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Abstract Title: Juried Talks II
Abstract: This session consists of four juried talks.
Abstract Type: Juried Talk Session
Session Time: Parallel Sessions Cluster III
Room: Congressional B

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Organizing Committee

Symposium Specific Information

Presentation 1 Title: Comparing Methods for Addressing Missing Data for Concept Inventories
Presentation 1 Authors: J. Nissen, R. Donatello, and B. Van Dusen
Presentation 1 Abstract: The most common method for addressing missing data in the PER literature is complete case analysis, where researchers only analyze matched samples. However, many statisticians recommend researchers use multiple-imputation (MI) to address missing data. We used simulated datasets to compare estimates of student learning using complete case analysis and MI. We based the simulated datasets on grades and concept inventories from 1,310 students in 3 physics courses and grade distributions from 192 STEM courses. We created missing data in the simulated datasets based on participation models from Jariwala et al. (PERC, 2017). Results showed that complete-case analysis tended to overestimate scores with a larger effect on the posttest but that MI only slightly overestimated scores. To improve the accuracy, precision, and utility of pre/post CI measurements, we recommend that researchers use MI and that researchers report descriptive statistics for both the participants and non-participants in their studies.
Presentation 2 Title: When students are in an indeterminate state: Valuing the messiness of students' ontological reasoning in quantum mechanics
Presentation 2 Authors: J.R. Hoehn and N.D. Finkelstein
Presentation 2 Abstract: Student reasoning in physics can be messy, and this messiness ought be valued because, in part, it can lead to students having wonderful ideas.  Messiness of student reasoning takes many forms; here we consider the messiness of ontological structures (categorical organization of entities, such as "photon" or "electron"). We present a framework to describe the dynamics of ontologies. In a Modern Physics course environment, we demonstrate students' flexible use of ontologies in multiple contexts and show how the messiness of reasoning structures can be valuable for student learning. Finally, we identify pedagogical and curricular cues that may or may not invoke certain patterns of use of ontological structures. In so doing, we seek to move beyond the "get it or don't get it" view of student learning and focus instead on valuing and supporting the messiness and tentative nature of students' reasoning, or the having of wonderful ideas.
Presentation 3 Title: Student Outcomes Across Collaborative-Learning Environments
Presentation 3 Authors: X. Herrera, J. Nissen, and B. Van Dusen
Presentation 3 Abstract: The Learning Assistant (LA) model supports instructors in implementing research-based teaching practices in their own courses. In the LA model undergraduate students are hired to help facilitate research-based collaborative-learning activities. Using the Learning About STEM Student Outcomes (LASSO) database, we examined student learning from 112 first-semester physics courses that used either lecture-based instruction, collaborative instruction without LAs, or LA supported instruction. We measured student learning using 5959 students' responses on the Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation (FMCE) or Force Concept Inventory (FCI). Results from Hierarchical Linear Models (HLM) indicated that LA supported courses had higher posttest scores than collaborative courses without LAs and that LA supported courses that used LAs in laboratory and recitation had higher posttest scores than those that used LAs in lecture.
Presentation 4 Title: How Freshmen Generate Evidence for Reasoning in Physics and Non-physics Tasks
Presentation 4 Authors: B. Ibrahim and L. Ding
Presentation 4 Abstract: We explore undergraduate students' sources of self-generated evidence and their meta-cognition when they solve physics and non-physics questions. Our sample comprises 50 freshmen taking or having taken introductory physics. Each student participated in a one-hour interview to complete five open-ended reasoning questions taken from published instruments. Two questions are non-physics that deal with correlation of variables. The three physics questions pertain to the topic of energy. Results indicate that for the non-physics questions, the students predominantly used given information in the task as source of evidence. They realised that everyday experiences or assumptions are informal ideas and hence assigned them a less weight. For the physics questions, the students did not realise that they used informal ideas. They packaged informal knowledge in the form of formal physics knowledge. These differences may be explained by the students' ease to deal with the context of the questions and cognitive load.