Texas Tech University

Discipline-based Education Research

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The seminar is coordinated by Dr. Beth Thacker, Associate Professor of Physics, and has moved online due to COVID-19. To join this seminar, please join the discussion on ZOOM. Please email Dr. Beth Thacker, if you would like to be included on her weekly emails for updated topics. 

Seminar Meeting Topics

Date: Monday, October 19th
Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Location: Zoom
Presenter: Group Discussion
Topic:

Good teaching--Is it possible in a research environment

Date: Monday, October 12
Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Location: Zoom
Presenter: Group Discussion
Topic:

Discussion of Online labs and lab-based courses during COVID-19

Abstract:

Everyone who has to do this is trying similar things; videotaping labs, giving students data, students do labs at home, simulations -- mostly with no augmented or virtual reality (would it be better, if we had this?) How well is it working? How effective is it? How do we asses this? I will particularly address a lab-based course where the lab is used as the basis for learning the concepts. I'll let you try some of the "experiments" to solicit your opinions and feedback on the efficacy of labs. If you can access the pHet simulations online during the seminar, that may be useful.

Date: Monday, October 5
Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Location: Zoom
Presenter: Jerry Dwyer
Topic:

How to Assess Students Online and Minimize Cheating

Abstract:

The switch to online teaching has created new challenges related to the assessment of learning in that context. It is particularly difficult to monitor testing conditions in order to minimize cheating during exams. We will consider some approaches to addressing this challenge. These include offering numerous smaller tests rather than one or two high stakes tests, asking students to verbally explain their answers, and using alternatives such as homework and class discussions. An interesting and more novel approach is to ask students to develop their own assessments by asking the question: “how can you show me that you understand this topic?”

Date: Monday, September 28
Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Location: Zoom
Presenter: Jessica Simpson
Topic:

Anatomical Models, Tactile Learning, and the Libraries

Abstract:

In 2019 and 2020, Cynthia Henry and Jessica Simpson submitted a grant proposal to the Institute of Museum and Library Services funding opportunity, National Leadership Grants for Libraries. This presentation addresses tactile learning for anatomical models, then the process of applying for the IMLS grant for National Leadership Grants for Libraries, and what we learned along the way. Research by Simpson in 2019 of the Greater Western Library Alliance shows that 28% of those institutions have anatomy models. Academic institutions collect, house and maintain these non-traditional collections that are not for preservation and are shared with university students and students in broader community colleges that improve access and knowledge. TTU Libraries houses an anatomical model service originally donated by South Plains College that has expanded since. A grant is currently being developed to address wear and tear on the models, expand services, and implement innovative sanitizing methods.

Date: Monday, September 21
Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Location: Zoom
Presenter: Group Discussion
Topic:

How to evaluate online teaching

Date: Monday, September 14
Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Location: Zoom
Presenter: Parvis Safadel
Title:

Effectiveness of Compter-Generated Virtual Reality (VR) in Learning and Teaching Environments with Spatial Frameworks

Abstract:

In this paper, we highlight the benefits of using computer-generated VR in teaching instructional content that have spatial frameworks such as in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses. Spatial ability scores were collected from a sample (N = 62) of undergraduate and graduate students. Students were required to complete an instructional tutorial in VR and computer desktop screening on DNA molecules, which included necessary information about DNA and nucleotide molecules. Students also completed a comprehensive test about the spatial structure of DNA and a feedback questionnaire. Results from the questionnaire showed media use and satisfaction to be significantly related. The results also showed a significant interaction between spatial ability levels (low, medium, and high) and media used on students' spatial understanding of the DNA molecules. It may be concluded that VR visualization had a positive compensating impact on students with low spatial ability.

Date: Monday, August 31
Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Location: Zoom
Presenter: Group Discussion
Topic:

Exams in online classes- research and practice

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