Campus: CSU Fullerton -- August 13, 2004
Physics Professor Puts Student Learning Under the Microscope
Michael E. Loverude, assistant professor of physics at California State
University, Fullerton, soon will be trying to get into college students' heads —
to find out if they understand what they are taught about science.
Loverude has received $46,194 in first-year funding from the National Science
Foundation to study student learning in introductory physics labs — courses
taken by students in several science degree programs. The three-year project will
provide data on what concepts students have trouble understanding for the purpose
of charting new paths to comprehension.
"We will be performing assessments of student learning through interviews and
tests," says Loverude. "We will see if existing materials need to be adapted or
if new materials need to be created, in order to deal with special topics and
subjects that students consistently have difficulty in understanding."
Partners in the study with Loverude are physics colleagues on the faculties of
Arizona and New Mexico state universities who also received NSF funding for the
project. They also have collaborators at Chicago State University, Seattle Pacific
University and Grand Valley State University in Michigan.
Loverude joined Cal State Fullerton in 1999 after completing his doctorate at the
University of Washington. The Long Beach resident currently teaches courses on
"Physics for the Non-Science Major," "Physical Science for Future Elementary
Teachers" and "Fundamental Physics." His articles about student understanding
have been published in the American Journal of Physics and the Proceedings of the
Physics Education Research Conference.
Michael E. Loverude, assistant professor of
physics, at (714) 278-2270 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Pamela McLaren of Public Affairs at (714) 278-4852 or