Bhathal, R, Sharma, M & Mendez, A 2010, 'Educational Analysis Of A First Year Engineering Physics Experiment On Standing Waves: Based On The Acell Approach', European Journal of Physics, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 23-35.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This paper describes an educational analysis of a first year physics experiment on standing waves for engineering students. The educational analysis is based on the ACELL (Advancing Chemistry by Enhancing Learning in the Laboratory) approach which includ
Newbigin, CA, Hanlon, MC, Mendez, A & Rothery, MG 2013, 'Enhancing the Measurement and Reporting of Student Experience' in David Woodhouse (ed), Enhancing Student Feedback and Improvement Systems in Tertiary Education, Commission for Academic Accreditation, Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, pp. 34-44.
An occasional publication on topics of interest to practitioners of quality assurance in higher education.
Kirkup, L, Mendez, A, Scott, D, Sharma, M, O'Byrne, J, Quinton, J, Pollard, J, Petelina, S, Creagh, C, Keleher, P & Bhathal, R 2008, 'Do Students' experiences of a service subject correspond to their expectations?', UniServe Science Symposium Proceedings, Uniserve Science Symposium, UniServe Science, The University of Sydney, pp. 35-40.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
What impact does a single semester of physics have on students destined to major in disciplines other than physics? As part of a national study, supported by funding from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC), we have trialled an instrument designed to uncover expectations and experiences of non-physics majors enrolled in a first year physics subject. The trial surveyed bio/medical science majors at a large metropolitan university. We were particularly interested in student views of the value of physics to their major area of study and whether those views were transformed over the course of the semester. Analysis of data obtained indicates that student perceptions of the value of physics are positive and change little over the semester in which they do the subject. However some experiences, such as the laboratory work they undertake, elicited some robust responses from students. The paper discusses the findings of the trial survey, which are related to a broader study on indicators of good practice on the teaching of physics to non-physics majors. The broadening of this study to include physics subjects in which non-physics majors are enrolled at 22 Australian universities is briefly described.
Kirkup, L, Mendez, A, Sharma, M & O'Byrne, J 2008, 'One semester of physics: What difference does it make to non-physics majors?', Australian Institute of Physics, 18th National Congress, Congress of the Australian Institute of Physics, Australian Institute of Physics, Adelaide, Australia, pp. 131-134.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
How does a semester of physics impact on students who will go on to major in disciplines other than physics, and to what extent do their experiences depend, if at all, on whether the subject has been designed specifically for nonphysics majors? In this national study, supported by funding from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC), we have surveyed students about their expectations and experiences in 35 subjects taught to non-physics majors from 22 Australian universities. Over 7000 completed surveys were returned for analysis. The surveys were carried out at the beginning and end of one semester and sought student views on matters including whether they expected links to be made between the physics subject and their major area of study, and whether they found the laboratories a positive learning experience. Here we report preliminary qualitative and quantitative findings from this study which suggests that student experiences of the subject cannot be related directly to whether the subject has been specifically designed for non-physics majors. The laboratory experience of non-physics majors is revealed as a matter deserving of attention, as 15% of all comments made to an open-ended question referred negatively to the laboratory experience compared to 4% describing positive experiences.
O'Byrne, J, Mendez, A, Sharma, M, Kirkup, L & Scott, D 2008, 'Physics Graduates in the Workforce: Does Physics Education Help?', Australian Institute of Physics, 18th National Congress, Congress of the Australian Institute of Physics, Australian Institute of Physics, Adelaide, pp. 143-146.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
In the first half of 2008 a survey was distributed to a sample of Australian physics graduates. The main purpose was to provide a realistic and up-to date view of where a Physics degree can lead, based on the experiences and perspectives of physics graduates in the workforce. The survey was the product of the Working Party on Physics Graduates in the Workforce, part of a project funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC). Responses were received from 171 graduates of physics or physics-related COurses (i.e. degree programs), both undergraduate and postgraduate. A small number of employers also responded to a version of the survey. A clear majority of graduates recommended a major in Physics as good preparation for their career, but they also highlighted aspects where physics education could be improved. Employers were less convinced of the unique qualities of physics courses. Both graduates and employers agreed that, while undergraduate physics clearly develops problem solving skills, communication and planning skills and awareness of ethical and social issues are given low priority at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Wilson, K, Mendez, A, Mills, D, Sharma, M & Kirkup, L 2008, 'Improving Undergraduate Laboratory Work in Physics.: Outcomes of the 'Forging New Direction in Physics Education in Australian Universities' Project', Australian Institute of Physics, 18th National Congress, Congress of the Australian Institute of Physics, Australian Institute of Physics, Adelaide, Australia, pp. 155-158.
Wilson, K, Mills, D, Sharma, M, Kirkup, L, Mendez, A & Scott, D 2008, 'ACELL for Physics?', UniServe Science Symposium Proceedings, UniServe Science Symposium, UniServe Science, Unversity of Sydney, pp. 133-138.
This paper considers the use of the chemistry laboratory work evaluation process ACELL (Advancing Chemistry by Enhancing Learning in the Laboratory) as a tool for evaluating and improving physics laboratory work. In November 2007 an ACELL-style workshop for physics was run at the University of Technology Sydney as part of the Forging new directions in physics education in Australian universities project, funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC). One stream of this project is looking at undergraduate laboratory work in physics, and the ACELL process is a means of evaluating laboratory work developed by the chemistry eduction research community, hence it may be of great value in physics also. The purpose of this workshop was to consider the ACELL evaluation process as a model for evaluating undergraduate laboratory exercises in physics. The workshop was attended by more than 50 delegates, from 19 universities, and eight physics experiments were presented for evaluation using ACELL templates. The delegates were surveyed during and after the event on how appropriate they found the ACELL evaluation process for physics experiments, and what modifications would be needed to implement such a process for physics. The results of these surveys are presented with recommendations for modifying the ACELL process for application to physics experiments.