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Fostering Concept Knowledge by Formative Assessment in High School Teaching of Physics

English title Fostering Concept Knowledge by Formative Assessment in High School Teaching of Physics
Applicant Vaterlaus Andreas
Number 146038
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Laboratorium für Festkörperphysik ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Education and learning sciences, subject-specific education
Start/End 01.05.2013 - 30.04.2017
Approved amount 289'690.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Education and learning sciences, subject-specific education
Other disciplines of Physics

Keywords (4)

High School; Teaching; Formative Assessment; Physics

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
„Rechnen Sie noch oder verstehen Sie schon?“ Grundlegende Konzepte der Physik werden im Gymnasialen Unterricht von vielen Schülerinnen und Schülern nicht verstanden.
Lay summary

Zu Studienbeginn fehlt vielen Studierenden ein Verständnis elementarer physikalischer Konzepte. Mit Methoden der formativen Beurteilung soll das Konzeptlernen im Physikunterricht an Gymnasien gefördert werden. In Rahmen einer Vergleichsstudie wird untersucht, wie sich der Wissenszuwachs bei Schülerinnen und Schülern in Klassen mit und ohne formative Beurteilung verhält. Eine Beurteilung ist formative, wenn sie nicht der Leistungsmessung dient, sondern das Lern- und Lehrverhalten der beteiligten Personen formt. Es existieren verschiedenste Arten von formativer Beurteilung. Im vorliegenden Projekt werden interaktive Unterrichtssequenzen mit eingebetteten Konzeptfragen eingesetzt. Es wird erwartet, dass in Klassen welche mit diesen formativen Elementen unterrichtet werden, ein vertieftes Verständnis der grundlegenden Konzepte erreicht wird.

Resultate der Untersuchung werden in die Lehrpersonenaus- und Weiterbildung einfliessen.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 25.04.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Validation and structural analysis of the kinematics concept test
A. Lichtenberger, C. Wagner, S. Hofer, E. Stern, A. Vaterlaus (2017), Validation and structural analysis of the kinematics concept test, in Phys. Rev. PER , 13(1), 010115.
Effect of peeer discussions, as part of formative assessment, on learning of Physics concepts
C. Wagner, A. Lichtenberger, A. Vaterlaus (2016), Effect of peeer discussions, as part of formative assessment, on learning of Physics concepts, in Science Education Research: Engaging Learners for a Sustainable Future (Proceedings of ESERA 2015), ESERA 2015, Helsinki.
Kinematics concepts at different representation levels – a mutual information approach
C. Wagner, A. Lichtenberger, A. Vaterlaus (2015), Kinematics concepts at different representation levels – a mutual information approach, in Proceedings of the GIREP MPTL Conference 2014, PalermoGirep Proceedings, Palermo.
A Model of Concept Learning in Physics
C. Wagner, A. Vaterlaus (2014), A Model of Concept Learning in Physics, in Sidharth Burra G. (ed.), Springer, Heidelberg, 589-593.
Analysis of student concept knowledge in kinematics
A. Lichtenberger, A. Vaterlaus, C. Wagner (2013), Analysis of student concept knowledge in kinematics, in Proceedings of the ESERA 2013 Conference, Nicosia, CyprusESERA eBook, Nicosia, Cyprus.

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
GDCP 2016 Talk given at a conference Förderung des Konzeptwissens in Physik durch formatives Assessment 07.09.2016 Zürich, Switzerland Lichtenberger Andreas;
GDCP 2016 Talk given at a conference Effektivität von Peer-Diskussionen 05.09.2016 Zürich, Switzerland Wagner Clemens;
WCPE 2016 Talk given at a conference Testing Conceptual Knowledge in Kinematics 12.07.2016 Sao Paulo, Brazil Lichtenberger Andreas;
Forschungskolloquium der Naturwissenschafts-, Technik- und Sachunterrichtsdidaktik Individual talk Förderung des Konzeptwissens in Physik an Schweizer Gymnasien durch Formatives Assessment 18.04.2016 Basel, Switzerland Wagner Clemens; Lichtenberger Andreas;
ETH Kolloquium LEHR-LERN-FORSCHUNG UND FACHDIDAKTIK Individual talk Effect of Formative Assessment on Concept Learning in Physics at Swiss High Schools 07.12.2015 Zürich, Switzerland Lichtenberger Andreas; Wagner Clemens;
ESERA 2015 Talk given at a conference A Comparison Study of Peer Discussion and Frequent Testing in Concept Learning of Physics 08.09.2015 Helsinki, Finland Wagner Clemens;
ESERA 2015 Talk given at a conference A Comparison Study Between Formative Assessment and Traditional Teaching in Kinematics at High Schools 07.09.2015 Helsinki, Finland Lichtenberger Andreas;
GIREP 2015 Talk given at a conference Results of the Application of Formative Assessment in Kinematics 08.07.2015 Wroclaw, Poland Lichtenberger Andreas;
GIREP 2015 Talk given at a conference Effect of peer discussions on concept learning in physics 06.07.2015 Wroclaw, Poland Wagner Clemens;
Didaktische Einblicke VORTRAGSREIHE 2015 Individual talk Konzeptaufgaben in Kinematik: Repräsentationsebenen, Lösungsstrategien und der Effekt von Peer-Diskussionen 16.06.2015 Kaiserslautern, Germany Wagner Clemens; Lichtenberger Andreas;
AAPT Winter Meeting 2015 Talk given at a conference Effect of Peer Instruction on Conceptual Knowledge 05.01.2015 San Diego, United States of America Wagner Clemens;
AAPT Winter Meeting 2015 Talk given at a conference Correlation between Mathematics and Physics Concepts in Kinematics 05.01.2015 San Diego, United States of America Lichtenberger Andreas;
GIREP 2014 Talk given at a conference Correlation Between Mathematics and Physics Concepts in Kinematics 09.07.2014 Palermo, Italy Lichtenberger Andreas;
GIREP 2014 Talk given at a conference Kinematic Concepts at Different Representation Levels – a Mutual Information Approach 08.07.2014 Palermo, Italy Wagner Clemens;
ETH Kolloquium LEHR-LERN-FORSCHUNG UND FACHDIDAKTIK Individual talk Konzeptlernen mit Formativem Assessment im Physikunterricht am Gymnasium 10.03.2014 Zürich, Switzerland Lichtenberger Andreas;
8. Schweizer Forum Fachdidaktiken Talk given at a conference Diagnosetest für Konzepte in Kinematik 24.01.2014 Luzern, Switzerland Lichtenberger Andreas;
8. Schweizer Forum Fachdidaktiken Talk given at a conference Feedback über Konzepte und Fehlkonzepte in Physik – ein formativer Assessment Ansatz 24.01.2014 Luzern, Switzerland Wagner Clemens;
ESERA 2013 Talk given at a conference Simulation of conceptual change 03.09.2013 Nicosia, Cyprus Wagner Clemens;
ESERA 2013 Talk given at a conference A kinematics concept/misconception diagnosis test 02.09.2013 Nicosia, Cyprus Lichtenberger Andreas;
ICPE - EPEC Prague Talk given at a conference A kinematics diagnosis test as an element of formative assessment 06.08.2013 Prag, Czech Republic Lichtenberger Andreas;


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Emmetten 2017 Weiterbildung Praktikumslehrpersonen Talk 13.02.2017 Emmetten, Switzerland Wagner Clemens;
Emmetten 2015 Weiterbildung Praktikumslehrpersonen Talk 09.02.2015 Emmetten, Switzerland Lichtenberger Andreas; Wagner Clemens;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Tag für Physik und Unterricht 13.11.2015 Zürich, Switzerland
Tag für Physik und Unterricht 15.11.2013 Zürich, Switzerland

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
179186 Enhancing Mathematics Learning by means of cognitive activation: Classroom Intervention studies in advanced placement schools 01.04.2018 Project funding

Abstract

Formative assessment is among the most promising tools to improve learning at school. Within the proposed project we intend to introduce and evaluate elements of formative assessment to Swiss Gymnasiums (which we will also call high schools hereafter). Due to its broad definition formative assessment has to be developed and adapted for every school level and teaching situation. Within the proposed project we want to apply the peer instruction implementation process defined by Lasry et al. (Lasry N, Mazur E, Watkins J: Peer Instruction: From Harvard to the Two-Year college, Am. J. Phys. 76: 1066 - 1069, 2008) to the teaching of physics at Swiss high schools.Concepts in physics can often be counterintuitive on first sight so that students have to unlearn misconceptions and to learn new concepts at the same time. In order to bring students to actively think about the concepts of physics and to make their thoughts visible we plan to introduce two new elements to the high school teaching of physics. Concept questions used to engage effective peer as well as class room discussions represent the first element. These questions will be used in the setting described by Lasry (2008) and will be posed by using an electronic response system. The second element represents the application of diagnostic tools to evaluate students understanding of concepts. This instrument reveals the gap between student learning and learning goals on an individual basis. It also discloses teaching deficits and advises teachers where lessons have to be improved. The in class use of a diagnostic test is followed by a reflective lesson during which individual knowledge deficits can be cured. Concept questions and diagnostic tool are assisted by a monitoring instrument which helps students to evaluate their individual progress.We will develop and evaluate concept questions and diagnostic tools for teaching a basic mechanics course of 9 weeks. The learning outcome of classes taught with these instruments will then be compared to a control group in which conventional teaching is practiced. Although formative assessment focuses on peer instructions, self-assessment, classroom discussions and so on it will also increase the frequency of testing. Therefore we are going to compare the learning outcome of the formative assessment group not only with the traditional teaching group but also with a third group using frequent testing. Students from this group solve the same set of problems as the formative assessment group in a test setting rather than a formative activity setting.The project is based on an interdisciplinary collaboration between representatives from Physics, Physics Education, and Educational Psychology. It is planned to gauge students’ intelligence in order to find out whether the number of underachievers will decrease in classes with teachers practicing the described elements of formative assessment. Effects on changes in learning motivation and interest in physics will be investigated, too. Moreover, we intend to find out to what extent the training in practicing formative assessment will change teachers’ beliefs on learning physics. Therefore, their pedagogical content knowledge will be gauged by a well-tried questionnaire. In addition to investigating achievement growth as an effect of the planned intervention in a pre-post control group design, the study allows microgenetic longitudinal analyses on the process of conceptual change.
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