home - login - register

PERC 2013 Abstract Detail Page

Previous Page  |  New Search  |  Browse All

Abstract Title: A CLASS Study of Introductory Physics for Life Sciences (IPLS) at Swarthmore College
Abstract: To examine the effect of extensive life science applications on student attitudes to learning physics, we analyzed CLASS data from life science students taking introductory physics at Swarthmore. We compare the same students' responses from first semester, taught with a standard syllabus, to second semester, taught with extensive life science applications (IPLS). Although first semester responses become less favorable (pre to post), IPLS responses show an increase in favorable and a decrease in unfavorable responses, particularly comparing post-IPLS to post-first semester. This is noteworthy because improvement is rarely observed, even in pedagogically reformed courses. Finally, we analyzed CLASS responses by gender, major, students' stated goals in taking physics, and initial interest in physics; initial interest was determined from CLASS items chosen based on the Four-Phase Model of Interest Development. Most notably, we find that in the IPLS course, students identified as having low interest initially had the greatest gains overall.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Catherine H. Crouch
Swarthmore College
Department of Physics
500 College Ave
Swarthmore, PA 19081
Phone: 610-328-8386
Fax: 610-3287895
and Co-Presenter(s)
Panchompoo Wisittanawat, Swarthmore College Department of Physics and Department of Educational Studies
K. Ann Renninger, Swarthmore College Department of Educational Studies

Contributed Poster

Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster