Physics Colloquium: Improving learning and attrition in physics through department-level change
Improving learning and attrition in physics through department-level change
Dr. Diana Sachmpazidi
University of Maryland, College Park
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This seminar may be attended in person in A300 Gosnell Hall or online via Zoom.
Physics departments are constantly seeking to increase student learning and decrease student attrition. In this presentation, I discuss how my research addresses these goals from four different perspectives.
Physics departments are constantly seeking to increase student learning and decrease student attrition. In this presentation, I discuss how my research addresses these goals from four different perspectives. First, I will describe my research on how teams can create meaningful instructional improvements within departments. Through a multi-year project, we developed a model for how to develop successful instructional development teams. Second, I will describe the ongoing study that aims to understand cultural shifts within departments and how these are driven by research-based approaches to change. Third, I focus on my research on improving retention and diversity of physics graduate students. While many efforts at improving graduate education focus on individual student attributes, such as lack of ability or motivation, this work focuses on department structures that can provide social and academic support for students. Finally, I discuss my research on improving undergraduate student learning through the implementation of introductory physics labs that emphasize computational thinking. I conclude by presenting my research agenda for the next few years as an early-career scholar and my plans to secure external funding.
Diana Sachmpazidi is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Maryland, College Park. Diana received her Ph.D. in Science Education/Physics at Western Michigan University in 2021. Her primary research focuses on departmental change, graduate education, and undergraduate student learning. Specifically, through two NSF-funded projects, she aims to understand team-based collaboration for instructional change and cultural change of program assessment within departments. Through her research, she also aims to understand the long-standing challenges in physics graduate education by focusing on the departmental context that students experience. Moreover, she studies undergraduate student learning in introductory physics labs that emphasize computational thinking. Diana is trained in and has experience in qualitative, quantitative, and instrument development methods. In her free time, Diana enjoys swimming and hiking.
Beginners, undergraduates, graduates, experts. Those with interest in the topic.
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When and Where
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