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Abstract Title: Using small-focus group interviews to assess instructional innovation
Abstract: Student evaluations can be a useful tool in judging the effectiveness of a course.  Instead of relying solely upon traditional survey-type evaluations,  We have conducted focus group interviews of students at the conclusion of various introductory physics courses (talk about which courses, i.e. experimental sections of the 2-semester University Physics sequence and from an experimental section of physical science).  These mini-focus groups of 1-4 students are conducted by an interviewer who has nothing to do with the teaching and/or grading of the class taken by the student participants.  Such interviews, although semi-structured using a protocol, provide a dynamic forum for student feedback where more in-depth probing of comments may occur.  The insights gained from these interviews with both individual and small groups of students will be discussed and the incorporation of those insights into course design will be discussed.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Jeff Saul
University of New Mexico Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
1919 Lomas Blvd. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
and Co-Presenter(s)
A.N. Morgan