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PERfECT undertakes a variety of research into effective teaching and assessment practices. Below are some of our active projects. If you are interested in getting involved with these or any other education-research project, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student Understanding of Astronomical Scale
How well do students understand the scale of objects in the solar system and universe, and how does this change with instruction? In this project, we use results from the Introductory Astronomy Questionnaire (IAQ) to examine common student misunderstandings in the size and distance from the earth of various astronomical bodies. We are currently collaborating with [The University of New Mexico, University of Oslo, West African Astronomy Conference].
The Impact of Assessment on Learning Strategies in Undergraduate Physics
How does the design of assessments affect student learning strategies? We are investigating changes to student behaviour following changes to the assessment makeup of first-year physics. In particular, we are concerned with students’ tendencies to adopt a deep or surface style of learning. Our methods involve examining multi-year trends of student data, correlation analysis of student metrics and data mining from a large online quiz database.