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

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Organizing Committee

Symposium Specific Information

Moderator: Steve Maier
Presentation 1 Title: Epistemological, socialization, and help seeking views in traditional and at-home undergraduate physics laboratories
Presentation 1 Authors: Drew J. Rosen, Stony Brook University
Angela M. Kelly, Stony Brook University
Presentation 1 Abstract: Undergraduate physics laboratory course structures have been identified in policy reports for novel design innovations to meet the needs of a diverse and growing student population. To this end, an at-home laboratory option was implemented at a large, public university for introductory physics students. A quasi-experimental, observational quantitative study was undertaken to understand students' epistemological views, socialization, and help seeking behaviors in in-person and at-home laboratory environments. Students in introductory physics (N=998) were surveyed to elicit their epistemological beliefs about physics laboratory work and their views on social engagement and academic help-seeking. Students showed no statistically significant differences in attitudes related to epistemological beliefs and help-seeking behaviors when compared to students in traditional laboratory courses. In-person students valued socialization higher than at-home students. This study provides insights into the feasibility of at-home, hands-on laboratory work to meet students' needs, and institutional recommendations for student advisement.
Presentation 2 Title: Painted yellow lines: Exploring parameters of physics teacher self-efficacy in a new teaching landscape
Presentation 2 Authors: Richard Hechter, University of Manitoba
Presentation 2 Abstract: New curricular outcomes are being developed and adopted towards emphasizing personal explanations from cultural experiences and influences intended to complement prevailing curriculum elements of physics phenomena and concepts. Efforts to educate for social justice, inclusion, and cultural awareness across disciplines is a departure from the siloed history of content only curricular matter. However, educating for global citizenship situates teachers in unchartered territory to include new perspectives and knowledge. This study, conducted with secondary level physics teachers (n=32), explored contributing factors related to their perceived efficacy of teaching in these new directions. Findings indicate that a) years of teaching, b) pedagogical strategies and foci, c) epistemological frames, and d) perceived degree of autonomy in conducting classes without administrative interference contribute to their perceptions. With the call for increased diversity in physics, this talk articulates implications for teaching physics in this modern educational landscape.
Presentation 3 Title: The impact of extra credit incentives on students' work habits when completing online homework assignments
Presentation 3 Authors: Zachary Felker, University of Central Florida
Matthew W Guthrie, University of Central Florida
Zhongzhou Chen, University of Central Florida
Presentation 3 Abstract: Instructors know that many college students tend to delay working on homework assignments until close to the due date. Such "cramming" behavior may lead to insufficient engagement with learning materials. In this study, we investigate the effectiveness of reducing "cramming" by offering small amounts of extra credit for completing parts of the assignments before the due date. Student learning behavior is characterized by first identifying clusters of clickstream records that represent a continuous study session, then analyzing the duration and starting time of each study session. We observed that after offering extra credit for early completion, the average duration of study sessions remains unchanged, but more study sessions took place earlier than the assignment due date, shortly before the extra credit due dates. We will discuss how extra credit impacts different student populations, as well as the quality of students' learning behavior. As institutions across the nation shift abruptly to online learning at the onset of the COVID-19 epidemic, students are facing significant challenges to keep up with regular course schedules when studying from home, and due dates for online assignments must be more flexible as to accommodate for those challenges. This study suggests that the use of extra credit can be an effective method to incentivize completion of assignments among some students.
Presentation 4 Title: Transforming the Preparation of Physics GTAs
Presentation 4 Authors: Emily Alicea-Munoz, Georgia Institute of Technology
Carol Subino Sullivan, Georgia Institute of Technology
Michael F. Schatz, Georgia Institute of Technology
Presentation 4 Abstract: Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) are key partners in the education of undergrads. Given the potentially large impact GTAs can have on undergraduate student learning, it is important to provide them with appropriate preparation for teaching. But GTAs are students themselves, and not all of them desire an academic career. Therefore, it is crucial that GTA preparation not be a burden but rather be fully integrated into their professional development. In this talk, we describe a GTA preparation course for first-year PhD students. Through a yearly cycle of implementation and revision, the course has evolved into a robust and comprehensive professional development program that is well-received by physics graduate students. We assessed the effectiveness of the course with a combination of surveys, pre/post tests, and student evaluations. We found that GTAs feel better prepared for teaching and adopt more learner-centered teaching approaches after participating in the program.