Oslo PER Summer Institute June 13-17 2022

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.

People working together

Photo: Line Schibstad Foto

Who are we?

The Center for Computing in Science Education is a Norwegian Center for excellence in education that aims to become an international hub for research-based integration of computational methods in education. Situated in the department of physics at the
University of Oslo, Norway, we do research and development on how computation can
improve science teaching and learning, with a major emphasis on contributing to the
growing body of research on physics teaching and learning.

What will the workshop involve?

The workshop will have a focus on networking, collaboration, presenting current
research results and planning future joint projects. The workshop will resemble a
summer school that is common in many areas of physics. Over the course of the week, there will be opportunities to present current research projects, results, and methods; keynote talks by both senior and early-career researchers; planning sessions for future collaborations between the groups; and opportunities for socialization and networking across the different research groups and centers. Based on interest, we will also plan to organize poster sessions, and/or methods workshops for researchers interested in expanding their methodological bases.

Program Plenary lectures

Each day will additionally have a specific theme, with a keynote talk on that topic from one of the research groups:

Monday: Computation (UiO Keynote)
Tuesday: Informal physics education (MSU Keynote) 
Wednesday: Physics education research beyond cognitivist theories of learning
Thursday: Laboratory instruction (CU Keynote)
Friday: Upper-division physics education (OSU Keynote)

Monday, June 13
9:30-10:30, Store fysiske auditorium

Topic: Computation in Physics Education

Plenary lecture 1: Anders Malthe-Sørenssen and Tor Ole Odden, University of Oslo

Integrating computation into undergraduate science education at University of Oslo: practice and research

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.   

June 14
9:30-10:30, Store fysiske auditorium

Topic: Informal Physics Education

Plenary lecture 2: Brean Prefontaine, Michigan State University

Informal Physics Education Research in a Nutshell

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.

June 16
Store fysiske auditorium

Topic: Laboratory Instruction

Plenary lecture 3: Heather LewandowskiUniversity of Colorado Boulder

Engaging Students in Authentic Scientific Practices in Physics Lab Courses

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.

June 17
Store fysiske auditorium

Topic: Upper-Division Physics Instruction

Plenary lecture 4: Elizabeth Gire, Oregon State University

Re-rethinking our Undergraduate Physics Major: Paradigms 2.0

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

Why here? Why now? Why these specific groups?

This workshop will be funded by a travel grant from the Norwegian government,
specifically meant to facilitate travel and collaboration between the University of Oslo,
Michigan State University, Oregon State University, and the University of Colorado
Boulder. The funding agency limits participation primarily to these programs.
Travel costs, accommodations, and a per-diem food allowance will all be covered by the travel grant for attendees from these institutions.

Preliminary Agenda

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Sign up! (attendees from the USA) 

Sign up! (attendees from Scandinavia) 


Published Apr. 5, 2022 11:40 AM - Last modified June 7, 2022 10:33 PM