Other education

Visualizations and visual illusions: how the mind tricks us, at Lowell Regional Physics Alliance Meeting, University of Massachusetts Lowell (Lowell, MA), Thursday, November 18, 2004:
Neurobiology and cognitive psychology have made great progress in understanding how the mind processes information – in particular visual information. The knowledge we can gain from these fields has important implications for the presentation of visual information and student learning.
How the mind tricks us: visualizations and visual illusions, at Phi Beta Kappa Lecture Visiting Scholar Lecture, University of Mary Washington (Fredericksburg, VA), Wednesday, March 12, 2008:
Neurobiology and cognitive psychology have made great progress in understanding how the mind processes information – in particular visual information. The knowledge we can gain from these fields has important implications for the presentation of visual information and student learning
Flat space, deep learning, at ENIAC (São Paulo, Brazil), Wednesday, August 5, 2015:
The teaching of physics to engineering students has remained stagnant for close to a century. In this novel team-based, project-based approach, we break the mold by giving students ownership of their learning. This new course has no standard lectures or exams, yet students’ conceptual gains are significantly greater than those obtained in traditional courses. The course blends six best practices to deliver a learning experience that helps students develop important skills, including communication, estimation, problem solving, and team skills, in addition to a solid conceptual understanding... Read more about Flat space, deep learning
The scientific approach to teaching: Research as a basis for course design, at Nuevas Tendencias en la Enseñanza de la Física, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (Puebla, Mexico), Saturday, September 19, 2009:
Discussions of teaching -- even some publications -- abound with anecdotal evidence. Our intuition often supplants a systematic, scientific approach to finding out what works and what doesn't work. Yet, research is increasingly demonstrating that our gut feelings about teaching are often wrong. In this talk I will discuss some research my group has done on gender issues in science courses and on the effectiveness of classroom demonstrations.
The Principles and Practice of Physics, at Webinar (Cambridge, MA), Wednesday, December 2, 2015:
The Principles and Practice of Physics is a groundbreaking new calculus-based introductory physics textbook that uses a unique organization and pedagogy to allow students to develop a true conceptual understanding of physics alongside the quantitative skills needed in the course. The book organizes introductory physics around the conservation principles and provides a unified contemporary view of introductory physics. In this talk we will discuss the unique architecture of the book, the conservation-laws-first approach, and results obtained with this book.
Assessing and Enhancing Student Learning in the Advanced Physics Lab, at AAPT Summer Meeting, 2010 (Portland, Oregon), Monday, July 19, 2010
Efforts to reform instructional physics labs--by defining measurable goals and improving student learning--have led to several innovations (i.e. rubrics for enhanced formative assessment) at the introductory level. However, researchers have yet to explore similar innovations in advanced laboratory courses. In an effort to fill this void, we investigated the observable aspects of student learning, culled from submitted written work and discussions between students and faculty, in light of specific changes to the advanced lab course (clear statement of learning goals, better-defined activities... Read more about Assessing and Enhancing Student Learning in the Advanced Physics Lab
Getting every student ready for every class, at Webinar (Cambridge, MA), Wednesday, February 15, 2017:
Over the past decades there has been a concerted push away from passive lecturing to active engagement in the classroom. A successful implementation of the so-called flipped classroom requires students to come to class prepared, either by reading the textbook or watching a pre-recorded video. A variety approaches have been devised to get students to take responsibility for this information transfer, but none manage to get all students to participate, compromising the in-class activities. I will present a new approach to get every student to prepare for every class using a new social learning... Read more about Getting every student ready for every class
The make-believe world of real-world physics, at Spring 2011 Joint Meeting of the New England Sections of the American Physical Society & American Association of Physics Teachers, UMass Lowell (Lowell, MA), Friday, April 8, 2011:
That physics describes the real world is a given for physicists. In spite of tireless efforts by instructors to connect physics to the real world, students walk away from physics courses believing physicists live in a world of their own. Are students clueless about the real world? Or are we perhaps deluding ourselves and misleading our students about the real world?
The scientific approach to teaching: Research as a basis for course design, at EDUVATE Forum, University of Pretoria (Pretoria, South Africa), Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Discussions of teaching -- even some publications -- abound with anecdotal evidence. Our intuition often supplants a systematic, scientific approach to finding out what works and what doesn't work. Yet, research is increasingly demonstrating that our gut feelings about teaching are often wrong. In this talk I will discuss some research my group has done on gender issues in science courses and on the effectiveness of classroom demonstrations.
College Readiness 101, at CRAFT Professional Development Institute, Hidalgo Independent School District (Hidalgo, TX), Tuesday, August 21, 2012:
Improving student success is one of the most pressing issues in higher education across the world. Too often, despite succeeding in secondary classrooms, students enter college underprepared to engage in the rigors of undergraduate study, which results in a number of consequences for institutions. High dropout, failure, and withdrawal rates limit students’ abilities to take full advantage of their college experience and reach their highest potential. Failing to intervene has substantial cost implications for institutions, instructors, and societies within which an educated workforce is key... Read more about College Readiness 101
Flat space, deep learning, at ISoTL Invited Scholar Series Lecture, The Chan Centre for Performing Arts, Royal Bank Cinema, University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC, Canada), Thursday, January 22, 2015:
The teaching of physics to engineering students has remained stagnant for close to a century. In this novel team-based, project-based approach, we break the mold by giving students ownership of their learning. This new course has no standard lectures or exams, yet students’ conceptual gains are significantly greater than those obtained in traditional courses. The course blends six best practices to deliver a learning experience that helps students develop important skills, including communication, estimation, problem solving, and team skills, in addition to a solid conceptual understanding... Read more about Flat space, deep learning
Assessment: The Secret to Great Teaching, at Webinar Series on Strategies for Innovation in Engineering Education in Brazil, LASPAU-Affiliated with Harvard University (Cambridge, MA), Sunday, December 2, 2012:
Open the doors to any classroom across the globe and you will observe an almost universal model for the evaluation of student learning. Instructors stand at the front of a lecture hall, teach content, students (at least we hope) attempt to learn that content, and then instructors evaluate that content learning through traditional assessments such as multiple-choice exams, quizzes, or research papers. Most of these conventional approaches to evaluation are one-dimensional and not aligned with overarching learning goals that relate to competencies students actually need to progress successfully... Read more about Assessment: The Secret to Great Teaching

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