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Nissen, Jayson M.; Talbot, Robert M.; Thompson, Amreen Nasim; Van Dusen, Ben – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2018
Measuring student learning is a complicated but necessary task for understanding the effectiveness of instruction and issues of equity in college science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses. Our investigation focused on the implications on claims about student learning that result from choosing between one of two commonly used…
Descriptors: STEM Education, Databases, Physics, Chemistry
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Crouch, Catherine H.; Wisittanawat, Panchompoo; Cai, Ming; Renninger, K. Ann – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2018
In response to national calls for improved physical sciences education for students pursuing careers in the life sciences and medicine, reformed introductory physics for life sciences (IPLS) courses are being developed. This exploratory study is among the first to assess the effect of an IPLS course on students' attitudes, interest, and…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Student Attitudes, Student Interests, Physics
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Klein, P.; Viiri, J.; Mozaffari, S.; Dengel, A.; Kuhn, J. – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2018
Relating mathematical concepts to graphical representations is a challenging task for students. In this paper, we introduce two visual strategies to qualitatively interpret the divergence of graphical vector field representations. One strategy is based on the graphical interpretation of partial derivatives, while the other is based on the flux…
Descriptors: Eye Movements, Majors (Students), Physics, College Students
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Maries, Alexandru; Singh, Chandralekha – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2018
Drawing appropriate diagrams is a useful problem solving heuristic that can transform a problem into a representation that is easier to exploit for solving it. One major focus while helping introductory physics students learn effective problem solving is to help them understand that drawing diagrams can facilitate problem solution. We conducted an…
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Physics, Introductory Courses, Comparative Analysis
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Yasuda, Jun-ichro; Mae, Naohiro; Hull, Michael M.; Taniguchi, Masa-aki – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2018
In this study, we analyze the systematic error from false positives of the Force Concept Inventory (FCI). We compare the systematic errors of question 6 (Q.6), Q.7, and Q.16, for which clearly erroneous reasoning has been found, with Q.5, for which clearly erroneous reasoning has not been found. We determine whether or not a correct response to a…
Descriptors: Scientific Concepts, Science Instruction, College Science, Physics
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Gette, Cody R.; Kryjevskaia, Mila; Stetzer, MacKenzie R.; Heron, Paula R. L. – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2018
A growing body of scholarly work indicates that student performance on physics problems stems from many factors, including relevant conceptual understanding. However, in contexts in which significant conceptual difficulties have been documented via research, it can be difficult to pinpoint and isolate such factors because students' written and…
Descriptors: Case Studies, Science Instruction, Scientific Principles, Physics
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Traxler, Adrienne; Henderson, Rachel; Stewart, John; Stewart, Gay; Papak, Alexis; Lindell, Rebecca – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2018
Research on the test structure of the Force Concept Inventory (FCI) has largely ignored gender, and research on FCI gender effects (often reported as "gender gaps") has seldom interrogated the structure of the test. These rarely crossed streams of research leave open the possibility that the FCI may not be structurally valid across…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Instruction, Sex Fairness, Gender Differences
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Pawlak, Alanna; Irving, Paul W.; Caballero, Marcos D. – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2018
Group work is becoming increasingly common in introductory physics classrooms. Understanding how students engage in these group learning environments is important for designing and facilitating productive learning opportunities for students. We conducted a study in which we collected video of groups of students working on conceptual electricity…
Descriptors: Cooperative Learning, Video Technology, Scientific Concepts, Energy
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Scott, Terry F.; Schumayer, Dániel – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2018
The Force Concept Inventory was designed to poll the Newtonian conception of force. While there are many in-depth studies analyzing response data that look at the structure of the correct answers, we believe that the incorrect answers also carry revealing information about the students' worldview. The inventory was originally designed so that the…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Instruction, Scientific Concepts, World Views
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Ene, Emanuela; Ackerson, Bruce J. – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2018
We describe the construction, validation, and testing of a concept inventory for an "Introduction to Physics of Semiconductors" course offered by the department of physics to undergraduate engineering students. By design, this inventory addresses both content knowledge and the ability to interpret content via different cognitive…
Descriptors: Physics, Science Instruction, Small Classes, College Science
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Amos, Nathaniel; Heckler, Andrew F. – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2018
In the context of introductory physics, we study student conceptual understanding of differentials, differential products, and integrals and possible pathways to understanding these quantities. We developed a multiple choice conceptual assessment employing a variety of physical contexts probing physical understanding of these three quantities and…
Descriptors: Physics, Introductory Courses, Science Instruction, Scores
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Young, Nicholas T.; Heckler, Andrew F. – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2018
In the context of a generic harmonic oscillator, we investigated students' accuracy in determining the period, frequency, and angular frequency from mathematical and graphical representations. In a series of studies including interviews, free response tests, and multiple-choice tests developed in an iterative process, we assessed students in both…
Descriptors: Interviews, Accuracy, Multiple Choice Tests, Algebra
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Johnson, Keith; Willoughby, Shannon – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2018
This article discusses our investigation regarding nature of science (NOS) implementations and epistemological beliefs within an undergraduate introductory astronomy course. The five year study consists of two years of baseline data in which no explicit use of NOS material was implemented, then three years of subsequent data in which specific NOS…
Descriptors: Epistemology, Beliefs, Scientific Principles, Undergraduate Students
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Cahill, Michael J.; McDaniel, Mark A.; Frey, Regina F.; Hynes, K. Mairin; Repice, Michelle; Zhao, Jiuqing; Trousil, Rebecca – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2018
Student attitudes, defined as the extent to which one holds expertlike beliefs about and approaches to physics, are a major research topic in physics education research. An implicit but rarely tested assumption underlying much of this research is that student attitudes play a significant part in student learning and performance. The current study…
Descriptors: Student Attitudes, Learning, Correlation, Physics
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Brewe, Eric; Dou, Remy; Shand, Robert – Physical Review Physics Education Research, 2018
Although active learning is supported by strong evidence of efficacy in undergraduate science instruction, institutions of higher education have yet to embrace comprehensive change. Costs of transforming instruction are regularly cited as a key factor in not adopting active-learning instructional practices. Some cite that alternative methods to…
Descriptors: Active Learning, Introductory Courses, Physics, Educational Finance
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