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Sample records for two-semester calculus-based introductory

  1. Promoting Metacognition in Introductory Calculus-based Physics Labs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grennell, Drew; Boudreaux, Andrew

    2010-10-01

    In the Western Washington University physics department, a project is underway to develop research-based laboratory curriculum for the introductory calculus-based course. Instructional goals not only include supporting students' conceptual understanding and reasoning ability, but also providing students with opportunities to engage in metacognition. For the latter, our approach has been to scaffold reflective thinking with guided questions. Specific instructional strategies include analysis of alternate reasoning presented in fictitious dialogues and comparison of students' initial ideas with their lab group's final, consensus understanding. Assessment of student metacognition includes pre- and post- course data from selected questions on the CLASS survey, analysis of written lab worksheets, and student opinion surveys. CLASS results are similar to a traditional physics course and analysis of lab sheets show that students struggle to engage in a metacognitive process. Future directions include video studies, as well as use of additional written assessments adapted from educational psychology.

  2. Development and Implementation of a Two-Semester Introductory Organic-Bioorganic Chemistry Sequence: Conclusions from the First Six Years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goess, Brian C.

    2014-01-01

    A two-semester second-year introductory organic chemistry sequence featuring one semester of accelerated organic chemistry followed by one semester of bioorganic chemistry is described. Assessment data collected over a six-year period reveal that such a course sequence can facilitate student mastery of fundamental organic chemistry in the first…

  3. Development and Implementation of a Two-Semester Introductory Organic-Bioorganic Chemistry Sequence: Conclusions from the First Six Years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goess, Brian C.

    2014-01-01

    A two-semester second-year introductory organic chemistry sequence featuring one semester of accelerated organic chemistry followed by one semester of bioorganic chemistry is described. Assessment data collected over a six-year period reveal that such a course sequence can facilitate student mastery of fundamental organic chemistry in the first…

  4. Transversality of Electromagnetic Waves in the Calculus-Based Introductory Physics Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burko, Lior M.

    2008-01-01

    Introductory calculus-based physics textbooks state that electromagnetic waves are transverse and list many of their properties, but most such textbooks do not bring forth arguments why this is so. Both physical and theoretical arguments are at a level appropriate for students of courses based on such books, and could be readily used by…

  5. Instructors’ reasons for choosing problem features in a calculus-based introductory physics course

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edit Yerushalmi

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates how the beliefs and values of physics faculty influence their choice of physics problems for their students in an introductory physics course. The study identifies the goals these instructors have for their students, the problem features they believe facilitate those goals, and how those features correspond to problems they choose to use in their classes. This analysis comes from an artifact-based interview of 30 physics faculty teaching introductory calculus-based physics at a wide variety of institutions. The study concludes that instructors’ goals and the problem features they believe support those goals align with research-based curricular materials intended to develop competent problem solvers. However, many of these instructors do not use the beneficial problem features because they believe these features conflict with a more powerful set of values concerned with clarity of presentation and minimizing student stress, especially on exams.

  6. The Benefits of Completing Homework for Students with Different Aptitudes in an Introductory Electricity and Magnetism Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-02-17

    college- level physics course principally because both physics professors and students believe to be an effective tool for learning physics. That is...our research. All students at the United States Air Force Academy (USAF A) take two semesters of calculus-based introductory physics, although only...spring semester . In this study, we chose to focus on the E&M course rather than the Mechanics course for several reasons - students have had less high

  7. Algorithmic Differentiation for Calculus-based Optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walther, Andrea

    2010-10-01

    For numerous applications, the computation and provision of exact derivative information plays an important role for optimizing the considered system but quite often also for its simulation. This presentation introduces the technique of Algorithmic Differentiation (AD), a method to compute derivatives of arbitrary order within working precision. Quite often an additional structure exploitation is indispensable for a successful coupling of these derivatives with state-of-the-art optimization algorithms. The talk will discuss two important situations where the problem-inherent structure allows a calculus-based optimization. Examples from aerodynamics and nano optics illustrate these advanced optimization approaches.

  8. Care and Feeding of a Paperless, Calculus-based Physics Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Christopher; Fuller, Robert; Plano-Clark, Vicki L.; Dunbar, Steven R.

    1997-04-01

    Technology is playing an increasing role in our lives at home, at work, and in the classroom. We have begun a calculus-based introductory physics course to integrate mathematics and multimedia with the traditional physics content. This course relies on the use of technology to teach physics. We formulated the following rule for the conduct of the course: ''No paper is transferred between instructional staff and students that contains course information or assignments for grading.'' Implementing and maintaining this physics course within the context of the instructor goals will be discussed. Preliminary results of feedback from the students and an evaluation team will be presented.

  9. A Two-Semester Precalculus/Calculus I Sequence: A Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Axtell, Michael

    2006-01-01

    The article begins by highlighting recent trends and concerns in post-secondary Calculus and Precalculus education. The main purpose of the article is to discuss the transition to a new Precalculus/Calculus I two-semester course at Wabash College, a small liberal arts college for men. Three years of data from the earlier, traditional, sequence are…

  10. A Two-Semester Precalculus/Calculus I Sequence: A Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Axtell, Michael

    2006-01-01

    The article begins by highlighting recent trends and concerns in post-secondary Calculus and Precalculus education. The main purpose of the article is to discuss the transition to a new Precalculus/Calculus I two-semester course at Wabash College, a small liberal arts college for men. Three years of data from the earlier, traditional, sequence are…

  11. Development of a two semester sequence of design oriented composites courses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    O`Toole, B.J. [Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV (United States). Mechanical Engineering Dept.

    1994-12-31

    A two semester series of courses has been developed which is an introduction to the design, analysis, manufacturing and testing of composite materials. The courses are ideal for junior or senior level undergraduates or beginning graduate students who have no prior knowledge of composites. This sequence is well suited for a department starting to add composites courses and research activity and which only has a small number of interested faculty members. Some of the topics in this two course sequence are taken and condensed from six separate courses taught at the University of Delaware. Details about suitable textbooks, software, handouts, and resource requirements are discussed. The first course, titled ``Introduction to Composite Materials,`` includes an overview of material systems and manufacturing methods, microstructural analysis, lamina and laminate theory, design procedures, failure analysis, and the use of composites analysis software. The class is divided into small groups of students and each group selects a project early in the semester. The objective of each group is to learn enough to make competent decisions about material selection, fabrication techniques (prototype and mass production), laminate design, and failure prediction. The second course is a laboratory course which includes experimental procedures for material characterization, wet lay-up, mold making, autoclave, and pultrusion manufacturing techniques, and the design of experiments for component testing, The design groups expand their previous paper studies by fabricating and testing their designs. Student reaction has been positive and teaching these courses is enjoyable but time consuming.

  12. A many-sorted calculus based on resolution and paramodulation

    CERN Document Server

    Walther, Christoph

    1987-01-01

    A Many-Sorted Calculus Based on Resolution and Paramodulation emphasizes the utilization of advantages and concepts of many-sorted logic for resolution and paramodulation based automated theorem proving.This book considers some first-order calculus that defines how theorems from given hypotheses by pure syntactic reasoning are obtained, shifting all the semantic and implicit argumentation to the syntactic and explicit level of formal first-order reasoning. This text discusses the efficiency of many-sorted reasoning, formal preliminaries for the RP- and ?RP-calculus, and many-sorted term rewrit

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. Motivating Calculus-Based Kinematics Instruction with Super Mario Bros

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nordine, Jeffrey C.

    2011-09-01

    High-quality physics instruction is contextualized, motivates students to learn, and represents the discipline as a way of investigating the world rather than as a collection of facts and equations. Inquiry-oriented pedagogy, such as problem-based instruction, holds great promise for both teaching physics content and representing the process of doing real science.2 A challenge for physics teachers is to find instructional contexts that are meaningful, accessible, and motivating for students. Today's students are spending a growing fraction of their lives interacting with virtual environments, and these environments—physically realistic or not—can provide valuable contexts for physics explorations3-5 and lead to thoughtful discussions about decisions that programmers make when designing virtual environments. In this article, I describe a problem-based approach to calculus-based kinematics instruction that contextualizes students' learning within the Super Mario Bros. video game—a game that is more than 20 years old, but still remarkably popular with today's high school and college students.

  17. From Random Walks to Brownian Motion, from Diffusion to Entropy: Statistical Principles in Introductory Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeves, Mark

    2014-03-01

    Entropy changes underlie the physics that dominates biological interactions. Indeed, introductory biology courses often begin with an exploration of the qualities of water that are important to living systems. However, one idea that is not explicitly addressed in most introductory physics or biology textbooks is dominant contribution of the entropy in driving important biological processes towards equilibrium. From diffusion to cell-membrane formation, to electrostatic binding in protein folding, to the functioning of nerve cells, entropic effects often act to counterbalance deterministic forces such as electrostatic attraction and in so doing, allow for effective molecular signaling. A small group of biology, biophysics and computer science faculty have worked together for the past five years to develop curricular modules (based on SCALEUP pedagogy) that enable students to create models of stochastic and deterministic processes. Our students are first-year engineering and science students in the calculus-based physics course and they are not expected to know biology beyond the high-school level. In our class, they learn to reduce seemingly complex biological processes and structures to be described by tractable models that include deterministic processes and simple probabilistic inference. The students test these models in simulations and in laboratory experiments that are biologically relevant. The students are challenged to bridge the gap between statistical parameterization of their data (mean and standard deviation) and simple model-building by inference. This allows the students to quantitatively describe realistic cellular processes such as diffusion, ionic transport, and ligand-receptor binding. Moreover, the students confront ``random'' forces and traditional forces in problems, simulations, and in laboratory exploration throughout the year-long course as they move from traditional kinematics through thermodynamics to electrostatic interactions. This talk

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. Rapid Conversion of Traditional Introductory Physics Sequences to an Activity-Based Format

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoder, Garett; Cook, Jerry

    2014-01-01

    The Department of Physics at EKU [Eastern Kentucky University] with support from the National Science Foundations Course Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement Program has successfully converted our entire introductory physics sequence, both algebra-based and calculus-based courses, to an activity-based format where laboratory activities,…

  1. Rapid Conversion of Traditional Introductory Physics Sequences to an Activity-Based Format

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoder, Garett; Cook, Jerry

    2014-01-01

    The Department of Physics at EKU [Eastern Kentucky University] with support from the National Science Foundations Course Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement Program has successfully converted our entire introductory physics sequence, both algebra-based and calculus-based courses, to an activity-based format where laboratory activities,…

  2. Tale of Two Curricula: The Performance of 2000 Students in Introductory Electromagnetism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohlmyer, Matthew A.; Caballero, Marcos D.; Catrambone, Richard; Chabay, Ruth W.; Ding, Lin; Haugan, Mark P.; Marr, M. Jackson; Sherwood, Bruce A.; Schatz, Michael F.

    2009-01-01

    The performance of over 2000 students in introductory calculus-based electromagnetism (E&M) courses at four large research universities was measured using the Brief Electricity and Magnetism Assessment (BEMA). Two different curricula were used at these universities: a traditional E&M curriculum and the Matter & Interactions (M&I)…

  3. Tale of Two Curricula: The Performance of 2000 Students in Introductory Electromagnetism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohlmyer, Matthew A.; Caballero, Marcos D.; Catrambone, Richard; Chabay, Ruth W.; Ding, Lin; Haugan, Mark P.; Marr, M. Jackson; Sherwood, Bruce A.; Schatz, Michael F.

    2009-01-01

    The performance of over 2000 students in introductory calculus-based electromagnetism (E&M) courses at four large research universities was measured using the Brief Electricity and Magnetism Assessment (BEMA). Two different curricula were used at these universities: a traditional E&M curriculum and the Matter & Interactions (M&I) curriculum. At…

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. Study Modules for Calculus-Based General Physics. [Includes Modules 24-26: Electric Potential; Ohm's Law; and Capacitors].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuller, Robert G., Ed.; And Others

    This is part of a series of 42 Calculus Based Physics (CBP) modules totaling about 1,000 pages. The modules include study guides, practice tests, and mastery tests for a full-year individualized course in calculus-based physics based on the Personalized System of Instruction (PSI). The units are not intended to be used without outside materials;…

  7. Analyzing Conceptual Gains in Introductory Calculus with Interactively-Engaged Teaching Styles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Matthew

    2013-01-01

    This dissertation examines the relationship between an instructional style called Interactive-Engagement (IE) and gains on a measure of conceptual knowledge called the Calculus Concept Inventory (CCI). The data comes from two semesters of introductory calculus courses (Fall 2010 and Spring 2011), consisting of a total of 482 students from the…

  8. An Excel-Aided Method for Teaching Calculus-Based Business Mathematics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Jiajuan; Martin, Linda

    2008-01-01

    Calculus-based business mathematics is a required quantitative course for undergraduate business students in most AACSB accredited schools or colleges of business. Many business students, however, have relatively weak mathematical background or even display math-phobia when presented with calculus problems. Because of the popularity of Excel, its…

  9. A MATLAB-Aided Method for Teaching Calculus-Based Business Mathematics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Jiajuan; Pan, William S. Y.

    2009-01-01

    MATLAB is a powerful package for numerical computation. MATLAB contains a rich pool of mathematical functions and provides flexible plotting functions for illustrating mathematical solutions. The course of calculus-based business mathematics consists of two major topics: 1) derivative and its applications in business; and 2) integration and its…

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Baseline training in cognitive and psychodynamic psychotherapy during a psychologist training program. Exploring client outcomes in therapies of one or two semesters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dennhag, Inga; Armelius, Bengt-Åke

    2012-01-01

    This effectiveness study explored the outcomes of 187 clients seen by 187 students undergoing baseline training in psychotherapy. Clients reduced their symptoms (SCL-90) and increased their positive self-image (SASB introject) during the therapy. Multiple regression analyses showed no differences between the cognitive and the psychodynamic training approaches and no differences between one and two semesters duration of the therapies. However, 2-3% of variance in end states was accounted for by the interaction between the variables, indicating a moderating effect of duration in the two approaches. Outcomes for clients in the cognitive training approach were significantly better with two semesters than with one semester, while there was no such difference in the psychodynamic approach. Consequences for baseline training are discussed.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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 ...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Student Research in an Introductory Psychology Course: Outcomes of Two Experiential Learning Projects and Implications for Instruction of Human Subjects Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Downey, Christina A.

    2013-01-01

    The present study describes student learning and personal outcomes associated with learning research methods in introductory psychology, via one of two semester-long projects: one involving performing naturalistic observation of the behavior of community members, and the other involving performing a 60-minute interview of local veterans regarding…

  20. Study Modules for Calculus-Based General Physics. [Includes Modules 35-37: Reflection and Refraction; Electric Fields and Potentials from Continuous Charge Distributions; and Maxwell's Predictions].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuller, Robert G., Ed.; And Others

    This is part of a series of 42 Calculus Based Physics (CBP) modules totaling about 1,000 pages. The modules include study guides, practice tests, and mastery tests for a full-year individualized course in calculus-based physics based on the Personalized System of Instruction (PSI). The units are not intended to be used without outside materials;…

  1. Study Modules for Calculus-Based General Physics. [Includes Modules 31-34: Inductance; Wave Properties of Light; Interference; and Introduction to Quantum Physics].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuller, Robert G., Ed.; And Others

    This is Part of a series of 41 Calculus Based Physics (CBP) modules totaling about 1,000 Pages. The modules include study guides, practice tests, and mastery tests for a full-year individualized courses in calculus-based physics based on the Personalized System of Instruction (PSI). The units are not intended to be used without outside materials;…

  2. Study Modules for Calculus-Based General Physics. [Includes Modules 21-23: Second Law and Entropy; Coulomb's Law and the Electric Field; and Flux and Gauss' Law].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuller, Robert G., Ed.; And Others

    This is part of a series of 42 Calculus Based Physics (CBP) modules totaling about 1,000 pages. The modules include study guides, practice tests, and mastery tests for a full-year individualized course in calculus-based physics based on the Personalized System of Instruction (PSI). The units are not intended to be used without outside materials;…

  3. Study Modules for Calculus-Based General Physics. [Includes Modules 18-20: Sound; Temperature, Heat, and Thermodynamics: First Law; and Kinetic Theory of Gases].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuller, Robert G., Ed.; And Others

    This is part of a series of 42 Calculus Based Physics (CBP) modules totaling about 1,000 pages. The modules include study guides, practice tests, and mastery tests for a full-year individualized course in calculus-based physics based on the Personalized System of Instruction (PSI). The units are not intended to be used without outside materials;…

  4. Study Modules for Calculus-Based General Physics. [Includes Modules 11-14: Collisions; Equilibrium of Rigid Bodies; Rotational Dynamics; and Fluid Mechanics].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuller, Robert G., Ed.; And Others

    This is part of a series of 42 Calculus Based Physics (CBP) modules totaling about 1,000 pages. The modules include study guides, practice tests, and mastery tests for a full-year individualized course in calculus-based physics based on the Personalized System of Instruction (PSI). The units are not intended to be used without outside materials;…

  5. Study Modules for Calculus-Based General Physics. [Includes Modules 27-30: Direct-Current Circuits; Magnetic Forces; Ampere's Law; and Faraday's Law].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuller, Robert G., Ed.; And Others

    This is part of a series of 42 Calculus Based Physics (CBP) modules totaling about 1,000 pages. The modules indlude study guides, practice tests, and mastery tests for a full-year individualized course in calculus-based physics based on the Personalized System of Instruction (PSI). The units are not intended to be used without outside materials;…

  6. The impact of traditionality/modernity on identification- and calculus-based trust.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Na; Shi, Yuanyuan; Xin, Ziqiang; Zhang, Jianxin

    2017-07-30

    We conducted three studies to explore how trust is perceived, displayed or changed by participants in China, which as a country has undergone substantial cultural and historical transition. Traditionality showed a significant positive correlation with identification-based trust (IBT) and modernity was significantly associated with calculus-based trust (CBT; Study 1). Compared to those primed with modern Chinese culture stimuli, participants primed with traditional icons exhibited a higher level of IBT and a lower level of CBT (Study 2). The study further demonstrated more trust behaviour based on identification with traditional culture priming and more trust behaviour based on calculus when primed with modern culture (Study 3). In sum, the present findings suggest that, along with substantial social changes and economic development, people exhibit their trust differently depending on cultural context, shedding light on the trust crisis in contemporary China. © 2017 International Union of Psychological Science.

  7. A SITUATION CALCULUS BASED APPROACH TO DYNAMIC MANAGEMENT OF E-BUSINESS SERVICES

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    In the era of e-businesses, the traditional business services are greatly challenged by the ever-increasing demands from customers with various backgrounds and personalities. Large numbers of new e-businesses are driven by the needs of customers. The existing dynamics inherent in the customer needs require the corresponding dynamic management of services. Attempting to respond to customers in a rapid and intelligent way, this paper proposes a situation calculus based approach for dynamically managing e-Business services in the ubiquitous environment. By employing the formalism of the situation calculus to enable intelligence and automation, the approach can implement the functions of service automatic composition and model verification. These functions will improve the degree of customer-orientation and enable fast responsiveness in the emerging e-service systems.

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Using Categorization of Problems as an Instructional Tool to Help Introductory Students Learn Physics

    CERN Document Server

    Mason, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    The ability to categorize problems based upon underlying principles, rather than contexts, is considered a hallmark of expertise in physics problem solving. With inspiration from a classic study by Chi, Feltovich, and Glaser, we compared the categorization of 25 introductory mechanics problems based upon similarity of solution by students in large calculus-based introductory courses with physics faculty and Ph.D. students. Here, we summarize the study and suggest that a categorization task, especially when conducted with students working with peers in small groups, can be an effective pedagogical tool to help students in introductory physics courses learn to discern the underlying similarity between problems with diverse contexts but the same underlying physics principles.

  15. Effect of Scaffolding on Helping Introductory Physics Students Solve Quantitative Problems Involving Strong Alternative Conceptions

    CERN Document Server

    Lin, Shih-Yin

    2016-01-01

    It is well-known that introductory physics students often have alternative conceptions that are inconsistent with established physical principles and concepts. Invoking alternative conceptions in quantitative problem-solving process can derail the entire process. In order to help students solve quantitative problems involving strong alternative conceptions correctly, appropriate scaffolding support can be helpful. The goal of this study is to examine how different scaffolding supports involving analogical problem solving influence introductory physics students' performance on a target quantitative problem in a situation where many students' solution process is derailed due to alternative conceptions. Three different scaffolding supports were designed and implemented in calculus-based and algebra-based introductory physics courses to evaluate the level of scaffolding needed to help students learn from an analogical problem that is similar in the underlying principles but for which the problem solving process i...

  16. 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.

  17. Student Use of a Single Lecture Video in a Flipped Introductory Mechanics Course

    CERN Document Server

    Aiken, John M; Douglas, Scott S; Greco, Edwin F; Thoms, Brian D; Caballero, Marcos D; Schatz, Michael F

    2014-01-01

    In the Fall of 2013, Georgia Tech offered a 'flipped' calculus-based introductory mechanics class as an alternative to the traditional large-enrollment lecture class. This class flipped instruction by introducing new material outside of the classroom through pre-recorded, lecture videos. Video lectures constituted students' initial introduction to course material. We analyze how students engaged with online lecture videos via 'clickstream' data, consisting of time-stamped interactions (plays, pauses, seeks, etc.) with the online video player. Analysis of these events has shown that students may be focusing on elements of the video that facilitate a 'correct' solution.

  18. Comparing the efficacy of multimedia modules with traditional textbooks for learning introductory physics content

    CERN Document Server

    Stelzer, Timothy; Mestre, Jose; Brookes, David T

    2008-01-01

    A clinical study was performed comparing the efficacy of multimedia learning modules with traditional textbooks for the first few topics of a calculus based introductory electricity and magnetism course. Students were randomly assigned to three different groups experiencing different presentations of the material; one group received the multimedia learning module presentations and the other two received the presentations via written text. All students were then tested on their learning immediately following the presentations as well as two weeks later. The students receiving the multimedia learning modules performed significantly better than the students experiencing the text-based presentations on both tests.

  19. Physics or Mathematics Preparation - which is the better predictor of performance in a first, calculus-based college physics course?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chase, Norma

    2011-11-01

    Data spanning fifteen semesters and including more than 1200 students showed far less than the anticipated difference in performance between students with quite diverse levels of physics preparation. Students ranged from those with no prior physics course work to those with two or more years of HS physics and prior courses in college physics. Less prior physics training frequently coincided with better performance in the first calculus-based course. Preparation in mathematics, on the other hand, appeared critically important; students at the extremes of the math preparation spectrum were concentrated at the corresponding extremes of the physics grade distribution.

  20. Investigating the Use of Mastery-Style Online Homework Exercises in Introductory Algebra-based Mechanics in a Controlled Clinical Study

    CERN Document Server

    Evans, William R

    2016-01-01

    Homework in introductory physics represents an important part of a student's learning experience; therefore choosing the manner in which homework is presented merits investigation. We performed three rounds of clinical trials comparing the effects of mastery-style homework vs traditional-style homework with students in both algebra-based and calculus-based introductory mechanics. Results indicate a benefit from mastery-style over traditional-style homework, principally for weaker students who are less familiar with the material being covered and on questions that are nearer transfer to the study materials.

  1. 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.

  2. Student difficulties in translating between mathematical and graphical representations in introductory physics

    CERN Document Server

    Lin, Shih-Yin; Singh, Chandralekha

    2016-01-01

    We investigate introductory physics students' difficulties in translating between mathematical and graphical representations and the effect of scaffolding on students' performance. We gave a typical problem that can be solved using Gauss's law involving a spherically symmetric charge distribution (a conducting sphere concentric with a conducting spherical shell) to 95 calculus-based introductory physics students. We asked students to write a mathematical expression for the electric field in various regions and asked them to graph the electric field. We knew from previous experience that students have great difficulty in graphing the electric field. Therefore, we implemented two scaffolding interventions to help them. Students who received the scaffolding support were either (1) asked to plot the electric field in each region first (before having to plot it as a function of distance from the center of the sphere) or (2) asked to plot the electric field in each region after explicitly evaluating the electric fi...

  3. 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.

  4. Implementing ILDs and Assessment in Small-enrollment, Calculus-based Physics Classes -- Lessons, Observations and Open Questions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason-McCaffrey, Deborah

    2011-04-01

    At Salem State, we offer a Physics minor, but most of our teaching load is support courses for other science majors and a lab sequence which satisfies the University's core education requirement. In three years of using assessments and ILDs in small-enrollment calculus-based Physics classes, there has been a significant implementation learning curve, there are encouraging results, a few cautions, and still some open questions to report. ILDs can be highly effective teaching tools. They do require significant advance preparation as well as a safe environment for student participation. Motivating students to do their best on assessment pre- and post-tests can also be difficult. Strategies for motivating assessment performance, experiments using clickers to encourage participation in ILDs, and modifying and developing home-grown ILDs are discussed.

  5. Effect of scaffolding on helping introductory physics students solve quantitative problems involving strong alternative conceptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Shih-Yin; Singh, Chandralekha

    2015-12-01

    It is well known that introductory physics students often have alternative conceptions that are inconsistent with established physical principles and concepts. Invoking alternative conceptions in the quantitative problem-solving process can derail the entire process. In order to help students solve quantitative problems involving strong alternative conceptions correctly, appropriate scaffolding support can be helpful. The goal of this study is to examine how different scaffolding supports involving analogical problem-solving influence introductory physics students' performance on a target quantitative problem in a situation where many students' solution process is derailed due to alternative conceptions. Three different scaffolding supports were designed and implemented in calculus-based and algebra-based introductory physics courses involving 410 students to evaluate the level of scaffolding needed to help students learn from an analogical problem that is similar in the underlying principles involved but for which the problem-solving process is not derailed by alternative conceptions. We found that for the quantitative problem involving strong alternative conceptions, simply guiding students to work through the solution of the analogical problem first was not enough to help most students discern the similarity between the two problems. However, if additional scaffolding supports that directly helped students examine and repair their knowledge elements involving alternative conceptions were provided, e.g., by guiding students to contemplate related issues and asking them to solve the targeted problem on their own first before learning from the analogical problem provided, students were more likely to discern the underlying similarities between the problems and avoid getting derailed by alternative conceptions when solving the targeted problem. We also found that some scaffolding supports were more effective in the calculus-based course than in the algebra

  6. Using an Isomorphic Problem Pair to Learn Introductory Physics: Transferring from a Two-step Problem to a Three-step Problem

    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 eighty two students from a calculus-based and an algebra-based introductory physics course were asked to learn from a solved problem provided and take advantage of what they learned from it to solve another isomorphic problem (which we call the quiz problem). The solved problem provided has two sub-problems while the quiz problem has three sub-problems, which is known to be challenging for introductory students from previous research. In addition to the solved problem, students also received extra scaffolding supports that were intended to help them discern and exploit the underlying similarities of the isomorphic solved and quiz problems. The results suggest that students had great difficulty in transferring what they learned from a 2-step problem to a 3-step problem. Although...

  7. Thermal physics in the introductory physics course: Why and how to teach it from a unified atomic perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reif, Frederick

    1999-12-01

    Heat and thermodynamics are traditionally taught in the introductory physics course from a predominantly macroscopic point of view. However, it is advantageous to adopt a more modern approach that systematically builds on students' knowledge of the atomic structure of matter and of elementary mechanics. By focusing on the essential physics without requiring more than elementary classical mechanics, this approach can be made sufficiently simple to be readily teachable during five or six weeks of an ordinary calculus-based introductory physics course. This approach can be highly unified, using atomic considerations to infer the properties of macroscopic systems while also enabling thermodynamic analyses independent of specific atomic models. Furthermore, this integrated point of view provides a deeper physical understanding of basic concepts (such as internal energy, heat, entropy, and absolute temperature) and of important phenomena (such as equilibrium, fluctuations, and irreversibility).

  8. The Development of an Inquiry-based Curriculum Specifically for the Introductory Algebra-based Physics Course

    CERN Document Server

    Thacker, B; Eligon, A M; Diaz, Abel; Eligon, Ann Marie; Thacker, Beth

    2007-01-01

    We discuss an inquiry-based curriculum that has been developed specifically for the introductory algebra-based physics course, taking into account the needs, backgrounds, learning styles and career goals of the students in that class. The course is designed to be taught in a laboratory-based environment, however parts of the materials can be used in other settings. As instructors we found ourselves drawing on materials developed for the calculus-based course and for other populations (materials developed for pre-service teachers, for example), parts of which were appropriate, but not a complete curriculum as we would like to teach it, developed specifically for students in the introductory algebra-based physics course. So we have modified and adapted parts of existing materials and integrated them with our own new units and our own format, creating a course aimed specifically at these students.

  9. Topic Order in Introductory Physics and its Impact on the STEM Curricular Ladder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teresa L Larkin

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Introductory physics courses are an important rung on the curricular ladder in STEM. These courses help to strengthen students critical thinking and problem solving skills while simultaneously introducing them to many topics they will explore in more detail in later courses in physics and engineering. For these reasons, introductory physics is a required element on the curricular ladder. Most often, introductory physics is offered as a two-semester sequence with basic mechanics being taught in the first semester and electricity and magnetism in the second. In fact, this curricular sequence has not been altered in decades. Is there a reason for this? There are many other enduring questions that arise pertaining to these foundation courses in physics. These questions include: Does taking the introductory course sequence “out of order” have an impact on student learning in physics? What topics should be taught? When should these topics be taught? What topics could be left out? The list of questions is essentially endless. This paper will address some of these questions in part, through a brief discussion on student learning in a second-semester algebra-based physics course. Connections will also be made to the broader curricular ladder in STEM. To this end, an illustration that makes connections to an engineering statics course will be presented. This discussion will conclude by presenting some broader implications for the larger STEM communities.

  10. A Tale of Two Curricula: The performance of two thousand students in introductory electromagnetism

    CERN Document Server

    Kohlmyer, Matthew A; Catrambone, Richard; Chabay, Ruth W; Ding, Lin; Haugan, Mark P; Marr, M Jackson; Sherwood, Bruce A; Schatz, Michael F

    2009-01-01

    The performance of over 2000 students in introductory calculus-based electromagnetism (E&M) courses at four large research universities was measured using the Brief Electricity and Magnetism Assessment (BEMA). Two different curricula were used at these universities: a traditional E&M curriculum and the Matter & Interactions (M&I) curriculum. At each university, post-instruction BEMA test averages were significantly higher for the M&I curriculum than for the traditional curriculum. The differences in post-test averages cannot be explained by differences in variables such as pre-instruction BEMA scores, grade point average, or SAT scores. BEMA performance on categories of items organized by subtopic was also compared at one of the universities; M&I averages were significantly higher in each topic. The results suggest that the M&I curriculum is more effective than the traditional curriculum at teaching E&M concepts to students, possibly because the learning progression in M&I ...

  11. Preliminary investigation of instructor effects on gender gap in introductory physics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberley Kreutzer

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Gender differences in student learning in the introductory, calculus-based electricity and magnetism course were assessed by administering the Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism pre- and postcourse. As expected, male students outgained females in traditionally taught sections as well as sections that incorporated interactive engagement (IE techniques. In two of the IE course sections, however, the gains of female students were comparable to those of male students. Classroom observations of the course sections involved were made over an extended period. In this paper, we characterize the observed instructor-student interactions using a framework from educational psychology referred to as wise schooling. Results suggest that instructor practices affect differential learning, and that wise schooling techniques may constitute an effective strategy for promoting gender equity in the physics classroom.

  12. Preliminary investigation of instructor effects on gender gap in introductory physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreutzer, Kimberley; Boudreaux, Andrew

    2012-06-01

    Gender differences in student learning in the introductory, calculus-based electricity and magnetism course were assessed by administering the Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism pre- and postcourse. As expected, male students outgained females in traditionally taught sections as well as sections that incorporated interactive engagement (IE) techniques. In two of the IE course sections, however, the gains of female students were comparable to those of male students. Classroom observations of the course sections involved were made over an extended period. In this paper, we characterize the observed instructor-student interactions using a framework from educational psychology referred to as wise schooling. Results suggest that instructor practices affect differential learning, and that wise schooling techniques may constitute an effective strategy for promoting gender equity in the physics classroom.

  13. Preliminary investigation of instructor effects on gender gap in introductory physics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberley Kreutzer1

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Gender differences in student learning in the introductory, calculus-based electricity and magnetism course were assessed by administering the Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism pre- and postcourse. As expected, male students outgained females in traditionally taught sections as well as sections that incorporated interactive engagement (IE techniques. In two of the IE course sections, however, the gains of female students were comparable to those of male students. Classroom observations of the course sections involved were made over an extended period. In this paper, we characterize the observed instructor-student interactions using a framework from educational psychology referred to as wise schooling. Results suggest that instructor practices affect differential learning, and that wise schooling techniques may constitute an effective strategy for promoting gender equity in the physics classroom.

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Situated Self-efficacy in Introductory Physics Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderson, Rachel; DeVore, Seth; Michaluk, Lynnette; Stewart, John

    2017-01-01

    Within the general university environment, students' perceived self-efficacy has been widely studied and findings suggest it plays a role in student success. The current research adapted a self-efficacy survey, from the ``Self-Efficacy for Learning Performance'' subscale of the Motivated Learning Strategies Questionnaire and administered it to the introductory, calculus-based physics classes (N=1005) over the fall 2015 and spring 2016 semesters. This assessment measured students' self-efficacy in domains including the physics class, other science and mathematics classes, and their intended future career. The effect of gender was explored with the only significant gender difference (p gender difference was not explained by a student's performance which was measured by test average. However, a mediation analysis showed that students' overall academic self-efficacy, measured by their math and science self-efficacy, acts as a mediator for the effect of test average on self-efficacy towards the physics class domain. This mediation effect was significant for both female (p < . 01) and male students (p < . 001) however, it was more pronounced for male students.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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…

  3. 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)

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Newton's Bridge Learning Community: Can Student Learning in Introductory Physics and Calculus be a Pathway to Undergraduate Research?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Eugene

    2014-03-01

    A pathway to undergraduate research for freshman level physics through interdisciplinary pairings of physics and calculus courses is examined. Through ``pairing courses,'' active learning approaches, and jointly constructed inquiry-based course activities, students formulate and investigate a ``research problem.'' Some effects of a student-peer-mentor program is also examined. The use of technology incorporated into ``theme-focused'' activities is outlined. Some of the technological components include the iPad, Vernier sensors with related software, and introductory MATLAB. This presentation analyzes some of the outcomes of the learning community pairing of calculus-based Physics I (Mechanics and Heat) and Math (Calculus II), called a ``A Journey Across Newton's Bridge,'' and also the follow-up course pairing calculus-based Physics II (Electricity and Magnetism) and Multi-variable calculus called ``Multi-Dimensional Experiences'' which are being offered at Montgomery College. Acknowledge support of the Department of Physics, Engineering and Geoscience, Montgomery College, Noyce TPOD-STEM, and GT-STEP Grants.

  8. Teaching assistants' performance at identifying common introductory student difficulties in mechanics revealed by the Force Concept Inventory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maries, Alexandru; Singh, Chandralekha

    2016-06-01

    The Force Concept Inventory (FCI) has been widely used to assess student understanding of introductory mechanics concepts by a variety of educators and physics education researchers. One reason for this extensive use is that many of the items on the FCI have strong distractor choices which correspond to students' alternate conceptions in mechanics. Instruction is unlikely to be effective if instructors do not know the common alternate conceptions of introductory physics students and explicitly take into account students' initial knowledge states in their instructional design. Here, we discuss research involving the FCI to evaluate one aspect of the pedagogical content knowledge of teaching assistants (TAs): knowledge of introductory student alternate conceptions in mechanics as revealed by the FCI. For each item on the FCI, the TAs were asked to identify the most common incorrect answer choice of introductory physics students. This exercise was followed by a class discussion with the TAs related to this task, including the importance of knowing student difficulties in teaching and learning. Then, we used FCI pretest and post-test data from a large population (˜900 ) of introductory physics students to assess the extent to which TAs were able to identify alternate conceptions of introductory students related to force and motion. In addition, we carried out think-aloud interviews with graduate students who had more than two semesters of teaching experience in recitations to examine how they reason about the task. We find that while the TAs, on average, performed better than random guessing at identifying introductory students' difficulties with FCI content, they did not identify many common difficulties that introductory physics students have after traditional instruction. We discuss specific alternate conceptions, the extent to which TAs are able to identify them, and results from the think-aloud interviews that provided valuable information about why TAs sometimes

  9. Teaching assistants’ performance at identifying common introductory student difficulties in mechanics revealed by the Force Concept Inventory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandru Maries

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The Force Concept Inventory (FCI has been widely used to assess student understanding of introductory mechanics concepts by a variety of educators and physics education researchers. One reason for this extensive use is that many of the items on the FCI have strong distractor choices which correspond to students’ alternate conceptions in mechanics. Instruction is unlikely to be effective if instructors do not know the common alternate conceptions of introductory physics students and explicitly take into account students’ initial knowledge states in their instructional design. Here, we discuss research involving the FCI to evaluate one aspect of the pedagogical content knowledge of teaching assistants (TAs: knowledge of introductory student alternate conceptions in mechanics as revealed by the FCI. For each item on the FCI, the TAs were asked to identify the most common incorrect answer choice of introductory physics students. This exercise was followed by a class discussion with the TAs related to this task, including the importance of knowing student difficulties in teaching and learning. Then, we used FCI pretest and post-test data from a large population (∼900 of introductory physics students to assess the extent to which TAs were able to identify alternate conceptions of introductory students related to force and motion. In addition, we carried out think-aloud interviews with graduate students who had more than two semesters of teaching experience in recitations to examine how they reason about the task. We find that while the TAs, on average, performed better than random guessing at identifying introductory students’ difficulties with FCI content, they did not identify many common difficulties that introductory physics students have after traditional instruction. We discuss specific alternate conceptions, the extent to which TAs are able to identify them, and results from the think-aloud interviews that provided valuable information

  10. Reflection on problem solving in introductory and advanced physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Andrew J.

    Reflection is essential in order to learn from problem solving. This thesis explores issues related to how reflective students are and how we can improve their capacity for reflection on problem solving. We investigate how students naturally reflect in their physics courses about problem solving and evaluate strategies that may teach them reflection as an integral component of problem-solving. Problem categorization based upon similarity of solution is a strategy to help them reflect about the deep features of the problems related to the physics principles involved. We find that there is a large overlap between the introductory and graduate students in their ability to categorize. Moreover, introductory students in the calculus-based courses performed better categorization than those in the algebra-based courses even though the categorization task is conceptual. Other investigations involved exploring if reflection could be taught as a skill on individual and group levels. Explicit self-diagnosis in recitation investigated how effectively students could diagnose their own errors on difficult problems, how much scaffolding was necessary for this purpose, and how effective transfer was to other problems employing similar principles. Difficulty in applying physical principles and difference between the self-diagnosed and transfer problems affected performance. We concluded that a sustained intervention is required to learn effective problem-solving strategies. Another study involving reflection on problem solving with peers suggests that those who reflected with peers drew more diagrams and had a larger gain from the midterm to final exam. Another study in quantum mechanics involved giving common problems in midterm and final exams and suggested that advanced students do not automatically reflect on their mistakes. Interviews revealed that even advanced students often focus mostly on exams rather than learning and building a robust knowledge structure. A survey was

  11. Success in introductory college physics: The role of gender, high school preparation, and student learning perceptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jean Chi-Jen

    Physics is fundamental for science, engineering, medicine, and for understanding many phenomena encountered in people's daily lives. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships between student success in college-level introductory physics courses and various educational and background characteristics. The primary variables of this study were gender, high school mathematics and science preparation, preference and perceptions of learning physics, and performance in introductory physics courses. Demographic characteristics considered were age, student grade level, parents' occupation and level of education, high school senior grade point average, and educational goals. A Survey of Learning Preference and Perceptions was developed to collect the information for this study. A total of 267 subjects enrolled in six introductory physics courses, four algebra-based and two calculus-based, participated in the study conducted during Spring Semester 2002. The findings from the algebra-based physics courses indicated that participant's educational goal, high school senior GPA, father's educational level, mother's educational level, and mother's occupation in the area of science, engineering, or computer technology were positively related to performance while participant age was negatively related. Biology preparation, mathematics preparation, and additional mathematics and science preparation in high school were also positively related to performance. The relationships between the primary variables and performance in calculus-based physics courses were limited to high school senior year GPA and high school physics preparation. Findings from all six courses indicated that participant's educational goal, high school senior GPA, father's educational level, and mother's occupation in the area of science, engineering, or computer technology, high school preparation in mathematics, biology, and the completion of additional mathematics and science courses were

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. Analysis of student engagement in an online annotation system in the context of a flipped introductory physics class

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Kelly; Zyto, Sacha; Karger, David; Yoo, Junehee; Mazur, Eric

    2016-12-01

    We discuss student participation in an online social annotation forum over two semesters of a flipped, introductory physics course at Harvard University. We find that students who engage in high-level discussion online, especially by providing answers to their peers' questions, make more gains in conceptual understanding than students who do not. This is true regardless of students' physics background. We find that we can steer online interaction towards more productive and engaging discussion by seeding the discussion and managing the size of the sections. Seeded sections produce higher quality annotations and a greater proportion of generative threads than unseeded sections. Larger sections produce longer threads; however, beyond a certain section size, the quality of the discussion decreases.

  16. 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.

  17. Introductory statistics for engineering experimentation

    CERN Document Server

    Nelson, Peter R; Coffin, Marie

    2003-01-01

    The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) introduced a criterion starting with their 1992-1993 site visits that "Students must demonstrate a knowledge of the application of statistics to engineering problems." Since most engineering curricula are filled with requirements in their own discipline, they generally do not have time for a traditional two semesters of probability and statistics. Attempts to condense that material into a single semester often results in so much time being spent on probability that the statistics useful for designing and analyzing engineering/scientific experiments is never covered. In developing a one-semester course whose purpose was to introduce engineering/scientific students to the most useful statistical methods, this book was created to satisfy those needs. - Provides the statistical design and analysis of engineering experiments & problems - Presents a student-friendly approach through providing statistical models for advanced learning techniques - Cove...

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Student Responses to a Flipped Introductory Physics Class with built-in Post-Video Feedback Quizzes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos, Roberto

    We present and analyze student responses to multiple Introductory physics classes in a university setting, taught in a ''flipped'' class format. The classes included algebra- and calculus-based introductory physics. Outside class, students viewed over 100 online video lectures on Classical Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, and Modern Physics prepared by this author and in some cases, by a third-party lecture package available over YouTube. Inside the class, students solved and discussed problems and conceptual issues in greater detail. A pre-class online quiz was deployed as an important source of feedback. I will report on the student reactions to the feedback mechanism, student responses using data based on anonymous surveys, as well as on learning gains from pre-/post- physics diagnostic tests. The results indicate a broad mixture of responses to different lecture video packages that depend on learning styles and perceptions. Students preferred the online quizzes as a mechanism to validate their understanding. The learning gains based on FCI and CSEM surveys were significant.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Tale of two curricula: The performance of 2000 students in introductory electromagnetism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew A. Kohlmyer

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available The performance of over 2000 students in introductory calculus-based electromagnetism (E&M courses at four large research universities was measured using the Brief Electricity and Magnetism Assessment (BEMA. Two different curricula were used at these universities: a traditional E&M curriculum and the Matter & Interactions (M&I curriculum. At each university, postinstruction BEMA test averages were significantly higher for the M&I curriculum than for the traditional curriculum. The differences in post-test averages cannot be explained by differences in variables such as preinstruction BEMA scores, grade point average, or SAT Reasoning Test (SAT scores. BEMA performance on categories of items organized by subtopic was also compared at one of the universities; M&I averages were significantly higher in each topic. The results suggest that the M&I curriculum is more effective than the traditional curriculum at teaching E&M concepts to students, possibly because the learning progression in M&I reorganizes and augments the traditional sequence of topics, for example, by increasing early emphasis on the vector field concept and by emphasizing the effects of fields on matter at the microscopic level.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. Online and Face-to-Face Language Learning: A Comparative Analysis of Oral Proficiency in Introductory Spanish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dianne Burke Moneypenny

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The primary resistance to online foreign language teaching often involves questions of spoken mastery of second language. In order to address this concern, this research comparatively assesses undergraduate students’ oral proficiency in online and face-to-face Spanish classes, while taking into account students’ previous second language experience. The sample consisted of 90 undergraduate students, both online and face-to-face, who completed the Versant test at the end of the two semester sequence of Introductory Spanish. The Versant test assessed pronunciation, vocabulary, sentence formation, and fluency as factors of oral proficiency and calculated an overall oral proficiency score. T-test, one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA, and Kruskal-Wallis H test were used to determine whether there were any significant differences between online and face-to-face students’ proficiency scores. The results indicate that there were no statistically significant differences in oral proficiency at the introductory level between students who completed Spanish online and those that participated in face-to-face courses.

  15. Ups and downs of using ``kitchen sink'' experiments in an introductory fluid mechanics class

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaye, Nigel

    2015-11-01

    Both positive and negative experiences from two semesters of using take home ``kitchen sink'' experiments in an introductory civil engineering fluid mechanics class are reported. Four different experimental assignments were given each semester to groups of four students. The students were tasked with using common household equipment to measure various properties of fluids or fluid flows. These included the density of cooking oil, the exit velocity from a garden hose, and the mass flux of air from a compressed air can. Students were given minimal guidance on how to do the measurements and each measurement had to be done in at least two different ways. The labs were used to relate their course work to everyday situations and was also used as a platform for discussing experimental uncertainty and error propagation in calculations. In general the students successfully completed each task using at least one method. Finding a second method sometimes proved problematic. The presentation will discuss the logistics of running the program and the positive and negative aspects from the instructor viewpoint. A summary of student feedback on the labs will also be presented. Links to resources for those interested in implementing such a program will be provided.

  16. 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...

  17. 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?

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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…

  5. 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.…

  6. 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…

  7. 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.…

  8. 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…

  9. 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....

  10. 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....

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Reducing gender differences in performance in introductory college physics through values affirmation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kost-Smith, Lauren

    2011-04-01

    Despite males and females being equally represented at the college level in several STEM disciplines (including biology, chemistry and mathematics), females continue to be under-represented in physics. Our research documents and addresses this participation gender gap in the introductory, calculus-based physics courses at the University of Colorado. We characterize gender differences in performance, psychological factors (including attitudes and beliefs) and retention that exist in Physics 1 and 2 [L. E. Kost, et al., Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 5, 010101 (2009); L. E. Kost-Smith, et al., Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 6, 020112 (2010)]. We find that the gender differences in performance can largely be accounted for by measurable differences in the physics and mathematics backgrounds and incoming attitudes and beliefs of males and females. But these background factors do not completely account for the gender gaps. We hypothesize, based on gender differences in responses to survey questions about students' sense of physics identity and confidence levels, that identity threat (the fear of confirming a negative characterization about one's identity) is playing a role in our courses. Working with researchers in psychology, we implemented an intervention where students either wrote about their most important values or not, twice at the beginning of the course [A. Miyake, et al., Science, 330, 1234 (2010)]. This ``values affirmation'' activity reduced the male-female performance difference substantially and elevated women's modal grades from the C to B range. Benefits were strongest for women who tended to endorse the stereotype that men do better than women in physics. This brief psychological intervention may be a promising way to address the gender gap in science performance.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Tarzan's Dilemma: A Challenging Problem for Introductory Physics Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rave, Matthew; Sayers, Marcus

    2013-11-01

    The following kinematics problem was given to several students as a project in conjunction with a first-semester calculus-based physics course. The students were asked to keep a journal of all their work and were encouraged to keep even their scrap paper. The goal of the project was to expose the students to the process of doing theoretical physics, by tackling a project that is easy to pose conceptually yet surprisingly challenging in its solution.

  18. 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.

  19. 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,...

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. Using In-class Group Exercises to Enhance Lectures and Provide Introductory Physics Students an Opportunity to Perfect Problem Solving Skills through Interactions with Fellow Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trout, Joseph; Bland, Jared

    2013-03-01

    In this pilot project, one hour of lecture time was replaced with one hour of in-class assignments, which groups of students collaborated on. These in-class assignments consisted of problems or projects selected for the calculus-based introductory physics students The first problem was at a level of difficulty that the majority of the students could complete with a small to moderate amount of difficulty. Each successive problem was increasingly more difficult, the last problem being having a level of difficulty that was beyond the capabilities of the majority of the students and required some instructor intervention. The students were free to choose their own groups. Students were encouraged to interact and help each other understand. The success of the in-class exercises were measured using pre-tests and post-tests. The pre-test and post-test were completed by each student independently. Statistics were also compiled on each student's attendance record and the amount of time spent reading and studying, as reported by the student. Statistics were also completed on the student responses when asked if they had sufficient time to complete the pre-test and post-test and if they would have completed the test with the correct answers if they had more time. The pre-tests and post-tests were not used in the computation of the grades of the students.

  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. 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)

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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.…

  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. 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…

  20. Student effort expectations and their learning in first-year introductory physics: A case study in Thailand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Emarat

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available The Maryland Physics Expectations (MPEX survey was designed to probe students’ expectations about their understanding of the process of learning physics and the structure of physics knowledge—cognitive expectations. This survey was administered to first-year university students in Thailand in the first semester of an introductory calculus-based physics course during academic years 2007 and 2008, to assess their expectations at the beginning of the course. The precourse MPEX results were compared and correlated with two separate measures of student learning: (1 individual students’ normalized gains from pre and post Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation (FMCE results, which measure students’ conceptual understanding, and (2 student’s scores on the final exam, which measure their more general problem-solving ability. The results showed a significant positive correlation between their overall MPEX score and five of the six MPEX cluster scores, with their normalized learning gains on the FMCE for both academic years. The results also showed significant positive correlations between student MPEX scores and their final exam scores for the overall MPEX score and all MPEX cluster scores except for the effort cluster. We interviewed two groups of five students each, one group with small favorable scores on the precourse MPEX effort cluster and one with high favorable scores on the precourse MPEX effort cluster, to see how the students’ learning efforts compared with their MPEX results. We concluded from the interviews that what the students think or expect about the MPEX effort involved in learning physics does not match what they actually do.

  1. The effect of introducing computers into an introductory physics problem-solving laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCullough, Laura Ellen

    2000-10-01

    Computers are appearing in every type of classroom across the country. Yet they often appear without benefit of studying their effects. The research that is available on computer use in classrooms has found mixed results, and often ignores the theoretical and instructional contexts of the computer in the classroom. The University of Minnesota's physics department employs a cooperative-group problem solving pedagogy, based on a cognitive apprenticeship instructional model, in its calculus-based introductory physics course. This study was designed to determine possible negative effects of introducing a computerized data-acquisition and analysis tool into this pedagogy as a problem-solving tool for students to use in laboratory. To determine the effects of the computer tool, two quasi-experimental treatment groups were selected. The computer-tool group (N = 170) used a tool, designed for this study (VideoTool), to collect and analyze motion data in the laboratory. The control group (N = 170) used traditional non-computer equipment (spark tapes and Polaroid(TM) film). The curriculum was kept as similar as possible for the two groups. During the ten week academic quarter, groups were examined for effects on performance on conceptual tests and grades, attitudes towards the laboratory and the laboratory tools, and behaviors within cooperative groups. Possible interactions with gender were also examined. Few differences were found between the control and computer-tool groups. The control group received slightly higher scores on one conceptual test, but this difference was not educationally significant. The computer-tool group had slightly more positive attitudes towards using the computer tool than their counterparts had towards the traditional tools. The computer-tool group also perceived that they spoke more frequently about physics misunderstandings, while the control group felt that they discussed equipment difficulties more often. This perceptual difference interacted

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. The Use of a Web-Based Classroom Interaction System in Introductory Physics Classes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corpuz, Edgar D.; Corpuz, Ma. Aileen A.; Rosalez, Rolando

    2010-10-01

    A web-based interaction system was used in algebra-based and calculus-based physics classes to enhance students' classroom interaction. The interactive teaching approach primarily incorporated elements of Mazur's Peer Instruction and Interactive Lecture Demonstration. In our implementation, students used personal digital assistants (PDAs) to interact with their instructor during lecture and classroom demonstration. In this paper, we document the perceptions and attitudes of algebra-based and calculus-based physics students towards the interactive teaching approach and likewise present data on how this approach affected students' performance on the Force Concept Inventory (FCI).

  7. 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

  8. 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)

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Tarzan's Dilemma: A Challenging Problem for Introductory Physics Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rave, Matthew; Sayers, Marcus

    2013-01-01

    The following kinematics problem was given to several students as a project in conjunction with a first-semester calculus-based physics course. The students were asked to keep a journal of all their work and were encouraged to keep even their scrap paper. The goal of the project was to expose the students to the process of doing theoretical…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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,…

  4. 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,…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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.…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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....

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. Online Quizzes Promote Inconsistent Improvements on In-Class Test Performance in Introductory Anatomy and Physiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Gregory A.; Bice, Matthew R.; Shaw, Brandon S.; Shaw, Ina

    2015-01-01

    Review quizzes can provide students with feedback and assist in the preparation for in-class tests, but students often do not voluntarily use self-testing resources. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate if taking a mandatory online review quiz alters performance on subsequent in-class tests. During two semesters of a single-semester…

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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)

  7. 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)

  8. 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)

  9. 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)

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Evaluating Peer-Led Team Learning across the Two Semester General Chemistry Sequence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Yancey D.; Ippolito, Jessica; Lewis, Scott E.

    2012-01-01

    Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) is a widely disseminated pedagogical reform that employs previously successful undergraduate students, peer leaders, to lead sessions of structured group work in the target class. Numerous studies have evaluated the impact of this reform in various post-secondary chemistry classes. Results from these studies suggest…

  20. Cost-Savings Achieved in Two Semesters Through the Adoption of Open Educational Resources

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Levi Hilton III

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Textbooks represent a significant portion of the overall cost of higher education in the United States. The burden of these costs is typically shouldered by students, those who support them, and the taxpayers who fund the grants and student loans which pay for textbooks. Open educational resources (OER provide students a way to receive high-quality learning materials at little or no cost to students. We report on the cost savings achieved by students at eight colleges when these colleges began utilizing OER in place of traditional commercial textbooks.

  1. Cost-Savings Achieved in Two Semesters through the Adoption of Open Educational Resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilton, John Levi, III; Robinson, Jared; Wiley, David; Ackerman, J. Dale

    2014-01-01

    Textbooks represent a significant portion of the overall cost of higher education in the United States. The burden of these costs is typically shouldered by students, those who support them, and the taxpayers who fund the grants and student loans which pay for textbooks. Open educational resources (OER) provide students a way to receive…

  2. Evaluating Peer-Led Team Learning across the Two Semester General Chemistry Sequence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Yancey D.; Ippolito, Jessica; Lewis, Scott E.

    2012-01-01

    Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) is a widely disseminated pedagogical reform that employs previously successful undergraduate students, peer leaders, to lead sessions of structured group work in the target class. Numerous studies have evaluated the impact of this reform in various post-secondary chemistry classes. Results from these studies suggest…

  3. 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...

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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,…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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-…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  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. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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)

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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,…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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,…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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)

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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)

  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. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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,…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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,…

  5. 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)

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  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. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  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. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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)

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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)

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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' ...

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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.…

  20. 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…

  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. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Performance of Graduate Students at Identifying Introductory Physics Students' Difficulties Related to Kinematics Graphs

    CERN Document Server

    Maries, Alexandru

    2016-01-01

    The Test of Understanding Graphs in Kinematics (TUG-K) is a multiple choice test developed by Beichner to assess students' understanding of kinematics graphs. Many of the items on the TUG-K have strong distractor choices which correspond to introductory students' common difficulties with kinematics graphs. Instruction is unlikely to be effective if instructors do not know these common difficulties and take them into account in their instructional design. We evaluate the performance of first year physics graduate students at identifying introductory students' common difficulties related to kinematics graphs. In particular, for each item on the TUG-K, the graduate students were asked to identify which incorrect answer choice they thought would be most commonly selected by introductory physics students if they did not know the correct answer after instruction in relevant concepts. We used the introductory student data from Beichner's original paper to assess graduate students' knowledge of introductory students'...

  15. 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.

  16. Mu-calculus-based deontic logic for regular actions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Broersen, Jan; Wieringa, Roelf J.; Meyer, John-Jules; Demolombe, R.; Hilpinen, R.

    This paper introduces deontic logic of regular actions as a fragment of the modal mu calculus Semantic characterizations of deontic notions for regular actions are given in terms of conditions on mu calculus structures and mu calculus formulas capturing this semantics are constructed

  17. Development and evaluation of clicker methodology for introductory physics courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Albert H.

    Many educators understand that lectures are cost effective but not learning efficient, so continue to search for ways to increase active student participation in this traditionally passive learning environment. In-class polling systems, or "clickers", are inexpensive and reliable tools allowing students to actively participate in lectures by answering multiple-choice questions. Students assess their learning in real time by observing instant polling summaries displayed in front of them. This in turn motivates additional discussions which increase the opportunity for active learning. We wanted to develop a comprehensive clicker methodology that creates an active lecture environment for a broad spectrum of students taking introductory physics courses. We wanted our methodology to incorporate many findings of contemporary learning science. It is recognized that learning requires active construction; students need to be actively involved in their own learning process. Learning also depends on preexisting knowledge; students construct new knowledge and understandings based on what they already know and believe. Learning is context dependent; students who have learned to apply a concept in one context may not be able to recognize and apply the same concept in a different context, even when both contexts are considered to be isomorphic by experts. On this basis, we developed question sequences, each involving the same concept but having different contexts. Answer choices are designed to address students preexisting knowledge. These sequences are used with the clickers to promote active discussions and multiple assessments. We have created, validated, and evaluated sequences sufficient in number to populate all of introductory physics courses. Our research has found that using clickers with our question sequences significantly improved student conceptual understanding. Our research has also found how to best measure student conceptual gain using research-based instruments

  18. Successful Application of Active Learning Techniques to Introductory Microbiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth A. Hoffman

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available While the traditional lecture format may be a successful way to teach microbiology to both medical and nursing students, it was not an effective means of learning for many prenursing and preprofessional students enrolled in either of the introductory microbiology courses at Ashland Community College, an open enrollment institution. The structure of both Medical Microbiology and Principles of Microbiology was redesigned to allow students to address the material in an active manner. Daily quizzes, student group discussions, scrapbooks, lab project presentations and papers, and extra credit projects were all added in order to allow students maximum exposure to the course material in a manner compatible with various methods of learning. Student knowledge, course evaluations, and student success rates have all improved with the active learning format.

  19. The Climate Experiences of Students in Introductory Biology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramón S. Barthelemy

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Understanding course climate is important for improving students’ experiences and increasing the likelihood of their persistence in STEM fields. This study presents climate survey results from 523 students taking introductory biology at the University of Michigan. Principal component analysis revealed that a student’s climate experience is comprised of five main elements: comfort, school avoidance, relationship to course, academic stress, and discomfort. Of these climate factors, comfort, school avoidance, and relationship to course were significant predictors of course satisfaction, and academic stress was a significant predictor of persistence. The results indicated the importance of a positive climate that is facilitated by the instructor in order to promote a positive student experience. Climate may be an important metric for institutions to track across time and course.

  20. Replicating and understanding successful innovations: Implementing tutorials in introductory physics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. J. Pollock

    2005-09-01

    Full Text Available We report a detailed study of the implementation of Tutorials in Introductory Physics at a large-scale research institution. Based on two successive semesters of evaluation, we observe students’ improved conceptual mastery (force and motion concept evaluation median normalized gain 0.77, N=336 , albeit with some student discontent. We replicate the results of original studies of tutorial effectiveness and document how and why these results occur. Additionally, using the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey we measure the support of students’ expertlike beliefs about learning physics in our environment. We examine this implementation from a viewpoint that emphasizes varying contextual levels of this implementation, from students’ engagement in individual tasks, to the situations in which these tasks are embedded, to the broader classroom, departmental, and educational structures. We document both obvious and subtle features that help ensure the successful implementation of these reforms.

  1. 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.

  2. Inward bound/outward bound: Modern introductory physics at Colgate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holbrow, C. H.; Amato, J. C.

    1997-03-01

    For the past ten years we have been modernizing our calculus-level introductory physics course. The first term is now organized around the theme of atoms: Why do we believe in them? How do we learn about them? The course traces the progress of our understanding of inner space, from the origins of the atomic hypothesis to present day quantum physics. The second term illustrates how physics extends our range of understanding to outer space by applying the principles of classical mechanics to large-scale structures such as stars, galaxies, and the entire Universe. In our approach the three conservation laws receive more emphasis than they do in the traditional course. We believe that this allows a simpler exposition of classical mechanics. Our goals are to convey the excitement and challenge of contemporary physics to our first year students, and at the same time, to build their mathematical skills.

  3. Using PRS in Large Introductory Astronomy Courses: Engaging the Audience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mutel, R.

    2004-12-01

    The use of electronic voting systems in large lecture-based courses is rapidly increasing in popularity. An obvious advantage of these systems are that they allow individual students to provide immediate anonymous feedback of their understanding (or misunderstanding) of a concept before the instructor continues to another topic. The instructor can also use the system for evaluation in place of written quizzes or even homework. I will review my experience with the Personal Response System (PRS) which I have used for two years in several large introductory astronomy courses. I will describe both the successes and problems encountered, both pedagogically and technically. In particular,I will discuss the art of writing non-trivial multiple choice questions suitable for PRS quizzes, capturing student interest by varying the question format (e.g. using a 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire Astronomer?' theme), and enhanced software that replaces the software originally provided.

  4. Patterns of Gendered Performance Difference in Introductory STEM Courses

    CERN Document Server

    Koester, Benjamin P; McKay, Timothy A

    2016-01-01

    Grades provide students with their primary performance feedback: signals which affect academic choices. Variations in grading practice among courses impose grade penalties (and bonuses) on students who take them. These grade penalties are sometimes gendered. Using extensive data from the University of Michigan, we report on patterns of grade penalty and gendered performance difference across 116 large courses. We find that significant gendered performance differences are ubiquitous in large introductory STEM lecture courses. They are largely absent in both STEM labs and in lecture courses in other disciplines. Exploring the features of these courses, we hypothesize that evaluation methods used in STEM lecture courses interact with stereotype threat to create these gendered performance differences.

  5. Introductory Physics Experiments Using the Wii Balance Board

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starr, Julian; Sobczak, Robert; Iqbal, Zohaib; Ochoa, Romulo

    2010-02-01

    The Wii, a video game console by Nintendo, utilizes several different controllers, such as the Wii remote (Wiimote) and the balance board, for game-playing. The balance board was introduced in early 2008. It contains four strain gauges and has Bluetooth connectivity at a relatively low price. Thanks to available open source code, such as GlovePie, any PC with Bluetooth capability can detect the information sent out by the balance board. Based on the ease with which the forces measured by each strain gauge can be obtained, we have designed several experiments for introductory physics courses that make use of this device. We present experiments to measure the forces generated when students lift their arms with and without added weights, distribution of forces on an extended object when weights are repositioned, and other normal forces cases. The results of our experiments are compared with those predicted by Newtonian mechanics. )

  6. A smartphone-based introductory astronomy experiment: Seasons investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durelle, Jeremy; Jones, Jennifer; Merriman, Steven; Balan, Aurelian

    2017-02-01

    Light sensor probes are useful in experiments that investigate seasonal variations and the nature of light. However, having a dedicated light probe is not always possible or even convenient for many instructors. Modern smartphone technology gives instructors the ability to use built-in light sensors as an inexpensive alternative. This introductory experiment will have students use a smartphone loaded with a light detection app to quantitatively determine how changing latitude on Earth changes flux received. The purpose is to have students discover how the different seasons arise from the Earth-Sun system. While performing the experiment and analyzing the data, students will also discover the following important and relevant physical relationships: distance from light source and light brightness (flux), latitude and flux, and Earth's orientation and location (latitude) of maximum flux. By piecing all of these relationships together, students are able to explain the origins of the different seasons based on the data they collected.

  7. 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.

  8. The search for oneself: Introductory notes on ethics and anthropology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.P. (Kobus Labuschagne

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Human beings make choices, and get caught up by their choices. One cannot escape the choices one has made. Your choices draw the picture of who you really are. Sometimes you are haunted by the dire consequences of the choices you have made. Where does the necessity of taking responsibility for yourself, and the choices you have made, take you? Ethics and moral conduct make sense only in conjunction with the moral agent – humankind. This article is an introductory reflection on ethics and anthropology. The argument develops mainly from the view of a human being as a relational being. People are inescapably relational beings – always being in relation with other human beings, and never able to sever the lifesaving ties to God as the human being’s Maker. Human beings become themselves in relation to other human beings, and ultimately in relation to the One Other, God their Creator and Re-creator.

  9. Fuzzy logic an introductory course for engineering students

    CERN Document Server

    Trillas, Enric

    2015-01-01

      This book introduces readers to fundamental concepts in fuzzy logic. It describes the necessary theoretical background and a number of basic mathematical models. Moreover, it makes them familiar with fuzzy control, an important topic in the engineering field. The book offers an unconventional introductory textbook on fuzzy logic, presenting theory together with examples and not always following the typical mathematical style of theorem-corollaries. Primarily intended to support engineers during their university studies, and to spark their curiosity about fuzzy logic and its applications, the book is also suitable for self-study, providing a valuable resource for engineers and professionals who deal with imprecision and non-random uncertainty in real-world applications.  

  10. 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

  11. Investigating Students' Reflective Thinking in the Introductory Physics Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boudreaux, Andrew

    2010-10-01

    Over the past 30 years, physics education research has guided the development of instructional strategies that can significantly enhance students' functional understanding of concepts in introductory physics. Recently, attention has shifted to instructional goals that, while widely shared by teachers of physics, are often more implicit than explicit in our courses. These goals involve the expectations and attitudes that students have about what it means to learn and understand physics, together with the behaviors and actions students think they should engage in to accomplish this learning. Research has shown that these ``hidden'' elements of the curriculum are remarkably resistant to instruction. In fact, traditional physics courses tend to produce movement away from expert-like behaviors. At Western Washington University, we are exploring ways of promoting metacognition, an aspect of the hidden curriculum that involves the conscious monitoring of one's own thinking and learning. We have found that making this reflective thinking an explicit part of the course may not be enough: adequate framing and scaffolding may be necessary for students to meaningfully engage in metacognition. We have thus taken the basic approach of developing metacognition, like conceptual understanding, through guided inquiry. During our teaching experiments, we have collected written and video data, with twin goals of guiding iterative modifications to the instruction as well as contributing to the knowledge base about student metacognition in introductory physics. This talk will provide examples of metacognition activities from course assignments and labs, and will present written data to assess the effectiveness of instruction and to illustrate specific modes of students' reflective thinking.

  12. Analogous Patterns of Student Reasoning Difficulties in Introductory Physics and Upper-Level Quantum Mechanics

    CERN Document Server

    Singh, Chandralekha

    2015-01-01

    Very little is known about how the nature of expertise in introductory and advanced courses compares in knowledge-rich domains such as physics. We develop a framework to compare the similarities and differences between learning and patterns of student difficulties in introductory physics and quantum mechanics. Based upon our framework, we argue that the qualitative patterns of student reasoning difficulties in introductory physics bear a striking resemblance to those found for upper-level quantum mechanics. The framework can guide the design of teaching and learning tools.

  13. Surveying college introductory physics students' attitudes and approaches to problem solving

    CERN Document Server

    Mason, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Students' attitudes and approaches to problem solving in physics can greatly impact their actual problem solving practices and also influence their motivation to learn and ultimately the development of expertise. We developed and validated an attitudes and approaches to problem solving (AAPS) survey and administered it to students in the introductory physics courses in a typical large research university in the US. Here, we discuss the development and validation of the survey and analysis of the student responses to the survey questions in introductory physics courses. The introductory physics students' responses to the survey questions were also compared with those of physics faculty members and physics PhD students. We find that introductory students are in general less expert-like than the physics faculty members and PhD students. Moreover, on some AAPS survey questions, the responses of students and faculty have unexpected trends. Those trends were interpreted via in

  14. Off to the (Earthworm) Races: A Quick and Flexible Lab Experiment for Introductory Zoology Courses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Switzer, Paul V.; Fritz, Ann H.

    2001-01-01

    Presents a hands-on, investigative lab activity for use in an introductory zoology course. Tests the behavioral hypothesis that substrate texture affects earthworm locomotor ability. Provides background information on earthworm locomotion followed by details of the lab exercise. (NB)

  15. Demonstrating Classical Conditioning in Introductory Psychology: Needles Do Not Always Make Balloons Pop!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vernoy, Mark W.

    1987-01-01

    Describes a method of teaching classical conditioning to an introductory psychology class which involves demonstrating the conditioned response that occurs when a needle pierces, but does not pop, a balloon. (GEA)

  16. Surveying college introductory physics students’ attitudes and approaches to problem solving

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Andrew J.; Singh, Chandralekha

    2016-09-01

    Students’ attitudes and approaches to problem solving in physics can greatly impact their actual problem solving practices and also influence their motivation to learn and ultimately the development of expertise. We developed and validated an attitudes and approaches to problem solving (AAPS) survey and administered it to students in the introductory physics courses in a typical large research university in the US. Here, we discuss the development and validation of the survey and analysis of the student responses to the survey questions in introductory physics courses. The introductory physics students’ responses to the survey questions were also compared with those of physics faculty members and physics PhD students. We find that introductory students are in general less expert-like than the physics faculty members and PhD students. Moreover, on some AAPS survey questions, the responses of students and faculty have unexpected trends. Those trends were interpreted via individual interviews, which helped clarify reasons for those survey responses.

  17. Introductory labs; what they don't, should, and can teach (and why)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wieman, Carl

    2016-03-01

    Introductory physics labs are widely used and expensive. They have a wide variety of potential learning goals, but these are seldom specified and less often measured if they are achieved. We cover three different research projects on introductory labs: 1) We have done cognitive task analyses of both experimental research in physics and instructional labs. The striking differences explain much of the unhappiness expressed by students with labs: 2) We have measured the effectiveness of two introductory physics lab courses specifically intended to teach the physics content covered in standard introductory courses on mechanics and E & M. As measured by course exams, the benefit is 0 +/-2% for both. 3) We show how it is possible to use lab courses to teach students to correctly evaluate physical models with uncertain data. Such quantitative critical thinking is an important skill that is not learned in typical lab courses, but is well learned by our modified lab instruction.

  18. 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

  19. Experience, gender, and performance: Connecting high school physics experience and gender differences to introductory college physics performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tai, Robert H.

    Current science educational practice is coming under heavy criticism based on the dismaying results of the Third International Mathematics and Science Study of 1998, the latest in a series of large scale surveys; and from research showing the appallingly low representation of females in science-related fields. These critical evaluations serve to draw attention to science literacy in general and lack of persistence among females in particular, two issues that relate closely to the "preparation for future study" goal held by many high school science teachers. In other words, these teachers often seek to promote future success and to prevent future failure in their students' academic careers. This thesis studies the connection between the teaching practices recommended by reformers and researchers for high school teachers, and their students' subsequent college physics performance. The teaching practices studied were: laboratory experiences, class discussion experiences, content coverage, and reliance on textbooks. This study analyzed a survey of 1500 students from 16 different lecture-format college physics courses at 14 different universities. Using hierarchical linear modeling, this study accounted for course-level variables (Calculus-based/Non-calculus course type, professor's gender, and university selectivity). This study controlled for the student's parents education, high school science/mathematics achievement, high school calculus background, and racial background. In addition, the interactions between gender and both pedagogical/curricular and course-level variables were analyzed. The results indicated that teaching fewer topics in greater depth in high school physics appeared to be helpful to college physics students. An interaction between college course type and content coverage showed that students in Calculus-based physics reaped even greater benefits from a depth-oriented curriculum. Also students with fewer labs per month in high school physics

  20. An Assessment of the Level of Mathematics in Introductory Meteorology Textbooks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulanski, Stan L.

    1992-10-01

    A review of introductory meteorology textbooks shows a wide difference in the level of mathematical treatment of atmospheric principles-from virtually none to fairly high. Particular deficiencies include lack of equations integrated into the text, problem-solving examples, and paucity of end-of-chapter questions requiring mathematical reasoning. These issues are raised in order to generate discussion among the meteorological community with regard to the degree of interaction between mathematics and meteorology in introductory courses.

  1. Chemical energy in an introductory physics course for the life sciences

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    Energy is a complex idea that cuts across scientific disciplines. For life science students, an approach to energy that incorporates chemical bonds and chemical reactions is better equipped to meet the needs of life sciences students than a traditional introductory physics approach that focuses primarily on mechanical energy. We present a curricular sequence, or thread, designed to build up students' understanding of chemical energy in an introductory physics course for the life sciences. Thi...

  2. Implementing Inclusive Design for Learning in an introductory geology laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert, G.; Merriman, J. D.; Ceylan, G. M.

    2013-12-01

    As an expansion of universal design for learning, IDL provides a framework for opening up and adapting classroom interaction systems, minimizing barriers through promoting perception, engagement, expression, and accommodation for diverse learners. We implemented an introductory-level laboratory for communicating the concept of magma viscosity using the guidelines and principles of IDL. We developed the lab as a mini-implementation project for an IDL course offered by the University of Missouri (MU) Graduate School. The laboratory was subsequently taught during the summer session of Principles of Geology in our Department of Geological Sciences. Traditional geology laboratories rely heavily on visual aids, either physical (rocks and minerals) or representative (idealized cartoons of processes, videos), with very few alternative representations and descriptions made available to the students. Our main focus for this new lab was to diversify the means of representation available to the students (and instructor) to make the lab as equitable and flexible as possible. We considered potential barriers to learning arising from the physical lab environment, from the means of representation, engagement and expression, and tried to minimize them upfront. We centred the laboratory on the link between volcano shape and viscosity as an applied way to convey that viscosity is the resistance to flow. The learning goal was to have the students observe that more viscous eruptives resulted in steeper-sided volcanoes through experimentation. Students built their own volcanoes by erupting lava (foods of various viscosities) onto the Earth's surface (a piece of sturdy cardboard with a hole for the 'vent') through a conduit (pastry bag). Such a hands on lab exercise allows students to gain a tactile and visual, i.e., physical representation of an abstract concept. This specific exercise was supported by other, more traditional, means of representation (e.g., lecture, videos, cartoons, 3D

  3. Gender, experience, and self-efficacy in introductory physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nissen, Jayson M.; Shemwell, Jonathan T.

    2016-12-01

    [This paper is part of the Focused Collection on Gender in Physics.] There is growing evidence of persistent gender achievement gaps in university physics instruction, not only for learning physics content, but also for developing productive attitudes and beliefs about learning physics. These gaps occur in both traditional and interactive-engagement (IE) styles of physics instruction. We investigated one gender gap in the area of attitudes and beliefs. This was men's and women's physics self-efficacy, which comprises students' thoughts and feelings about their capabilities to succeed as learners in physics. According to extant research using pre- and post-course surveys, the self-efficacy of both men and women tends to be reduced after taking traditional and IE physics courses. Moreover, self-efficacy is reduced further for women than for men. However, it remains unclear from these studies whether this gender difference is caused by physics instruction. It may be, for instance, that the greater reduction of women's self-efficacy in physics merely reflects a broader trend in university education that has little to do with physics per se. We investigated this and other alternative causes, using an in-the-moment measurement technique called the Experience Sampling Method (ESM). We used ESM to collect multiple samples of university students' feelings of self-efficacy during four types of activity for two one-week periods: (i) an introductory IE physics course, (ii) students' other introductory STEM courses, (iii) their non-STEM courses, and (iv) their activities outside of school. We found that women experienced the IE physics course with lower self-efficacy than men, but for the other three activity types, women's self-efficacy was not reliably different from men's. We therefore concluded that the experience of physics instruction in the IE physics course depressed women's self-efficacy. Using complementary measures showing the IE physics course to be similar to

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Gender, experience, and self-efficacy in introductory physics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jayson M. Nissen

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available [This paper is part of the Focused Collection on Gender in Physics.] There is growing evidence of persistent gender achievement gaps in university physics instruction, not only for learning physics content, but also for developing productive attitudes and beliefs about learning physics. These gaps occur in both traditional and interactive-engagement (IE styles of physics instruction. We investigated one gender gap in the area of attitudes and beliefs. This was men’s and women’s physics self-efficacy, which comprises students’ thoughts and feelings about their capabilities to succeed as learners in physics. According to extant research using pre- and post-course surveys, the self-efficacy of both men and women tends to be reduced after taking traditional and IE physics courses. Moreover, self-efficacy is reduced further for women than for men. However, it remains unclear from these studies whether this gender difference is caused by physics instruction. It may be, for instance, that the greater reduction of women’s self-efficacy in physics merely reflects a broader trend in university education that has little to do with physics per se. We investigated this and other alternative causes, using an in-the-moment measurement technique called the Experience Sampling Method (ESM. We used ESM to collect multiple samples of university students’ feelings of self-efficacy during four types of activity for two one-week periods: (i an introductory IE physics course, (ii students’ other introductory STEM courses, (iii their non-STEM courses, and (iv their activities outside of school. We found that women experienced the IE physics course with lower self-efficacy than men, but for the other three activity types, women’s self-efficacy was not reliably different from men’s. We therefore concluded that the experience of physics instruction in the IE physics course depressed women’s self-efficacy. Using complementary measures showing the IE

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. New Session of introductory “E-Groups Training”

    CERN Multimedia

    2013-01-01

    The session provides a short introduction of E-Groups and how to use it to efficiently manage mailing lists at CERN. Alongside a general overview of the E-Groups application, E-Groups specific terminology, the management of dynamic and static groups and the specific settings for mails and archives are discussed in detail.   The course is intended to give newcomers a clear idea of what E-Groups are and how they can be used at CERN. It should enable users to be more efficient when being confronted in particular with: the creation of dynamic and static E-groups and the decision whether the one or the other type is more appropriate, the management of E-group memberships, and the setting of mailing/archiving related properties. The session will also focus on some best practices and give general advice on how to use E-Groups. This introductory training session is given jointly by members of the IT-OIS and GS-AIS groups and is intended for any member at CERN potentially being confronted with the ...

  13. Problem Roulette: Studying Introductory Physics in the Cloud

    CERN Document Server

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

    2013-01-01

    Problem Roulette (PR) is 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 computing 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. 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 better students used the service more frequently. Adjusting for this selection bias by using overall grade point average (GPA) as a classifier, we find a grade po...

  14. Chaotic behaviour of Zeeman machines at introductory course of mechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagy, Péter; Tasnádi, Péter

    2016-05-01

    Investigation of chaotic motions and cooperative systems offers a magnificent opportunity to involve modern physics into the basic course of mechanics taught to engineering students. In the present paper it will be demonstrated that Zeeman Machine can be a versatile and motivating tool for students to get introductory knowledge about chaotic motion via interactive simulations. It works in a relatively simple way and its properties can be understood very easily. Since the machine can be built easily and the simulation of its movement is also simple the experimental investigation and the theoretical description can be connected intuitively. Although Zeeman Machine is known mainly for its quasi-static and catastrophic behaviour, its dynamic properties are also of interest with its typical chaotic features. By means of a periodically driven Zeeman Machine a wide range of chaotic properties of the simple systems can be demonstrated such as bifurcation diagrams, chaotic attractors, transient chaos and so on. The main goal of this paper is the presentation of an interactive learning material for teaching the basic features of the chaotic systems through the investigation of the Zeeman Machine.

  15. 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.

  16. 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 (...

  17. Evaluating multiple-choice exams in large introductory physics courses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gary Gladding

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available The reliability and validity of professionally written multiple-choice exams have been extensively studied for exams such as the SAT, graduate record examination, and the force concept inventory. Much of the success of these multiple-choice exams is attributed to the careful construction of each question, as well as each response. In this study, the reliability and validity of scores from multiple-choice exams written for and administered in the large introductory physics courses at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign were investigated. The reliability of exam scores over the course of a semester results in approximately a 3% uncertainty in students’ total semester exam score. This semester test score uncertainty yields an uncertainty in the students’ assigned letter grade that is less than 1 / 3 of a letter grade. To study the validity of exam scores, a subset of students were ranked independently based on their multiple-choice score, graded explanations, and student interviews. The ranking of these students based on their multiple-choice score was found to be consistent with the ranking assigned by physics instructors based on the students’ written explanations ( r>0.94 at the 95% confidence level and oral interviews (r=0.94−0.09+0.06 .

  18. How different incentives affect homework completion in introductory physics courses

    CERN Document Server

    Kontur, F J

    2013-01-01

    This article quantitatively examines the effects that different incentives have on students' homework completion in introductory physics courses at the United States Air Force Academy. According to our findings, there is a strong linear relationship between the amount of course credit awarded and the amount of homework that students complete. The line fits show that, for the courses that were studied, 3-4% more homework is completed for every additional 1% of course credit awarded to students for completing homework. In addition, we find that there is a strong relationship between students' average perception of the learning benefit of homework and how much homework they complete, and that students completed 15% more homework when their average perception of homework increased by 0.5 points on a 4-point Likert scale. Finally, we find that giving students in-class quizzes that come directly from homework resulted in 15% greater homework completion than giving them in-class quizzes that were only conceptually r...

  19. 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.

  20. Teaching science writing in an introductory lab course.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holstein, Sarah E; Mickley Steinmetz, Katherine R; Miles, John D

    2015-01-01

    One challenge that many neuroscience instructors face is how to teach students to communicate within the field. The goal of this project was to improve students' scientific writing in an introductory psychology laboratory course that serves as a feeder course into the neuroscience curriculum. This course included a scaffolded approach - breaking assignments into different sections that build upon each other to allow for more direction and feedback on each section. Students were also provided with examples of scientific writing, given direction on finding and reading journal articles, and were taught how to effectively peer review a paper. Research papers were assessed before (Year 1) and after (Year 2) this scaffolded approach was instituted. The assessment included measures of "Genre Knowledge" for each section of a research paper (abstract, introduction, method, results, discussion) as well as measures of "Writing Elements" (grammar, formatting, clarity, transitions, building to the hypothesis, using evidence). The results indicated that there was an improvement for Genre Knowledge scores when comparing Year 1 to Year 2. However, there was no systematic improvement in Writing Elements. This suggests that this teaching technique was most effective in improving students' ability to write within the scientific genre. The logistics of implementing such an approach are discussed.

  1. Fault-tolerant Control Systems-An Introductory Overview

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jin Jiang

    2005-01-01

    This paper presents an introductory overview on the development of fault-tolerant control systems. For this reason, the paper is written in a tutorial fashion to summarize some of the important results in this subject area deliberately without going into details in any of them. However, key references are provided from which interested readers can obtain more detailed information on a particular subject. It is necessary to mention that, throughout this paper, no efforts were made to provide an exhaustive coverage on the subject matter. In fact, it is far from it. The paper merely represents the view and experience of its author. It can very well be that some important issues or topics were left out unintentionally. If that is the case, the author sincerely apologizes in advance.After a brief account of fault-tolerant control systems, particularly on the original motivations, and the concept of redundancies, the paper reviews the development of fault-tolerant control systems with highlights to several important issues from a historical perspective. The general approaches to fault-tolerant control has been divided into passive, active, and hybrid approaches. The analysis techniques for active fault-tolerant control systems are also discussed. Practical applications of faulttolerant control are highlighted from a practical and industrial perspective. Finally, some critical issues in this area are discussed as open problems for future research/development in this emerging field.

  2. 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.

  3. Variational Calculations for Hydrogen in Introductory Solid State

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hasbun, Javier

    2012-02-01

    Molecular hydrogen is very important in the introductory solid state physics course because it is used as one of the simplest molecular realistic models where bonding and anti-bonding takes place. This system is one of the first examples in which interactions among the ions and the electrons is incorporated realistically. To this end, we approach the system starting from the hydrogen atom. Here we introduce a numerical approach that reproduces the known analytic result for the ground state. The idea is to expand the hydrogenic wavefunction in terms of Gaussians (four of them) with variational parameters. As the parameters are varied the numerical approach stops when the energy is a minimum. The scheme is consistently extended through the ionized hydrogen molecule and the reproduction of its analytically known ground state energy result. We finally culminate with the hydrogen molecule using a variational wavefunction, a la Hartree, and proceed to repeat the process with a particular flavor of a Hartree-Fock wavefunction [1] and finally obtaining a hydrogen molecule total ground state energy of -31.10 eV with a bond length of 1.37 Bohr radius.[4pt] [1] ``Atomic and Electronic Structure of Solids,'' Efthimios Kaxiras (Cambridge UP, Cambridge UK, 2003).

  4. Effectiveness of Tutorials for Introductory Physics in Argentinean high schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benegas, J.; Flores, J. Sirur

    2014-06-01

    This longitudinal study reports the results of a replication of Tutorials in Introductory Physics in high schools of a Latin-American country. The main objective of this study was to examine the suitability of Tutorials for local science education reform. Conceptual learning of simple resistive electric circuits was determined by the application of the single-response multiple-choice test "Determining and Interpreting Resistive Electric Circuits Concepts Test" (DIRECT) to high school classes taught with Tutorials and traditional instruction. The study included state and privately run schools of different socioeconomic profiles, without formal laboratory space and equipment, in classes of mixed-gender and female-only students, taught by novice and experienced instructors. Results systematically show that student learning is significantly higher in the Tutorials classes compared with traditional teaching for all of the studied conditions. The results also show that long-term learning (one year after instruction) in the Tutorials classes is highly satisfactory, very similar to the performance of the samples of college students used to develop the test DIRECT. On the contrary, students following traditional instruction returned one year after instruction to the poor performance (conceptual knowledge of basic physics recently determined by a systematic study of first-year students attending seven universities in Spain and four Latin-American countries. Some replication and adaptation problems and difficulties of this experience are noted, as well as recommendations for successful use of Tutorials in high schools of similar educational systems.

  5. Assessment of Teaching Approaches in an Introductory Astronomy College Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, William R.

    In recent years, there have been calls from the astronomy education research community for the increased use of learner-centered approaches to teaching, and systematic assessments of various teaching approaches using such tools as the Astronomy Diagnostic Test 2.0 (ADT 2.0). The research presented is a response to both calls. The ADT 2.0 was used in a modified form to obtain baseline assessments of introductory college astronomy classes that were taught in a traditional, mostly didactic manner. The ADT 2.0 (modified) was administered both before and after the completion of the courses. The courses were then altered to make modest use of learner-centered lecture tutorials. The ADT 2.0 (modified) was again administered before and after completion of the modified courses. Overall, the modest learner-centered approach showed mixed statistical results, with an increase in effect size (from medium to large), but no change in normalized gain index (both were low). Additionally, a mathematically rigorous approach showed no statistically significant improvements in conceptual understanding compared with a mathematically nonrigorous approach. This study will interpret the results from a variety of perspectives. The overall implementation of the lecture tutorials and their implications for teaching will also be discussed.

  6. Teaching Science Writing in an Introductory Lab Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holstein, Sarah E.; Mickley Steinmetz, Katherine R.; Miles, John D.

    2015-01-01

    One challenge that many neuroscience instructors face is how to teach students to communicate within the field. The goal of this project was to improve students’ scientific writing in an introductory psychology laboratory course that serves as a feeder course into the neuroscience curriculum. This course included a scaffolded approach - breaking assignments into different sections that build upon each other to allow for more direction and feedback on each section. Students were also provided with examples of scientific writing, given direction on finding and reading journal articles, and were taught how to effectively peer review a paper. Research papers were assessed before (Year 1) and after (Year 2) this scaffolded approach was instituted. The assessment included measures of “Genre Knowledge” for each section of a research paper (abstract, introduction, method, results, discussion) as well as measures of “Writing Elements” (grammar, formatting, clarity, transitions, building to the hypothesis, using evidence). The results indicated that there was an improvement for Genre Knowledge scores when comparing Year 1 to Year 2. However, there was no systematic improvement in Writing Elements. This suggests that this teaching technique was most effective in improving students’ ability to write within the scientific genre. The logistics of implementing such an approach are discussed. PMID:25838801

  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

    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.

  8. Incorporating Service Learning into the Introductory Astronomy Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukherjee, K.

    2002-05-01

    The introductory Astronomy course can be enriched by adding a service learning component to it. This enables students to interact with and educate the general public about matters of outer space. At Slippery Rock University we have incorporated this idea into our Astronomy and Space Science courses. Working in groups, the students do a presentation which is often interdisciplinary. Frequently the department gets requests from schools to do a show specifically tailored to a topic like the solar system or constellations. Such projects are beneficial to students in many ways. They demand a thorough knowledge of the subject matter so as to communicate to the audience in a clear and nontechnical manner. The students also experience first hand the difficulties involved in coordinating a group effort. They learn to take responsibility for their allocated part and how to combine effectively to make the entire show a success. Interacting with various age groups demands a versatility in planning content and public speaking skills not easily available elsewhere in a traditional education. Our planetarium facilities help in attracting diverse audiences from preschoolers to senior citizens. Performance in these shows constitutes twenty five percent of course grade. Feedback from audience groups helps refine future shows by subsequent student cohorts.

  9. Computer Based Collaborative Problem Solving for Introductory Courses in Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilie, Carolina; Lee, Kevin

    2010-03-01

    We discuss collaborative problem solving computer-based recitation style. The course is designed by Lee [1], and the idea was proposed before by Christian, Belloni and Titus [2,3]. The students find the problems on a web-page containing simulations (physlets) and they write the solutions on an accompanying worksheet after discussing it with a classmate. Physlets have the advantage of being much more like real-world problems than textbook problems. We also compare two protocols for web-based instruction using simulations in an introductory physics class [1]. The inquiry protocol allowed students to control input parameters while the worked example protocol did not. We will discuss which of the two methods is more efficient in relation to Scientific Discovery Learning and Cognitive Load Theory. 1. Lee, Kevin M., Nicoll, Gayle and Brooks, Dave W. (2004). ``A Comparison of Inquiry and Worked Example Web-Based Instruction Using Physlets'', Journal of Science Education and Technology 13, No. 1: 81-88. 2. Christian, W., and Belloni, M. (2001). Physlets: Teaching Physics With Interactive Curricular Material, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ. 3. Christian,W., and Titus,A. (1998). ``Developing web-based curricula using Java Physlets.'' Computers in Physics 12: 227--232.

  10. Using Observational Journals in an Introductory Astronomy Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadler, P.

    2000-05-01

    The might of science is in its power to predict. Yet, students rarely are exposed to anything but others' stories concerning how nature behaves. Students do not experience the frustration and elation that discovery brings. For ten years, our introductory astronomy course has used observational journals as a key component in the learning process. Every night, as the planets, stars, and moon dance by, astronomy students use the opportunity to collect and analyze their own data describing heavenly motions. For most, finding the patterns in original data provides an opportunity to fashion and test their own predictive models for the first time in their lives. Such efforts provide an alternative to lecture and laboratory for mastering key scientific concepts and modifying student misconceptions. Students have learned how to represent visual information through a variety of graphs, built and improved their own measurement instruments, and drawn on artistic and writing skills. We will examine the steps required to make observational journals a productive learning activity: careful recordkeeping, classroom discussion, instructor feedback, and reflective writing. I will show examples of how students' work progress through increasing levels of cognitive sophistication that match well with learning theories.

  11. Fully On-line Introductory Physics with a Lab

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schatz, Michael

    We describe the development and implementation of a college-level introductory physics (mechanics) course and laboratory that is suited for both on-campus and on-line environments. The course emphasizes a ``Your World is Your Lab'' approach whereby students first examine and capture on video (using cellphones) motion in their immediate surroundings, and then use free, open-source software both to extract data from the video and to apply physics principles to build models that describe, predict, and visualize the observations. Each student reports findings by creating a video lab report and posting it online; these video lab reports are then distributed to the rest of the class for peer review. In this talk, we will discuss the student and instructor experiences in courses offered to three distinct audiences in different venues: (1) a Massively Open On-line Course (MOOC) for off-campus participants, (2) a flipped/blended course for on-campus students, and, most recently, (3) a fully-online course for off-campus students.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. Introductory Disciplines of Astronomy in Undergraduation Geography in Brazilian Public Universities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henrique Azevedo Sobreira, Paulo

    2015-08-01

    There are some previous works about introductory disciplines of Astronomy in higher education in various undergraduation at Brazilian universities, but this is a specific research for Geography courses in public universities. Some undergraduate courses in Geography in Brazil offer introductory disciplines of Astronomy, since the second half of the twentieth century. This work presents an updated survey on the topic, and it proposes an effort at the national level, for the benefit of the increase in introductory disciplines of Astronomy in undergraduation in Geography. The data collected from public universities were obtained from the consultation of the websites of state universities, federal and county in 2012, 2013 and 2015, for information on the Geography courses and, among them, those with disciplines of Astronomy. The results show that there are 94 undergraduation in Geography courses in public universities, 12 of them had introductory disciplines of Astronomy until 2012 and 2013. In 2015 three of these disciplines were canceled which reduced to 9 universities. There were 23 undergraduation in Geography courses in 10 bachelor degrees and 14 education degrees with Astronomy disciplines. At 2015 it decreased to 20 in 5 bachelors and 8 education degrees. There are two undergraduation Geography courses with two introductory disciplines of Astronomy, while the other 18 offer only one discipline. The inclusion of introductory disciplines of Astronomy depends on the actions of professors' groups who works in undergraduation Geography courses, and of the astronomers initiative to offering them. The ideal is that the astronomers who actuate like professors in universities, normally in Math, Physics, Technologies, Enginnering and Science courses, they would can help and offer introductory disciplines in Astronomy for undergraduation in Geography courses.

  15. Planetary missions as lab experiments in the introductory classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, G. C.

    2011-12-01

    As is the case at many liberal arts colleges, at Wheaton we require all of our students to take a class in the natural sciences. Our introductory classes must include some type of experimental or laboratory component that allows students to directly experience the scientific cycle of asking a question, collecting data, and analyzing the data to either answer the question or to ask new ones. We want them to use their creativity and deal with ambiguity, so they can break out of the idea that science is something that is already written down in a book. This can be a challenge in planetary science, which draws on so many different disciplines and has so many targets of interest that one could spend the entire semester on background material without getting to the experiment cycle. For the past several years, I have been developing a structure for integrating experimentation into the introductory planetary science classroom, alongside some of the more traditional background material. We spend the first half of the semester getting used to asking questions about planets, and then finding and using simple types of data that have already been collected by spacecraft to answer those questions. Along the way, we track a current planetary mission to examine the questions it was designed to investigate, and how its instruments work together to address those questions. By the second half of the semester, the students are ready for two more challenging group projects. In the first project, the class (36 students) is divided in half, and each group must write a plan for the first day of operations of a robotic rover. The opposite group then goes out to an undisclosed field location and collects the data according to the first group's operations plan. After the field trips, the groups receive the data back from their rovers, still without knowing exactly where they landed, and have to hold a press conference discussing the important scientific discoveries at their landing site

  16. Tracking Success in Large Introductory Classes using Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Thomas H.

    2011-01-01

    A common problem frequently encountered in large introductory classes is the anonymity experienced by students. An effort is underway at Ball State University to explore the impact of technology on reducing this anonymity and improving student performance and success. In preparation for this study, performance and success measures for students in a previous class have been examined to provide background for construction of a model for formal testing and a control group for comparison of future results. Student performance measures obtained early in the course and final course grades were examined to identify potential early warning indicators that might be used to plan interventions much earlier than the traditional midterm course reports used to alert freshmen at academic risk. Class participation scores were based on data obtained with a personal response system (i>clicker). The scores were scaled to reflect about 80% comprehension and 20% attendance. Homework scores were obtained using the LON-CAPA Course Management System and instructional materials created by the author. Substantial linear correlations exist between 1) Exam 1 Scores after Four Weeks and 2) Raw Class Participation Scores for the First Six Weeks and the Final Course Score. A more modest linear correlation was found between 3) Homework Scores for First Six Weeks and Final Course Score. Of these three measures, only Class Participation Scores identified all students who ultimately received course grades lower than C. Several students scored in the danger zone according to Homework and Class Participation Scores but earned course grades of C or better. It appears that an early warning plan based on Class Participation Scores would permit effective identification of at-risk students early in the course.

  17. Collaborative Assessment Tool (CAT) - Assessing scientific practices in introductory physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irving, Paul

    2017-01-01

    An important learning goal of Projects and Practices in Physics (P3) , the transformed introductory mechanics course at Michigan State University, is the development of scientific practices. The design team, as part of the P3 course construction, made clear attempts to assess learning goals that can often be perceived as being a part of the hidden curriculum or considered difficult to assess (e.g., learning to work productively in a group) by developing a collaborative assessment tool (CAT). The CAT is a formative assessment tool that provides students with a numerical grade for how they participated in their learning group on a weekly basis while also providing feedback in the form of written commentary and suggestions on how they might improve at a particular collaborative practice. In this presentation, we demonstrate the CAT tool from two perspectives: 1) how the CAT tool is used within the P3 context and 2) how the formative feedback has affected changes in student interactions in class. We will present the case studies of 3 students who had differing reactions to the feedback they received. We will explore the role the feedback had in their interactions over a four-week period from an in-class perspective and a reflected perspective through interviews and observations. The analysis will also be presented from a tutor and group perspective, which will highlight the affordances the CAT can have in creating a productive learning group. The research on the CAT shows promise in encouraging growth in students' collaborative skills, but this research is still in its infancy and needs to be expanded to include different contexts.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Correlates of gender and achievement in introductory algebra based physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Rachel Clara

    The field of physics is heavily male dominated in America. Thus, half of the population of our country is underrepresented and underserved. The identification of factors that contribute to gender disparity in physics is necessary for educators to address the individual needs of students, and, in particular, the separate and specific needs of female students. In an effort to determine if any correlations could be established or strengthened between sex, gender identity, social network, algebra skill, scientific reasoning ability, and/or student attitude, a study was performed on a group of 82 students in an introductory algebra based physics course. The subjects each filled out a survey at the beginning of the semester of their first semester of algebra based physics. They filled out another survey at the end of that same semester. These surveys included physics content pretests and posttests, as well as questions about the students' habits, attitudes, and social networks. Correlates of posttest score were identified, in order of significance, as pretest score, emphasis on conceptual learning, preference for male friends, number of siblings (negatively correlated), motivation in physics, algebra score, and parents' combined education level. Number of siblings was also found to negatively correlate with, in order of significance, gender identity, preference for male friends, emphasis on conceptual learning, and motivation in physics. Preference for male friends was found to correlate with, in order of significance, emphasis on conceptual learning, gender identity, and algebra score. Also, gender identity was found to correlate with emphasis on conceptual learning, the strongest predictor of posttest score other than pretest score.

  1. The Social Interplay of Disciplinarity and Interdisciplinarity. Some Introductory Remarks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reinhold Hedtke

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Social Science Education as a subject field in schools is an intrinsic pluridisciplinary feature, whatever disciplines are included, however it may be organised and wherever it may be institutionalised. Civic education, economic education, social education and historical education each comprise several academic disciplines even if they are thought to be completely independent subjects. From the start on, disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity are on the agenda for any subject related to social science education and are one of its main problems. For these introductory remarks interdisciplinarity can be simply defined as relating two or more academic disciplines or school subjects to each other if this is done in a purposeful, systematic, explicit and reflective way. The overarching goal is to improve education that is to enhance students' understandings of the worlds and their abilities to act within and towards them. A relationship between disciplines or subjects which misses one or more of the four characteristics can be called pluridisciplinary or multidisciplinary (cf. Audigier 2006. In the following I first want to discuss some aspects of disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity at schools and at universities and the weakness of interdisciplinarity. I sketch some social science based ideas on the interrelationship between the subject structure of the academic world and the world of schools (3. and of some tendency to commonalities or even unification of social sciences and related competencies (4.. I conclude with some remarks on different kinds of knowledge (5.. Last but not least, I'll give an overview on the papers in this issue of the Journal of Social Science Education (6..

  2. Student reasoning about ratio and proportion in introductory physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boudreaux, Andrew

    2012-02-01

    To many students, introductory physics must seem a fast-moving parade of abstract and somewhat mysterious quantities. Most such quantities are rooted in proportional reasoning. Using ratio, physicists construct the force experienced by a unit charge, and attach the name electric field, or characterize a motion with the velocity change that occurs in a unit time. While physicists reason about these ratios without conscious effort, students tend to resort to memorized algorithms, and at times struggle to match the appropriate algorithm to the situation encountered. Although the term ``proportional reasoning'' is prevalent, skill in reasoning with these ratio quantities is neither acquired nor applied as a single cognitive entity. Expert ability seems to be characterized by the intentional use of a variety of components, or elements of proportional reasoning, by a fluency in shifting from one component to another, and by a skill in selecting from among these components. Based on this perspective, it is natural to expect students to develop proportional reasoning ability in fits and starts as various facets are acquired and integrated into existing understandings. In an ongoing collaboration between Western Washington University, New Mexico State University, and Rutgers, we are attempting to map the rich cognitive terrain of proportional reasoning, and to use our findings to guide the design of instruction that develops fluency. This talk will present a provisional set of proportional reasoning components, along with research tasks that have been developed to measure student ability along these components. Student responses will be presented as evidence of specific modes of thinking. The talk will conclude with a brief outline of our approach to improving student understanding.

  3. A strategy for PACS development using introductory team software process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez-Martinez, A.; Nunyez-Gaona, M. A.; Jimenez-Alaniz, J. R.; Munyoz de Cote, J. E.; Chavez-Avelar, N.; Delgado-Esquerra, R. E.; Gutierrez-Martinez, J.

    2005-04-01

    A PACS development requires to fill the needs of a specific imagenology area in a hospital and, as consequence, the amount of requirements associated to a PACS implicate a great complexity. This can be observed through methods that allow the size and complexity of a PACS software system to be quantified and measured, by analyzing the user requirements and interactions with other systems to be realized. When a PACS development is proposed, it can be difficult to actually launch the development project since a lot of time may be invested in defining the initial activities to be performed. In this work a model to address the complexity of a PACS development is proposed, and a strategy to divide the different tasks involved is defined. The model can offer an estimation about the effort to be spent. To face the problem, a correct planning and schedule can be defined. The model was obtained applying the first steps of the introductory Team Software Process (TSPi) methodology, and was represented using Unified Modelling Language activity diagrams. The model shows the different activities that have to be realized during the PACS development, and also the products that are generated once activities are accomplished. Another main aspect is a dependence view which shows the synchronization and dependence between tasks. This allows the possible sequences of activities to be visualized, and to be planned across different cycles. According to the TSPi, in each planned cycle a testable version of a PACS specific application should to be produced and the combination of the products, obtained through the different cycles should produce a final software system. With the model presented in this work, PACS developers can have a clear idea about the involved tasks and can schedule the work to accomplish specific PACS applications. A case study was conducted at the "Centro Nacional de Rehabilitacion" (National Rehabilitation Center)in Mexico City, using the proposed model.

  4. A qualitative characterization of an introductory college nonmajors biology laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Cherin Ann

    The nature of an undergraduate, nonmajors biology laboratory was investigated in this study. Student participants were enrolled in a general education biology laboratory course at the University of Northern Iowa. The researcher's purpose was to gain a characterization of the instructional format and laboratory activities experienced by students. Interpretation of student and instructor responses enabled an insider's view of the biology laboratory. The laboratory period was consistently described by both students and instructors as having three parts, Beginning, Middle, and End, with the End being of special importance for conceptual development. The instructional format of the three instructors differed within the three portions of the laboratory period, ranging from an inquiry-oriented, partial learning cycle to a fairly expository model labeled inform/verify/practice. There was striking similarity in intrasectional student and teacher descriptions of instructional format. Additionally, students experiencing the alternate instructor provided the same characterizations of instructional format as those provided by the instructor's usual students. There were no discernible patterns of instructional format based on sex or reasoning level. In addition to the central role of instructional format, three areas of importance emerged: the social aspects of learning, the collaborative and cooperative nature of laboratory work and learning, and the role of self-efficacy. Theory developed from and grounded in the data showed six factors important in the introductory college biology laboratory: collaborative and cooperative learning, student-student and teacher-student interactions, attitude and self-efficacy, learning process and learning style, effective instructional format, and science content. These factors were found to be similar to factors identified in the literature as important in K-12 science education. These factors were set in the context of schooling and learning

  5. DPS Discovery Slide Sets for the Introductory Astronomy Instructor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meinke, Bonnie K.; Jackson, Brian; Buxner, Sanlyn; Horst, Sarah; Brain, David; Schneider, Nicholas M.

    2016-10-01

    The DPS actively supports the E/PO needs of the society's membership, including those at the front of the college classroom. The DPS Discovery Slide Sets are an opportunity for instructors to put the latest planetary science into their lectures and for scientists to get their exciting results to college students.In an effort to keep the astronomy classroom apprised of the fast moving field of planetary science, the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) has developed "DPS Discoveries", which are 3-slide presentations that can be incorporated into college lectures. The slide sets are targeted at the Introductory Astronomy undergraduate level. Each slide set consists of three slides which cover a description of the discovery, a discussion of the underlying science, and a presentation of the big picture implications of the discovery, with a fourth slide that includes links to associated press releases, images, and primary sources. Topics span all subdisciplines of planetary science, and 26 sets are available in Farsi and Spanish. We intend for these slide sets to help Astronomy 101 instructors include new developments (not yet in their textbooks) into the broader context of the course. If you need supplemental material for your classroom, please checkout the archived collection: http://dps.aas.org/education/dpsdiscMore slide sets are now in development and will be available soon! In the meantime, we seek input, feedback, and help from the DPS membership to add fresh slide sets to the series and to connect the college classroom to YOUR science. It's easy to get involved - we'll provide a content template, tips and tricks for a great slide set, and pedagogy reviews. Talk to a coauthor to find out how you can disseminate your science or get involved in E/PO with your contributions.

  6. Instructors' Support of Student Autonomy in an Introductory Physics Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Nicholas; Webb, David

    2014-12-01

    The role of autonomy in the student experience in a large-enrollment undergraduate introductory physics course was studied from a self-determination theory perspective. A correlational study investigated whether certain aspects of the student experience correlated with how autonomy supportive (versus controlling) students perceived their instructors to be. An autonomy-supportive instructor acknowledges students' perspectives and feelings and provides students with information and opportunities for choice while minimizing external pressures (e.g., incentives or deadlines). It was found that the degree to which students perceived their instructors as autonomy supportive was positively correlated with student interest and enjoyment in learning physics (β =0.31***) and negatively correlated with student anxiety about taking physics (β =-0.23**). It was also positively correlated with how autonomous (versus controlled) students' reasons for studying physics became over the duration of the course (i.e., studying physics more because they wanted to versus had to; β =0.24***). This change in autonomous reasons for studying physics was in turn positively correlated with student performance in the course (β =0.17*). Additionally, the degree to which students perceived their instructors as autonomy supportive was directly correlated with performance for those students entering the course with relatively autonomous reasons for studying physics (β =0.25**). In summary, students who perceived their instructors as more autonomy supportive tended to have a more favorable motivational, affective, and performance experience in the course. The findings of the present study are consistent with experimental studies in other contexts that argue for autonomy-supportive instructor behaviors as the cause of a more favorable student experience.

  7. An evaluation of teaching methods in the introductory physics classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage, Lauren Michelle Williams

    The introductory physics mechanics course at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte has a history of relatively high DFW rates. In 2011, the course was redesigned from the traditional lecture format to the inverted classroom format (flipped). This format inverts the classroom by introducing material in a video assigned as homework while the instructor conducts problem solving activities and guides discussions during the regular meetings. This format focuses on student-centered learning and is more interactive and engaging. To evaluate the effectiveness of the new method, final exam data over the past 10 years was mined and the pass rates examined. A normalization condition was developed to evaluate semesters equally. The two teaching methods were compared using a grade distribution across multiple semesters. Students in the inverted class outperformed those in the traditional class: "A"s increased by 22% and "B"s increased by 38%. The final exam pass rate increased by 12% under the inverted classroom approach. The same analysis was used to compare the written and online final exam formats. Surprisingly, no students scored "A"s on the online final. However, the percent of "B"s increased by 136%. Combining documented best practices from a literature review with personal observations of student performance and attitudes from first hand classroom experience as a teaching assistant in both teaching methods, reasons are given to support the continued use of the inverted classroom approach as well as the online final. Finally, specific recommendations are given to improve the course structure where weaknesses have been identified.

  8. A Aplica\\c{c}\\~ao de uma Nova Metodologia de Ensino de F\\'isica: O Aprendizado Colaborativo

    CERN Document Server

    de Barros, José Acácio; da Silva, Glauco S F; Tagliati, José Roberto; Remold, Julie

    2012-01-01

    In this paper, we describe the process and difficulties of implementing collaborative activities in an calculus-based introductory mechanics class in Brazil, a class is taught to undergraduate physics majors and pre-service physics teachers.

  9. 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.

  10. Development of an Introductory Oceanography Concept Inventory Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arthurs, L.; Marchitto, T.

    2008-12-01

    Concept inventories are one type of assessment that can be used to evaluate whether a student has an accurate and working knowledge of a specific set of concepts. Although such assessment tools have been developed in astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, fluid mechanics, geology, and physics, none has been available. Our development of an Introductory Oceanography Concept Inventory Survey (IO-CIS) serves to fill this gap. Much of the development of the IO-CIS utilized students enrolled in the Spring 2008 Introduction to Oceanography course taught at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The first step in the development of IO-CIS involved the identification and selection of the critical concepts to be addressed in the course and the survey. Next, learning goals were defined for each critical concept. These learning goals then provided the basis for framing open-ended questions that were administered to students in pre-module in-class Concept Inventory Exercises (CIEs). These open-ended questions each underwent validation and revision with expert and novice input prior to being administered in a CIE. Each CIE comprised 4-5 open-ended questions, which each contained 1-4 parts. During the semester, 4 different CIEs were administered, with the number of respondents for each CIE ranging from 57-134. Student responses were then binned according to misconceptions and alternate conceptions, tallied, and "distractors" were written based on the most popular bins using the same language employed by students in their responses. Student responses were also used as part of the validation process to ensure that the questions were interpreted by students in the manner intended. Student responses were also used as a basis to discard particular questions from inclusion in the overall IO-CIS. After the initial IO-CIS questions and distractors had been designed as described above, 23 one-on-one student interviews were conducted as part of the validation process. As a result of

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Computer Modeling of Planetary Surface Temperatures in Introductory Astronomy Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barker, Timothy; Goodman, J.

    2013-01-01

    Barker, T., and Goodman, J. C., Wheaton College, Norton, MA Computer modeling is an essential part of astronomical research, and so it is important that students be exposed to its powers and limitations in the first (and, perhaps, only) astronomy course they take in college. Building on the ideas of Walter Robinson (“Modeling Dynamic Systems,” Springer, 2002) we have found that STELLA software (ISEE Systems) allows introductory astronomy students to do sophisticated modeling by the end of two classes of instruction, with no previous experience in computer programming or calculus. STELLA’s graphical interface allows students to visualize systems in terms of “flows” in and out of “stocks,” avoiding the need to invoke differential equations. Linking flows and stocks allows feedback systems to be constructed. Students begin by building an easily understood system: a leaky bucket. This is a simple negative feedback system in which the volume in the bucket (a “stock”) depends on a fixed inflow rate and an outflow that increases in proportion to the volume in the bucket. Students explore how changing inflow rate and feedback parameters affect the steady-state volume and equilibration time of the system. This model is completed within a 50-minute class meeting. In the next class, students are given an analogous but more sophisticated problem: modeling a planetary surface temperature (“stock”) that depends on the “flow” of energy from the Sun, the planetary albedo, the outgoing flow of infrared radiation from the planet’s surface, and the infrared return from the atmosphere. Students then compare their STELLA model equilibrium temperatures to observed planetary temperatures, which agree with model ones for worlds without atmospheres, but give underestimates for planets with atmospheres, thus introducing students to the concept of greenhouse warming. We find that if we give the students part of this model at the start of a 50-minute class they are

  14. First-Day Strategies for Millennial Students in Introductory Accounting Courses: It's All Fun and Games until Something Gets Learned

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mastilak, Christian

    2012-01-01

    Millennial students often possess characteristics at odds with typical lecture-based approaches to introductory accounting courses. The author introduces an approach for reaching millennial students early in introductory accounting courses in ways that fit millennials' characteristics. This article describes the use of the board game Monopoly[R]…

  15. Understanding Computational Thinking before Programming: Developing Guidelines for the Design of Games to Learn Introductory Programming through Game-Play

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazimoglu, Cagin; Kiernan, Mary; Bacon, Liz; MacKinnon, Lachlan

    2011-01-01

    This paper outlines an innovative game-based approach to learning introductory programming that is grounded in the development of computational thinking at an abstract conceptual level, but also provides a direct contextual relationship between game-play and learning traditional introductory programming. The paper proposes a possible model for,…

  16. Writing to Learn and Learning to Write across the Disciplines: Peer-to-Peer Writing in Introductory-Level MOOCs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comer, Denise K.; Clark, Charlotte R.; Canelas, Dorian A.

    2014-01-01

    This study aimed to evaluate how peer-to-peer interactions through writing impact student learning in introductory-level massive open online courses (MOOCs) across disciplines. This article presents the results of a qualitative coding analysis of peer-to-peer interactions in two introductory level MOOCs: English Composition I: Achieving Expertise…

  17. 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…

  18. First-Day Strategies for Millennial Students in Introductory Accounting Courses: It's All Fun and Games until Something Gets Learned

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mastilak, Christian

    2012-01-01

    Millennial students often possess characteristics at odds with typical lecture-based approaches to introductory accounting courses. The author introduces an approach for reaching millennial students early in introductory accounting courses in ways that fit millennials' characteristics. This article describes the use of the board game Monopoly[R]…

  19. Understanding Computational Thinking before Programming: Developing Guidelines for the Design of Games to Learn Introductory Programming through Game-Play

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazimoglu, Cagin; Kiernan, Mary; Bacon, Liz; MacKinnon, Lachlan

    2011-01-01

    This paper outlines an innovative game-based approach to learning introductory programming that is grounded in the development of computational thinking at an abstract conceptual level, but also provides a direct contextual relationship between game-play and learning traditional introductory programming. The paper proposes a possible model for,…

  20. Development and Validation of a Teaching Practice Scale (TISS) for Instructors of Introductory Statistics at the College Level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassad, Rossi A.

    2009-01-01

    This study examined the teaching practices of 227 college instructors of introductory statistics (from the health and behavioral sciences). Using primarily multidimensional scaling (MDS) techniques, a two-dimensional, 10-item teaching practice scale, TISS (Teaching of Introductory Statistics Scale), was developed and validated. The two dimensions…

  1. Students Teaching Students: An Experiential Learning Opportunity for Large Introductory Psychology Classes in Collaboration with Local Elementary Schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muir, Gary M.; van der Linden, Gretchen J.

    2009-01-01

    Students in large, lecture-based introductory psychology classes often do not have the benefit of experiential learning (EL) opportunities due to logistical constraints. To overcome this obstacle, we developed an EL project in which introductory psychology students in small groups present some aspect of the course material to local elementary…

  2. 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.

  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. Should Introductory Comparative ­Philosophy Courses Be Structured Around Topics or Traditions?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremy Henkel

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Should introductory courses in comparative philosophy be organized around traditions or around topics? Will students be better served by considering Indian, Chinese, African, and Native American philosophies in depth and in sequence, or by exploring differing philosophical approaches to such topics as beauty, moral responsibility, and human nature? Each approach has reasons that recommend it, but each also brings with it serious limitations. In this essay I rehearse what I take to be the most salient arguments both for and against each approach. In the end, I conclude that, for introductory courses in comparative philosophy, an approach organized around traditions is preferable to one organized around topics.

  5. Workshop Physics Activity Guide, Module 2: Mechanics II, Momentum, Energy, Rotational and Harmonic Motion, and Chaos (Units 8 - 15)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laws, Priscilla W.

    2004-05-01

    The Workshop Physics Activity Guide is a set of student workbooks designed to serve as the foundation for a two-semester calculus-based introductory physics course. It consists of 28 units that interweave text materials with activities that include prediction, qualitative observation, explanation, equation derivation, mathematical modeling, quantitative experiments, and problem solving. Students use a powerful set of computer tools to record, display, and analyze data, as well as to develop mathematical models of physical phenomena. The design of many of the activities is based on the outcomes of physics education research. The Workshop Physics Activity Guide is supported by an Instructor's Website that: (1) describes the history and philosophy of the Workshop Physics Project; (2) provides advice on how to integrate the Guide into a variety of educational settings; (3) provides information on computer tools (hardware and software) and apparatus; and (4) includes suggested homework assignments for each unit. Log on to the Workshop Physics Project website at http://physics.dickinson.edu/ Workshop Physics is a component of the Physics Suite--a collection of materials created by a group of educational reformers known as the Activity Based Physics Group. The Physics Suite contains a broad array of curricular materials that are based on physics education research, including: Understanding Physics, by Cummings, Laws, Redish and Cooney (an introductory textbook based on the best-selling text by Halliday/Resnick/Walker) RealTime Physics Laboratory Modules Physics by Inquiry (intended for use in a workshop setting) Interactive Lecture Demonstration Tutorials in Introductory Physics Activity Based Tutorials (designed primarily for use in recitations)

  6. Workshop Physics Activity Guide, Module 4: Electricity and Magnetism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laws, Priscilla W.

    2004-05-01

    The Workshop Physics Activity Guide is a set of student workbooks designed to serve as the foundation for a two-semester calculus-based introductory physics course. It consists of 28 units that interweave text materials with activities that include prediction, qualitative observation, explanation, equation derivation, mathematical modeling, quantitative experiments, and problem solving. Students use a powerful set of computer tools to record, display, and analyze data, as well as to develop mathematical models of physical phenomena. The design of many of the activities is based on the outcomes of physics education research. The Workshop Physics Activity Guide is supported by an Instructor's Website that: (1) describes the history and philosophy of the Workshop Physics Project; (2) provides advice on how to integrate the Guide into a variety of educational settings; (3) provides information on computer tools (hardware and software) and apparatus; and (4) includes suggested homework assignments for each unit. Log on to the Workshop Physics Project website at http://physics.dickinson.edu/ Workshop Physics is a component of the Physics Suite--a collection of materials created by a group of educational reformers known as the Activity Based Physics Group. The Physics Suite contains a broad array of curricular materials that are based on physics education research, including: Understanding Physics, by Cummings, Laws, Redish and Cooney (an introductory textbook based on the best-selling text by Halliday/Resnick/Walker) RealTime Physics Laboratory Modules Physics by Inquiry (intended for use in a workshop setting) Interactive Lecture Demonstration Tutorials in Introductory Physics Activity Based Tutorials (designed primarily for use in recitations)

  7. Hands-on-Entropy, Energy Balance with Biological Relevance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeves, Mark

    2015-03-01

    Entropy changes underlie the physics that dominates biological interactions. Indeed, introductory biology courses often begin with an exploration of the qualities of water that are important to living systems. However, one idea that is not explicitly addressed in most introductory physics or biology textbooks is important contribution of the entropy in driving fundamental biological processes towards equilibrium. From diffusion to cell-membrane formation, to electrostatic binding in protein folding, to the functioning of nerve cells, entropic effects often act to counterbalance deterministic forces such as electrostatic attraction and in so doing, allow for effective molecular signaling. A small group of biology, biophysics and computer science faculty have worked together for the past five years to develop curricular modules (based on SCALEUP pedagogy). This has enabled students to create models of stochastic and deterministic processes. Our students are first-year engineering and science students in the calculus-based physics course and they are not expected to know biology beyond the high-school level. In our class, they learn to reduce complex biological processes and structures in order model them mathematically to account for both deterministic and probabilistic processes. The students test these models in simulations and in laboratory experiments that are biologically relevant such as diffusion, ionic transport, and ligand-receptor binding. Moreover, the students confront random forces and traditional forces in problems, simulations, and in laboratory exploration throughout the year-long course as they move from traditional kinematics through thermodynamics to electrostatic interactions. This talk will present a number of these exercises, with particular focus on the hands-on experiments done by the students, and will give examples of the tangible material that our students work with throughout the two-semester sequence of their course on introductory

  8. Learning by doing at the Colorado School of Mines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furtak, Thomas E.; Ruskell, Todd G.

    2013-03-01

    With over 260 majors, the undergraduate physics program at CSM is among the largest in the country. An underlying theme in this success is experiential learning, starting with a studio teaching method in the introductory calculus-based physics courses. After their second year students complete a 6-week full-time summer course devoted to hands-on practical knowledge and skills, including machine shop techniques, high-vacuum technology, applied optics, electronic control systems, and computational tools. This precedes a two-semester laboratory sequence that can be taught at an advanced level because of the students' experience. The required capstone senior course is a year-long open-ended challenge in which students partner with members of the faculty to work on authentic research projects, teaming with grad students or post-docs as contributing members to the department's externally funded scholarship. All of these features are important components of our B.S. degree, Engineering Physics, which is officially accredited by ABET.

  9. Interactive Computer Visualization in the Introductory Chemistry Curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bragin, Victoria M.

    1996-08-01

    Increasingly, chemistry instructors, especially in two-year colleges, find themselves teaching classes where there is great disparity in the academic preparation of the students and where even those students with good mathematics and basic science backgrounds have poor English language and communication skills. This project explores the use of technological innovations to facilitate learning in introductory chemistry courses by those with a poor academic background, while also challenging those prepared to master the curriculum. An additional objective is to improve the communication skills of all students. Material is presented visually and in as engaging a fashion as possible, students are provided ready access to relevant information about the course content in ways that are adapted to their individual learning styles, and collaborative learning is encouraged, especially among those who work and live at a distance from campus. The chief tactics employed are: Development of software that can be customized to meet the varying needs of individual students, courses, and instructors. Use of simulations that, while not replacing laboratory bench experiments, allow students to practice important laboratory techniques and observe the physical behavior of chemical systems. Use of software that allows students to explore the molecular basis of chemical phenomena. Use of software that allows students to display and analyze data in ways that facilitate drawing general conclusions about the quantitative relationships between observable properties. Use of the computer as a communications device. The ability to customize software is important in adapting to different learning styles and in encouraging students to learn by discovery. For example, TitrationLab was developed so that the material may merely be presented empirically or in ways in which the principles of equilibrium are demonstrated. At the advanced level, automatically generated titration curves are used to

  10. Teaching Sustainability from a Scientific Standpoint at the Introductory Level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell-Stone, E.; Myers, J. D.

    2008-12-01

    In recent decades, humankind has recognized that current levels of resource utilization are seriously impacting our planet's life support systems and threatening the ability of future generations to provide for themselves. The concept of sustainability has been promoted by a variety of national and international organizations as a method to devise ways to adjust humanity's habits and consumption to levels that can be maintained over the long term, i.e. sustained. Courses on sustainability are being offered at many universities and colleges, but most are taught outside of science departments; they are often designed around policy concerns or focus primarily on environmental impacts while neglecting the science of sustainability. Because the three foundations necessary to implement sustainability are sustainability governance, sustainability accounting, and sustainability science, it is imperative that science departments play an active role in preparing citizens and professionals for dealing with sustainability issues. The geosciences are one of the scientific disciplines that offer a logical foundation from which to teach sustainability science. Geoscientists can also offer a unique and relevant geologic perspective on sustainability issues. The authors have developed an introductory, interdisciplinary course entitled 'Global Sustainability: Managing Earth's Resources' that integrates scientific disciplines in the examination of real world sustainability issues. In-depth understanding of physical, Earth and biological science principles are necessary for students to identify the limits and constraints imposed on important issues facing modern society, e.g. water, energy, population growth, etc. This course exposes students to all the scientific principles that apply directly to sustainability. The subject allows the instructors to present open-ended, multifaceted and complex problems relevant to today's industrialized and globalized world, and it encourages

  11. The Effect of Assessment Style on Student Epistemologies in Introductory Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, Mark Ryan

    2011-01-01

    Epistemologies were measured across two separate lecture sections of introductory algebra-based physics at UC Davis. Remarkable differences in epistemologies, as measured by the MPEX II survey were noted with one section's students (section A) showing significantly better gains in almost all epistemological categories than the other (section…

  12. The Analysis of Analogy Use in the Teaching of Introductory Quantum Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Didis, Nilufer

    2015-01-01

    This study analyzes the analogies used in the teaching of introductory quantum theory concepts. Over twelve weeks, the researcher observed each class for a semester and conducted interviews with the students and the instructor. In the interviews, students answered questions about quantum theory concepts, which the instructor had taught them using…

  13. Measuring the Effects of Virtual Pair Programming in an Introductory Programming Java Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zacharis, N. Z.

    2011-01-01

    This study investigated the effectiveness of virtual pair programming (VPP) on student performance and satisfaction in an introductory Java course. Students used online tools that integrated desktop sharing and real-time communication, and the metrics examined showed that VPP is an acceptable alternative to individual programming experience.…

  14. Introductory Accounting Students' Motives, Expectations and Preparedness for Higher Education: Some Portuguese Evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, Cláudia; Gomes, Delfina; Borges, Janete

    2015-01-01

    In Portugal, the massive expansion and diversification of higher education has led to a large and diverse student population. This has impacted on the complexity of the higher education learning environment and has implications for the teaching and learning activities. Thus, the current study examines Portuguese introductory accounting students'…

  15. Giving Psychology Away: Implementation of Wikipedia Editing in an Introductory Human Development Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shane-Simpson, Christina; Che, Elizabeth; Brooks, Patricia J.

    2016-01-01

    To test the feasibility of Wikipedia editing in large undergraduate psychology classrooms, we engaged groups of students in a large introductory-level Human Development course (N = 110) in editing Wikipedia articles to improve psychology-related content. Students attended in-class workshops and received online support to develop skills. They…

  16. Primarily Statistics: Developing an Introductory Statistics Course for Pre-Service Elementary Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Jennifer L.; Blankenship, Erin E.

    2013-01-01

    We developed an introductory statistics course for pre-service elementary teachers. In this paper, we describe the goals and structure of the course, as well as the assessments we implemented. Additionally, we use example course work to demonstrate pre-service teachers' progress both in learning statistics and as novice teachers. Overall, the…

  17. Experimental Population Genetics in the Introductory Genetics Laboratory Using "Drosophila" as a Model Organism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Ronald; Kennon, Tillman

    2009-01-01

    Hypotheses of population genetics are derived and tested by students in the introductory genetics laboratory classroom as they explore the effects of biotic variables (physical traits of fruit flies) and abiotic variables (island size and distance) on fruit fly populations. In addition to this hypothesis-driven experiment, the development of…

  18. The Use of Photographs to Portray Urban Ecosystems in Six Introductory Environmental Science Textbooks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, John P.

    2008-01-01

    This study examined how photographs in six introductory environmental science texts portrayed the urban environments in which most U.S. students lived. All photographs from all texts were coded to determine whether they depicted urban areas. The urban photographs were then coded to determine what they communicated about the urban environment. The…

  19. Instructors' Support of Student Autonomy in an Introductory Physics Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Nicholas; Webb, David

    2014-01-01

    The role of autonomy in the student experience in a large-enrollment undergraduate introductory physics course was studied from a self-determination theory perspective. A correlational study investigated whether certain aspects of the student experience correlated with how autonomy supportive (versus controlling) students perceived their…

  20. 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…

  1. Connecting Biology and Organic Chemistry Introductory Laboratory Courses through a Collaborative Research Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boltax, Ariana L.; Armanious, Stephanie; Kosinski-Collins, Melissa S.; Pontrello, Jason K.

    2015-01-01

    Modern research often requires collaboration of experts in fields, such as math, chemistry, biology, physics, and computer science to develop unique solutions to common problems. Traditional introductory undergraduate laboratory curricula in the sciences often do not emphasize connections possible between the various disciplines. We designed an…

  2. How We Teach Introductory Bible Courses: A Comparative and Historical Sampling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornell, Collin; LeMon, Joel M.

    2016-01-01

    This study identifies the dominant modes of biblical interpretation being taught in introductory Bible courses through a qualitative analysis of course syllabi from three institutional contexts: evangelical Christian colleges, private colleges, and public universities. Despite a proliferation of methods and scholarly approaches to the Bible, this…

  3. PsychBusters: A Means of Fostering Critical Thinking in the Introductory Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blessing, Stephen B.; Blessing, Jennifer S.

    2010-01-01

    We discuss a project given to introductory psychology students that increased their critical thinking regarding psychological findings, such as those that might appear in news reports (e.g., "listening to Mozart makes you smarter") or everyday life (e.g., "birds of a feather flock together"). Relative to students who did not do the project,…

  4. Using a Serious Game Approach to Teach Secure Coding in Introductory Programming: Development and Initial Findings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adamo-Villani, Nicoletta; Oania, Marcus; Cooper, Stephen

    2013-01-01

    We report the development and initial evaluation of a serious game that, in conjunction with appropriately designed matching laboratory exercises, can be used to teach secure coding and Information Assurance (IA) concepts across a range of introductory computing courses. The IA Game is a role-playing serious game (RPG) in which the student travels…

  5. "Economics with Training Wheels": Using Blogs in Teaching and Assessing Introductory Economics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cameron, Michael P.

    2012-01-01

    Blogs provide a dynamic interactive medium for online discussion, consistent with communal constructivist pedagogy. The author of this article describes and evaluates a blog assignment used in the teaching and assessment of a small (40-60 students) introductory economics course. Using qualitative and quantitative data collected across four…

  6. 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)

  7. 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…

  8. The Role of an Actuarial Director in the Development of an Introductory Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staples, Susan G.

    2014-01-01

    We describe the roles and duties of a director in developing an introductory actuarial program. Degree plan design, specialized exam courses, internship classes, coordination of efforts with Economics and Finance Departments, opportunities for creating a minor in actuarial mathematics, actuarial clubs, career advice, and interaction with actuarial…

  9. Beyond Euler's Method: Implicit Finite Differences in an Introductory ODE Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kull, Trent C.

    2011-01-01

    A typical introductory course in ordinary differential equations (ODEs) exposes students to exact solution methods. However, many differential equations must be approximated with numerical methods. Textbooks commonly include explicit methods such as Euler's and Improved Euler's. Implicit methods are typically introduced in more advanced courses…

  10. Interactive Introductory Nutrition Course Focusing on Disease Prevention Increased Whole-Grain Consumption by College Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, Eun-Jeong; Caine-Bish, Natalie

    2011-01-01

    Objective: To estimate current consumption of whole grains in college students and determine whether there would be an increase in whole-grain consumption after the students completed an interactive introductory nutrition course focusing on disease prevention. Methods: Eighty college students, 18-24 years old, participated in the study. Grain and…

  11. The Treatment of Industrial/Organizational Psychology in Introductory Psychology Textbooks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Stephen; Millard, Richard J.

    1984-01-01

    An content analysis of introductory psychology textbooks revealed that only 25 percent of the texts include a section on industrial/organizational (I/O) psychology and that another 25 percent fail to even mention the area. Such limited coverage of the I/O field may limit career alternatives that students consider. (RM)

  12. Coverage of Industrial/Organizational Psychology in Introductory Psychology Textbooks: An Update.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maynard, Douglas C.; Geberth, Karen L.; Joseph, Todd A.

    2002-01-01

    Examines the extent to which industrial/organizational (I/O) psychology is covered within introductory psychology textbooks (n=54). Determined whether I/O psychology was in a section, appendix, or chapter; and also compiled the number of pages that contained I/O psychology. Reports that only one-fourth of the textbooks had an overview. (CMK)

  13. OkCupid Data for Introductory Statistics and Data Science Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Albert Y.; Escobedo-Land, Adriana

    2015-01-01

    We present a data set consisting of user profile data for 59,946 San Francisco OkCupid users (a free online dating website) from June 2012. The data set includes typical user information, lifestyle variables, and text responses to 10 essay questions. We present four example analyses suitable for use in undergraduate introductory probability and…

  14. If You Record It, Some Won't Come: Using Lecture Capture in Introductory Psychology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drouin, Michelle A.

    2014-01-01

    In this study, I examined the effects of offering supplemental video lecture recordings to students in a face-to-face introductory psychology course. I employed a quasi-experimental design, in which one section had lectures recordings available (recordings of the face-to-face lecture) and one section did not, and I examined whether class section…

  15. The Lack of Representation of Educational Psychology and School Psychology in Introductory Psychology Textbooks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucas, Jennifer L.; Blazek, Melissa A.; Raley, Amber B.; Washington, Christi

    2005-01-01

    The first goal of this study was to look at the representation of educational and school psychology in introductory psychology textbooks. Research into the representation of other sub-fields of psychology has been conducted but no research has looked specifically at educational or school psychology. The second goal was to compare the…

  16. Coverage of the Stanford Prison Experiment in Introductory Social Psychology Textbooks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griggs, Richard A.; Whitehead, George I., III

    2014-01-01

    This study is concerned with the nature of the coverage in introductory social psychology textbooks of the Stanford prison experiment (SPE), given the many criticisms, especially recently, of the SPE. These criticisms concern both the study's methodology and the situationist explanation of the outcome. Ten textbooks were analyzed for coverage of…

  17. Conceptual Framework to Help Promote Retention and Transfer in the Introductory Chemical Engineering Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanyak, Michael E., Jr.

    2015-01-01

    In an introductory chemical engineering course, the conceptual framework of a holistic problem-solving methodology in conjunction with a problem-based learning approach has been shown to create a learning environment that nurtures deep learning rather than surface learning. Based on exam scores, student grades are either the same or better than…

  18. 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…

  19. Another Nibble at the Core: Student Learning in a Thematically-Focused Introductory Sociology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Jay R.; Novak, Katherine B.; Cline, Krista M. C.; Scott, Marvin B.

    2014-01-01

    Identifying and assessing core knowledge has been and continues to be a challenge that vexes the discipline of sociology. With the adoption of a thematic approach to courses in the core curriculum at Butler University, faculty teaching Introductory Sociology were presented with the opportunity and challenge of defining the core knowledge and…

  20. Looking for Work: The Coverage of Work in Canadian Introductory Sociology Textbooks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixon, Shane Michael; Quirke, Linda

    2014-01-01

    This paper examines the textual coverage of the topic of work in Canadian English--language introductory sociology textbooks. Our findings are based on a content analysis of 21 Canadian texts published between 2008 and 2012. We found that only 12 of 21 textbooks included a chapter on work, suggesting that work occupies a peripheral position in…