Using Clickers in Physics Lectures with Predominant Minority Students

By  Pengfei Li, Jonathan Lambright
Received: 2012-1-5 / Accepted: 2012-2-29 / Published: 2012-3-30
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Abstract At Savannah State University (SSU), a Historical Black College and University (HBCU), an in-class response system (clicker) was used in an algebra-based physics introductory course to answer multiple-choice questions during lectures. Two types of clicker questions sequences were used to improve students’ interaction in class and help students understand physics concepts: “rapid fire” sequences and “easy-hard-hard”. Attitude survey showed students liked using clickers and felt more engaged in lectures after using them. Voting results showed two different patterns for “rapid fire” series and “easy-hard-hard” series. These results were also compared with voting results by students from the Ohio State University (OSU). [More...]

Project-Based Learning: Theory, Impact, and Effective Implementation

By  Aaron Adair, Lei Bao
Received: 2011-10-10 / Accepted: 2012-1-6 / Published: 2012-3-30
Abstract This paper reviews the literature on the teaching methodology of project-based learning (PBL), covering its characteristics, inception, and the results from implementation. From the existing research, PBL is found to be an effective instructional paradigm compared to traditional teaching methods. A collection of issues for effective implementation of PBL is constructed bearing in mind both what is best for creating educated and formal reasoning citizens and what should be done to avoid PBL from degenerating into less effective paradigms. Several tests are suggested for investigating the qualities of a given implementation of PBL, notably in the context of physics. © [More...]

Examining the Geometry Items of State Standardized Exams Using the van Hiele Model: Test Content and Student Achievement

By  Yating Liu, Pingping Zhang, Patti Brosnan, Diana Erchick
Received: 2012-2-3 / Accepted: 2012-3-15 / Published: 2012-3-30
Abstract In this work we catalogued the content of multiple-choice geometry items on the Ohio Achievement Tests for Grades 3, 5 and 8 according to the van Hiele model of development of geometric thought. Using statewide data from 1,418 students, responses on each question were analyzed to trace students’ performance at different grade levels. Statistical results indicated that the majority of the items at each grade level focused on Levels 1 and 2, and student performance declined as the question level increased. A closer examination of the participants’ responses in each item suggested that visual evidence and linguistic clues significantly impacted students’ judgment. [More...]