Physics

Meaningful Support for Teachers: Specific Ways to Encourage Game-Based Learning in the Classroom

Day: 
Tues

Panelists from three projects share lessons learned in guiding game use in classroom learning, highlighting specific examples of effective resources.

Date/Time: 
9:45 am to 11:45 am
2014 Session Types: 
Collaborative Panel Session
Session Materials: 

The three panelists in this session are in the last one or two years of their game-based learning projects, and all have done extensive work in supporting use of their games in classroom learning. As their work has progressed, each has discovered valuable ways to support teachers as well as encountered surprises in what teachers wanted (and didn’t want), and now recognize things they wished they had learned in the beginning of their projects. Session participants leave with recommendations they can use in their current projects, including:

Opening the Door to Physics Through Formative Assessment

The goal of this study was to develop a high school physics course (Energizing Physics, developed by two Boston physics teachers) with an assessment system that has the potential to enable all students to learn how to learn physics, so they can succeed in their first physics course in college.  Objectives of the research were to: 1) develop and test formative assessment activities that are embedded within the instructional program; 2) Create an assessment framework to enable teachers to monitor each student's progress, and enable students to track their own progress; and 3) Test th

Author/Presenter: 
Cary Sneider
Brenda Wojnowski
Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2013

Gordon Research Conference 2014 Physics Research & Education

Event Date: 
Sun, 06/08/2014 - 10:00am to Fri, 06/13/2014 - 10:00am
Sponsoring Organization: 
Associated Dates and Deadlines: 
May 11, 2014
Event Type: 
Discipline / Topic: 

Interactional Processes for Stabilizing Conceptual Coherences in Physics

Author/Presenter: 
Rachel E. Scherr
Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2012
Short Description: 
Research in student knowledge and learning of science has typically focused on explaining conceptual change. Recent research, however, documents the great degree to which student thinking is dynamic and context-sensitive, implicitly calling for explanations not only of change but also of stability. In other words, when a pattern of student reasoning is sustained in specific moments and settings, what mechanisms contribute to sustaining it? We characterize student understanding and behavior in terms of multiple local coherences in that they may be variable yet still exhibit local stabilities. We attribute stability in local conceptual coherences to real-time activities that sustain these coherences. For example, particular conceptual understandings may be stabilized by the linguistic features of a worksheet question or by feedback from the students’ spatial arrangement and orientation. We document a group of university students who engage in multiple local conceptual coherences while thinking about motion during a collaborative learning activity. As the students shift their thinking several times, we describe mechanisms that may contribute to local stability of their reasoning and behavior.

Conserving Energy in Physics and Society: Creating an Integrated Model of Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics

Author/Presenter: 
Abigail R. Daane
Stamatis Vokos
Rachel E. Scherr
Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2012
Short Description: 
The second law of thermodynamics is typically not a central focus either in introductory university physics textbooks or in national standards for secondary education. However, the second law is a key part of a strong conceptual model of energy, especially for connecting energy conservation to energy degradation and the irreversibility of processes. We are developing a conceptual model of the second law as it relates to energy, with the goal of creating models and representations that link energy, the second law, and entropy in a meaningful way for learners analyzing real-life energy scenarios. We expect this model to help learners better understand how their everyday experiences relate to formal physics analyses. Our goal is to develop tools for use with elementary and secondary teachers and secondary and university students.

Representing Energy. II. Energy tracking representations

Author/Presenter: 
Rachel E. Scherr
Hunter G. Close
Eleanor W. Close
Stamatis Vokos
Year: 
2012
Short Description: 
The Energy Project at Seattle Pacific University has developed representations that embody the substance metaphor and support learners in conserving and tracking energy as it flows from object to object and changes form. Such representations enable detailed modeling of energy dynamics in complex physical processes. We assess student learning by means of representations that learners invent to explain energy dynamics in specific real-world scenarios. Refined versions of these learner-generated representations have proven valuable for our own teaching, physics understanding, and research.

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