28 May 2019: Seminar by Professor Jarrad Pond, University of Georgia, USA

Title: Finding student learning profiles using a survey of study habits and motivations and a person-centered approach

Abstract: In order to better understand how students experience the physics courses that we teach, it is important to take into consideration the study strategies and motivations of the students in our classes. How are students approaching their learning of the course content? What motivations (or lack thereof) do students possess in their courses? How do their backgrounds affect these study habits and motivations? To describe these qualities of our introductory physics students, the work presented here uses a person-centered approach, employing cluster analysis techniques to find patterns in student responses to survey items that probe their strategic self-regulation and motivations in their introductory physics courses. Results of this analysis indicate the presence of
five distinct learning profiles. These same five profiles, or a subset of them, have been found in various student populations using different analysis methods, but this work is the first to identify these five profiles among a sample of physics students. Furthermore, this work has made efforts to improve and optimize the survey tool used to garner such information from students and to better
estimate students’ levels of self-regulation and motivation in their physics courses by using item response theory.

Bio: Jarrad Pond received his bachelor's degree in Physics on an Astronomy track from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida USA in 2009 and his PhD in Physics with a specialization in Physics Education Research from the same institution in 2016. He began working as a Limited-Term Assistant Professor at the University of Georgia located in Athens, Georgia USA in 2016 and continues to work there today. He focuses on surveying students' study strategies and motivations in their physics courses and analyzing those responses for patterns insightful to how students approach learning physics.

<Link to Slides>