Type: 
Colloquium
Date-Time: 
Monday, November 14, 2011 - 16:00
Location: 
Weniger 149
Event Speaker: 
Prof. Eleanor Sayre, Kansas State University
Local Contact: 
Manogue
Abstract: 

When do students learn physics? How much, and in what way? Physics
Education Research (PER) is the field of physics which studies how
people learn physics and how to teach them better. A classic method
in PER is to pre-test students before instruction, teach them, then
post-test afterwards to see how much they've gained. However, this
method cannot capture the dynamics of student learning. By testing
students more frequently, we can observe rapid learning and
forgetting, as well as destructive interference patterns. In this
talk, I present data showing three kinds of "response curves" -- flat,
step, and peak-and-decay -- and evidence that different demographics
of students learn physics at different times and in different amounts.