Physics Education Research

Physics Education Research questions: What is the nature of student understanding (or misunderstanding) of a particular physics topic? How to measure student understanding? How does understanding evolve with time? What role do general cognitive mechanisms play? What is the most effective way to teach a particular topic? Why are some teaching methods better than others? How to implement instructional methods on a large scale?

People Involved

Dr. Rebecca Rosenblatt

Current Research Work

We are currently working on two main projects. The first is assessing aspects of student control of variables reasoning with data presented in graphical and non-graphical ways. The second is studying student learning within the 207 Energy and Environment course. We do this in a number of ways. However, mostly we collect data in two ways. 1) Student interviews- ask a mostly predesigned set of questions and listen to student ideas on a topic then record notes about their understanding or 2) Designing computer and paper tasks for the students and then analyzing the responses with statistical techniques. Any students interested in teaching or learning would be welcome to join the group. (You need not be a PTE major!)

Papers

R. Rosenblatt. “Comparing Student Ability to Reason with Multiple Variables for Graphed and Non-Graphed Information." Submitted to Proceedings of the 2014 PER Conference, AIP, Melville, NY, 2014.

Rosenblatt, R., Heckler, A. F., & Flores, K. “A Tutorial Design Process Applied to an Introductory Materials Engineering Course.” Advancements in Engineering Education, 2013.

Heckler, A. F., Mikula, B. and Rosenblatt, R. “Student accuracy in reading logarithmic plots: the problem and how to fix it.” to appear in 43rd ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference Proceeding, 2013.

Presentations

2014 American Association of Physics Teachers (Minneapolis, MN): Evaluating the Effects of Course Style on Learning about Energy & the Environment

2014 Physics Education Research Conference (minneapolis, MN): Comparing Student Ability to Reason with Multiple Variables for Graphed and Non-Graphed Information.

2014 University of Dresden: Student Reasoning with Multiple Variables & Graphed Data

2014 5th Annual North American Materials Education Symposium (Champaign/Urbana, IL): Usefulness of small reading-based intervention for teaching non-engineers mechanical properties.

2014 5th Annual North American Materials Education Symposium (Champaign/Urbana, IL): Student Difficulties Using Graphs Required for a Materials Science Course