory on the learning of introductory physics

    CERN Document Server

    Wieman, Carl

    2015-01-01

    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 course was compared using final exam questions from the associated courses that related to concepts from the lab courses. The population of students who took the lab in each case was somewhat different from those who did not enroll in the lab course in terms of background and major. Those differences were taken into account by normalizing their performance on the lab-related questions with scores on the exam questions that did not involve material covered in the lab. When normalized in this way, the average score on lab-relat...

  2. Enhancing Cognitive Development through Physics Problem Solving: A Taxonomy of Introductory Physics Problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teodorescu, Raluca; Bennhold, Cornelius; Feldman, Gerald

    2008-10-01

    As part of an ongoing project to reform the introductory algebra-based physics courses at George Washington University, we are developing a taxonomy of introductory physics problems (TIPP) that establishes a connection between the physics problems, the type of physics knowledge they involve and the cognitive processes they develop in students. This taxonomy will provide, besides an algorithm for classifying physics problems, an organized and relatively easy-to-use database of physics problems that contains the majority of already created text-based and research-based types of problems. In addition, this taxonomy will reveal the kinds of physics problems that are still lacking and that are found to be necessary to enhance students' cognitive development. For this reason, we expect it to be a valuable teaching resource for physics instructors which will enable them to select the problems used in their curricular materials based on the specifics of their students' cognition and the learning objectives they want to achieve in their class. This organization scheme will also provide a framework for creating physics-related assessments with a cognitive component.

  3. The African Experience. Volume I: Syllabus Lectures; Volume II: Bibliographic References; Volume IIIA: Introductory Essays; Volume IIIB: Introductory Essays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paden, John N.; Soja, Edward W.

    In response to demands for more and better teaching about Africa in American higher education, the US Office of Education requested that the Program of African Studies at Northwestern University generate a set of teaching materials which could be used in introductory undergraduate courses. Included in these volumes, these materials provide…

  4. Poverty, Education and Work: Some Introductory Thoughts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agostino, Ana

    2007-01-01

    The article argues that poverty must be understood within a human rights approach, moving beyond a narrow economic definition. Recognising the multidimensional character of poverty also leads to acknowledge that there are no universal answers. Solutions must be culturally determined and this poses one of the major challenges for adult education…

  5. From Gatekeeping to Engagement: A Multicontextual, Mixed Method Study of Student Academic Engagement in Introductory STEM Courses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gasiewski, Josephine A; Eagan, M Kevin; Garcia, Gina A; Hurtado, Sylvia; Chang, Mitchell J

    2012-03-01

    The lack of academic engagement in introductory science courses is considered by some to be a primary reason why students switch out of science majors. This study employed a sequential, explanatory mixed methods approach to provide a richer understanding of the relationship between student engagement and introductory science instruction. Quantitative survey data were drawn from 2,873 students within 73 introductory science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses across 15 colleges and universities, and qualitative data were collected from 41 student focus groups at eight of these institutions. The findings indicate that students tended to be more engaged in courses where the instructor consistently signaled an openness to student questions and recognizes her/his role in helping students succeed. Likewise, students who reported feeling comfortable asking questions in class, seeking out tutoring, attending supplemental instruction sessions, and collaborating with other students in the course were also more likely to be engaged. Instructional implications for improving students' levels of academic engagement are discussed.

  6. Using Earth Data in an Introductory Oceanography Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prothero, W. A.

    2002-12-01

    Activities that engage students in the use and interpretation of real earth data provide an effective way of promoting an understanding of the science process. In UCSB's introductory Oceanography course, major goals are to improve student understanding of how science works and how to interpret science claims in the popular media. Activities are modeled after those of practicing scientists. These include: a) posing a solvable problem, b) choosing and acquiring relevant data, c) describing the data, d) interpreting the data, e) giving talks to peers, and f) publishing and reviewing findings. Each of these activities poses pedagogical challenges that must be addressed in carefully sequenced course assignments that build upon each other, and respond to a variety of learning styles. The use of earth data in education also presents significant challenges in creating effective data acquisition and display tools. However, only item b, above, is pertinent to these tools. The other items present similar challenges. During the course, learners must acquire enough subject knowledge to successfully interpret the data. They must understand the theory or model they are testing, how the relevant data can be used to test the model, and how to illustrate and present their findings orally and in writing. Some of the assignments that support this are: online homework, online subject area mini-quizzes (randomly created from a database of questions), "questions of the day" in lecture, online short answer thought questions, lab section guided mini-investigations, lab section group presentations, short writing exercises, and 2 longer writing assignments. Students rate the writing assignments as the most effective course component that contributes to their learning. The writing assignments focus student effort and also produce a product that we can study in an attempt to measure student learning. Prof. Gregory Kelly and Prof. Charles Bazerman (UCSB Graduate School of Education) are

  7. A cognitive framework for analyzing and describing introductory students' use and understanding of mathematics in physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuminaro, Jonathan

    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

  8. A Case Study: Novel Group Interactions through Introductory Computational Physics

    CERN Document Server

    Obsniuk, Michael J; Caballero, Marcos D

    2015-01-01

    With the advent of high-level programming languages capable of quickly rendering three-dimensional simulations, the inclusion of computers as a learning tool in the classroom has become more prevalent. Although work has begun to study the patterns seen in implementing and assessing computation in introductory physics, more insight is needed to understand the observed effects of blending computation with physics in a group setting. In a newly adopted format of introductory calculus-based mechanics, called Projects and Practices in Physics, groups of students work on short modeling projects -- which make use of a novel inquiry-based approach -- to develop their understanding of both physics content and practice. Preliminary analyses of observational data of groups engaging with computation, coupled with synchronized computer screencast, has revealed a unique group interaction afforded by the practices specific to computational physics -- problem debugging.

  9. Vision and change in introductory physics for the life sciences

    CERN Document Server

    Mochrie, S G J

    2015-01-01

    Since 2010, the Yale physics department has offered a novel calculus-based introductory physics for the life science (IPLS) sequence, that re-imagines the IPLS syllabus to include a selection of biologically and medically relevant topics, that are highly meaningful to its audience of biological science and premedical undergraduates. The first semester, in particular, differs considerably from traditional first-semester introductory physics. Here, we highlight the novel aspects of Yale's first-semester course, and describe student feedback about the course, including a comparison between how students evaluate the course and how they evaluate courses with a traditional syllabus, and how students' perceptions of the relevance of physics to biology and medicine are affected by having taken the course.

  10. Teaching assistants' beliefs regarding example solutions in introductory physics

    CERN Document Server

    Lin, Shih-Yin; Mamudi, William; Singh, Chandralekha; Yerushalmi, Edit

    2016-01-01

    As part of a larger study to understand instructors' considerations regarding the learning and teaching of problem solving in an introductory physics course, we investigated beliefs of first-year graduate teaching assistants (TAs) regarding the use of example solutions in introductory physics. In particular, we examine how the goal of promoting expert-like problem solving is manifested in the considerations of graduate TAs choices of example solutions. Twenty-four first-year graduate TAs were asked to discuss their goals for presenting example solutions to students. They were also provided with different example solutions and asked to discuss their preferences for prominent solution features. TAs' awareness, preferences and actual practices related to solution features were examined in light of recommendations from the literature for the modeling of expert-like problem solving approaches. The study concludes that the goal of helping students develop an expert-like problem solving approach underlies many TAs' ...

  11. Introduction to neutron scattering. Lecture notes of the introductory course

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Furrer, A. [ed.

    1996-12-31

    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.

  12. TEACHING OBJECT ORIENTED PROGRAMMING AT THE INTRODUCTORY LEVEL

    OpenAIRE

    OKUR , Prof.Dr. Mehmet C.

    2006-01-01

    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...

  13. Teaching introductory undergraduate Physics using commercial video games

    CERN Document Server

    Mohanty, Soumya D

    2011-01-01

    Commercial video games are increasingly using sophisticated physics simulations to create a more immersive experience for players. This also makes them a powerful tool for engaging students in learning physics. We provide some examples to show how commercial off-the-shelf games can be used to teach specific topics in introductory undergraduate physics. The examples are selected from a course taught predominantly through the medium of commercial video games.

  14. Peer led team learning in introductory biology: effects on peer leader critical thinking skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snyder, Julia J; Wiles, Jason R

    2015-01-01

    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.

  15. Students' proofs of one-to-one and onto properties in introductory abstract algebra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheeler, Ann; Champion, Joe

    2013-12-01

    Learning to write formal mathematical proofs presents a major challenge to undergraduates. Students who have succeeded in algorithm-intensive courses such as calculus often find the abstract logic and nonprocedural nature of proof writing to be technically difficult, ambiguous and filled with potential errors and misconceptions. This mixed-methods study examines 23 undergraduate students' attempts to write one-to-one and onto proofs in an introductory abstract algebra course. Data collected consisted of six rounds of assessments on one-to-one and onto proofs, including homework, quizzes and exams. Using an existing framework of undergraduate proof writing, the researchers found that students' misconceptions and errors varied substantially by student and task, with one-to-one proofs presenting unique challenges. Implications for teaching and research include emphasis on the logic of proof approaches and providing structured proof frameworks to assist undergraduates with the procedural and conceptual challenges in learning to write proofs.

  16. Coupling Conceptual and Quantitative Problems to Develop Expertise in Introductory Physics Students

    CERN Document Server

    Singh, Chandralekha

    2016-01-01

    We discuss the effect of administering conceptual and quantitative isomorphic problem pairs (CQIPP) back to back vs. asking students to solve only one of the problems in the CQIPP in introductory physics courses. Students who answered both questions in a CQIPP often performed better on the conceptual questions than those who answered the corresponding conceptual questions only. Although students often took advantage of the quantitative counterpart to answer a conceptual question of a CQIPP correctly, when only given the conceptual question, students seldom tried to convert it into a quantitative question, solve it and then reason about the solution conceptually. Even in individual interviews, when students who were only given conceptual questions had difficulty and the interviewer explicitly encouraged them to convert the conceptual question into the corresponding quantitative problem by choosing appropriate variables, a majority of students were reluctant and preferred to guess the answer to the conceptual q...

  17. Attending to experimental physics practices and lifelong learning skills in an introductory laboratory course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gandhi, Punit R.; Livezey, Jesse A.; Zaniewski, Anna M.; Reinholz, Daniel L.; Dounas-Frazer, Dimitri R.

    2016-09-01

    We have designed an introductory laboratory course that engaged first-year undergraduate students in two complementary types of iteration: (1) iterative improvement of experiments through cycles of modeling systems, designing experiments, analyzing data, and refining models and designs; and (2) iterative improvement of self through cycles of reflecting on progress, soliciting feedback, and implementing changes to study habits and habits of mind. The course consisted of three major activities: a thermal expansion activity, which spanned the first half of the semester; final research projects, which spanned the second half of the semester; and guided student reflections, which took place throughout the duration of the course. We describe our curricular designs and report examples of student work that demonstrate students' iterative improvements in multiple contexts.

  18. From F = ma to flying squirrels: curricular change in an introductory physics course.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Shea, Brian; Terry, Laura; Benenson, Walter

    2013-06-01

    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.

  19. 1, 2, 3, 4: infusing quantitative literacy into introductory biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speth, Elena Bray; Momsen, Jennifer L; Moyerbrailean, Gregory A; Ebert-May, Diane; Long, Tammy M; Wyse, Sara; Linton, Debra

    2010-01-01

    Biology of the twenty-first century is an increasingly quantitative science. Undergraduate biology education therefore needs to provide opportunities for students to develop fluency in the tools and language of quantitative disciplines. Quantitative literacy (QL) is important for future scientists as well as for citizens, who need to interpret numeric information and data-based claims regarding nearly every aspect of daily life. To address the need for QL in biology education, we incorporated quantitative concepts throughout a semester-long introductory biology course at a large research university. Early in the course, we assessed the quantitative skills that students bring to the introductory biology classroom and found that students had difficulties in performing simple calculations, representing data graphically, and articulating data-driven arguments. In response to students' learning needs, we infused the course with quantitative concepts aligned with the existing course content and learning objectives. The effectiveness of this approach is demonstrated by significant improvement in the quality of students' graphical representations of biological data. Infusing QL in introductory biology presents challenges. Our study, however, supports the conclusion that it is feasible in the context of an existing course, consistent with the goals of college biology education, and promotes students' development of important quantitative skills.

  20. Methods for conducting an introductory flight test engineering course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shelton, Gentry

    This thesis serves as a guide to teaching an introductory flight test engineering course. There are several references pertaining to this area of study, but they are limited in their discussion of the details in how the professor can teach the course, how the professor can handle the logistics of the course, how the students can record and reduce the data and how the pilot can perform the flight test maneuvers. As such, this thesis, along with the materials developed therein, serves the reader as a guide to developing and conducting an introductory flight test engineering course. Materials were developed for the parties involved with an introductory flight test engineering course. Lesson plans and background theory is developed for the professor of the course. In-flight videos and flight maneuver manuals were developed to assist the pilot with flying the maneuvers. In-flight videos, a workbook and in-flight data collection manuals were developed to teach the students the basics of flight test engineering. A chapter is also dedicated to the logistics of the course for the professor. With these materials, any university interested in teaching the basics of flight test engineering will have a foundation to build upon. They will also be guided in the selection of a pilot who can perform the flight test maneuvers required of this course.

  1. Blended Learning Versus Traditional Lecture in Introductory Nursing Pathophysiology Courses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blissitt, Andrea Marie

    2016-04-01

    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.

  2. Gender gaps in achievement and participation in multiple introductory biology classrooms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eddy, Sarah L; Brownell, Sara E; Wenderoth, Mary Pat

    2014-01-01

    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).

  3. The globalization of epidemiology: introductory remarks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearce, Neil

    2004-10-01

    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.

  4. The Case for Infusing Quantitative Literacy into Introductory Geoscience Courses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer M. Wenner

    2009-01-01

    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

  5. Physics Almost Saved the President! Electromagnetic Induction and the Assassination of James Garfield: A Teaching Opportunity in Introductory Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overduin, James; Molloy, Dana; Selway, Jim

    2014-03-01

    Electromagnetic induction is probably one of the most challenging subjects for students in the introductory physics sequence, especially in algebra-based courses. Yet it is at the heart of many of the devices we rely on today. To help students grasp and retain the concept, we have put together a simple and dramatic classroom demonstration that combines sight and sound with a compelling personal story from U.S. history. Other classroom activities dealing with induction have been discussed in this journal, but we believe that this one will be especially likely to attract and retain student interest, particularly in courses geared toward medical, biological, and other non-physics majors.

  6. Instruction of Multidisciplinary Content in Introductory Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaibani, Saami J.

    2017-01-01

    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.

  7. The Impact of Baby Swimming on Introductory and Elementary Swimming Training

    OpenAIRE

    Břízová, Gabriela

    2007-01-01

    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...

  8. Challenge of engaging all students via self-paced interactive electronic learning tutorials for introductory physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeVore, Seth; Marshman, Emily; Singh, Chandralekha

    2017-06-01

    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

  9. Evaluating Students' Attitudes in Introductory Geoscience Courses as a Function of Pedagogy and Content

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fayon, A. K.; Eyssautier, C.

    2008-12-01

    Introductory geoscience courses at large urban institutions have the potential to increase the scientific literacy of the general population. Therefore, engaging all students in the classroom is critical. As instructors of these courses for non-majors, we have all observed students disengaging from the class for a number of reasons. One hypothesis is students feel out of their element in a large, academic institution. This is particularly true for underrepresented minority, low-income first generation, and immigrant college students - the students on one side of the postsecondary science enrollment gap. This research addresses how, through pedagogy and content, we can engage a more diverse population of students by changing their attitudes towards science. We administered the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey (CLASS) instrument, modified for geology, to students enrolled in introductory geology courses (GEO1001 and PsTL1171) at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. This survey consists of 42 questions that measure students" pre- and post-course attitudes towards geology and physical sciences. GEO1001 is a large lecture course where the laboratory content is independent from lecture content. PSTL1171 is offered through the Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning; this course has smaller class sizes, and lecture and laboratory content are fully integrated. Demographically, students of color comprise 23% of the student population in GEO1001, in contrast to 73% in PsTL1171. Overall, responses from all students surveyed show a positive shift in attitudes and confidence. However, in comparing responses from only students of color, those enrolled in PsTL1171 demonstrated greater favorable shifts in the categories of personal interests and problem solving confidence. The pre-course responses also indicate that students of color in PsTL1171 started the course with more favorable attitudes towards real world connections than those students in

  10. Scientific reasoning skills development in the introductory biology courses for undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  11. Development and Evaluation of a Fully-Online Introductory Biology Course With an Emphasis on the Possibility of Life Beyond Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bratton, D., III; Mead, C.; Horodyskyj, L.; Anbar, A. D.

    2016-12-01

    BioBeyond, a fully-online introductory biology course, is distinguished by its driving narrative and its emphasis on education through exploration. BioBeyond applies the narrative, big-question, and active learning principles of its predecessor, Habitable Worlds, in the context of the disciplinarily constrained and higher enrollment environment of non-majors introductory biology. To align with the driving question "Are We Alone?" the course takes a novel approach to sequencing topics compared to typical introductory biology, exploring biological questions that arise from the main question in a narrative-driven format: What is life? How did it get so diverse? Was it always this way? What was the earliest life? What signatures does life leave behind? What is the future of life on Earth? Can humans survive the rigors of exploring other planets? To encourage construction and contextualization of new knowledge, critical thinking, scientific inquiry, and active learning, BioBeyond combines multiple features not often seen in introductory biology: a narrative centered around a big question, a continuous scoring system which assesses students as they learn rather than with high-stakes quizzes and tests, and, significantly, all of the learning experiences are adaptive and responsive, making use of Smart Sparrow's intelligent tutoring system. In Spring and Summer semesters of 2016, BioBeyond was deployed 34 times at 17 institutions nationwide, with another 56 classes at 17 institutions planned for Fall 2016. Each semester, feedback is collected and used to fuel a round of improvements. In addition, we are evaluating our course outcomes at five separate institutions of higher education, comparing the achievement of learning and development outcomes in BioBeyond to traditional offerings of introductory biology, using published concept inventories and surveys regarding interest in science, creative thinking, and scientific thinking. These results will also inform future

  12. Implementing 'The Math You Need' in an Introductory Physical Geology Course at California State University East Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, J. E.

    2011-12-01

    The wide range of abilities in the student population at California State University East Bay, with a significant fraction of students under-prepared and requiring mathematics remediation, is a challenge to including mathematical concepts and exercises in our introductory geoscience courses. Student expectations that a geoscience course will not include quantitative work may result in math-phobics choosing the course and resisting quantitative work when presented with it. Introductory courses that are required for Geology and Environmental Science majors are also designated as General Education, which gives rise to a student group with a wide range of abilities and expectations. This presentation will focus on implementation of a series of online math tutorials for students in introductory geoscience courses called 'The Math You Need' (TMYN; http://serc.carleton.edu/mathyouneed/index.html). The program is implemented in a Physical Geology course, in which 2/3 of the students are typically non-majors. The Physical Geology course has a three hour lab each week and the lab exercises and lab manual offer several opportunities for application of TMYN. Many of the lab exercises include graphing, profiling, working with map scales, converting units, or using equations to calculate some parameter or solve for an unknown. Six TMYN modules covering topics using density calculations as applied to mineral properties and isostasy, graphing as applied to rock properties, earthquake location, and radiometric dating, and calculation of rates as applied to plate movement, stream discharge, and groundwater flow, are assigned as pre-labs to be completed before lab classes. TMYN skills are reinforced during lectures and lab exercises, as close in time as possible to students' exposure via TMYN. Pre- and post-tests give a measure of the effectiveness of TMYN in improving students' quantitative literacy.

  13. BOOK REVIEW: Introductory Nanoscience: Physical and Chemical Concepts Introductory Nanoscience: Physical and Chemical Concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bich Ha, Nguyen

    2011-12-01

    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

  14. Characterizing, modeling, and addressing gender disparities in introductory college physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kost-Smith, Lauren Elizabeth

    2011-12-01

    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

  15. Atmosphere, Ocean and Climate Dynamics An Introductory Text

    CERN Document Server

    Marshall, John

    1961-01-01

    For advanced undergraduate and beginning graduate students in atmospheric, oceanic, and climate science, Atmosphere, Ocean and Climate Dynamics is an introductory textbook on the circulations of the atmosphere and ocean and their interaction, with an emphasis on global scales. It will give students a good grasp of what the atmosphere and oceans look like on the large-scale and why they look that way. The role of the oceans in climate and paleoclimate is also discussed. The combination of observations, theory and accompanying illustrative laboratory experiments sets this text apart by making i

  16. An equity investigation of attitudinal shifts in introductory physics

    CERN Document Server

    Traxler, Adrienne L

    2014-01-01

    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. 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 are equally supported 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.

  17. The physical basis of electronics an introductory course

    CERN Document Server

    Harris, D J; Hammond, P

    1975-01-01

    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

  18. An analysis of the LIGO discovery based on Introductory Physics

    CERN Document Server

    Mathur, Harsh; Lowenstein, Ashton

    2016-01-01

    Binary black hole mergers are analyzed using concepts from introductory physics. Drawing upon Newtonian mechanics, dimensional considerations, and analogies between gravitational and electromagnetic waves, we are able to explain the principal features of LIGO's data and make order of magnitude estimates of key parameters of the event by inspection of the data. Our estimates of the black hole masses, the distance to the event, the initial separation of the pair, and the stupendous total amount of energy radiated are all in good agreement with the best fit values of these parameters obtained by the LIGO-VIRGO collaboration.

  19. Preface: Introductory Remarks: Linear Scaling Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowler, D. R.; Fattebert, J.-L.; Gillan, M. J.; Haynes, P. D.; Skylaris, C.-K.

    2008-07-01

    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 [1], 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 [2]. 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 [3] 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

  20. Research as a guide for curriculum development: An example from introductory spectroscopy. II. Addressing student difficulties with atomic emission spectra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanjek, L.; Shaffer, P. S.; McDermott, L. C.; Planinic, M.; Veza, D.

    2015-02-01

    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.

  1. Active Learning Outside the Classroom: Implementation and Outcomes of Peer-Led Team-Learning Workshops in Introductory Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kudish, Philip; Shores, Robin; McClung, Alex; Smulyan, Lisa; Vallen, Elizabeth A; Siwicki, Kathleen K

    2016-01-01

    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.

  2. Research as a guide for curriculum development: An example from introductory spectroscopy. I. Identifying student difficulties with atomic emission spectra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanjek, L.; Shaffer, P. S.; McDermott, L. C.; Planinic, M.; Veza, D.

    2015-01-01

    This is the first 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. This article (Paper I) describes how several serious conceptual and reasoning difficulties were identified among students as they tried to relate a discrete line spectrum to the energy levels of atoms in a light source. Paper II illustrates how findings from this research informed the development of a tutorial that led to significant improvement in student understanding of atomic emission spectra.

  3. Do Gender-Science Stereotypes Predict Science Identification and Science Career Aspirations among Undergraduate Science Majors?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cundiff, Jessica L.; Vescio, Theresa K.; Loken, Eric; Lo, Lawrence

    2013-01-01

    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…

  4. Popular Psychological Myths: A Comparison of Students' Beliefs across the Psychology Major

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaze, Catherine M.

    2014-01-01

    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…

  5. Do Gender-Science Stereotypes Predict Science Identification and Science Career Aspirations among Undergraduate Science Majors?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cundiff, Jessica L.; Vescio, Theresa K.; Loken, Eric; Lo, Lawrence

    2013-01-01

    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…

  6. Quantifying the Level of Inquiry in a Reformed Introductory Geology Lab Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moss, Elizabeth; Cervato, Cinzia

    2016-01-01

    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…

  7. The Development of a Set of Core Communication Competencies for Introductory Communication Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engleberg, Isa N.; Ward, Susan M.; Disbrow, Lynn M.; Katt, James A.; Myers, Scott A.; O'Keefe, Patricia

    2017-01-01

    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…

  8. Just the Facts? Introductory Undergraduate Biology Courses Focus on Low-Level Cognitive Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Momsen, Jennifer L.; Long, Tammy M.; Wyse, Sara A.; Ebert-May, Diane

    2010-01-01

    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.…

  9. Python and Roles of Variables in Introductory Programming: Experiences from Three Educational Institutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikula, Uolevi; Sajaniemi, Jorma; Tedre, Matti; Wray, Stuart

    2007-01-01

    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…

  10. Using Multimedia Modules to Better Prepare Students for Introductory Physics Lecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zhongzhou; Stelzer, Timothy; Gladding, Gary

    2010-01-01

    It is known that introductory physics students rarely, if ever, read the textbook prior to coming to lecture. In this study, we report results from a curriculum intervention in a large enrollment introductory physics class that addresses this problem. In particular, we introduced web-based multimedia learning modules (MLMs) as a "prelecture…

  11. Towards a Virtual Teaching Assistant to Answer Questions Asked by Students in Introductory Computer Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heiner, Cecily

    2009-01-01

    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…

  12. Towards a Virtual Teaching Assistant to Answer Questions Asked by Students in Introductory Computer Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heiner, Cecily

    2009-01-01

    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…

  13. Content Trends in Sustainable Business Education: An Analysis of Introductory Courses in the USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landrum, Nancy E.; Ohsowski, Brian

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: This study aims to identify the content in introductory business sustainability courses in the USA to determine the most frequently assigned reading material and its sustainability orientation. Design/methodology/approach: In total, 81 introductory sustainable business course syllabi reading lists were analyzed from 51 US colleges and…

  14. Introductory Astronomy Course at the University of Cape Town: Probing Student Perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajpaul, Vinesh; Allie, Saalih; Blyth, Sarah-Louise

    2014-01-01

    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…

  15. Introductory Chemistry Needs A Revolution. ACS and IUPAC and AAAS and ICUC Should Lead It

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkes, Stephen J.

    2005-01-01

    The standard curriculum for introductory chemistry does not reflect the needs of students, is enforced by custom and untenured teachers who deviate from it endanger prospects for tenure. Hence, revision of the introductory curriculum should involve research into actual needs and interests of students and should reflect what modern workers conceive…

  16. Contrasting Grading Approaches in Introductory Physics and Quantum Mechanics: The Case of Graduate Teaching Assistants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshman, Emily; Sayer, Ryan; Henderson, Charles; Singh, Chandralekha

    2017-01-01

    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…

  17. Are Students' Performances in Labs Related to Their Performances in Lecture Portions of Introductory Science Courses?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Randy

    2008-01-01

    In this study, the author examined how attendance in the lab is associated with students' lab grades and overall course grades in an introductory biology course. Results from this study indicate that academic motivation, as expressed by high rates of class attendance, is critical to students' success in introductory science courses. The highest…

  18. Emotion Instruction in Journalism Courses: An Analysis of Introductory News Writing Textbooks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopper, K. Megan; Huxford, John

    2017-01-01

    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…

  19. Pre-Service Physics Teachers' Opinions about the Difficulties in Understanding Introductory Quantum Physics Topics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kizilcik, Hasan Sahin; Yavas, Pervin Ünlü

    2017-01-01

    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…

  20. Cultural Diversity in Introductory Psychology Textbook Selection: The Case for Historically Black Colleges/Universities (HBCUs)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whaley, Arthur L.; Clay, William A. L.; Broussard, Dominique

    2017-01-01

    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…

  1. Python and Roles of Variables in Introductory Programming: Experiences from Three Educational Institutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikula, Uolevi; Sajaniemi, Jorma; Tedre, Matti; Wray, Stuart

    2007-01-01

    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…

  2. Liberating Students through Reader-Response Pedagogy in the Introductory Literature Course.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tucker, Lois P.

    2000-01-01

    Discusses how reader-response activities combat lack of interest in introductory literature courses. Considers the value of a reader-response approach, activities which liberate students, a student-driven syllabus, and pragmatic concerns. Notes how employing a reader-response approach in the introductory literature course helps maintain the…

  3. New Approach to Analyzing Physics Problems: A Taxonomy of Introductory Physics Problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teodorescu, Raluca E.; Bennhold, Cornelius; Feldman, Gerald; Medsker, Larry

    2013-01-01

    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…

  4. Introductory Astronomy Course at the University of Cape Town: Probing Student Perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajpaul, Vinesh; Allie, Saalih; Blyth, Sarah-Louise

    2014-01-01

    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…

  5. Enhancing the Teaching of Introductory Economics with a Team-Based, Multi-Section Competition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaudin, Laura; Berdiev, Aziz N.; Kaminaga, Allison Shwachman; Mirmirani, Sam; Tebaldi, Edinaldo

    2017-01-01

    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…

  6. The Development of a Set of Core Communication Competencies for Introductory Communication Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engleberg, Isa N.; Ward, Susan M.; Disbrow, Lynn M.; Katt, James A.; Myers, Scott A.; O'Keefe, Patricia

    2017-01-01

    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…

  7. Content Trends in Sustainable Business Education: An Analysis of Introductory Courses in the USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landrum, Nancy E.; Ohsowski, Brian

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: This study aims to identify the content in introductory business sustainability courses in the USA to determine the most frequently assigned reading material and its sustainability orientation. Design/methodology/approach: In total, 81 introductory sustainable business course syllabi reading lists were analyzed from 51 US colleges and…

  8. The Effect of "Clickers" on Attendance in an Introductory Statistics Course: An Action Research Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amstelveen, Raoul H.

    2013-01-01

    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…

  9. New Approach to Analyzing Physics Problems: A Taxonomy of Introductory Physics Problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teodorescu, Raluca E.; Bennhold, Cornelius; Feldman, Gerald; Medsker, Larry

    2013-01-01

    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…

  10. Research and Teaching: From Gatekeeper to Gateway: Improving Student Success in an Introductory Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Amy N.; McNair, Delores E.; Lucas, Jonathan C.; Land, Kirkwood M.

    2017-01-01

    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…

  11. Implementing recommendations for introductory biology by writing a new textbook.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barsoum, Mark J; Sellers, Patrick J; Campbell, A Malcolm; Heyer, Laurie J; Paradise, Christopher J

    2013-01-01

    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 critical thinking, metacognition, and disciplinary perceptions without compromising content knowledge in introductory biology.

  12. ZAP! Adapted: Incorporating design in the introductory electromagnetism lab

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNeil, J. A.

    2002-04-01

    In the last decade the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology(ABET) significantly reformed the criteria by which engineering programs are accredited. The new criteria are called Engineering Criteria 2000 (EC2000). Not surprisingly, engineering design constitutes an essential component of these criteria. The Engineering Physics program at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) underwent an ABET general review and site visit in the fall of 2000. In preparation for this review and as part of a campus-wide curriculum reform the Physics Department was challenged to include elements of design in its introductory laboratories. As part of the background research for this reform, several laboratory programs were reviewed including traditional and studio modes as well as a course used by Cal Tech and MIT called "ZAP!" which incorporates design activities well-aligned with the EC2000 criteria but in a nontraditional delivery mode. CSM has adapted several ZAP! experiments to a traditional laboratory format while attempting to preserve significant design experiences. The new laboratory forms an important component of the reformed course which attempts to respect the psychological principles of learner-based education. This talk reviews the reformed introductory electromagnetism course and how the laboratories are integrated into the pedagogy along with design activities. In their new form the laboratories can be readily adopted by physics departments using traditional delivery formats.

  13. Student interpretations of phylogenetic trees in an introductory biology course.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dees, Jonathan; Momsen, Jennifer L; Niemi, Jarad; Montplaisir, Lisa

    2014-01-01

    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 relatedness on phylogenetic trees, to measure the prevalence of correct taxa-relatedness interpretations, and to determine how student reasoning and correctness change in response to instruction and over time. Counting synapomorphies and nodes between taxa were the most common forms of incorrect reasoning, which presents a pedagogical dilemma concerning labeled synapomorphies on phylogenetic trees. Students also independently generated an alternative form of correct reasoning using monophyletic groups, the use of which decreased in popularity over time. Approximately half of all students were able to correctly interpret taxa relatedness on phylogenetic trees, and many memorized correct reasoning without understanding its application. Broad initial instruction that allowed students to generate inferences on their own contributed very little to phylogenetic tree understanding, while targeted instruction on evolutionary relationships improved understanding to some extent. Phylogenetic trees, which can directly affect student understanding of evolution, appear to offer introductory biology instructors a formidable pedagogical challenge.

  14. Teaching assistants' beliefs regarding example solutions in introductory physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Shih-Yin; Henderson, Charles; Mamudi, William; Singh, Chandralekha; Yerushalmi, Edit

    2013-06-01

    As part of a larger study to understand instructors’ considerations regarding the learning and teaching of problem solving in an introductory physics course, we investigated beliefs of first-year graduate teaching assistants (TAs) regarding the use of example solutions in introductory physics. In particular, we examine how the goal of promoting expertlike problem solving is manifested in the considerations of graduate TAs’ choices of example solutions. Twenty-four first-year graduate TAs were asked to discuss their goals for presenting example solutions to students. They were also provided with different example solutions and asked to discuss their preferences for prominent solution features. TAs’ awareness, preferences, and actual practices related to solution features were examined in light of recommendations from the literature for the modeling of expertlike problem-solving approaches. The study concludes that the goal of helping students develop an expertlike problem-solving approach underlies many TAs’ considerations for the use of example solutions. TAs, however, do not notice and do not use many features described in the research literature as supportive of this goal. A possible explanation for this gap between their belief and practices is that these features conflict with another powerful set of values concerned with keeping students engaged, setting adequate standards, as well as pragmatic considerations such as time requirements and the assignment of grades.

  15. Problem roulette: Studying introductory physics in the cloud

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evrard, August E.; Mills, Michael; Winn, David; Jones, Kathryn; Tritz, Jared; McKay, Timothy A.

    2015-01-01

    We introduce Problem Roulette (PR), a web-based study service at the University of Michigan that offers random-within-topic access to a large library of past exam problems in introductory physics courses. Built on public-private cloud infrastructure, PR served nearly 1000 students during Fall 2012 term, delivering more than 60,000 problem pages. The service complements that of commercial publishing houses by offering problems authored by local professors and by explicitly aligning topics with exam content. We describe the service architecture, including reporting and analytical capabilities, and present an initial evaluation of the impact of its use. Among roughly 500 students studying electromagnetism, we find that the 229 students who worked fifty or more problems over the term outperformed their complement by 0.40 grade points (on a 4.0 scale). This improvement partly reflects a selection bias that academically stronger students used the service more frequently. Adjusting for this selection bias, we find a grade point improvement of 0.22, significantly above the random noise level of 0.04. The simple message to students is that working five or more additional problems per week can lead to a quarter-letter grade improvement in introductory physics. Student comments emphasize the importance of randomness in helping them to synthesize concepts. The PR source code is publicly available.

  16. Two thumbs up: using popular films in introductory aging courses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karasik, Rona J; Hamon, Raeann; Writz, Jennifer; Moddu Reddy, Anand

    2014-01-01

    Good teaching requires thoughtful planning and creative thinking, especially when trying to engage students in material that is unfamiliar to them or encumbered by stereotypes, like aging. Classic and contemporary media can provide unique teaching opportunities in gerontology classrooms. Popular films can have a powerful influence over viewers' attitudes and perceptions, and spur in-depth discussions of aging-related topics common to introductory aging courses (e.g., ageism, abuse, inequality, caregiving, healthy aging, and intimate relationships). Additionally, films appeal to multiple learning styles, engaging a variety of learners. This article examines the value of using films in introductory aging courses, offers strategies for incorporating films in the gerontology classroom, suggests sample activities and assignments that pair popular films with aging course topics, identifies challenges of using film in various classrooms settings, and provides a detailed typology of films on each of the following aging topics: ageism and stereotypes, cognitive impairment, death and dying, diversity, family relationships, health and wellness, sexuality and intimacy, and work and retirement.

  17. Equity investigation of attitudinal shifts in introductory physics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adrienne Traxler

    2015-11-01

    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.

  18. Computer-Tailored Student Support in Introductory Physics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huberth, Madeline; Chen, Patricia; Tritz, Jared; McKay, Timothy A

    2015-01-01

    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.

  19. Facilitating high quality student practice in introductory physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Molly

    2001-07-01

    "Practice makes perfect, but only if you do it right." Typical physics students practice extensively through the large quantities of homework they do. But research in introductory physics instruction shows that despite this practice, students often do not learn much in introductory physics. Students often do not focus their practice on the skills (such as concept interpretation, and generating a physical representation of a problem) that they need in order to solve physics problems flexibly and reliably. They often focus their practice instead on simply getting an answer. By omitting practice of important skills, it is likely that those skills will not be learned. This paper identifies communication difficulties between students and between students and instructors as important sources of barriers to achieving high-quality student practice. Some strategies to address communication difficulties in the context of small group in-class problem solving are proposed. A classroom peer-collaborative structure, Supervised Practice, that implements these strategies is described, and the impact of the classroom design on the quality of student practice is investigated.

  20. Equity investigation of attitudinal shifts in introductory physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traxler, Adrienne; Brewe, Eric

    2015-12-01

    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.