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Paper by Alistair McInerny, Mila Kryjevskaia and collaborators is accepted for publication in PERC proceedings

A. McInerny, A. Boudreaux, M. Kryjevskaia, and S. Julin, "Promoting and assessing student metacognition in physics," accepted pending revisions, AIP Conf. Proc. (2014).

Abstract.  The performance of introductory students on similar tasks used to assess their understanding of a particular physics topic can vary widely; conceptual and reasoning competence demonstrated on one task is often not exhibited on another, closely related task.  Indeed, performance is often poor on tasks that strongly elicit students' intuitive ideas.  Previously, we developed a paired-question methodology to disentangle reasoning approaches from conceptual understanding and used the dual process heuristic-analytic theory of reasoning to account for observed inconsistencies in student reasoning.  It has been argued that metacognition may foster the productive engagement of the analytic process during reasoning.  In this study, we examined the impact on student reasoning patterns of three metacognitive interventions that varied significantly in both focus and scaffolding.  Our findings suggest that, even for students with a robust conceptual understanding, incorrect intuitive reasoning persists and these interventions do not appear to engage the analytic process more productively.

 

 

Paper by Mila Kryjevskaia and collaborators is accepted for publication in PERC proceedings

M. Kryjevskaia, M. R. Stetzer, and T. K. Le, "Failure to engage:  Examining the impact of metacognitive interventions on persistent intuitive reasoning approaches," accepted, AIP Conf. Proc. (2014).

Abstract.  The performance of introductory students on similar tasks used to assess their understanding of a particular physics topic can vary widely; conceptual and reasoning competence demonstrated on one task is often not exhibited on another, closely related task.  Indeed, performance is often poor on tasks that strongly elicit students' intuitive ideas.  Previously, we developed a paired-question methodology to disentangle reasoning approaches from conceptual understanding and used the dual process heuristic-analytic theory of reasoning to account for observed inconsistencies in student reasoning.  It has been argued that metacognition may foster the productive engagement of the analytic process during reasoning.  In this study, we examined the impact on student reasoning patterns of three metacognitive interventions that varied significantly in both focus and scaffolding.  Our findings suggest that, even for students with a robust conceptual understanding, incorrect intuitive reasoning persists and these interventions do not appear to engage the analytic process more productively.

 

 

Alistair McInerny will present research talk in STEM JC and in Physics Seminar

STEM journal club talk is scheduled for October 17; Physics Seminar talk is scheduled for October 27.

 

 

Nate Grosz will present research talk in STEM JC and in Physics Seminar

STEM journal club talk is scheduled for October 3; Physics Seminar talk is scheduled for October 13.

 

 

Mila Kryjevskaia and collaborators receive an NSF IUSE grant

Mila Kryjevskaia and collaborators (MacKenzie Stetzer, Beth Lindsey, Paula Heron, and Andrew Boudreaux) receive a multi-year, multi-institutional NSF grant to investigate student reasoning in Physics.  Despite a sustained focus on reasoning and problem solving from a variety of research perspectives, little is known about how students construct inferential reasoning chains in solving qualitative physics problems. The importance of reasoning in developing and applying scientific knowledge as well as the relative lack of empirical and theoretical resources for understanding and assessing the development of such reasoning suggest that there is a need for further research in this area. This three-year foundational and exploratory collaborative research project aims to meet that need. Central to the project is the development of new instruments and methodologies for disentangling conceptual understanding of physics from those reasoning abilities required to apply that understanding productively. The specific objectives of the project are: 1) to develop instruments capable of reliably measuring student reasoning, and 2) to use these instruments to investigate the development of student reasoning in university physics courses. These objectives are highly synergistic; indeed, project activities will concurrently support both instrument development and refinement and the generation of new knowledge about student reasoning in physics, including the identification of factors and instructional circumstances that enhance or suppress the application of productive reasoning approaches. Three complementary strategies will be employed: 1) the collection and analysis of snapshot data obtained from many students at a single instant (e.g., written responses to exam questions), 2) controlled experiments involving comparisons of snapshot data obtained under different circumstances, and 3) the collection and analysis of video data from student interviews and from groups of students working through materials in class. Research has shown that instructional interventions often help the strongest students most, thereby widening the gap between high- and low-achieving students. It is therefore reasonable to hypothesize that differences in student reasoning abilities contribute to this gap. As such, this collaborative project is particularly well positioned to help establish a foundation for: 1) promoting equity in the classroom by closing the gap between higher- and lower-achieving students, and 2) retaining at-risk students in STEM disciplines.

 

 

Mila Kryjevskaia is invited to present at the Nationa SACNAS meeting in October 2014

Abstract:  It can be argued that the development of reasoning abilities is possibly the most important outcome of college physics instruction, as these abilities extend to all Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines and are important to many non-STEM professions as well.  In this presentation we will discuss approaches taken by physics education researchers who investigate student reasoning in physics.  We will focus on a particularly puzzling phenomenon observed in introductory physics courses: some students use correct ideas and reasoning in order to solve a specific physics problem, but often fail to do so on other, closely related problems.  In many cases students who provide incorrect solutions do possess the knowledge and skills necessary to solve the problems correctly.  However, instead of applying the appropriate knowledge and skills, some students tend to rely on intuitive ideas that lead to incorrect conclusions.  We will discuss research methods that allow researchers to disentangle student conceptual understanding and reasoning approaches through the use of sequences of related questions.  We will also discuss opportunities for research related to student reasoning in physics. 

 

 

July 2014: Paper by Kryjevskaia, Stetzer, and Grosz published in PhysRev ST-PER is included in Highlights and distinguished with Editor's Suggestion mark

M. Kryjevskaia, M. R. Stetzer, N. Grosz, "Answer first:  Applying the heuristic-analytic theory of reasoning to examine student intuitive thinking in the context of physics," Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research 10, 020109 (12 pages) (2014).

 

 

July 2014: Mila Kryjevskaia, Nate Grosz, and Alistair McInerny presented at the National Summer AAPT meeting and at the Physics Education Research Conference

  • M. Kryjevskaia and M. Stetzer, "Do Individual Thinking Strategies Consistently Inform Reasoning Approaches?" oral presentation at the National AAPT Summer meeting, Minneapolis, MN, July 2014.
  • N. C. Grosz, M. Kryjevskaia, and M. Stetzer, "Developing Metacognitive Skills in Conjunction with Conceptual Understanding of Physics," oral presentation at the National AAPT Summer meeting, Minneapolis, MN, July 2014.
  • T. K. Le, M. Stetzer, and M. Kryjevskaia, “Exploring the Role of Metacognition in Qualitative Reasoning,” oral presentation at the National AAPT Summer meeting, Minneapolis, MN, July 2014.
  • A. McInerny, A. Boudreaux, and M. Kryjevskaia, " Promoting and assessing student metacognition in physics," poster presentation at the Physics Education Research Conference, Minneapolis, MN, 2014.
  • M. Kryjevskaia, M. Stetzer, and T. K. Le, "Examining persistence of student intuitive reasoning approaches in introductory physics courses: The role of metacognition," poster presentation at the Physics Education Research Conference, Minneapolis, MN, July 2014.
  • T. K. Le, M. R. Stetzer, and M. Kryjevskaia, Exploring the role of metacognition in qualitative reasoning," poster presentation at the Physics Education Research Conference, Minneapolis, MN, 2014.

 

 

July 2014: Nate Grosz, Wil Marcus, and Mila Kryjevskaia participated in outreach event for Grafton High School students visiting NDSU.

Joe Koteles, a recent NDSU graduate, who is currently teaching at Grafton High School (Grafton, ND), brought 10 students to the Department of Physics for science activities.  Physics faculty, as well as graduate and undergraduate students, worked with the students to help them explore various physics phenomena.

June 2014: Mila Kryjevskaia and collaborators submitted two research papers to the proceedings of the 2014 Physics Education Research Conference

  • M. Kryjevskaia, M. R. Stetzer, and T. K. Le, "Failure to engage:  Examining the impact of metacognitive interventions on persistent intuitive reasoning approaches," submitted to AIP Conf. Proc. (2014).
  • A. McInerny, A. Boudreaux, M. Kryjevskaia, and S. Julin, "Promoting and assessing student metacognition in physics," submitted to AIP Conf. Proc. (2014).

 

 

June 2014: Mila Kryjevskaia helped facilitate workshop for new physics and astronomy faculty

http://www.aapt.org/Conferences/newfaculty/nfw.cfm

 

 

September 2013. Mila Kryjevskaia is appointed to fill the position of Vice Chair of the Committee on Research in Physics Education of the American Association of Physics Teachers

The committee mission includes 

  • Encourage and follow research on the teaching and learning of physics and related topics.
  • Help keep the AAPT membership and the broader science teaching community aware of new and current understanding of how and why students learn, and ways of improving instruction, including the appropriate use of new tools and technologies.
  • Encourage both the use of the outcomes of research and the doing of formal and informal research in the physics classroom and laboratory.
  • Encourage recognition of research in physics education as a valid area of inquiry within physics departments.

Mila Kryjevskaia and collaborators received an NSF grant focusing on the development of methods to assess and promote student metacognition in physics

We will design a suite of research-validated activities to evoke and improve students' metacognitive skills and will investigate the resources that students utilize and the specific difficulties they face when engaged in metacognition. Furthermore, we will examine the connections between specific lines of metacognitive thinking and gains in conceptual understanding and reasoning ability.  Despite substantial prior research and widespread agreement on its crucial role in learning, metacognition remains a "fuzzy" concept that is difficult to integrate into instruction.  A major contribution of this project is to develop instructional strategies to support different forms of student metacognition; from "backward-looking" reflection, in which the learner articulates what she knows about a concept and how she came to know it, to "forward-looking" strategies that support the learner in selecting approaches best suited to new situations.  

 

 

July 2013. Mila Kryjevskaia gave an invited talk at the Physics Education Research Conference.

Link to the PER conference

 

 

July 2013. Mila Kryjevskaia and Nate Grosz presented at the National AAPT summer meeting in Portland, OR

AAPT Portland meeting

 

 

June 2013. Mila Kryjevskaia gave a plenary talk at the Foundations and Frontiers of Physics Education Research

Link to the conference

 

 

Research paper by Mila Kryjevskaia and MacKenzie Stetzer was nominated for the 2012 PERC proceedings Paper Award

 

 

Mila Kryjevskaia and collaborators submitted a research paper to the Physics Teacher

Mila Kryjevskaia, MacKenzie R. Stetzer, and Paula R. L. Heron, "Is a simple measurement task a roadblock to student understanding of wave phenomena?"

 

November: Two papers by Mila Kryjevskaia and collaborators are accepted for publication

 

 

Nov 30. Nate Grosz and Burrow Kreutzer will give a JC presentation



Nov 2. Nate Grosz will give a JC presentation



Oct 27. Mila Kryjevskaia and collaborators submitted a paper to Phys Rev Special Topics - PER Journal

Mila Kryjevskaia in collaboration with MacKenzie Stetzer (U. of Maine) and Paula Heron (U. of Washington) submitted a manuscript entitled "Student difficulties measuring distances in terms of wavelength:  Lack of basic skills or failure to transfer?" 

In our ongoing research on student understanding of periodic waves and interference phenomena, we have found that many students experience difficulties when they attempt to express a distance of interest (e.g., the separation between two sources) in terms of the wavelength of the periodic waves.  This paper describes a systematic investigation focused on the identification of factors influencing student performance on a variety of tasks that require measurements of distances in terms of non-standard units (e.g., wavelength or the length of pencil).  We identified tasks that seemingly require an application of identical skills, but yield striking differences in student performance.  In a series of different problems situated in different contexts, and given at different stages of instruction, we probed several possible reasons for the observed discrepancies.  We systematically examined issues related to framing, transfer, representation, and difficulties with the concept of wavelength. 

 

Oct 26. Burrow Kreutzer will give a JC presentation

Burrow will discuss work by Claude Steele "A threat in the Air"

 

Oct 9. Mila Kryjevskaia nominated to serve as a member of the Committee on Research in Physics Education of the American Association of Physics Teachers

Mila accepted this nomination for a three-year term.

 

Oct 8. Burrow Kreutzer will present at the Physics seminar

Burrow will discuss collaborative research with Andrew Boudreaux on instructor's impact on gander gap in Physics.
See abstract.  

 

Sept 21. Nate Grosz and James Nayachwaya will give a JC presentation

Nate and James will discuss video games and spatial cognition.

 

Sept 7. Burrow Kreutzer will give a JC presentation on Instructor's impact on gender gap in Physics

Burrow will discuss her undergraduate work with Andrew Boudreaux.

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