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Wednesday, March 3 • 12:40pm - 12:55pm
Talk Session 5: Tools for identifying effective introductory STEM courses

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DBER often uses research-based assessments to measure the efficacy of courses and interventions to improve student outcomes. One challenge for using these assessments, however, is a lack of comparative data, particularly given research literatures’ skew toward courses for disciplinary majors at selective institutions. We will present on and share a large-scale dataset and tools to inform the efficacy of introductory physics courses in supporting student outcomes. We will also discuss large-scale datasets available through the LASSO platform that DBER scholars can use to build similar tools for other STEM disciplines. LASSO is an online platform that hosts, administers, scores, and analyzes 47 research-based assessments from astronomy, biology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, and physics. The data set of 501 introductory physics courses comes from the LASSO platform and the scientific literature. Results indicated the LASSO data represented different courses than those represented in the scientific literature. The tools include plots of pretest and posttest scores and distributions of effect sizes. These visualizations show how courses compare to the larger database before and after instruction. The results show that common rules of thumb for effect size are not useful for interpreting effect sizes on research-based assessments. We will discuss how researchers can use the anonymized LASSO database to provide context for interpreting research-based assessment scores in other courses and STEM disciplines.

avatar for Jayson Nissen

Jayson Nissen

Nissen Education Research and Design
I have my own research company and am occasionally a physics instructor at Oregon State University. I have worked with Learning Assistants (LAs) and conducted research on the efficacy and impacts of the LA model nationally. I use quantitative methods and a critical framework to investigate... Read More →

Wednesday March 3, 2021 12:40pm - 12:55pm CST