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Abstract Title: Assessing Student Understanding in Upper-Division Undergraduate Electricity & Magnetism I
Abstract: We apply the approaches of PER to a relatively under-studied population -- potential future physicists, or physics and astrophysics majors.  We have investigated student understanding of upper-division Electricity & Magnetism I using a variety of approaches, including: student interviews, analysis of homework and exams, and performance on the Brief Electricity and Magnetism Assessment (BEMA) and a new content-specific post-course assessment test.  We find persistent difficulties with conceptual understanding, which can hamper student success in choosing and implementing correct problem solving strategies. We compare student understanding after participation in two courses – a traditional course, and one reformed using principles of active engagement and learning theory. All course materials and evaluation tools are available for use by other instructors and researchers.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster
Contributed Paper Record: Contributed Paper Information
Contributed Paper Download: Download Contributed Paper

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Stephanie V. Chasteen
CU Boulder
390 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0390
and Co-Presenter(s)
Steven J. Pollock
CU Boulder
390 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0390
steven.pollock -at- colorado.edu