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PERC 2018 Abstract Detail Page

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Abstract Title: Probing the Performance Gap Between Engineering and Biology Majors in an Introductory Physics Laboratory
Abstract: Physics educators often acquiesce to the belief that Engineering majors will outperform Biology or Pre-med majors in introductory physics labs. The goal of this study was to measure the performance gap between these two populations at a US University. A quasi-experimental design was used with 250 students assigned to intervention and control conditions. The intervention condition used pedagogy that included explicit statements of connections between the physics, mathematics, and the experiment involved in each of twelve labs. Microanalysis of the scores on assessment items across five quizzes and a final exam showed a statistically significant performance gap in the control group, but not in the experimental group. These results suggest that the performance difference between these majors can be reduced using a pedagogical strategy that facilitates students to connect the mathematics, the physics concepts, and the experimental data. A detailed analysis of the performance differences will be discussed
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session II
Poster Number: B89

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Yuri B. Piedrahita Uruena
Purdue University
610 Purdue Mall
West Lafayette, IN 47906
Phone: 7652340233
and Co-Presenter(s)
Raul Portuondo Duany
University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez