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Abstract Title: Longer Term Impacts of Transformed Courses on Student Conceptual Understanding of E&M
Abstract: We have measured upper-division physics majors' performance using two research-based conceptual instruments in E&M, the BEMA [1] and the CUE (Colorado Upper Division Electrostatics assessment[2].) The BEMA has been given pre/post in freshman E&M (Physics II) courses, and the BEMA and CUE have been given as a pre/post-test in several upper-division E&M courses.   Some of the data extends over 10 semesters. We used PER-based techniques to transform the introductory and upper-division courses starting in Fall 2004 and 2007, respectively [2,3]. Our longitudinal data allows us to measure "fade" on BEMA performance between freshman and junior year.  We investigate the effects of curricula on students by comparing juniors who were enrolled in traditional vs transformed physics as freshmen, as well as those who were enrolled in transformed or traditional upper-division E&M I, using both BEMA and CUE measures.  We find that while freshman reforms significantly impact BEMA scores, junior-level reforms affect CUE but not BEMA outcomes.
[1] L. Ding et al., Phys Rev ST:PER 2, 010105  (2006)
[2] N. Finkelstein and S. Pollock, Phys Rev ST:PER 1, 010101 (2005)
[3] S. Chasteen, S. Pollock, "Transforming Upper-Division Electricity and Magnetism", PERC proceedings, Edmonton, 2008
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster
Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Steven Pollock
CU Boulder
390 UCB
Dep't of Physics, University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 80309
Phone: 303-492-2495
and Co-Presenter(s)
Stephanie Chasteen  (stephanie.chasteen -at- colorado.edu, same address and affiliation)