Observations of general learning patterns in an upper-level thermal physics course

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

I discuss some observations from using interactive-engagement instructional methods in an upper-level thermal physics course over a two-year period. From the standpoint of the subject matter knowledge of the upper-level students, there was a striking persistence of common learning difficulties previously observed in students enrolled in the introductory course, accompanied, however, by some notable contrasts between the groups. More broadly, I comment on comparisons and contrasts regarding general pedagogical issues among different student sub-populations, for example: differences in the receptivity of lower- and upper-level students to diagrammatic representations; varying receptivity to tutorial-style instructional approach within the upper-level population; and contrasting approaches to learning among physics and engineering sub-populations in the upper-level course with regard to use of symbolic notation, mathematical equations, and readiness to employ verbal explanations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2009 Physics Education Research Conference, PER
Pages31-34
Number of pages4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 16 2009
Event2009 Physics Education Research Conference, PER: Physics Education Research across Paradigms - Ann Arbor, MI, United States
Duration: Jul 29 2009Jul 30 2009

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
Volume1179
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616

Other

Other2009 Physics Education Research Conference, PER: Physics Education Research across Paradigms
CountryUnited States
CityAnn Arbor, MI
Period7/29/097/30/09

Keywords

  • Physics education
  • Thermodynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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    Meltzer, D. (2009). Observations of general learning patterns in an upper-level thermal physics course. In 2009 Physics Education Research Conference, PER (pp. 31-34). (AIP Conference Proceedings; Vol. 1179). https://doi.org/10.1063/1.3266745