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.

Vashti wins Spirit of Ability Award
March 12, 2019
Vashti wins Spirit of Ability Award

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
Learning Machines Lab publishes paper on factors predictive of faculty integrating computation into physics courses

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
Dena wins Art Lab Grant

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
Vashti and Abhilash Publish Article About Epistemological progress in physics and its impact on biology

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.

PERL Members Publish 16 PERC Papers
January 21, 2019
PERL Members Publish 16 PERC Papers

We're proud to announce that the PERL Team has contributed to 16 PERC Papers in 2018.

Danny publishes paper about prevalence and nature of computational instruction
December 20, 2018
Danny publishes paper about prevalence and nature of computational instruction

PERL co-director Danny Caballero and collaborator Laura Merner have published an article in Physical Review Physics Education Research titled Prevalence and nature of computational instruction in undergraduate physics programs across the United States.

Dr. Abhilash Nair Defends His PhD!
December 7, 2018
Dr. Abhilash Nair Defends His PhD!

Dr. Abhilash Nair Defends His PhD!

Kelsey wins Excellence in Teaching Award
November 16, 2018
Kelsey wins Excellence in Teaching Award

PhD student Kelsey Funkhouser has been awarded an Excellence-in-Teaching Citation from the College of Natural Science.

Abhilash and Vashti Publish Paper About Using an IOLab to Visualize Equipotential Lines
October 19, 2018
Abhilash and Vashti Publish Paper About Using an IOLab to Visualize Equipotential Lines

Graduate student Abhilash Nair and PERL co-director Vashti Sawtelle have published an article in The Physics Teacher about Real-time Visualization of Equipotential Lines Using the IOLab.

Vashti Publishes Article About an Analytic Framework to Characterize Student Reasoning
September 5, 2018
Vashti Publishes Article About an Analytic Framework to Characterize Student Reasoning

PERL co-director Vashti Sawtelle, PERL alumni K.K. Mashood, and colleagues have published an article in Life Science Education titled Developing an Analytical Framework to Characterize Student Reasoning about Complex Processes.