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Abstract Title: Juried Talks I
Abstract: This session consists of four juried talks.
Abstract Type: Juried Talk Session
Session Time: Parallel Sessions Cluster I

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Organizing Committee

Symposium Specific Information

Moderator: Lin Ding
Presentation 1 Title: Game-based learning as a tool for promoting conceptual change in astronomy
Presentation 1 Authors: Adriana Cardinot, National University of Ireland Galway
Jessamyn Fairfield, National University of Ireland Galway
Presentation 1 Abstract: Game-based learning (GBL) has garnered much attention among researchers, as games could be an essential tool in the science classroom to enhance the learning process through play. However, the inclusion of games in astronomy education has been hampered by the lack of astronomy game resources validated in the classroom and aligned with curriculum learning outcomes. This study investigated the use of GBL activities in secondary students' conceptual understanding of astronomical concepts from the curriculum. A quasi-experimental research study involved 483 students from junior-cycle level (12-16 years) in Ireland. In this study, it was observed that the sociocultural environment promoted by the games favours student's motivation and prolonged conceptual change. During this presentation, the authors will report on how GBL facilitated or constrained the student learning process. Particularly, we will focus on how the ontological aspects of students' reasoning about astronomical phenomena are affected by GBL instruction.
Presentation 2 Title: Constructing particle-level models to promote macro-level conceptualization of electric circuits in middle school
Presentation 2 Authors: Elon Langbeheim, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Janan Saba, University of Haifa, Israel
Sharona, T Levy, University of Haifa, Israel
Presentation 2 Abstract: Electricity is the main form of energy transfer and use in the 21st century, and its understanding is of central importance. We describe how 8th grade students learn the physics of electric circuits through building computational particle models of conductors. The gradual construction of the computational particle model of the conductor, embodies the conceptualization of repulsion between free electrons, the push of the electric field, and the hindrance of the stationary ions. Comparing Pre/Post questionnaire data with a control group, shows that building the model is a sound basis for macro-level understanding of electric dynamics. Qualitative analyses highlight how creative activities such as drawing the conductor's boundary and spreading electrons in it, complement observing the working model and discussing its' mechanism in the classroom. Drawing on constructivist and grounded theories of learning, we discuss how constructing models and making conceptual micro-macro connections results in meaningful learning of this difficult topic.
Presentation 3 Title: Providing learning opportunities based on cognitive psychology and PER: student adoption, attitudes, and results in introductory mechanics
Presentation 3 Authors: Vegard Gjerde, University of Bergen
Bodil Holst, University of Bergen
Stein Dankert Kolstø, University of Bergen
Presentation 3 Abstract: A considerable amount of physics education research has been dedicated to conceptual understanding, misconceptions and problem-solving. However, as recently pointed by Zu, Munsell, and Rebello (2019), there is only a limited amount of research on more basic cognitive processes, such as the use of retrieval practice for improved memory. To address this literature gap, we provided a broad array of learning opportunities to students in an introductory mechanics course, with the intent to support both basic and complex learning processes. The learning strategies were: i) retrieval practice for memory strength of basic physics facts, ii) elaborative encoding for building initial associative links, iii) self-explanation for building abstract declarative rules for problem-solving, and iv) peer instruction for conceptual understanding. We present here an overview of the results of this investigation, some of which have already been accepted for publication, for example that weaker students seem to benefit more from retrieval practice.
Presentation 4 Title: Qualitative analysis of students' perceptions of their self-efficacy in a flipped integral calculus course
Presentation 4 Authors: Jillian Mellen, Rutgers University, New Brunswick
Geraldine L. Cochran, Rutgers University, New Brunswick
John Kerrigan, Rutgers University, New Brunswick
Lydia Prendergast, Rutgers University, New Brunswick
Antonio Silva, Rutgers University, New Brunswick
Presentation 4 Abstract: Students' perceptions of their confidence in their ability to complete a task, known as self-efficacy, affects student effort and persistence. Self-efficacy increases with improvements in learning methods and is a good predictor for success. Classroom dynamics also impact students' self-efficacy by allowing for different sources of self-efficacy. Previous research indicates that self-efficacy is context-specific and that male and female students benefit from different sources of self-efficacy. In this study, we analyzed interviews from 12 students enrolled in a flipped integral calculus course to understand their perceptions of self-efficacy and how these perceptions impact their learning experiences. Findings reveal that experiences in previous math courses, particularly high school, impacted students' perceptions of their self-efficacy in math both positively and negatively, active learning increased students' confidence in their ability to do math from their perspective, and verbal persuasion (implicit encouragement) increased students' confidence and was seen as a helpful way to learn.