Research on Interactive Engagement Methods in Physics Education Suzanne Amador Kane, Haverford...

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Research on Interactive Engagement Methods in Physics Education Suzanne Amador Kane, Haverford College Interactive Engagement methods allow students to participate in class activities that teach and provide formative assessment A variety of IE methods have been developed based on education research How do we evaluate whether various Interactive Engagement methods work?
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Transcript of Research on Interactive Engagement Methods in Physics Education Suzanne Amador Kane, Haverford...

  • Slide 1
  • Research on Interactive Engagement Methods in Physics Education Suzanne Amador Kane, Haverford College Interactive Engagement methods allow students to participate in class activities that teach and provide formative assessment A variety of IE methods have been developed based on education research How do we evaluate whether various Interactive Engagement methods work?
  • Slide 2
  • Eric Mazurs Harvard experience Eric Mazur proposes that the most important aspect of teaching is knowing what students know (before & during lecture) He has found in studies done over 10 years that asking students questions during lectures & before demonstrations and labs significantly improves learning by several measures The questions allow students to participate in lecture & allow everyone to see whether a concept has been understood http://mazur-www.harvard.edu/
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  • Mazurs ConcepTest idea: Mazur created simple interactive questions to pose to students in lecture. Students forms pairs and discuss the questions during class Answers are gathered & assessed Instructor can allow more discussion, move on or explain more. 3 to 5 questions are used each class http://mazur-www.harvard.edu/
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  • Mazurs group followed IE methods for 10 years in a variety of institutions How do you assess results? Most groups use one of two standardized tests These tests measure conceptual understanding However, each brings cultural context and possible interpretational issues
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  • More Interactive Engagement Chemistrys POGIL project MITs TEAL (Technology Enabled Active Learning) Studio Physics Tutorials in Physics (U. Washington) Studio Physics (RPI) U. Maryland Physics North Carolina State U.s SCALE-UP MIT TEAL
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  • Ideas from education research that can be probed using IE methods Testing preconceptions Addressing particular issues found most perplexing and difficult to learn Asking pre- and post-discussion questions to motivate students Seeing whether a class is ready to move on Allowing students to see how others are doing
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  • However, IE by itself can be ineffective In an AJP article, Yeo et al. discovered that interactive multimedia can be ineffectual teaching tools for physics. In their study, students used a popular computer animation package to explore physical phenomena. They were supposed to explore the experiments and discover unexpected effects.
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  • However, most of the time, the students were not reflecting on what they saw:
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  • Students tended to quickly perform the multimedia exercises, without appreciating what their point was. Having an instructor merely talk with them improved their experience greatly.
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  • The Matrix Effect Jonnie Pober (HC Physics 07) points out that computer simulations have another defect Students know that computers can be programmed to show whatever effect is desired. This may mean that multimedia exercises are regarded with suspicion (a la The Matrix).
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  • IE Methods can be highly effective in enhancing traditional methods: Catherine Crouch (now at Swat!) et al. learned that traditional classroom demonstrations often do not change students understanding of a physical phenomenon, even when they see an experiment before their eyes that challenges their preconceptions In their study in AJP, Crouch et al. showed that student understanding of physical concepts was influenced significantly by having students: A) first predict the result of a demonstration, then B) witness the demonstration, then C) answer a follow-up question and explain the resolution of any contradiction between parts A and C.
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  • Watch out for subtleties in how you assess Laura McCullough, U. Wisconsin Stout has explored gender bias in the Force Concept Inventory test, constructed in the late 1990s The people portrayed in the test questions are almost all white males, and the test questions have what she deemed a male- oriented bias (sports, weapons, etc. based questions) What happens if the quesitons are made gender-neutral or biased in the reversed (stereotypical) direction?
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