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Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research
written by Stephanie V. Chasteen, Steven J. Pollock, Rachel E. Pepper, and Katherine K. Perkins
Over the course of four years, we have researched and transformed a key course in the career of an undergraduate physics major--junior-level electricity and magnetism. With the aim of educating our majors based on a more complete understanding of the cognitive and conceptual challenges of upper-division courses, we used principles of active engagement and learning theory to develop course materials and conceptual assessments. Our research results from student and faculty interviews and observations also informed our approach. We present several measures of the outcomes of this work at the University of Colorado at Boulder and external institutions. Students in the transformed courses achieved higher learning gains compared to those in the traditionally taught courses, particularly in the areas of conceptual understanding and ability to articulate their reasoning about a problem. The course transformations appear to close a gender gap, improving female students' scores on conceptual and traditional assessments so that they are more similar to those of male students. Students enthusiastically support the transformations, and indicate that several course elements provide useful scaffolding in conceptual understanding, as well as physicists' "habits of mind" such as problem-solving approaches and work habits. Despite these positive outcomes, student conceptual learning gains do not fully meet faculty expectations, suggesting that it is valuable to further investigate how the content and skills indicative of "thinking like a physicist" can be most usefully taught at the upper division.
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Subjects ADS Supplements Resource Types
Education - Applied Research
- Active Learning
- Curriculum Development
= Course
- Pedagogy
Education - Basic Research
- Assessment
Electricity & Magnetism
- General
General Physics
- Curriculum
- Reference Material
= Report
= Research study
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
- PER Literature
- Professional/Practitioners
- Researchers
- Educators
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Format:
application/pdf
Mirror:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRev…
Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.
Rights Holder:
American Physical Society
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.8.020107
NSF Number:
0737118
PACSs:
01.40.Di
01.40.Fk
01.40.G-
01.40.gb
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created February 23, 2013 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
February 24, 2013 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
August 29, 2012
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
S. Chasteen, S. Pollock, R. Pepper, and K. Perkins, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 8 (2), 020107 (2012), WWW Document, (http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12648&DocID=3220).
AJP/PRST-PER
S. Chasteen, S. Pollock, R. Pepper, and K. Perkins, Transforming the junior level: Outcomes from instruction and research in E&M, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 8 (2), 020107 (2012), <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12648&DocID=3220>.
APA Format
Chasteen, S., Pollock, S., Pepper, R., & Perkins, K. (2012, August 29). Transforming the junior level: Outcomes from instruction and research in E&M. Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res., 8(2), 020107. Retrieved September 19, 2014, from http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12648&DocID=3220
Chicago Format
Chasteen, S, S. Pollock, R. Pepper, and K. Perkins. "Transforming the junior level: Outcomes from instruction and research in E&M." Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 8, no. 2, (August 29, 2012): 020107, http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12648&DocID=3220 (accessed 19 September 2014).
MLA Format
Chasteen, Stephanie, Steven Pollock, Rachel Pepper, and Katherine Perkins. "Transforming the junior level: Outcomes from instruction and research in E&M." Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 8.2 (2012): 020107. 19 Sep. 2014 <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12648&DocID=3220>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Stephanie Chasteen and Steven Pollock and Rachel Pepper and Katherine Perkins", Title = {Transforming the junior level: Outcomes from instruction and research in E&M}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {8}, Number = {2}, Pages = {020107}, Month = {August}, Year = {2012} }
Refer Export Format

%A Stephanie Chasteen
%A Steven Pollock
%A Rachel Pepper
%A Katherine Perkins
%T Transforming the junior level: Outcomes from instruction and research in E&M
%J Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.
%V 8
%N 2
%D August 29, 2012
%P 020107
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12648&DocID=3220
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article
%A Chasteen, Stephanie
%A Pollock, Steven
%A Pepper, Rachel
%A Perkins, Katherine
%D August 29, 2012
%T Transforming the junior level: Outcomes from instruction and research in E&M
%J Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.
%V 8
%N 2
%P 020107
%8 August 29, 2012
%U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12648&DocID=3220


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The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

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