PER Seminar

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Two Interventions Targeting Physics Major’s Sense of Belonging and Intimidation to Increase Retention at OSU
Mike Lopez, Graduate Student, The Ohio State University

Cognitive and Education Psychologists have well demonstrated that social attitudinal factors play a significant role in student performance and retention in academic settings. Furthermore, they have found that at least some of these factors are malleable and causal by implementing replicable interventions to positively shift these factors and, in turn, performance. I will discuss two research validated intervention projects underway at OSU. First, I will present a preliminary snapshot of our in-progress 4-year longitudinal study investigating the social cognitive factors that predict undergraduate physics course grades and retention, with the goal of designing a targeted intervention to positively change those factors. As an example, we find that intimidation is a dominant social attitudinal predictor for grade received. Every unit higher in the 1-7 intimidation scale corresponds to nearly a third of a letter grade drop. We find that belonging, an extensively researched attitudinal factor linked to performance and retention, only indirectly predicts course grade and is mediated by intimidation. We also find that underrepresented minorities and first generation college students on average report higher levels of intimidation. Lastly, I will present the Polaris mentorship program, a grad and undergraduate student led intervention to increase retention and satisfaction of underrepresented groups in physics and astronomy at OSU.

Dr. Kelsey Funkhouser Defends Her PhD!
July 16, 2019

Dr. Kelsey Funkhouser Defends Her PhD!

PERL Members Alexis Knaub, John Aiken, and Danny Caballero curate focused collection on quantitative methods in PER
July 3, 2019

PERL Members Alexis Knaub, John Aiken, and Danny Caballero curate focused collection on quantitative methods in PER.

Learning Machine Lab publishes paper on modeling student pathways in a physics program
May 15, 2019

PERL members John Aiken, Rachel Henderson, and Danny Caballero have published an article in Physical Review Physics Education Research title Modeling Student Pathways in a Physics Bachelor's Degree Program.

Angie and collaborators publish on mindset applicability
May 10, 2019

PERL members  Angie Little, Bridget Humphrey, Abigail Green, Abhilash Nair, and Vashti Sawtelle published an article in Physical Review Physics Education Research titled Exploring mindset’s applicability to students’ experiences with challenge in transformed college physics courses.

PERL Undergrad Matt Ring helps create MSU Physics Education in Ghana Initiative
March 14, 2019

PERL Undergrad Matt Ring helps create MSU Physics Education in Ghana Initiative

Vashti wins Spirit of Ability Award
March 12, 2019

PERL co-director Vashti Sawtelle has won the Spirit of Ability Award.

Learning Machines Lab publishes paper on factors predictive of faculty integrating computation into physics courses
February 20, 2019

PERL members Nick Young, Grant Allen, John Aiken, Rachel Henderson, and Danny Caballero have published an article in Physical Review Physics Education Research titled Identifying features predictive of faculty integrating computation into physics courses.

Dena wins Art Lab Grant
February 12, 2019

Postdoc Dena Izadi has won a grant from MSU's Broad Art Lab for her project "The Schrodinger’s Cat is in Town!"

Vashti and Abhilash Publish Article About Epistemological progress in physics and its impact on biology
January 22, 2019

PERL co-director Vashti Sawtelle, PERL alumni Abhilash Nair, and colleagues have published an article in Physical Review Physics Education Research titled Epistemological progress in physics and its impact on biology.