Presentations

    Assessing the initial state of knowledge of first-year genetics students, at ASM Eighth Undergraduate Microbiology Education Conference, American Society for Microbiology (Orlando, FL), Saturday, May 19, 2001:
    A survey was designed to assess students' understanding of concepts and familiarity with biology terminology at the beginning of a new introductory genetics course. The class, which serves as the first college biology course for all students majoring in Biological Sciences or fulfilling premedical requirements, assumes no prior knowledge and enrolls mainly first-year students. The survey asked students to rate their familiarity with over 80 words in genetics and to define a selection of these terms. Students were also asked to answer a few conceptual questions as well as provide background... Read more about Assessing the initial state of knowledge of first-year genetics students
    Factors That Make Peer Instruction Work: A 700-User Survey, at 2000 AAPT Winter Meeting (Kissimmee, FL), Tuesday, January 18, 2000:
    Peer Instruction, a teaching strategy in which lectures are interspersed with short, conceptual questions (""ConcepTests""), is used widely in introductory physics and other classes at the college and secondary school levels. Although anecdotal evidence suggests that many instructors achieve success, there has been no previous systematic study of the factors contributing to the effectiveness of Peer Instruction. We administered a comprehensive survey of nearly 700 Peer Instruction users worldwide, gathering data on implementation and outcomes in a wide variety of settings and institutions. We... Read more about Factors That Make Peer Instruction Work: A 700-User Survey
    Demonstrations: More Than Just Entertainment?, at 124th AAPT National Meeting (Philadelphia, PA), Wednesday, January 23, 2002:
    Does the manner of presentation determine the effectiveness of demonstrations as teaching tools? To answer this question, we improved a 1998 study by presenting seven demonstrations to sections of an introductory physics course in different ways: (1) students were shown the demonstration and the outcome explained (traditional); (2) students predicted the outcome before the demonstration; (3) students completed a worksheet in which they predicted the outcome, compared their prediction to what was observed, and resolved any inconsistency through discussion; (4) no demonstration was shown. At... Read more about Demonstrations: More Than Just Entertainment?
    Do students learn more from some demonstrations than others?, at 2002 National Summer Conference: "Integrating Science and Mathematics Education Research into Teaching", University of Maine (Orono, ME), Monday, June 24, 2002:
    We previously compared the effectiveness of different modes of performing classroom demonstrations and found that students who passively observe demonstrations understand the underlying concepts no better than students who do not see the demonstration at all.* Furthermore, students who simply predict the demonstration outcome before seeing it display significantly greater understanding. Here, we extend this study to examine the role of pedagogy with demonstrations developed as part of a research-based curriculum designed to address student misconceptions. We selected individual demonstrations... Read more about Do students learn more from some demonstrations than others?
    Peer Instruction: Getting Students to Think in Class, at NSF Engineering Education Scholars Workshop, Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA), Thursday, July 20, 2000:
    Most introductory undergraduate science courses are taught in large lectures. Although an efficient use of instructor time, passive lectures rarely challenge students to think critically in class, often reinforcing the common expectation that learning science amounts to acquiring information. Many students respond by memorizing facts or formulas without understanding the fundamental concepts. To actively engage students during class and focus their attention on underlying concepts, we have developed a student-centered approach to teaching large courses, Peer Instruction. Lectures are... Read more about Peer Instruction: Getting Students to Think in Class
    Peer Instruction: Getting Students to Think in Class, at 1999 Sigma Xi Forum (Minneapolis, MN), Thursday, November 4, 1999:
    Most introductory undergraduate science courses are taught in large lectures. Although an efficient use of instructor time, passive lectures rarely challenge students to think critically in class, often reinforcing the common expectation that learning science amounts to acquiring information. Many students respond by memorizing facts or formulas without understanding the fundamental concepts. To actively engage students during class and focus their attention on underlying concepts, we have developed a student-centered approach to teaching large courses, Peer Instruction. Lectures are... Read more about Peer Instruction: Getting Students to Think in Class
    Peer Instruction: Getting Students to Think in Class, at 1999 Sigma Xi Forum (Minneapolis, MN), Thursday, November 4, 1999:
    Most introductory undergraduate science courses are taught in large lectures. Although an efficient use of instructor time, passive lectures rarely challenge students to think critically in class, often reinforcing the common expectation that learning science amounts to acquiring information. Many students respond by memorizing facts or formulas without understanding the fundamental concepts. To actively engage students during class and focus their attention on underlying concepts, we have developed a student-centered approach to teaching large courses, Peer Instruction. Lectures are... Read more about Peer Instruction: Getting Students to Think in Class