Using the learning assistant model to transform courses and support diverse students
Jayson Nissen, Postdoctoral Scholar at California State University - Chico and serves on the Leadership Council for the Learning Assistant Alliance
Instructors, departments and institutions seeking to transform instruction in their courses often use the learning assistant (LA) model to implement research-based instructional strategies. In the LA model, institutions hire undergraduate students to work with instructors to implement student-centered, collaborative activities. To support the LAs working with the students, LAs meet with the course instructors in weekly preparation meetings and LAs participate in a pedagogy course to learn about and reflect on education literature and learning theory. In the talk, I will discuss the LA model, the resources available to instructors using LAs, and two studies on the relationships between LA supported instruction and conceptual learning in first semester physics courses. The first study investigated conceptual learning across courses that primarily used LAs in either lecture, laboratory, or recitation compared to courses that used either lecture-based instruction or collaborative instruction without LA support. The second study investigated equity across gender and race/ethnicity in first semester physics courses that used lecture-based, collaborative, or LA supported instruction.
PERL postdoc Rachel Henderson and collaborators publish an article in Physical Review Physics Education Research titled Partitioning the gender gap in physics conceptual inventories: Force Concept Inventory, Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation, and Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism.
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.
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
PERL co-director Vashti Sawtelle has won the Spirit of Ability Award.
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.
Postdoc Dena Izadi has won a grant from MSU's Broad Art Lab for her project "The Schrodinger’s Cat is in Town!"
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.
We're proud to announce that the PERL Team has contributed to 16 PERC Papers in 2018.
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.