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Assessing student understanding of physical hydrology
J. A. Marshall, A. J. Castillo,M. B. Cardenas
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS) & Discussions (HESSD) , 2013,
Abstract: Our objective is to devise a mechanism to characterize and assess upper division and graduate student thinking in hydrology. We accomplish this through development and testing of an assessment tool for a physical hydrology class. The instrument was piloted in two sections of a physical hydrology course. Students were asked to respond to two questions that probed understanding and one question that assessed their ability to apply their knowledge, both prior to and after the course. Student and expert responses to the questions were classified into broad categories to develop a rubric to score responses. Using the rubric, three researchers independently blind-coded the full set of pre- and post-artifacts, resulting in 89% inter-rater agreement on the pre-tests and 83% agreement on the post-tests. The majority of responses made by students at the beginning of the class were characterized as showing only recognition of hydrology concepts from a non-physical perspective; post surveys indicated that the majority had moved to a basic understanding of physical processes, with some students achieving expert understanding. Our study has limitations, including the small number of participants who were all from one institution and the fact that the rubric was still under development. Nevertheless, the high inter-rater agreement from a group of experts indicates that the process we undertook is potentially useful for assessment of learning and understanding physical hydrology.
Assessing student understanding of physical hydrology
J. A. Marshall,A. J. Castillo,M. B. Cardenas
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions , 2012, DOI: 10.5194/hessd-9-10095-2012
Abstract: Our objective is to characterize and assess upper division and graduate student thinking in hydrology. We accomplish this through development and testing of an assessment tool for a physical hydrology class. Students were asked to respond to two questions that probed understanding and one question that assessed their ability to apply their knowledge. Student and expert responses to the questions were then used to develop a rubric to score responses. Using the rubric, three researchers independently blind-coded the full set of pre and post artifacts, resulting in 89% inter-rater agreement on the pre-tests and 83% agreement on the post-tests. This result has limitations, including the small number of participants who were all from one institution and the fact that the rubric was still under development. Nevertheless, the high inter-rater agreement from a group of experts is significant; the rubric we developed is a potentially useful tool for assessment of learning and understanding physical hydrology.
Student understanding of rotational and rolling motion concepts
Lorenzo G. Rimoldini,Chandralekha Singh
Physical Review Special Topics. Physics Education Research , 2005,
Abstract: We investigated the common difficulties that students have with concepts related to rotational and rolling motion covered in the introductory physics courses. We compared the performance of calculus- and algebra-based introductory physics students with physics juniors who had learned rotational and rolling motion concepts in an intermediate level mechanics course. Interviews were conducted with six physics juniors and ten introductory students using demonstration-based tasks. We also administered free-response and multiple-choice questions to a large number of students enrolled in introductory physics courses, and interviewed six additional introductory students on the test questions (during the test design phase). All students showed similar difficulties regardless of their background, and higher mathematical sophistication did not seem to help acquire a deeper understanding. We found that some difficulties were due to related difficulties with linear motion, while others were tied specifically to the more intricate nature of rotational and rolling motion.
Student understanding of rotational and rolling motion concepts  [PDF]
Lorenzo G. Rimoldini,Chandralekha Singh
Physics , 2005, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.1.010102
Abstract: We investigated the common difficulties that students have with concepts related to rotational and rolling motion covered in the introductory physics courses. We compared the performance of calculus- and algebra-based introductory physics students with physics juniors who had learned rotational and rolling motion concepts in an intermediate level mechanics course. Interviews were conducted with six physics juniors and ten introductory students using demonstration-based tasks. We also administered free-response and multiple-choice questions to a large number of students enrolled in introductory physics courses, and interviewed six additional introductory students on the test questions (during the test design phase). All students showed similar difficulties regardless of their background, and higher mathematical sophistication did not seem to help acquire a deeper understanding. We found that some difficulties were due to related difficulties with linear motion, while others were tied specifically to the more intricate nature of rotational and rolling motion.
Self-determination theory and understanding of student motivation in physical education instruction
?or?i? Vi?nja,Tubi? Tatjana
Zbornik Instituta za Pedago?ka Istra?ivanja , 2010, DOI: 10.2298/zipi1001128d
Abstract: Physical education is considered to be a favorable context for accomplishment of important educational outcomes and promotion of physical activity in children and youth. The real scope of physical education instruction largely depends on student motivation. Self-determination theory, as a specific macrotheory of motivation, offers a rewarding framework for understanding student motivation in physical education instruction. The paper presents the basic tenets of self-determination theory, the most important studies in the domain of physical education and didactic and methodical implications. Two mini-theories within the self-determination theory are analyzed in more detail, the cognitive evaluation theory and the organismic integration theory. Empirical verification of the theoretical tenets indicates the existence of typical motivational profiles of students in physical education instruction, the basic psychological needs as mediators of influence of social and interpersonal factors on student motivation, followed by the importance of motivational climate, students' goal orientations and teaching style for self-determination of students' behavior in physical education instruction. Didactic and methodical implications refer to the need for developing a more flexible curriculum of physical education, encouraging a motivational climate, task-focused goal orientations, and, especially, encouraging the perceived moving competence of the student.
Exploring Student Understanding of Energy through the Quantum Mechanics Conceptual Survey  [PDF]
S. B. McKagan,C. E. Wieman
Physics , 2006,
Abstract: We present a study of student understanding of energy in quantum mechanical tunneling and barrier penetration. This paper will focus on student responses to two questions that were part of a test given in class to two modern physics classes and in individual interviews with 17 students. The test, which we refer to as the Quantum Mechanics Conceptual Survey (QMCS), is being developed to measure student understanding of basic concepts in quantum mechanics. In this paper we explore and clarify the previously reported misconception that reflection from a barrier is due to particles having a range of energies rather than wave properties. We also confirm previous studies reporting the student misconception that energy is lost in tunneling, and report a misconception not previously reported, that potential energy diagrams shown in tunneling problems do not represent the potential energy of the particle itself. The present work is part of a much larger study of student understanding of quantum mechanics.
The Determining Teacher Candidates’ Levels of Understanding Some Concepts and Misconceptions on Internet  [PDF]
U?ur BA?ARMAK,Mehmet Fikret GEL?BOLU
Journal of Kirsehir Education Faculty , 2010,
Abstract: Teacher candidates come across many concepts while using the Internet and the concepts which are not understood may lead to misconceptions. With this study, teacher candidates’ comprehension levels of some concepts about the Internet and misconceptionswere tried to be determined. The research data was obtained by administering the prepared form of “Concept Defining” to 156 teacher candidates studying at Ahi Evran University Education Faculty. The findings revealed that the teacher candidates understand most of the internet partially or they have the idea about these concepts. Theresults also showed that they only understand “Chat Programs” very well. In addition to these results, the teacher candidates’ levels of understanding some concepts and their misconceptions were examined in term of some variables.
Fostering primary school students’ understanding of cells and other related concepts with interactive computer animation instruction accompanied by teacher and student-prepared concept maps  [cached]
Ercan AKPINAR,Omer ERGIN
Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching , 2008,
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of instruction (application) including interactive computer animation accompanied by teacher and student-prepared concept maps on primary students’ biology achievement during instruction, as well as revealing attitudes towards science as a school subject. A quasi-experimental pre-test/post-test control group design was used in this study. The experimental group had 31 students and the control group had 34 students. The experimental group received instruction including interactive computer animation accompanied by teacher- and student-prepared concept maps, while the control group received traditional instruction. A biology achievement test and an attitude scale toward science were used as data collection instruments. The present study indicates that the experimental group had significantly higher scores than the control group in the biology achievement test (regarding cells and other related concepts). Regarding students’ attitudes toward science as a school subject, there was no significant difference between the experimental and control groups in the pre- and post-test results. However there was a statistically significant difference between the gain scores of the control group and the experimental group in favor of the experimental group.
Understanding student understanding in mathematics  [cached]
Willy Mwakapenda
Pythagoras , 2011, DOI: 10.4102/pythagoras.v33i4.124
Abstract: Understanding is one of the most important traits associated with the attainment of educational goals. However, Nickerson (1985) observes that although the concept of understanding is a fundamental one for education, “what it means to understand is a disarmingly simple question to ask but one that is likely to be anything but simple to answer” (p. 215). A significant concern in school mathematics is learner understanding of mathematical concepts.
Student understanding of the Boltzmann factor  [PDF]
Trevor I. Smith,Donald B. Mountcastle,John R. Thompson
Physics , 2015, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevSTPER.11.020123
Abstract: We present results of our investigation into student understanding of the physical significance and utility of the Boltzmann factor in several simple models. We identify various justifications, both correct and incorrect, that students use when answering written questions that require application of the Boltzmann factor. Results from written data as well as teaching interviews suggest that many students can neither recognize situations in which the Boltzmann factor is applicable, nor articulate the physical significance of the Boltzmann factor as an expression for multiplicity, a fundamental quantity of statistical mechanics. The specific student difficulties seen in the written data led us to develop a guided-inquiry tutorial activity, centered around the derivation of the Boltzmann factor, for use in undergraduate statistical mechanics courses. We report on the development process of our tutorial, including data from teaching interviews and classroom observations on student discussions about the Boltzmann factor and its derivation during the tutorial development process. This additional information informed modifications that improved students' abilities to complete the tutorial during the allowed class time without sacrificing the effectiveness as we have measured it. These data also show an increase in students' appreciation of the origin and significance of the Boltzmann factor during the student discussions. Our findings provide evidence that working in groups to better understand the physical origins of the canonical probability distribution helps students gain a better understanding of when the Boltzmann factor is applicable and how to use it appropriately in answering relevant questions.
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