Fall 2020 Meeting of the Illinois Section of the AAPT - Joint with Chicago Section AAPT

"Online meeting of the Illinois and Chicago AAPT"

Saturday, November 7, 2020

Online resources courtesy of Department of Physics,

University of Illinois and Department of Physics, Lewis University


We are pleased to invite you to attend the Fall 2020 online meeting of the Illinois and Chicago AAPT. Join us by Zoom to learn more about physics, discover new tools and techniques for teaching physics, and share your experiences via contributed presentations.

Contributed Presentations

9:15 am

Equipotential diagram modifications to improve student ranking of electric potential

*Andrew Princer, Jeffrey Rosauer, Naomi Satoh, Amber Sammons, Rebecca Rosenblatt, and Raymond Zich - Illinois State University - 4 - Research

A major issue in student ranking of electric potentials is identification of the sign of the electric charge. In this study, modifications of equipotential diagrams with color and line features based on theories of visual affordances were made to increase the visual salience of charge sign. Students were randomly assigned to one of two activities asking them to rank electric potentials for indicated points on given diagrams. Pre- and posttest comparisons and interview results showed training with modified diagrams produced correctness gains of 21% compared with gains of 11% for traditional diagram training, and improvement of 36% in application of a conditional rule including charge sign compared with the prior study. In-person and online training results are compared, with in-person training combined with modified diagrams yielded highest pre to post gains of 27% and online training with traditional diagrams produced the lowest gains of 5%.

9:30 am

Addition of Computational Activities to a General Education Astronomy Course

*James DiCaro, Andrew Princer, Raymond Zich - Illinois State University - 4 - Research

We report on the introduction of computational activities to a general education astronomy course and the result of the transformation. The course was taught using active learning methods and computational activities were introduced as a complement to the active learning component. The computational exercises provided an important tool for developing understanding of concepts and connecting science with prediction. Spreadsheet-based computational exercises tied to active learning tasks were added to the course and completed collaboratively by students. The design and types of the computational exercises will be presented. We reflect on the process of this transition and report on factors that led to the inclusion of computational activities, factors that supported the change, and barriers faced while implementing this change. Details of the quantitative and qualitative assessment process will be discussed. Preliminary results from student surveys investigating student learning, attitudes toward computational exercises, and perceptions of the course as a whole.

9:45 am

Longer term evaluation of students’ attitudes and curricular benefits for a new course activity

*Grant Kaufman, *Katie Crook , Amber Sammons, Rebecca Rosenblatt, and Raymond Zich

- Illinois State University - 4 - Research

Students’ attitudes about learning play a significant role learning and retention. A curriculum modification was introduced in a general education physics class to improve students’ scientific reasoning skills and attitudes toward science. The modification was applied over two control semesters and three treatment semesters, and pre- and post-testing was done with the CLASS and Lawson’s Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning to assess the effects of the videos on students’ attitudes about science and their scientific reasoning skills. Measurement showed initial improvement in both students’ attitudes toward science and scientific reasoning skills. With continued use gains in scientific reasoning skills remained constant while gains in students' attitude towards science decreased. As most new curricula only report a semester or two of results before widespread introduction occurs, the reduced improvement in attitudes toward science suggest that longer term assessment of instructional interventions should occur before implementation of new curricula.

10:00 am

Investigation of themes observed in student manipulations of the “Fluid Pressure and Flow” PhET simulation

*Justin Szela, Jeffrey Rosauer, Amber Sammons, Grant Kaufman, Rebecca Rosenblatt, and Raymond Zich

- Illinois State University - 4 - Research

Themes observed in screen captures of student manipulations of the PhET simulation “Fluid Pressure and Flow” are presented. The simulation was used in a guided-inquiry tutorial developed to improve student understanding of fluid statics and dynamics in introductory algebra-based physics courses for life science students. Thematic analysis was used to identify and categorize patterns among students completing the tutorial. These patterns were analyzed and compared to pre- and post-activity assessments of student knowledge of fluid speed and pressure in pipes. These data were examined for correlations between interactions with the simulation and changes in students' conceptual understanding of fluids. Students completing the tutorial had pre- to post-activity gains of 22%. Students with higher gains showed patterns of using multiple pressure and speed gauges and observed changes of pressure and speed at fixed points throughout the simulation. Concentrating on settings necessary to complete the tutorial tended to yield better gains.

10:15 am

Student Engagment During Remote Learning

*Emily Roth, *John Metzler - Niles West High School - 2 - Teaching Methods

Join us to see how we forge social interactions during remote learning. Specific steps, including structured breakout rooms to foster peer interaction and bonus assignments to engage families and build critical connections. Longer term strategies, like thematic social functions to unpack common misconceptions and build-at-home projects upon which laboratory exercises are built, are interwoven to hold students accountable to each other and themselves. This shift, from teacher-leader to student-explorer, has helped us keep student engagement high and our sanity stable.

10:30 am

Kinematics Card Sort via Zoom

Martha Lietz - Niles West High School - 1 - Active Learning

This talk will briefly describe an activity I did in class recently where the students reviewed kinematics by doing an on-line "card sort" via Zoom. A Google slides presentation is created with several grey slides, each having one type of representation (motion map, velocity graph, etc.). Then several blank slides with colored backgrounds are placed so that students can sort the various representations into groups where each representation shows the same motion. The students make a copy of the Google Slides presentation and share it with each other and the instructor, allowing the instructor to remotely monitor the class-time group work.

10:45 am

Coffee break (get your own coffee!). Zoom will remain open if you wish to converse.

Invited Speaker

11:15 Aam

A national study of the transition to remote teaching of physics labs

Dr. Jessica R. Hoehn - University of Colorado Boulder

Abstract: During Spring 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, physics instructors had to rapidly transition to teaching physics labs remotely. We are conducting a national study to: (a) document the variety of creative approaches instructors have taken to enable students to access laboratory-like learning remotely, and (b) measure the impact of this transition to remote learning on students’ beliefs about experimental physics. In this talk, we will present the initial results from survey and interview data collected from both students and instructors in Spring 2020. We will provide recommendations for teaching remote or hybrid (in-person and remote) physics lab courses, with specific attention to ensuring that the courses remain equitable and inclusive.

Bio: Dr. Jessica Hoehn is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder. She received her PhD in Physics Education Research from CU in 2019, studying ontological, epistemological, and social aspects of students’ reasoning in quantum mechanics. Dr. Hoehn’s current research projects include studying the role of writing in lab classes, exploring how student-designed multi-week lab projects can support students’ views about the nature of experimental physics, and investigating the connections between students’ epistemologies and engagement in group work.

12:15 pm

Lunch and section business meetings

Contributed Presentations

1:00 pm

IPaSS Partnership Program

(*)Morten Lundsgaard, Maggie Mahmood, Eric Kuo, Tim Stelzer, and Rebecca Wiltfong - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - 5 - Other

Is summer 2020, the Physics Department at U of I launched the Illinois Physics and Secondary School (IPaSS) Partnership Program. The goal of IPaSS is to provide more high school students in Illinois access to high quality physics instruction. In the program, high school physics teachers partner with U of I to adapt and adopt U of I curriculum material to their classroom. By offering participation at different levels, IPaSS reaches out to a broad range of physics teachers.

In the presentation, we will describe the goals of the IPaSS program, its various components, and the different levels of engagement that if offers to teachers.

1:15 pm

Physics Portfolios: I'm Never Giving a Test Again

Raeghan Graessle - William Rainey Harper College - 5 - Other

Sick of chasing down cheaters online, I switched to a Portfolio as my formal assessments in all my Introductory Physics courses (conceptual and algebra-based). Based on Bloom's Taxonomy, Differentiated Instruction and the Solve For Everything You Can framework, students are presented with 1-4 scenarios that they build at home. They then make measurements and do calculations, apply different physics ideas, write about the applicable concepts and evaluate their results. A scorecard is provided listing the measurements, calculations, skills and writing prompts they can choose to answer. The results are stunning! Not only do some students hit this out of the park, but many other students have uncovered huge holes in my teaching and allow me to address misconceptions in a real-life environment. This makes both me and my students better. I will never give another formal exam again!

1:30 pm

MyOpenMath - Assessments Not Just for Math

Samuel Levenson - Harper College - 2 - Teaching Methods

As the COVID crisis drags on, on line assessments become more and more a fact of life. We often have to deal with multiple publishers systems as we teach across the curriculum. In Math, MyOpenMath (MOM) was started as open source software developed by community college professor David Lippman, and has since been widely adopted in Math for use with Open Source Texts. Recently it has started to support the openStax Physics texts. This talk will summarize available resources and demonstrate the use of MOM to generate and present assessments, either as a standalone platform or integrated with an LMS.

1:45 pm

STEP UP Ambassador Program - Adaptations to Remote Learning

Amanda Early - Fermilab - 2 - Teaching Methods

Did you know that teachers are the reason that most undergraduate women in physics chose that degree? That’s right. You are key to encouraging women to pursue prosperous careers in physics! The STEP UP project provides access to downloadable research-based lessons about physics and a nationwide community of teachers engaged in changing the future of physics. With the transition to remote learning, many of the lessons have been adapted for use in this new classroom environment.

Hosts - Joseph Kozminski, KozminJo@lewisu.edu and Morten Lundsgard, mlundsga@illinois.edu