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Departmental Colloquium

Undergraduate Awards Day: Four Programs for Improving Undergraduate Physics Instruction at LSU  
Guest Speaker
Dr. Raymond Chastain  
Guest Affiliation
Department of Physics and Astronomy at Louisiana State University  
William Dennis  
Thursday, April 26, 2012 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm  
Physics 202  

As with many physics departments at public university across the country, the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Louisiana State University is in the process of dealing with increased pressure on our service courses due to rising enrollment numbers, significant decreases in the resources available for teaching, and increased pressure to demonstrate our instructional effectiveness.  In an effort to address the quality of our teaching in the service courses, the physics department at LSU is in the process of implementing four different programs designed to increase student understanding in the introductory level physics courses.  The first program uses undergraduate student instructors in recitation sections with students in the first semester, algebra-based course.  The second and third programs use metacognitive strategies with students taking the second semester, calculus-based course.  All three of these programs are being implemented for the first time this semester and I will describe the challenges we have faced with each and how we will attempt to assess their effectiveness.  In addition, I will also talk about the recent changes to the Masters of Natural Science program for middle and high school teachers in the Baton Rouge area designed to bridge the gap between "teaching science" and "doing science".