A year ago, PERbites was officially announced to the world in a post on our sister site, Astrobites. In the year since, we’ve published over 30 articles about physics education, reaching readers from over 69 countries around the world. Today, we look back on the five most popular articles of the past year.
1.Who feels more capable of doing physics: women with “A”s or men with “C”s? The answer probably won’t surprise you. Our most popular article of the year! Despite earning similar grades and scores on conceptual surveys, women have lower levels of self-reported self-efficacy and simply switching to active learning doesn’t appear to help.
2. Extra! Extra! Physics labs may be extra. Researchers were unable to find consistent conceptual benefits of lab courses. This doesn’t mean that labs are extra but it means that they do not appear to be reinforcing lecture content as they are often claimed to do.
3. What do students think will happen to the universe? Many students will only take a single astronomy course in college and thus will have their astronomy knowledge mostly developed by the media. This piece explores what students believe will happen to the universe based on what they’ve learned outside of the classroom.
4. What makes a physics problem similar to another: professors vs students? Professors and other experts tend to group physics problems by the concepts involved while students tend to group physics problems by the objects involved.
5. Is taking notes on paper better than taking notes on a computer? Y-Maybe? A highly covered study previously claimed that taking notes on paper was better than taking notes on a computer. However, a replication study failed to find the same result, or that taking notes was even better than not taking notes at all.
It’s been a great first year and here’s to another great year!
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