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Student ideas about the moon and its phases and the impact of a real 3D model of the SunEarthMoon sy

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Students do not make any connection between the Moon's phase and the time it is visible. ... This is the current phase of the Moon for July 22, 2005. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Student ideas about the moon and its phases and the impact of a real 3D model of the SunEarthMoon sy


1
Student ideas about the moon and its phases and
the impact of a real 3D model of the
Sun/Earth/Moon system in an introductory
astronomy laboratory course
  • by
  • James Cohen
  • B.A. Physics, University of Maine, 2003
  • A THESIS DEFENSE
  • Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the
  • Requirements for the Degree of
  • Master of Science
  • (in Teaching)

2
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
  • My thanks to the following people
  • My thesis committee Neil Comins, Advisor
  • David Batuski
  • John
    Thompson
  • Everyone in the UMaine Physics and Astronomy
    Department
  • My family

3
REASONS FOR STUDY
  • Study student ideas about the Moon and its phases
  • Determine the effectiveness of a general
    education astronomy laboratory curriculum
  • Determine the impact of a real 3D model of the
    Sun/Earth/Moon system on student learning
  • Investigate conceptual change as the result of
    instruction on the phases of the Moon

4
A REVIEW OF RELEVANT RESEARCH
  • Baxter found a majority of research subjects ages
    9-14 believed the Moons phases are caused by
    Earths shadow (Baxter, 1989).
  • Stahly, et. al., studying conceptual change among
    third grade students found that student ideas
    about the Moons phases could be changed with
    proper instruction but often the non-scientific
    ideas that existed before instruction remained
    (Stahly, et. al., 1999).
  • Trumper, researching ideas about astronomy among
    college students, found that 31.6 believed the
    phases are caused by Earths shadow.

5
A REVIEW OF RELEVANT RESEARCH (continued)
  • Barnett and Moran researched conceptual change
    about the Moons phases with 5th graders.
    Instruction utilized a virtual 3D model and a
    constructivist approach. Results showed that
    within an ideal setting, students can develop
    complex ideas about the Moon and its phases
    (Barnett and Moran, 2002).
  • Lindell developed a survey instrument called the
    Lunar Phases Concept Inventory (LPCI).
  • Barab, et, al., developed the Virtual Solar
    System project (VSS), an inquiry based astronomy
    course utilizing software to simulate the
    Sun/Earth/Moon system.

6
A REVIEW OF RELEVANT RESEARCH (continued)
  • McDermott developed Physics By Inquiry containing
    a unit called Astronomy by Sight. This unit uses
    a guided inquiry approach to teaching the phases
    of the Moon.
  • Fanetti hypothesized that an understanding of
    scale of the Earth/Moon system affects student
    ideas about the cause of the phases. Her research
    found no statistical connection to these two
    concepts.

7
HYPOTHESES
  • Students who believe that the Earths shadow
    causes the phases also believe that the Moon is
    only visible at night time.
  • Students who are aware of the true cause of the
    Moons phases are also aware that the Moon can be
    up during the day and during the night.
  • A real 3D model of the Sun/Earth/Moon system will
    have an effect on student learning.

8
METHODOLOGY
  • Utilization of existing curriculum structure in
    AST 110 Introduction to Astronomy Laboratory
  • Mini-quizzes taken by students before each lab
    session enabled the use of survey questions as
    both pre and post lesson questions.
  • Survey questions were used to inventory student
    ideas about the Moon during three different
    semesters in both live and online courses before
    instruction.
  • Same survey questions were used as post lesson
    questions to assess impact of 3D model

9
THE SURVEY QUESTIONS
Question 4 (1 point) I__________ notice that the
Moon appears in different shapes at different
times. a. Often b. Sometimes c. Rarely
d. Never e. I have never seen the moon.
10
  • Question 5 (1 point)
  • The Moon is most likely to be high in the sky
    at_________.
  • a. 600 AM
  • b. 600 PM
  • c. the North Pole
  • d. midnight
  • e. noon
  • f. anytime day or night

11
  • Question 6 (1 point)
  • The Moons different shapes at different times
    are caused by
  • a. clouds blocking our view of the entire Moon.
  • b. the Moon deflating and then inflating again.
  • c. Earths shadow falling on the Moon.
  • d. the fraction of the Moon that is lit by the
    Sun.
  • e. the position of the Moon in its orbit around
    Earth.
  • f. Earths gravity pulling the moon into
    different shapes.

12
Question 7 (1 point) A moon in the phase shown
below would_________.
a. set before sunset b. rise after sunset c.
neither rise nor set d. set after sunset e. rise
at sunset
13
THE 3D MODEL
14
3D MODEL SIMULATIONS
15
SURVEY QUESTION RESULTS
16
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17
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18
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19
PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION FOR ALL RESPONSES
20
RELATIONSHIP OF QUESTION 6 ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS 5
AND 7 ANSWERS
  • On questions 5 and 7, students who believe the
    phases are caused by Earths shadow did not have
    statistically significant different responses
    from the total of all responses for all
    semesters.
  • On questions 5 and 7, students who believe the
    phases are caused by the fraction of the Moon lit
    by the Sun did not have statistically significant
    different responses from the total of all
    responses for all semesters.
  • On questions 5 and 7, students who believe the
    phases are caused by the position of the Moon in
    its orbit did did not have statistically
    significant different responses from the total of
    all responses for all semesters.

21
QUESTION 5 PRE AND POST LESSON RESULTS
22
QUESTION 6 PRE AND POST LESSON RESULTS
23
QUESTION 7 PRE AND POST LESSON RESULTS
24
3D MODEL ANALYSIS
  • There was no statistically significant difference
    between the way the questions were answered
    before the lesson and after the lesson in either
    semester, except for Question 7 in the fall, yet
    there was no improvement over conceptual
    knowledge compared to the spring.
  • There was no difference in the way the post
    lesson questions were answered between semesters.
  • There was no statistically significant difference
    between semesters on lesson performance.

25
TRACKING CONCEPTUAL CHANGE
  • For the fall 2004 semester, on Question 6 there
    was actually an increase in students choosing the
    fraction lit answer after the lesson.
  • This amounted to a net loss of 8.2 for correct
    responses. The spring 2004 semester had a net
    gain of 1.7 on Question 6.
  • On Questions 5 and 7, there was little difference
    between semesters in percentage of correct
    responses.

26
IMPLICATIONS
  • Did the 3D model have a negative impact?
    Utilizing the 3D model without reading and
    following lesson tutorial could cause students to
    adopt fraction lit concept. This needs to be
    studied further.
  • Integrate lab quiz into lesson tutorial so that
    students cannot take the quiz without reading the
    lesson.
  • Improve TA student communication. Have TA be
    active in learning process.

27
LIMITATIONS OF STUDY
  • Limited number of survey questions
  • Student TA language barrier
  • Conceptual change tracking limited to answer
    choices. Interviews with students and video
    monitoring of labs would have been beneficial.

28
CONCLUSIONS
  • Student ideas about the Moon and its phases are
    often unscientific. Students do not make any
    connection between the Moons phase and the time
    it is visible.
  • Conceptual change from non-scientific concepts to
    scientific concepts requires the student to
    accept the scientific concept as a better, more
    satisfying explanation for a natural phenomenon.
    This is hard to achieve in a classroom.
    Interactive instruction using models that require
    the use of the senses should improve learning.
    Unfortunately, this study did not show that as
    hoped.

29
This is the current phase of the Moon for July
22, 2005. It will rise at 934 PM and set at
613 AM, July 23, 2005.
30
REFERENCES
  • http//www.almanac.com/rise/index.php
  • http//tycho.usno.navy.mil/vphase.html
  • Barab, S., Hay, K., Squire, K., Barnett, M.,
    Schmidt, R., Karrigan, K. Yamagata-Lynch, L.
    Johnson, C. Virtual Solar System Project
    Learning through a Technology-Rich,
    Inquiry-Based, Participatory Learning
    Environment, accepted for publication, Journal
    of Science Education and Technology, 1999,
    http//it.usu.edu/bshelton/courses/immersive/read
    ings/keating99virtual.pdf, 9/16/2004
  • Barnett, M. Moran, J. Addressing childrens
    alternative frameworks of the Moons phases and
    eclipses, International Journal of Science
    Education, 24(8), 2002, 859-879
  • Baxter, J. Childrens understanding of familiar
    astronomical events, International Journal of
    Science Education, 22, 1989, 502-513
  • Fanetti, T. M. The relationships of scale
    concepts on college age students misconceptions
    about the cause of the lunar phases, Thesis
    submitted, Ames Iowa State University, 2001
  • Lindell, R. Moon Concept Inventory,
    www.phys.ksu.edu/perg/www/pdf/moon.pdf, 2/4/2004
  • McDermott, L. Astronomy by Sight the sun, moon
    and stars, Physics By Inquiry, John Wiley
    Sons, Inc.
  • Stahly, L., Krockover, G., Shepardson, D., Third
    Grade Students Ideas about the Lunar Phases,
    Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 36(2),
    1999, 159-177
  • Trumper, R. University students conceptions of
    basic astronomy concepts, Physics Education,
    35(1), 2000, 9-14
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