Plenary lecture 4: Elizabeth Gire, Oregon State University
26 years ago, the physics faculty at Oregon State University radically redesigned their physics majors into the Paradigms in Physics program. Since then, the Paradigms has grown into a user facility for physics education research and curriculum development.
In 2016, we embarked on Paradigms 2.0, a substantial revision to the original Paradigms courses. I will describe the features of our program, what we’ve learned about apprenticing new physicists, and future directions.
Plenary lecture 3: Heather Lewandowski, University of Colorado Boulder
Physics is an empirical science. Therefore, learning physics must include learning how to design and conduct experiments, analyze and interpret data, and revise models and apparatus.
Lab courses are a way for students to engage in these authentic physics practices. Our work looks to improve lab experiences by improving students’ competency with modeling of physical and measurement systems, troubleshooting skills, documentation practices, and views of the nature of experimental physics.
Plenary lecture 2: Brean Prefontaine, Michigan State University
In this introduction to informal physics education (IPER), we will explore the historical and current landscape of research looking at informal physics education spaces and public engagement in physics. We will talk about the different kinds of questions that researchers have and are currently exploring, including the kinds of questions that we are currently researching at Michigan State University.
Just like in other areas of PER, there are a variety of methods that people are using to explore these spaces. We will discuss what kinds of data are being collected within informal spaces and what methods can be used to explore that data. Additionally, in many instances within informal spaces, the researcher and practitioner role are intimately connected.
We will discuss these instances and the importance of researchers disseminated information in a usable manner to practitioners. Finally, we will discuss ways that informal physics spaces are evaluated both internally and externally. Throughout this overview of informal physics education research, I will share examples from my own graduate research and work as an external evaluator.
Anders Malthe-Sørenssen and Tor Ole Odden, University of Oslo
Computation is a cornerstone of modern scientific research, and consequently many universities are actively working to incorporate computational methods into their science courses.
At the University of Oslo, this work has been going since the early 2000s and currently all bachelor programs in mathematics and natural science integrate computing from day one.
For example, in the physics bachelor program, students learn computation in through coordinated mathematics, physics and, computer science courses, and computation is then threaded through most subsequent physics courses.
In this talk, we address the Norwegian educational context, challenges and experiences from establishing such a program, examples of how the program is implemented, and how we work to integrate computing in programs across contexts and across educational levels.
We will also discuss what we are learning through our research activities on how students build computational literacy, and how computation can support student conceptual understanding and epistemic agency.
We would like to invite members of the physics education research groups of Michigan State University, University of Colorado-Boulder, and Oregon State University, as well as our Scandinavian PER colleagues, to a summer institute held in Oslo, Norway, and hosted by the Center for Computing in Science Education at the University of Oslo.
Do you want to learn how to partner with students to bring active learning methods into your teaching? Join us for the Nordic Regional Learning Assistant (LA) Workshop!