Date of Award

8-2012

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Physics

First Advisor

Dr. Charles Henderson

Second Advisor

Dr. Michael Famiano

Third Advisor

Dr. Marcia Fetters

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

Based on the results of a national survey of physics faculty, a set of interviews was conducted of 70 physics faculty from a diverse set of institutions. The interviews included questions about the dissemination and effective use of curricula and instructional strategies based on Physics Education Research (PER), focused to obtain recommendations to the PER community that might help to spread the use of these PER-based materials. Approximately half of the interviews (those with faculty who indicated knowledge about or use of Peer Instruction) have been previously analyzed. This project is the analysis of the 38 interviews that were conducted with faculty who indicated knowledge about or use of Workshop Physics, using the coding scheme and procedures from the analysis of the Peer Instruction interviews. A new set of interviews was conducted with 23 Higher Education administrators whose purview includes physics departments. These interviews are designed to address issues raised in the faculty interviews and the assessment of faculty teaching effectiveness. The interviews with the administrators are then analyzed to allow for comparison between faculty and administrator recommendations for PER and assessment of teaching effectiveness. Finally, five recommendations are collected from the comparison of the two interview sets.

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