Student Time-on-Task

Jennifer McGee, now at Colorado, performed a detailed student of the effect of different student behavior on their test average and conceptual gain. A detailed measurement of the actions a student performs in an introductory physics class is presented.
The correlation between various student actions and hourly test average and normalized gain is calculated.
The correlation analysis shows that reading has a disproportionate influence on conceptual gain.
A linear regression analysis shows that only 20% of the variation in student performance is explained by student behavior. Click here for the thesis. This research was extended to more students covering both versions of UPII. The results were presented as a talk at the Summer 2006 AAPT meeting. Click here for the talk.

Writing Behavior

James Roller investigated the role of writing quality in student learning. A new kind of class assessment measuring quantitative properties of the communication that exists within introductory science classes is presented. Frequency measurements of specific language, math, and graph elements taken from student work in an introductory electricity and magnetism course are analyzed and used as a quantitative measure of the communication that exists within a science class. The correlation of these measurements with student conceptual gain and test average is calculated. Regression analyses are used to determine both the important communication variables affecting test average and conceptual gain and whether or not student presentation plays a statistically significant role in student learning. Click here for the thesis. This work was extended this year by Shawn Ballard for her honors thesis. Clcik here for the thesis. The work was presented as a poster at the April 2008 APS meeting in St. Louis. Click here for the poster.