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2006 PERC Proceedings

Conference Information

Dates: July 26-27, 2006
Location: Syracuse, NY
Theme: Discipline-based Education Research in Other STEM Disciplines

Proceedings Information

Editors: Laura McCullough, Leon Hsu, and Paula Heron
Published: January 30, 2007
AIP URL: AIP Conference Proceedings 883
Info: Single book; 222 pages; 8.5 X 11 inches, double column
ISBN: 978-0-7354-0383-3
ISSN (Print): 0094-243X
ISSN (Online): 1551-7616

The 2006 Physics Education Research Conference brought together researchers studying a wide variety of topics in physics education including transfer of knowledge, learning in upper level physics courses, preservice education, and cross-disciplinary learning. The theme of this conference was "Discipline-Based Education Research in Other STEM Disciplines.

Readership: This proceedings will be of interest to physics education researchers, faculty, post-doctoral students and graduate students. It will also be of interest to physics faculty at undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as high school physics teachers.

Table of Contents

Front Matter
Invited Papers (12)
Peer-reviewed Papers (36)
Back Matter

INVITED MANUSCRIPTS (12)

First Author Index

Klymkowsky · Sanger · Aubrecht II · Lindell · Adams · Kautz · Bing · Ambrose · McKagan · Meltzer · Singh · Scherr

Invited Papers

Avoiding Reflex Responses: Strategies for Revealing Students' Conceptual Understanding in Biology
Michael Klymkowsky, Rachel Gheen, and Kathy Garvin-Doxas
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 3-6, doi:10.1063/1.2508676
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There is widespread concern about the level of scientific literacy in the U. S. An important, although often overlooked, point, is that student learning is generally only a good as the assessments used to measure it. Unfortunately, most assessments measure recall and recognition rather than conceptual understanding, and as a result over-estimate levels of scientific literacy. We have encountered this fact during the construction of the Biology Concept Inventory (BCI). Using the concept of diffusion, which is taught in a wide range of introductory biology, chemistry, and physics courses, as an exemplar, we describe lessons learned and strategies we use to create questions that better probe student understanding.

M. Klymkowsky, R. Gheen, and K. Garvin-Doxas, Avoiding Reflex Responses: Strategies for Revealing Students' Conceptual Understanding in Biology, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 3-6 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508676.

Is Inquiry-Based Instruction Good for Elementary Teaching Majors? The Effects on Chemistry Content Knowledge and Views About Teaching and Learning Science
Michael Sanger
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 7-10, doi:10.1063/1.2508677
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Although science educators have advocated that elementary teaching majors learn science concepts using inquiry-based methods, many college professors believe that these courses are merely “watered down” versions of traditional lecture-based courses. This study compared the chemistry content knowledge of elementary teaching majors enrolled in an inquiry-based course and science majors enrolled in traditional lecture-based courses. It also compared the elementary teaching majors' views of how science is taught and learned to the views of secondary science teaching majors. The elementary teaching majors developed chemistry content knowledge comparable to the students enrolled in the traditional lecture-based course, but they developed views regarding how science is taught and learned that were more in line with the constructivist ideals than the secondary science teaching majors. The elementary teaching majors also improved their interest and confidence in teaching science in the elementary school setting. These results suggest that both sets of teaching majors would benefit more from inquiry-based science courses than lecture-based courses.

M. Sanger, Is Inquiry-Based Instruction Good for Elementary Teaching Majors? The Effects on Chemistry Content Knowledge and Views About Teaching and Learning Science, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 7-10 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508677.

Physics Education Research and Human Subjects: The PER Community and Institutional Review Boards
Gordon J. Aubrecht, II
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 11-13, doi:10.1063/1.2508679
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This workshop was a discussion among participants about human subjects and Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) and dealt with the following questions: (1) What are the important human subjects issues facing physics education researchers? Do few, many, or most PER projects raise issues of confidentiality, liability, withholding of learning, differences in grading policy, impact of the student lack of informed consent, or other ethical issues? (2) Should PER physicists at each institution create a common IRB form to be used by all PER researchers at that institution? (3) Should the PER community as a group address the IRB issues as a community? If so, what might the outcome be? (4) Should all PER research be exempt from IRB approval, given the extreme unlikelihood of student physical or emotional damage? How could such global exemption be achieved?

G. J. A. II, Physics Education Research and Human Subjects: The PER Community and Institutional Review Boards, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 11-13 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508679.

Are They All Created Equal? A Comparison of Different Concept Inventory Development Methodologies
Rebecca S. Lindell, Elizabeth Peak, and Thomas M. Foster
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 14-17, doi:10.1063/1.2508680
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The creation of the Force Concept Inventory (FCI) was a seminal moment for Physics Education Research. Based on the development of the FCI, many more concept inventories have been developed. The problem with the development of all of these concept inventories is there does not seem to be a concise methodology for developing these inventories, nor is there a concise definition of what these inventories measure. By comparing the development methodologies of many common Physics and Astronomy Concept Inventories we can draw inferences about different types of concept inventories, as well as different valid conclusions that can be drawn from the administration of these inventories. Inventories compared include: Astronomy Diagnostic Test (ADT), Brief Electricity and Magnetism Assessment (BEMA), Conceptual Survey in Electricity and Magnetism (CSEM), Diagnostic Exam Electricity and Magnetism (DEEM), Determining and Interpreting Resistive Electric Circuits Concept Test (DIRECT), Energy and Motion Conceptual Survey (EMCS), Force Concept Inventory (FCI), Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation (FMCE), Lunar Phases Concept Inventory (LPCI), Test of Understanding Graphs in Kinematics (TUG-K) and Wave Concept Inventory (WCI).

R. S. Lindell, E. Peak, and T. M. Foster, Are They All Created Equal? A Comparison of Different Concept Inventory Development Methodologies, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 14-17 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508680.

Problem Solving Skill Evaluation Instrument — Validation Studies
Wendy K. Adams and Carl E. Wieman
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 18-21, doi:10.1063/1.2508681
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Researchers have created several tools for evaluating conceptual understanding as well as students' attitudes and beliefs about physics; however, the field of problem solving is sorely lacking a broad use evaluation tool. This missing tool is an indication of the complexity of the field. The most obvious and largest hurdle to evaluating physics problem solving skills is untangling the skills from the physics content knowledge necessary to solve problems. We are tackling this problem by looking for the physics problem solving skills that are useful in other disciplines as well as physics. We report on the results of a series of interviews comparing physics students' skills when solving physics problems with their anonymous completion of the problem solving instrument.

W. K. Adams and C. E. Wieman, Problem Solving Skill Evaluation Instrument — Validation Studies, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 18-21 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508681.

Physics Education Research in an Engineering Context
Christian H. Kautz
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 22-25, doi:10.1063/1.2508682
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We report on an ongoing investigation of student understanding in several introductory engineering courses at Hamburg University of Technology. Preliminary results from a first-year electrical engineering course indicate that many students did not gain a conceptual understanding of the material. Some students had difficulty interpreting graphical representations of information or displayed a lack of understanding of basic principles. Specific examples concerning load lines and three-phase systems are used to illustrate how general findings from physics education research can guide investigations of student understanding and the development of curriculum in an introductory engineering context.

C. H. Kautz, Physics Education Research in an Engineering Context, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 22-25 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508682.

The Cognitive Blending of Mathematics and Physics Knowledge
Thomas J. Bing and Edward F. Redish
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 26-29, doi:10.1063/1.2508683
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Numbers, variables, and equations are used differently in a physics class than in a pure mathematics class. In physics, these symbols not only obey formal mathematical rules but also carry physical ideas and relations. This paper focuses on modeling how this combination of physical and mathematical knowledge is constructed. The cognitive blending framework highlights both the different ways this combination can occur and the emergence of new insights and meaning that follows such a combination. After an introduction to the blending framework itself, several examples from undergraduate physics students' work are analyzed.

T. J. Bing and E. F. Redish, The Cognitive Blending of Mathematics and Physics Knowledge, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 26-29 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508683.

Probing Student Reasoning and Intuitions in Intermediate Mechanics: An Example with Linear Oscillations
Bradley S. Ambrose
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 30-33, doi:10.1063/1.2508684
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The study of linear oscillations—including simple harmonic, damped, and driven oscillations—is not only fundamental in classical mechanics but lies at the heart of numerous applications in the engineering sciences. Results from research conducted in the context of junior-level mechanics courses suggest the presence of specific conceptual and reasoning difficulties, many of which seem to be based on fundamental concepts. Evidence from pretests (ungraded quizzes) will be presented to illustrate critical difficulties in understanding conceptual underpinnings, relating concepts to graphical representations (e.g., motion graphs), and connecting the physics to the relevant differential equations of motion. Preliminary results from the development of a tutorial approach to instruction, modeled after Tutorials in Introductory Physics by McDermott, et al., suggest that such an approach can be effective in both physics and engineering courses. (Supported by NSF grants DUE-0441426 and DUE-0442388.).

B. S. Ambrose, Probing Student Reasoning and Intuitions in Intermediate Mechanics: An Example with Linear Oscillations, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 30-33 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508684.

Reforming a large lecture modern physics course for engineering majors using a PER-based design
Sam B. McKagan, Katherine K. Perkins, and Carl E. Wieman
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 34-37, doi:10.1063/1.2508685
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We have reformed a large lecture modern physics course for engineering majors by radically changing both the content and the learning techniques implemented in lecture and homework. Traditionally this course has been taught in a manner similar to the equivalent course for physics majors, focusing on mathematical solutions of abstract problems. Based on interviews with physics and engineering professors, we developed a syllabus and learning goals focused on content that was more useful to our actual student population: engineering majors. The content of this course emphasized reasoning development, model building, and connections to real world applications. In addition we implemented a variety of PER-based learning techniques, including peer instruction, collaborative homework sessions, and interactive simulations. We have assessed the effectiveness of reforms in this course using pre/post surveys on both content and beliefs. We have found significant improvements in both content knowledge and beliefs compared with the same course before implementing these reforms and a corresponding course for physics majors.

S. B. McKagan, K. K. Perkins, and C. E. Wieman, Reforming a large lecture modern physics course for engineering majors using a PER-based design, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 34-37 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508685.

Investigation of Student Learning in Thermodynamics and Implications for Instruction in Chemistry and Engineering
David E. Meltzer
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 38-41, doi:10.1063/1.2508686
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As part of an investigation into student learning of thermodynamics, we have probed the reasoning of students enrolled in introductory and advanced courses in both physics and chemistry. A particular focus of this work has been put on the learning difficulties encountered by physics, chemistry, and engineering students enrolled in an upper-level thermal physics course that included many topics also covered in physical chemistry courses. We have explored the evolution of students' understanding as they progressed from the introductory course through more advanced courses. Through this investigation we have gained insights into students' learning difficulties in thermodynamics at various levels. Our experience in addressing these learning difficulties may provide insights into analogous pedagogical issues in upper-level courses in both engineering and chemistry which focus on the theory and applications of thermodynamics.

D. E. Meltzer, Investigation of Student Learning in Thermodynamics and Implications for Instruction in Chemistry and Engineering, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 38-41 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508686.

Helping Students Learn Quantum Mechanics for Quantum Computing
Chandralekha Singh
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 42-45, doi:10.1063/1.2508687
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Quantum information science and technology is a rapidly growing interdisciplinary field drawing researchers from science and engineering fields. Traditional instruction in quantum mechanics is insufficient to prepare students for research in quantum computing because there is a lack of emphasis in the current curriculum on quantum formalism and dynamics. We are investigating the difficulties students have with quantum mechanics and are developing and evaluating quantum interactive learning tutorials (QuILTs) to reduce the difficulties. Our investigation includes interviews with individual students and the development and administration of free-response and multiple-choice tests. We discuss the implications of our research and development project on helping students learn quantum mechanics relevant for quantum computing.

C. Singh, Helping Students Learn Quantum Mechanics for Quantum Computing, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 42-45 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508687.

Enabling Informed Adaptation of Reformed Instructional Materials
Rachel E. Scherr and Andrew Elby
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 46-49, doi:10.1063/1.2508688
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Instructors inevitably need to adapt even the best reform materials to suit their local circumstances. We offer a package of research-based, open-source, epistemologically-focused mechanics tutorials, along with the detailed information instructors need to make effective modifications and offer professional development to teaching assistants. In particular, our tutorials are hyperlinked to instructor's guides that include the rationale behind the various questions, advice from experienced instructors, and video clips of students working on the materials. Our materials thus facilitate their own implementation and develop instructor expertise with PER-based instructional materials.

R. E. Scherr and A. Elby, Enabling Informed Adaptation of Reformed Instructional Materials, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 46-49 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508688.

PEER REVIEWED MANUSCRIPTS (36)

First Author Index

Perkins · Demaree · Cummings · Gire · Ashcraft · Harlow · Mamolo · Etkina · Sayre · Stephens · Karelina · Podolefsky · Marx · Etkina · Pollock · De Leone · Henderson · Keller · Price · Rebello · Bonham · Walker · Harper · Kohl · Rosengrant · Torigoe · Bucy · Horner · Lee · Williams · Traxler · Meltzer · Isvan · Singh · Aryal · Kalita

Peer-reviewed Papers

Chemistry vs. Physics: A Comparison of How Biology Majors View Each Discipline
Katherine K. Perkins, J. Barbera, Wendy K. Adams, and Carl E. Wieman
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 53-56, doi:10.1063/1.2508689
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A student's beliefs about science and learning science may be more or less sophisticated depending on the specific science discipline. In this study, we used the physics and chemistry versions of the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey (CLASS) to measure student beliefs in the large, introductory physics and chemistry courses, respectively. We compare how biology majors — generally required to take both of the courses — view these two disciplines. We find that these students' beliefs are more sophisticated about physics (more like the experts in that discipline) than they are about chemistry. At the start of the term, the average % Overall Favorable score on the CLASS is 59% in physics and 53% in chemistry. The students' responses are statistically more expert-like in physics than in chemistry on 10 statements (P 0.01), indicating that these students think chemistry is more about memorizing disconnected pieces of information and sample problems, and has less to do with the real world. In addition, these students' view of chemistry degraded over the course of the term. Their favorable scores shifted ?5.7% and ?13.5% in `Overall' and the `Real World Connection' category, respectively, in the physics course, which used a variety of research-based teaching practices, these scores shifted 0.0% and +0.3%, respectively. The chemistry shifts are comparable to those previously observed in traditional introductory physics courses.

K. K. Perkins, J. Barbera, W. K. Adams, and C. E. Wieman, Chemistry vs. Physics: A Comparison of How Biology Majors View Each Discipline, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 53-56 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508689.

Writing in an Introductory Physics Lab: Correlating English Quality with Physics Content
Dedra Demaree, Cat Gubernatis, Jessica Hanzlik, Scott V. Franklin, Lisa Hermsen, and Gordon J. Aubrecht, II
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 57-60, doi:10.1063/1.2508690
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Members of the Physics and English departments at The Ohio State University and Rochester Institute of Technology are involved in an ongoing study addressing issues related to writing activities in the physics classroom. In summer quarter, 2005, the introductory calculus-based physics lab students wrote essays, some sections with and some without explicit writing instruction. We found a student's essay grade for English correlated strongly with that assigned for physics. In addition, we have studied the location and type of comments made by both physics and English instructors on individual student essays, and the statements students made within their essays. The results from the analysis of our data will be presented.

D. Demaree, C. Gubernatis, J. Hanzlik, S. V. Franklin, L. Hermsen, and G. J. A. II, Writing in an Introductory Physics Lab: Correlating English Quality with Physics Content, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 57-60 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508690.

The Effectiveness of Incorporating Conceptual Writing Assignments into Physics Instruction
Karen Cummings and Michael Murphy
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 61-64, doi:10.1063/1.2508691
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This preliminary study examines the impact of conceptual writing assignments on student understanding of two physics concepts. Writing assignments covered the concepts of Newton's Third Law and the impulse-momentum relationship and were given to students in both high school and college level introductory physics classes. The students in these classes along with students in classes taught in an identical fashion by the same instructors without the addition of writing assignments were tested on their conceptual understanding of the two content areas. The results of this initial study indicate that the efficacy of this approach varied with topic. This study further indicates that students' benefit from the writing assignments was independent of their writing ability.

K. Cummings and M. Murphy, The Effectiveness of Incorporating Conceptual Writing Assignments into Physics Instruction, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 61-64 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508691.

Characterizing the Epistemological Development of Physics Majors
Elizabeth Gire, Edward Price, and Barbara Jones
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 65-68, doi:10.1063/1.2508692
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Differences between novice and expert physics students have frequently been reported, yet students' development through intermediate stages has seldom been described. In this study, we characterize undergraduate physics majors' epistemological sophistication at various levels of degree progress. A cross-section of physics majors was surveyed with the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey. Beginning physics majors are significantly more expert-like than non-physics majors in introductory physics courses; furthermore, this high level of sophistication is constant over the first three years of the physics degree program, with increases at the senior and graduate levels. Based on longitudinal data on a subset of students, we observe negligible average shift in students' responses over periods of up to two years. We discuss implications for how and why physics students' epistemological sophistication develops, including a possible connection between CLASS survey response and self-identification as a physicist.

E. Gire, E. Price, and B. Jones, Characterizing the Epistemological Development of Physics Majors, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 65-68 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508692.

Modeling Aspects of Nature of Science to Preservice Elementary Teachers
Paul Ashcraft
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 69-72, doi:10.1063/1.2508693
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Nature of science was modeled using guided inquiry activities in the university classroom with elementary education majors. A physical science content course initially used an Aristotelian model where students discussed the relationship between distance from a constant radiation source and the amount of radiation received based on accepted “truths” or principles and concluded that there was an inverse relationship. The class became Galilean in nature, using the scientific method to test that hypothesis. Examining data, the class rejected their hypothesis and concluded that there is an inverse square relationship. Assignments, given before and after the hypothesis testing, show the student's misconceptions and their acceptance of scientifically acceptable conceptions. Answers on exam questions further support this conceptual change. Students spent less class time on the inverse square relationship later when examining electrostatic force, magnetic force, gravity, and planetary solar radiation because the students related this particular experience to other physical relationships.

P. Ashcraft, Modeling Aspects of Nature of Science to Preservice Elementary Teachers, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 69-72 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508693.

Beyond Concepts: Transfer from Inquiry-Based Physics to Elementary Classrooms
Danielle Harlow and Valerie K. Otero
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 73-76, doi:10.1063/1.2508694
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Physics education researchers have created specialized physics courses to meet the needs of elementary teachers. While there is evidence that such courses help teachers develop physics content knowledge, little is known about what teachers transfer from such courses into their teaching practices. In this study, we examine how one elementary teacher changed her questioning strategies after learning physics in a course for elementary teachers.

D. Harlow and V. K. Otero, Beyond Concepts: Transfer from Inquiry-Based Physics to Elementary Classrooms, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 73-76 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508694.

Learning and Dynamic Transfer Using the 'Constructing Physics Understanding' (CPU) Curriculum: A Case Study
Charles B. Mamolo and N. Sanjay Rebello
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 77-80, doi:10.1063/1.2508695
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This research investigated the ways in which students interact with Constructing Physics Understanding (CPU) curriculum in an instructional unit focusing on waves and sound. The research was conducted at University of San Carlos, Philippines with six students. We draw on the constructivist philosophy and employ a phenomenographic approach in our analysis of student conversation during the activity. The dynamic transfer model developed previously was the analytical framework used to map out students' development of ideas as they worked through the instructional materials in this CPU unit.

C. B. Mamolo and N. S. Rebello, Learning and Dynamic Transfer Using the 'Constructing Physics Understanding' (CPU) Curriculum: A Case Study, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 77-80 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508695.

Studying Transfer Of Scientific Reasoning Abilities
Eugenia Etkina, Anna Karelina, and Maria Ruibal Villasenor
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 81-84, doi:10.1063/1.2508696
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Students taking introductory physics courses not only need to learn the fundamental concepts and to solve simple problems but also need to learn to approach more complex problems and to reason like scientists. Hypothetico-deductive reasoning is considered one of the most important types of reasoning employed by scientists. If-then logic allows students to test hypotheses and reject those that are not supported by testing experiments. Can we teach students to reason hypothetico-deductively and to apply this reasoning to problems outside of physics? This study investigates the development and transfer from physics to real life of hypothetico-deductive reasoning abilities by students enrolled in an introductory physics course at a large state university. The abilities include formulating hypotheses and making predictions concerning the outcomes of testing experiments. (The work was supported by NSF grant REC 0529065.)

E. Etkina, A. Karelina, and M. R. Villasenor, Studying Transfer Of Scientific Reasoning Abilities, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 81-84 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508696.

Resource Plasticity: Detailing a Common Chain of Reasoning with Damped Harmonic Motion
Eleanor C. Sayre, Michael C. Wittmann, and John E. Donovan
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 85-88, doi:10.1063/1.2508697
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As part of ongoing research into cognitive processes and student thought, we have investigated the interplay between mathematics and physics resources in intermediate mechanics students. We present evidence from a reformed sophomore-level mechanics class which contains both tutorial and lecture components. In the context of writing Newton's Second Law for damped harmonic motion, students discuss the signs of the spring and damping forces. Using a grounded theory approach, we identify a common chain of reasoning in which a request for reasoning is followed by elaborative sense-making and checks for consistency, finishing with an optional appeal for group consensus. Our analysis provides evidence for a description of student thinking in terms of Plasticity, an extension of Resource Theory.

E. C. Sayre, M. C. Wittmann, and J. E. Donovan, Resource Plasticity: Detailing a Common Chain of Reasoning with Damped Harmonic Motion, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 85-88 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508697.

Depictive Gestures as Evidence for Dynamic Mental Imagery in Four Types of Student Reasoning
A. Lynn Stephens and John J. Clement
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 89-92, doi:10.1063/1.2508698
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We discuss evidence for the use of runnable imagery (imagistic simulation) in four types of student reasoning. In an in-depth case study of a high school physics class, we identified multiple instances of students running mental models, using analogies, using extreme cases, and using Gedanken experiments. Previous case studies of expert scientists have indicated that these processes can be central during scientific model construction; here we discuss their spontaneous use by students. We also discuss their association with spontaneous, depictive gestures, which we interpret as an indicator of the use of dynamic and kinesthetic imagery. Of the numerous instances of these forms of reasoning observed in the class, most were associated with depictive gestures and over half with gestures that depicted motion or force. This evidence suggests that runnable, dynamic mental imagery can be very important in student reasoning.

A. L. Stephens and J. J. Clement, Depictive Gestures as Evidence for Dynamic Mental Imagery in Four Types of Student Reasoning, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 89-92 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508698.

When and How Do Students Engage in Sense-Making in a Physics Lab
Anna Karelina and Eugenia Etkina
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 93-96, doi:10.1063/1.2508699
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The Rutgers PAER group developed and implemented ISLE labs in which students design their own experiments being guided by self-assessment rubrics. Studies reported in 2004 and 2005 PERC proceedings showed that students in these labs acquire such scientific abilities as an ability to design an experiment, to analyze data, and to communicate. These studies concentrated mostly on analyzing students' writings evaluated by specially designed scientific abilities rubrics. The new question is whether the ISLE labs make students not only write like scientists but also engage in discussions and act like scientists: plan an experiment, validate assumptions, evaluate results, and revise the experiment if necessary. Another important question is whether these activities require a lot of cognitive and metacognitive efforts or are carried out superficially. To answer these questions we monitored students' activity during labs. (The work was supported by the NSF grants DUE 0241078 and REC 0529065.)

A. Karelina and E. Etkina, When and How Do Students Engage in Sense-Making in a Physics Lab, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 93-96 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508699.

Reframing Analogy: Framing as a mechanism of analogy use
Noah S. Podolefsky and Noah D. Finkelstein
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 97-100, doi:10.1063/1.2508700
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In a series of large-scale (N>100) studies of analogy use in college physics, we have explored how, when, and why analogies affect student reasoning. In the first of these studies, we demonstrated that analogies affect student reasoning when taught in a large enrollment physics course. In the present follow-up study, we demonstrate that teaching EM waves concepts implicitly via analogy leads to greater conceptual change compared to teaching explicitly without analogies. Students were divided into two groups, one taught using analogies (string and sound waves) and the other taught without analogies (EM waves only). On a targeted concept question given before and after instruction, students who were taught with analogies outperformed those taught without analogies demonstrating that analogies can affect student reasoning in productive ways, even when taught implicitly. We propose framing as a mechanism to begin to explain why analogies can be productive when used implicitly.

N. S. Podolefsky and N. D. Finkelstein, Reframing Analogy: Framing as a mechanism of analogy use, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 97-100 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508700.

What Factors Really Influence Shifts in Students' Attitudes and Expectations in an Introductory Physics Course?
Jeffrey Marx and Karen Cummings
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 101-104, doi:10.1063/1.2508701
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To gauge the impact of instruction on students' general expectations about physics and their attitudes about problem solving, we administered two different, but related, survey instruments to students in the first semester of introductory, calculus-based physics at McDaniel College. The surveys we used were the Maryland Physics Expectation Survey (MPEX) and the Attitudes about Problem Solving Survey (APSS). We found that the McDaniel College students' overall responses were more “expert-like” post-instruction: on the MPEX, the students' Overall agree/disagree score started at 59/18 and ended at 63/17, and on the APSS, the students' agreement-score went from 63 to 79. (All scores are out of 100%.) All of the students to whom we administered the MPEX and a significant sub-group to whom we administered the APSS realized these improvements without experiencing any explicit instructional intervention in this course aimed toward improving attitudes and expectations. These results contrast much of the previously reported findings in this area.

J. Marx and K. Cummings, What Factors Really Influence Shifts in Students' Attitudes and Expectations in an Introductory Physics Course?, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 101-104 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508701.

Reformed Physics Instruction Through the Eyes of Students
Eugenia Etkina and Maria Ruibal Villasenor
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 105-108, doi:10.1063/1.2508702
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This paper reports on a qualitative study of students' responses towards innovations in an introductory physics course: their attitudes toward the change; their perceptions of the learning methods and the subject; and the relationships among these variables. We found that students' ideas about learning affected their reposes to the reforms.

E. Etkina and M. R. Villasenor, Reformed Physics Instruction Through the Eyes of Students, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 105-108 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508702.

Sustaining Change: Instructor Effects in Transformed Large Lecture Courses
Steven J. Pollock and Noah D. Finkelstein
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 109-112, doi:10.1063/1.2508704
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We investigate the transfer of classroom reforms from PER faculty to more traditional physics-research faculty. This study is part of an ongoing effort to assess necessary and sufficient requirements for success with research-based course transformations. We have previously demonstrated the ability of PER faculty to replicate the success that other researchers achieve when implementing research-based reforms in large, introductory calculus-based physics courses. Here, we present new data from four implementations of Physics II, including quantitative and qualitative measures of successful transfer of courses to new faculty: validated pre/post surveys covering content, assessments of student views about physics and learning physics, and informal affective surveys. We investigate questions of sustainability, reproducibility, and instructor effect through a contextual constructivist theoretical lens, and find that replication of research-based results is possible, but a variety of factors including instructor beliefs and institutional constraints play important roles.

S. J. Pollock and N. D. Finkelstein, Sustaining Change: Instructor Effects in Transformed Large Lecture Courses, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 109-112 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508704.

Adaptation and Implementation of a Radically Reformed Introductory Physics Course for Biological Science Majors: Assessing Success and Prospects for Future Implementation
Charles De Leone, Catherine M. Ishikawa, and Robin Marion
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 113-116, doi:10.1063/1.2508705
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The physics department at California State University San Marcos has nearly completed work on an NSF CCLI-A&I funded project to adapt and implement UC Davis' reformed introductory physics course for students in the biological sciences. As part of the project, a group of physics instructors met to discuss criteria for measuring the implementation's success and the feasibility of implementing the course at other institutions. Criteria for measuring success fell into three areas—student outcomes, institutionalization of the course, and adherence to the original course's core philosophy. This paper describes the criteria in more detail, presents data for outcomes already measured, and discusses the challenges of measuring other outcomes. Finally, the paper briefly discusses the likelihood of instructors at other institutions meeting with the same or better success at implementing the course.

C. D. Leone, C. M. Ishikawa, and R. Marion, Adaptation and Implementation of a Radically Reformed Introductory Physics Course for Biological Science Majors: Assessing Success and Prospects for Future Implementation, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 113-116 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508705.

Diffusion of Educational Innovations via Co-Teaching
Charles R. Henderson, Andrea Beach, and Michael Famiano
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 117 - 120, doi:10.1063/1.2508706
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Physics Education Research (PER) is currently facing significant difficulties in disseminating research-based knowledge and instructional strategies to other faculty. Co-teaching is a promising and cost-effective alternative to traditional professional development that may be applicable in many situations. This paper discusses the rationale for co-teaching and our initial experience with co-teaching. A new instructor (MF) co-taught with an instructor experienced in PER-based reforms (CH). The pair worked within the course structure typically used by the experienced instructor and met regularly to discuss instructional decisions. An outsider (AB) conducted interviews and class observations with each instructor. Classroom observations show an immediate use of PER-based instructional practices by the new instructor. Interviews show a significant shift in the new instructor's beliefs about teaching and intentions towards future use of the PER-based instructional approaches.

C. R. Henderson, A. Beach, and M. Famiano, Diffusion of Educational Innovations via Co-Teaching, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 117 - 120 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508706.

Assessing the Effectiveness of a Computer Simulation in Introductory Undergraduate Environments
C. J. Keller, Noah D. Finkelstein, Katherine K. Perkins, and Steven J. Pollock
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 121-124, doi:10.1063/1.2508707
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We present studies documenting the effectiveness of using a computer simulation, specifically the Circuit Construction Kit (CCK) developed as part of the Physics Education Technology Project (PhET), in two environments: an interactive college lecture and an inquiry-based laboratory. In the first study conducted in lecture, we compared students viewing CCK to viewing a traditional demonstration during Peer Instruction. Students viewing CCK had a 47% larger relative gain (11% absolute gain) on measures of conceptual understanding compared to traditional demonstrations. These results led us to study the impact of the simulation's explicit representation for visualizing current flow in a laboratory environment, where we removed this feature for a subset of students. Students using CCK with or without the explicit visualization of current performed similarly to each other on common exam questions. Although the majority of students in both groups favored the use of CCK over real circuit equipment, the students who used CCK without the explicit current model favored the simulation more than the other group.

C. J. Keller, N. D. Finkelstein, K. K. Perkins, and S. J. Pollock, Assessing the Effectiveness of a Computer Simulation in Introductory Undergraduate Environments, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 121-124 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508707.

Characterization of Instructor and Student Use of Ubiquitous Presenter, a Presentation System Enabling Spontaneity and Digital Archiving
Edward Price, Roshni Malani, and Beth Simon
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 125-128, doi:10.1063/1.2508708
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Ubiquitous Presenter (UP) is a digital presentation system that allows an instructor with a Tablet PC to spontaneously modify prepared slides, while automatically archiving the inked slides on the web. For two introductory physics classes, we examine the types of slides instructors prepare and the ways in which they add ink to the slides. Modes of usage include: using ink to explicitly link multiple representations; making prepared figures dynamic by animating them with ink; and preparing slides with sparse text or figures, then adding extensive annotations during class. In addition, through an analysis of surveys and of web server logs, we examine student reaction to the system, as well as how often and in what ways students' utilize archived material. In general, students find the system valuable and frequently review the presentations online.

E. Price, R. Malani, and B. Simon, Characterization of Instructor and Student Use of Ubiquitous Presenter, a Presentation System Enabling Spontaneity and Digital Archiving, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 125-128 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508708.

Impact of a Classroom Interaction System on Student Learning
N. Sanjay Rebello, Dean A. Zollman, and Joseph Beuckman
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 129-132, doi:10.1063/1.2508709
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We have developed and implemented a Web-based wireless classroom interaction system in a large-enrollment introductory physics lecture class that uses HP handheld computers (PDAs) to facilitate real-time two-way student interaction with the instructor. Our system is ahead of other “clicker” based PRS (Personal Response System) that is limited to multiple-choice questions. Our system allows for a variety of questions. It also allows for adaptive questioning and two-way communication that provides real-time feedback to the instructor. We have seen improved performance on course assessments through use of PDAs compared to PRS in the same class. We have also shown that students who use PDAs more often in class are more likely to perform better in the course.

N. S. Rebello, D. A. Zollman, and J. Beuckman, Impact of a Classroom Interaction System on Student Learning, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 129-132 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508709.

Reliability, Compliance and Security of Web-based Pre/Post-testing
Scott W. Bonham
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 133-136, doi:10.1063/1.2508710
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Pre/post testing is an important tool for improving science education. Standard in-class administration has drawbacks such as `lost' class time and converting data into electronic format. These are not issues for unproctored web-based administration, but there are concerns about assessment validity, compliance rates, and instrument security. A preliminary investigation compared astronomy students taking pre/post tests on paper to those taking the same tests over the web. The assessments included the Epistemological Beliefs Assessment for Physical Science and a conceptual assessment developed for this study. Preliminary results on validity show no significant difference on scores or on most individual questions. Compliance rates were similar between web and paper on the pretest and much better for web on the posttest. Remote monitoring of student activity during the assessments recorded no clear indication of any copying, printing or saving of questions, and no widespread use of the web to search for answers.

S. W. Bonham, Reliability, Compliance and Security of Web-based Pre/Post-testing, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 133-136 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508710.

Investigation and Evaluation of a Physics Tutorial Center
Kristin Walker and Melissa H. Dancy
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 137-140, doi:10.1063/1.2508711
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The Physics Resource Center (PRC) is a tutorial center offering supplemental instruction to all introductory level physics students. Physics students were surveyed to investigate and evaluate the center's effectiveness in meeting their needs. Survey results and suggestions offered by the students are reported. Findings include the dependence of PRC attendance on factors including gender, course performance, and social engagement.

K. Walker and M. H. Dancy, Investigation and Evaluation of a Physics Tutorial Center, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 137-140 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508711.

Cultivating Problem Solving Skills via a New Problem Categorization Scheme
Kathleen A. Harper, Richard Freuler, and John Demel
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 141-144, doi:10.1063/1.2508712
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When one looks at STEM disciplines as a whole, the need for effective problem solving skills is a commonality. However, studies indicate that the bulk of students who graduate from problem-solving intensive programs display little increase in their problem solving abilities. Also, there is little evidence for transfer of general skills from one subject area to another. Furthermore, the types of problems typically encountered in introductory STEM courses do not often cultivate the skills students will need when solving “real-world” problems. Initial efforts to develop and implement an interdisciplinary problem categorization matrix as a tool for instructional design are described. The matrix, which is independent of content, shows promise as a means for promoting useful problem-solving discussion among faculty, designing problem-solving intensive courses, and instructing students in developing real-world problem solving skills.

K. A. Harper, R. Freuler, and J. Demel, Cultivating Problem Solving Skills via a New Problem Categorization Scheme, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 141-144 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508712.

Comparing Explicit and Implicit Teaching of Multiple Representation Use in Physics Problem Solving
Patrick B. Kohl , David Rosengrant, and Noah D. Finkelstein
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 145-148, doi:10.1063/1.2508713
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There exist both explicit and implicit approaches to teaching students how to solve physics problems involving multiple representations. In the former, students are taught explicit problem-solving approaches, such as lists of steps, and these approaches are emphasized throughout the course. In the latter, good problem-solving strategies are modeled for students by the instructor and homework and exams present problems that require multiple representation use, but students are rarely told explicitly to take a given approach. We report on comparative study of these two approaches; students at Rutgers University receive explicit instruction, while students from the University of Colorado receive implicit instruction. Students in each course solve five common electrostatics problems of varying difficulty. We compare student performances and their use of pictures and free-body diagrams. We also compare the instructional environments, looking at teaching approaches and the frequency of multiple-representation use in lectures and exams. We find that students learning via implicit instruction do slightly better and use multiple representations more often on the shorter problems, but that students learning via explicit instruction are more likely to generate correct free-body diagrams on the hardest problem.

P. B. Kohl, D. Rosengrant, and N. D. Finkelstein, Comparing Explicit and Implicit Teaching of Multiple Representation Use in Physics Problem Solving, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 145-148 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508713.

An Overview of Recent Research on Multiple Representations
David Rosengrant, Eugenia Etkina, and Alan Van Heuvelen
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 149-152, doi:10.1063/1.2508714
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In this paper we focus on some of the recent findings of the physics education research community in the area of multiple representations. The overlying trend with the research is how multiple representations help students learn concepts and skills and assist them in problem solving. Two trends developed from the latter are: how students use multiple representations when solving problems and how different representational formats affect student performance in problem solving. We show how our work relates to these trends and provide the reader with an overall synopsis of the findings related to the advantages and disadvantages of multiple representations for learning physics.

D. Rosengrant, E. Etkina, and A. V. Heuvelen, An Overview of Recent Research on Multiple Representations, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 149-152 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508714.

Same to Us, Different to Them: Numeric Computation versus Symbolic Representation
Eugene Torigoe and Gary Gladding
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 153-156, doi:10.1063/1.2508715
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Data from nearly 900 students was used to measure differences in performance on numeric and symbolic questions. Symbolic versions of two numeric kinematics questions were created by replacing numeric values with symbolic variables. The mean score on one of the numeric questions was 50% higher than the analogous symbolic question. An analysis of the written work revealed that the primary identifiable error when working on the symbolic problems was a confusion of the meaning of the variables. The paper concludes with a discussion of possible theoretical explanations and plans for future follow-up studies.

E. Torigoe and G. Gladding, Same to Us, Different to Them: Numeric Computation versus Symbolic Representation, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 153-156 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508715.

Student (Mis)application of Partial Differentiation to Material Properties
Brandon Bucy, John R. Thompson, and Donald B. Mountcastle
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 157-160, doi:10.1063/1.2508716
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Students in upper-level undergraduate thermodynamics courses were asked about the relationship between the complementary partial derivatives of the isothermal compressibility and the thermal expansivity of a substance. Both these material properties can be expressed with first partial derivatives of the system volume. Several of the responses implied difficulty with the notion of variables held fixed in a partial derivative. Specifically, when asked to find the partial derivative of one of these quantities with respect to a variable that was initially held fixed, a common response was that this (mixed second) partial derivative must be zero. We have previously reported other related difficulties in the context of the Maxwell relations, indicating persistent confusion applying partial differentiation to state functions. We present results from student homework and examination questions and briefly discuss an instructional strategy to address these issues.

B. Bucy, J. R. Thompson, and D. B. Mountcastle, Student (Mis)application of Partial Differentiation to Material Properties, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 157-160 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508716.

Comparison of Teaching Methods for Energy Conservation
M. L. Horner, Monwhea Jeng, and Rebecca S. Lindell
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 161-164, doi:10.1063/1.2508717
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Three sections, taught by different instructors, of Conceptual Physics were taught energy conservation using three different techniques: traditional — no visualization, energy bar charts, and energy bars. Performance of the groups of students on final exam questions is compared and contrasted.

M. L. Horner, M. Jeng, and R. S. Lindell, Comparison of Teaching Methods for Energy Conservation, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 161-164 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508717.

Addressing Students' Difficulties in Understanding Two Different Expressions of Gravitational Potential Energy (I): mgh & -GMm/r
Gyoungho Lee and Jinseog Yi
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 165-168, doi:10.1063/1.2508718
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During our investigation of students' understanding of gravitational potential energy, we found some difficulties that students have with this topic. Many students who took upper-level mechanics courses had difficulties in understanding why there are two different expressions of gravitational potential energy. These students said they had some difficulties in understanding why there should be two different signs (+ & ?) and two different forms (g & 1/r) even though these expressions were considered as representing the same gravitational potential energy. To gain understanding of the sources of student difficulties, we used weekly reports and individual interviews. We analyzed student difficulties in terms of conceptual knowledge, procedural knowledge, and contextual knowledge. The results of these research have guided the development of teaching material that addresses students' difficulties in understanding gravitational potential energy. We will show the development process and contents of the material in the second paper on this topic.

G. Lee and J. Yi, Addressing Students' Difficulties in Understanding Two Different Expressions of Gravitational Potential Energy (I): mgh & -GMm/r, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 165-168 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508718.

Strategy Levels for Guiding Discussion to Promote Explanatory Model Construction in Circuit Electricity
E. Grant Williams and John J. Clement
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 169-172, doi:10.1063/1.2508719
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A framework for describing and tracking the whole-class discussion-based teaching strategies used by a teacher to support students' construction and development of explanatory models for concepts in circuit electricity is described. A new type of diagram developed to portray teacher-student discourse patterns facilitated the identification of two distinct types, or levels, of teaching strategies: 1) those that support dialogical or conversational elements of classroom interaction; and 2) those that support cognitive model construction processes. The latter include the higher-level goals of promoting a cycle of Observation, model Generation, model Evaluation, and model Modification. While previous studies have focused primarily on the dialogical strategies that are essential for fostering communication as an enabling condition, the cognitive strategies identified herein are aimed at fostering conceptual model construction.

E. G. Williams and J. J. Clement, Strategy Levels for Guiding Discussion to Promote Explanatory Model Construction in Circuit Electricity, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 169-172 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508719.

Students' Use of Symmetry with Gauss's Law
Adrienne Traxler, Katrina E. Black, and John R. Thompson
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 173-176, doi:10.1063/1.2508720
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To study introductory student difficulties with electrostatics, we compared student techniques when finding the electric field for spherically symmetric and non-spherically symmetric charged conductors. We used short interviews to design a free-response and multiple-choice-multiple-response survey that was administered to students in introductory calculus-based courses. We present the survey results and discuss them in light of Singh's results for Gauss's Law, Collins and Ferguson's epistemic forms and games, and Tuminaro's extension of games and frames.

A. Traxler, K. E. Black, and J. R. Thompson, Students' Use of Symmetry with Gauss's Law, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 173-176 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508720.

Analysis Of Shifts In Students' Reasoning Regarding Electric Field And Potential Concepts
David E. Meltzer
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 177-180, doi:10.1063/1.2508721
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Students' reasoning regarding the relationships among electric fields, forces, and equipotential line patterns was explored using pre- and post-test responses to selected multiple-choice questions on the Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism. Students' written explanations of their reasoning, provided both pre- and post-instruction, allowed additional assessment of the changes in their thinking. In particular, the data indicate that although students largely abandon an initial tendency to associate stronger fields with wider equipotential line spacing, many of them persist in incorrectly associating electric field magnitude at a point with the electric potential at that point.

D. E. Meltzer, Analysis Of Shifts In Students' Reasoning Regarding Electric Field And Potential Concepts, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 177-180 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508721.

Improving Student Understanding of Coulomb's Law and Gauss's Law
Zeynep Isvan and Chandralekha Singh
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 181-184, doi:10.1063/1.2508722
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The paper discusses the development and evaluation of five research-based tutorials on Coulomb's law, superposition, symmetry and Gauss's Law to help students in the calculus-based introductory physics courses learn these concepts. They compare the performance of students on the pre-/post-tests given before and after the tutorials in three calculus-based introductory physics courses. They also compare the performance of students who used the tutorials and those who did not use it on a multiple-choice test which employs concepts covered in the tutorials.

Z. Isvan and C. Singh, Improving Student Understanding of Coulomb's Law and Gauss's Law, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 181-184 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508722.

Student Difficulties with Quantum Mechanics Formalism
Chandralekha Singh
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 185-188, doi:10.1063/1.2508723
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We discuss student difficulties in distinguishing between the physical space and Hilbert space and difficulties related to the Time-independent Schroedinger equation and measurements in quantum mechanics. These difficulties were identified by administering written surveys and by conducting individual interviews with students.

C. Singh, Student Difficulties with Quantum Mechanics Formalism, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 185-188 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508723.

Use of Physical Models to Facilitate Transfer of Physics Learning to Understand Positron Emission Tomography
Bijaya Aryal, Dean A. Zollman, and N. Sanjay Rebello
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 189-192, doi:10.1063/1.2508724
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In this paper we describe a qualitative study of the role of the physical models in transferring physics ideas to understanding positron emission tomography technology. Sixteen students enrolled in an introductory level physics class individually participated in two sessions of a teaching experiment. In this study we noted that many students used reasoning from prior experiences in inappropriate ways. A result from this study is that physical models are effective in triggering appropriate transfer provided that the activities using the models are introduced in the right sequence. Given the appropriate sequencing of the activities, we find that the transfer of abstract ideas is facilitated through interactive learning with the aid of physical models. Three different types of non-scaffolded transfer have been identified: spontaneous, semi-spontaneous and non-spontaneous transfer

B. Aryal, D. A. Zollman, and N. S. Rebello, Use of Physical Models to Facilitate Transfer of Physics Learning to Understand Positron Emission Tomography, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 189-192 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508724.

Investigating Students' Ideas About X-rays While Developing Teaching Materials for a Medical Physics Course
Spartak Kalita and Dean A. Zollman
AIP Conf. Proc. 883, pp. 193-196, doi:10.1063/1.2508725
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The goal of the Modern Miracle Medical Machines project is to promote pre-med students' interest in physics by using the context of contemporary medical imaging. The X-ray medical imaging learning module will be a central part of this effort. To investigate students' transfer of learning in this context we have conducted a series of clinical and teaching interviews. In the latter interview, some of the proposed learning materials were used. The students brought to our discussion pieces of knowledge transferred from very different sources such as their own X-ray experiences, previous learning and the mass media. This transfer seems to result in more or less firm mental models which often are not always internally consistent or coherent.

S. Kalita and D. A. Zollman, Investigating Students' Ideas About X-rays While Developing Teaching Materials for a Medical Physics Course, 2006 PERC Proceedings [Syracuse, NY, July 26-27, 2006], edited by L. McCullough, L. Hsu, and P. Heron [AIP Conf. Proc. 883, 193-196 (2007)], doi:10.1063/1.2508725.