Share it, don't split it
In this article for The Physics Teacher, we compare two ways that students might collaborate: by splitting up group-work, or by sharing in all tasks equally. We argue that students (especially women) benefit more from sharing, rather than splitting up, group-work. This was a featured paper, and was also chosen as an AIP Scilight.
A Framework for Teaching Equity in Science Classes
Students' attitudes toward experimental physics in an inquiry-based lab
In this paper (still under review), I examine E-CLASS scores for three types of labs to to examine the impact of conceptual inquiry-based labs (using the Real Time Physics curriculum) on students' expectations and epistemologies related to experimental physics. I find that strategically adding questions makes these labs about as effective as other successful lab approaches. Further, I document a relatively small boost to students' conceptual understanding as a result of studying in a conceptual inquiry-based lab.
Equity and Introductory College Physics Labs (PhD dissertation)
My PhD dissertation was built largely around the ideas of equity in college physics education and introductory lab courses. The chapters are based on several of the papers below (plus a few more).
“Everyone is new to this”: Student reflections on pandemic online learning
When designing learning experiences, we often attend only to the needs of average students or, what's worse, to the type of student we imagine ourselves to have been. My earlier work identified a sub-group of women in in introductory physics labs ("Hermiones") who often took on managerial-type roles. In this paper, we reflect on interviews with several such women and ask: what do these highly-motivated yet often marginalized students want, and need, from an introductory physics lab?This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and AIP Publishing. This article appeared in the American Journal of Physics and may be found online.
Women Group Leaders in Introductory Physics Labs
When designing learning experiences, we often attend only to the needs of average students or, what's worse, to the type of student we imagine ourselves to have been. My earlier work identified a sub-group of women in in introductory physics labs ("Hermiones") who often took on managerial-type roles. In this paper, we reflect on interviews with several such women and ask: what do these highly-motivated yet often marginalized students want, and need, from an introductory physics lab?
Lessons from Transforming an Honors Lab
What happens if you transform a lab course but don't get everything right? This paper describes the transformation of an introductory honors lab course to include Arduino-based instrumentation and lots of new instruction and lab activities. However, tweaks in delivery were required for the class to be inclusive all for all students.This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and AIP Publishing. This article appeared in the American Journal of Physics and may be found online.
What Makes a Good Lab Partner?
When students work together in groups, they prefer to engage in a division of labor that divides up tasks in a balanced but inequitable way. For example, Student A might be a secretary while Student B is a tinkerer. In this paper, we analyze this mutuality of engagement to show that providing students with equal opportunities to do all different kinds of work improves outcomes, especially for women.
Lab TA Training Works
In many large universities, graduate student teaching assistants (TAs) teach lab courses. Given the recent move to make labs more engaging and meaningful for students, how can we prepare TAs to lead labs? This paper describes a program (available here) of professional development activities during weekly meetings, and then presents evidence to suggest that the training improves TAs' understanding of the learning process and the ways they interact with students to support learning.
Why Are There So Few Women in Physics?
This short article is based on interviews with two students undergraduate women. One student, a chemistry major, had low self-efficacy when it came to physics. The other, a physics major, had experienced stereotype threat and isolation in her physics classes. We conclude with some implications for teaching that could help to counterbalance the negative experiences reported by these two women.
Hermione and the Secretary
Through interviews with students in introductory physics labs, I identify two modes of gendered task division (Secretary-Tinkerer and Hermione-Slacker), describe how this may disadvantage women in physics labs, and propose a framework for understanding how psycho-social distance between two students can cause or exacerbate gendered task division.
All Aboard! Professional Development for Lab TAs
This short paper presents evidence that professional development for graduate student lab TAs can be effective in improving their views about learning, delivering instruction, and improving student attitudes
What's Happening in Traditional and Inquiry-Based Introductory Labs?
Cultural Border Crossing Applied to the Physics Classroom
Cultural "border-crossing" theory in education suggests that the borders students cross between their home culture and school cultures can play a large role in their success in the later. I had students complete matched tests at school (as a paper quiz) and at home (as a Buzzfeed-style quiz, with family). The students divided neatly into the categories proposed by border-crossing theory. A follow-up simulation suggested that a student's border-crossing can provide a 17 percentage point boost (or decrease) to their scores on school-style assessments.