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Morphew, Jason W.; Gladding, Gary E.; Mestre, Jose P. – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2020
Students must actively engage in problem solving to effectively learn in introductory physics courses. However, students often get stuck and are not able to make progress when solving problems outside of their current ability, particularly when one-on-one tutoring and instructor office hours are a limited resource. One effective technique consists…
Descriptors: Metacognition, Problem Solving, Introductory Courses, Physics
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Stoen, Siera M.; McDaniel, Mark A.; Frey, Regina F.; Hynes, K. Mairin; Cahill, Michael J. – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2020
The Force Concept Inventory (FCI) can serve as a summative assessment of students' conceptual knowledge at the end of introductory physics, but previous work has suggested that the knowledge measured by this instrument is not a unitary construct. In this article, we consider the idea that FCI performance may reflect a number of student attributes…
Descriptors: Physics, Scientific Concepts, Student Characteristics, Calculus
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Eaton, Philip; Willoughby, Shannon – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2020
As targeted, single-conception curriculum research becomes more prevalent in physics education research (PER), the need for a more sophisticated statistical understanding of the conceptual surveys used becomes apparent. Previously, the factor structure of the Force Concept Inventory (FCI) was examined using exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and…
Descriptors: Item Response Theory, Factor Analysis, Factor Structure, Models
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Warren, Aaron R. – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2020
The evaluation of hypotheses, and the ability to learn from critical reflection on experimental and theoretical tests of those hypotheses, is central to an authentic practice of physics. A large part of physics education therefore seeks to help students understand the significance of this kind of reflective practice and to develop the strategies…
Descriptors: Epistemology, Bayesian Statistics, Physics, Science Instruction
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Ivanjek, Lana; Shaffer, Peter; Planinic, Maja – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2020
The topic of atomic spectra is part of university and secondary school curricula around the world. Relatively little research, however, has been done on the learning and teaching of this subject, despite the fact that it forms a foundation for advanced study in quantum mechanics, astronomy, and astrophysics. A systematic investigation into student…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Scientific Concepts, Concept Formation, Physics
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Sirnoorkar, Amogh; Mazumdar, Anwesh; Kumar, Arvind – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2020
We elaborate on a new approach of assessing content-based epistemic clarity of college physics students in terms of their ability to discriminate between different epistemic warrants for propositions in a chained argument in physics. A threefold classification (nominal, physical, and mathematical) of warrants is used, with each class split into a…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Instruction, College Science, Measurement Techniques
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Kestin, Greg; Miller, Kelly; McCarty, Logan S.; Callaghan, Kristina; Deslauriers, Louis – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2020
Nearly every introductory physics or chemistry course includes live lecture demonstrations, which can range from simple illustrations of a pendulum to elaborate productions with specialized apparatus and highly trained demonstrators. Students and instructors often consider "demos" to be among the highlights of these classes. Yet, in some…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Instructional Effectiveness, Lecture Method, Video Technology
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Holmes, N. G.; Keep, Benjamin; Wieman, Carl E. – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2020
Scientific expertise is manifested through extensive cycles of making and acting on decisions. To learn the processes and practices of science, therefore, students must have practice with scientific decision making. We argue that this can only happen if students are afforded agency: the opportunity to make decisions to pursue a goal. In this…
Descriptors: Expertise, Science Process Skills, Student Participation, Student Empowerment
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Smith, Trevor I.; Louis, Kyle J.; Ricci, Bartholomew J., IV.; Bendjilali, Nasrine – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2020
Research-based assessment instruments (RBAIs) are ubiquitous throughout both physics instruction and physics education research. The vast majority of analyses involving student responses to RBAI questions have focused on whether or not a student selects correct answers and using correctness to measure growth. This approach often undervalues the…
Descriptors: Multiple Choice Tests, Item Response Theory, Physics, Science Tests
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Coletta, Vincent P.; Steinert, Jeffrey J. – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2020
Recently, Nissen et al. argued in this journal for the use of Cohen's d, in place of the more commonly used normalized gain, in the analysis of preinstruction and postinstruction scores on concept inventories used to measure the effectiveness of instruction. Their reason for advocating such a change is that they say normalized gains are…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Tests, Scores, Test Norms
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Priemer, Burkhard; Pfeiler, Stephan; Ludwig, Tobias – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2020
We report the findings of an empirical study that investigated whether the source of data--firsthand or secondhand data gained from lab work experiments--has an influence on students' learning outcomes. Results indicate that students' choice of a correct or incorrect hypothesis for a pendulum lab experiment on the influence of the mass of the bob…
Descriptors: Laboratory Experiments, Science Experiments, Motion, Scientific Concepts
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Chasteen, Stephanie V.; Scherr, Rachel E. – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2020
Given the insufficient number of well-qualified future physics teachers in the U.S., physics programs often seek guidance for how to address this national need. Measurement tools can provide such guidance, by both defining excellence in physics teacher education (PTE) and providing a means to measure progress towards excellence. This paper…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Teachers, Teacher Education Programs, Scoring Rubrics
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Scherr, Rachel E.; Chasteen, Stephanie V. – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2020
Systematic research on physics teacher education (PTE) programs in the United States is rare, owing both to the great variety of practices and structures enacted by U.S. PTE programs and to the lack of measurement tools available to measure what successful PTE programs do. To help meet the need for a specific, objective, and reliable guide for…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Teachers, Teacher Education Programs, Science Instruction
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Küchemann, S.; Klein, P.; Fouckhardt, H.; Gröber, S.; Kuhn, J. – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2020
The concepts of the Coriolis and the centrifugal force are essential in various scientific fields and they are standard components of introductory physics lectures. In this paper, we explore how students understand and apply concepts of rotating frames of reference in the context of an example lecture demonstration experiment. We found in a…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Scientific Concepts, Physics, Concept Formation
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Yonai, Ella; Blonder, Ron – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2020
The goal of this research is to provide a rich set of connections between two fields: (i) Nanoscale science and technology (NST) and (ii) topics from a common middle school physics curriculum. NST is emerging as one of the most promising new fields of the 21st century, which is one of the many arguments for including NST topics in secondary…
Descriptors: Secondary School Science, Science Instruction, Physics, Molecular Structure
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