University of Minnesota
http://www.umn.edu/
612-625-5000

Physics Education Research and Development Group

Home Page:

Welcome to PER

Welcome to physics education reasearch group at University of Minnesota. PER combines the application of fundamental knowledge about learning and the discipline specific knowledge of physics to investigate ways of making the teaching and learning of physics more effective and efficient, primarily at the university level. It is an interdisciplinary area with strong roots in the two core disciplines of Physics and Education. It's a research based group which provides teaching/learning support to the department and ph.D program to graduate students.

Life is a continuous exercise in creative problem solving.

About Us

The focus of the Minnesota physics education group has been the investigation of student difficulties with problem solving in the context of physics. It applies its results to develop practical curricular materials and techniques that can be used by physics faculty members in typical physics departments. This research has led to the development of problems that facilitate the learning of problem solving skills (Context-rich problems), a peer coaching pedagogy using a cooperative group framework (Cooperative problem solving), a problem solving framework for the use of students, a laboratory style that emphasizes problem solving, a program of educating and supporting teaching assistants, and a set of computer problem solving coaches. The group also develops research methodology such as techniques to effectively determine the goals of non-physics faculty for physics courses, the interactions of individuals solving problems in groups, and techniques to determine the beliefs and values of physics faculty teaching introductory physics. The group also develops assessment tools to evaluate student progress in problem solving, technical writing, and the correlation between algorithmic mathematical skills and problem solving.

2014 AAPT/PERC Summer Meeting materials

The following items are the presentations and posters from the 2014 AAPT and 2014 PERC meetings held at the University of Minnesota on July 26-30, 2014. Powerpoint presentations will be posted in Links directory when finalized.

Posters


  1. Evolution of C₃PO: Customizable Computer Coaches for Physics Online
    This AAPT poster is an overview of the version 1 interface. It also explores the usage patterns, survey data and the perceived usefulness of the online coaches when implemented as homework in 3 courses over 2 semesters at the University of Minnesota.

  2. Assessment of C₃PO: Customizable Computer Coaches for Physics Online
    This AAPT poster is an overview of the educational impact of the computer coaches. It focuses on the final exam scores of the students from 3 courses over 2 semesters at the UMN.

  3. Future of C₃PO - Customizable Computer Coaches for Physics Online
    This AAPT poster is an overview of the positives and shortcomings from the version 1 interface and how they were used to motivate development of the version 2 interface.

  4. Assessing students' problem-solving skills: Measuring the effect of an intervention.
    This PERC poster is an summary of the progress of the online computer coaches specifically focusing on the physics education research aspect of project.

Talks


  1. C₃PO - Customizable Computer Coaches for Physics Online
    This presentation is an overview of the goals and educational basis for the C₃PO system.

  2. Implementation of Web-based Problem Solving Computer Coaches in Classroom
    This presentation focuses on implementation at the University of Minnesota - Rochester campus. The class sizes are small (20-40 students). The implementation is both as extra credit as well as an in-class cooperative platform.

  3. Assessing Online Computer Coaches for Problem Solving: Measures of Utility
    This presentation is one of two presentations on the measures for the online coaches used at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. Here, the coaches were a part of homework in two separate semsters. This particular talk focuses on usage patterns and survey data to analyze the utility of the coaches.

  4. Assessing Online Computer Coaches for Problem Solving: Educational Impact
    This presentation is the second of two presentations on the measures for the online coaches used at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. Here, the coaches were a part of homework in two separate semsters. This particular talk focuses on educational impact of the problem-solving coaches. It is assumed that the presentation about the utility of the coaches was attended and seen first.

  5. Intelligent coaches for problem-solving in physics
    This presentation is the first of two presentations on the technical aspects of the online coaches used at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. This presentation focuses on the version 1 interface as well as how our internet coaches fit in the online homework/intelligent tutor landscape.

  6. The Software Framework for C₃PO (Customizable Computer Coaches for Physics Online)
    This presentation is the second of two presentations on the technical aspects of the online coaches used at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. This presentation focuses on the development of the version 2 interface which expands the flexibility and instructor usability of the coaches.

  • © 2012 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
  • The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy
  • Last modified on October 15, 2012