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Abstract Title: Students’ Understanding of Fluids
Abstract: An understanding of static and dynamics fluids principles is essential for life students, as these principles constrain and enable life.  Continuity, for example, dictates that flow slows down in capillaries since the total cross-sectional area is much larger than the aorta.  This allows the slow, essential process of diffusion to take place.  To improve the teaching and  learning of fluids in introductory courses (particularly IPLS), the research presented here describe several different approaches to elucidate, measure, and support students' understanding of fluids concepts.
Abstract Type: Poster Symposium
Session Time: Parallel Sessions Cluster I

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Dawn Meredith
University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH 03824
Phone: 603-312-3307
and Co-Presenter(s)
DJ Wagner, Grove City College
Rebecca Lindell, Tiliadal STEM Education: Solutions for Higher Education
Rebecca Rosenblatt, Tiliadal STEM Education: Solutions for Higher Education
Jason Jung, University of New Hampshire

Symposium Specific Information

Presentation 1 Title: Proposed Development Methodology for the Fluid Conceptual Evaluation (FCE)
Presentation 1 Authors: Rebecca Lindell
Presentation 1 Abstract: Since the call to action in 2003, many physicists and physics education researchers have dedicated their efforts into the reform of the Introductory Physics Life Science majors (IPLS) course.  Life science and Health care experts strongly encourage IPLS instructors to cover some topics in more depth: fluids, diffusion, osmosis, entropy, enthalpy, and electrostatic forces at the microscopic level. Our research team has focused our efforts to improving IPLS students' understanding of fluids. My role has been to use my expertise in Research-Based Conceptual Assessment Instruments (RbCLAI) development, to develop a methodology for the development of the Fluids Conceptual Evaluation (FCE), an evaluation instrument designed to assess IPLS students' understanding of fluids statics and dynamics.  In this poster, I will discuss the different considerations that went into this development methodology, specifically the roles of psychometrics and Rasch analysis.
Presentation 2 Title: Visual Attention and Affordance Lenses for: Understanding Student Diagram Use and Designing Improved Instruction of Fluid Dynamics in a Physics for Life Science Class
Presentation 2 Authors: Rebecca Rosenblatt
Presentation 2 Abstract: Diagrams are ubiquitous in STEM. These diagrams vary from problem solving tools (like force diagrams) to ways to visualize information and concepts (like a cell diagram or ATP cycle) or understand an equation or data set (like graphs). I will describe the two theories - affordance and visual attention – and I will present several cases from the literature and my own research showing how these theories are lenses for understanding student difficulties with diagrams. In addition, I will present data from a set of experiments my group has done that examines prior student knowledge and its effect on diagram use and visual attention within images of fluid flow through pipes. This data illustrates that, while current STEM diagrams have a lot of room for improvement as instructional tools, designing improvements for these diagrams will be complex.
Presentation 3 Title: Scaffolding student mechanistic reasoning about static and dynamic liquids
Presentation 3 Authors: Dawn Meredith
Presentation 3 Abstract: The kinetic theory of gases provides a powerful set of mechanistic resources that allows students to reason productively about pressure in gases.  We give evidence students (and experts) are lacking similar resources for reasoning about liquids (especially water in an Introductory Physics for Life Science course) and provide initial evidence of some possibly productive resources.