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Time for a Better Mouse Trap Using Concept Inventories to Systematically Evaluate Classroom Practic

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A) Leo C) Gemini E) Pisces. B) Cancer D) Taurus. Astronomy Diagnostics Test (ADT) Cancer ... 10. Characteristics of the Milky Way. 11. Naked Eye Astronomy. 12. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Time for a Better Mouse Trap Using Concept Inventories to Systematically Evaluate Classroom Practic


1
      Time for a Better Mouse Trap?Using
Concept Inventories to Systematically Evaluate
Classroom Practices
  • Tim Slater
  • University of Arizona
  • Steward Observatory
  • Conceptual Astronomy and Physics Education
    Research (CAPER) Team

http//caperteam.as.arizona.edu
2
  • 1. Seasons depend on the distance between the
    Earth Sun
  • 2. There are 12 zodiac constellations
  • 3. The constellations are only the stars making
    the patterns
  • 4. The North Star is the brightest star in the
    night sky
  • 5. Stars last forever
  • 6. All stars are same color
  • 7. Stars really twinkle
  • 8. All stars are isolated
  • 9. Pulsars are pulsating stars
  • 10. Asteroid belt is densely packed, as in Star
    Wars
  • 11. Meteors, Meteorites, Meteoroids, Asteroids,
    and Comets are the same things
  • 12. A shooting star is actually a star falling
    through the sky
  • 13. Comet tails are always behind the comet
  • 14. Comets are burning and giving off gas as
    their tails
  • 15. All planetary orbits are circular

16. All planets have prograde rotation 17. All
moons are spherical 18. We see all sides of the
Moon 19. Ours is the only moon 20. Spring tide
only occurs in the Spring 21. Only the Moon
causes tides/the Moon has no effect on tides 22.
High tide is only between the Earth and Moon 23.
Once the ozone is gone, its gone forever 24.
Mercury is hot everywhere on its surface 25.
Giant planets have solid surfaces 26. Saturn is
the only planet with rings 27. Saturns rings
are solid 28. Pluto is always the farthest
planet from the Sun 29. The Sun primarily emits
yellow light 30. The Sun is solid shines by
burning gas or from molten lava 31. The Sun
always rises directly in the East 32. Black
holes are empty space 33. Black holes are huge
vacuum cleaners in space, sucking everything in.
Heavenly Errors, Neil Comins, 2000
3
The Age Old Question
Which approach to teaching helps students learn
the most?
4
Conceptual Diagnostics Tests
  • aims to quantitatively measure students'
    conceptual understanding of key ideas in a
    discipline
  • especially targets ideas that are prone to
    misconceptions
  • designed to be used before and after instruction
    (pretest/posttest)
  • different instructional approaches can be
    compared using the same instrument

An Assessment Primer for Introductory Astronomy.
Astronomy Education Review, 1(1), 1-24, 2002. G.
Brissenden, T.F. Slater, and R. Matheiu.
5
(post pre) / (100-pre)
Posttest score
6
Force Concept Inventory (FCI)most well known
29-item instrument in physics
  • The diagram below shows a rocket coasting in
    space in the direction indicated by the arrows.
    Between N and P no external force acts on the
    rocket. When it reaches point P, the rocket fires
    its engines as shown to provide a constant
    acceleration until it reaches a point Q in space.
  • Which path best represents the path of the rocket
    between P and Q?

Hestenes, D., Wells, M., Swackhammer, G.
(1992). Force concept inventory. The Physics
Teacher, 30, 141-158.
7
Interactive-engagement vs. traditional methods A
six-thousand-student survey of mechanics test
data for introductory physics courses. Richard
Hake 1998 American Journal of Physics v66 p64-74
8
Astronomy Diagnostics Testhttp//solar.physics.mo
ntana.edu/aae/adt
  • 22 multiple choice, pretest/posttest items
  • Uses natural language of students (avoids
    vocabulary)
  • Focuses on the most tenaciously held student
    misconceptions
  • Attempts to cover the entire universe of topics
    taught in introductory astronomy courses

Learner-Centered Astronomy Teaching. Slater
Adams, Prentice Hall Publishing, 2002
9
Astronomy Diagnostics Test (ADT)
  • If you could see stars during the day, this is
    what the sky would look like at noon on a given
    day. The Sun is near the stars of the
    constellation Gemini. Near which constellation
    would you expect the Sun to be located at sunset?
  • A) Leo C) Gemini E) Pisces
  • B) Cancer D) Taurus

10
Lunar Phases Concept Inventory (LPCI)20 item
survey designed to identify student reasoning
pathways
  • Just after sunset, you observe a Moon with the
    following shape near the horizon. Near which
    horizon, would you look to observe a Moon like
    this?
  • a. Northern Horizon
  • b. Eastern Horizon
  • c. Southern Horizon
  • d. Western Horizon
  • e. You would not see this Moon just after sunset

http//www.phys.ksu.edu/perg/www/projects/lunar.ht
ml
11
So What?
  • FCI Newtons Laws are not a big component of
    introductory astronomy
  • ADT tries to cover too many topics at a shallow
    depth
  • LPCI focused on a single topic but, moon
    phases arent a central topic to most instructors
  • The RIGHT assessment instrument needs to focus on
    a single area common to nearly all astronomy
    courses

12
What Syllabi Analysis Shows Are Mostly Taught in
Introductory Astronomy
  • 1. Nature of Light and the Electromagnetic
    Spectrum
  • 2. Techniques in Astronomy
  • 3. Cosmology and the Big Bang
  • 4. Tools and Telescopes
  • 5. The Solar System
  • 6. Our Sun
  • 7. Motions in the Solar System
  • 8. Moon Phases
  • 9. Stellar Evolution
  • 10. Characteristics of the Milky Way
  • 11. Naked Eye Astronomy
  • 12. Stellar Magnitudes
  • 13. Stellar Spectral Classification
  • Slater, Adams, Brissenden, and Duncan, What We
    Teach in ASTRO 101, The Physics Teacher, January
    2001.

13
What Syllabi Analysis Shows Are Mostly Taught in
Introductory Astronomy
  • 1. Nature of Light and the Electromagnetic
    Spectrum
  • 2. Techniques in Astronomy
  • 3. Cosmology and the Big Bang
  • 4. Tools and Telescopes
  • 5. The Solar System
  • 6. Our Sun
  • 7. Motions in the Solar System
  • 8. Moon Phases
  • 9. Stellar Evolution
  • 10. Characteristics of the Milky Way
  • 11. Naked Eye Astronomy
  • 12. Stellar Magnitudes
  • 13. Stellar Spectral Classification
  • Slater, Adams, Brissenden, and Duncan, What We
    Teach in ASTRO 101, The Physics Teacher, January
    2001.

14
State of the Union
  • We are creating a Light and Spectroscopy Concept
    Inventory
  • Collaborative project between University of
    Arizona (Prather and Slater) and Boston
    University (Badar and Brecher) funded by NSF
  • Currently field-testing questions and
    interviewing students to validate the items

The Need for a Light and Spectroscopy Concept
Inventory Assessment Instrument. Manuscript in
review for The Astronomy Education Review.
Weeks, E., Brecher, K., Prather, E.E., and
Slater, T.F. (2005).
15
      Time for a Better Mouse Trap?Using
Concept Inventories to Systematically Evaluate
Classroom Practices
  • Tim Slater
  • University of Arizona
  • Steward Observatory
  • Conceptual Astronomy and Physics Education
    Research (CAPER) Team

http//caperteam.as.arizona.edu
16
  • Imagine you are comparing the five stars (A-E,
    shown below) of different sizes and temperatures.
    The temperature of each star is indicated by a
    shade of gray (as shown at right), such that the
    lighter the shade of gray, the higher the
    temperature of the star.
  • Which of the following is the correct ranking for
    the total energy given off by these stars from
    greatest to least?
  • 1. A B C E D
  • 2. E A C D B
  • 3. B C E D A
  • 4. A E C B D
  • 5. C A E B D
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