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Fall 2016 Phys 132 Reminder from 8-26 Meeting

Page history last edited by Kim Moore 3 years, 7 months ago

Phys 132, Reminders from 8/26/2016 Meeting (for First Recitation, Surveys and Lab Intro, week of Aug. 29th)


This is the set of reminders we promised you at our recent meeting/training.  We will  be having our first TA training (for Lab 6 and the second recitation) on Thursday, 9/08, from 2:30-5:30pm in room 3310.  I am attaching readings to--and providing links in--this email to help orient you to the course and your responsibilities.


This week you need to attend your own recitations and labs (as well as any recitation/lab you are covering for Ali).  You might also consider reading a bit about this course--from the course website, the papers you got on Friday, or the links in the logistics section below.  Starting next week, week of Sept. 5th, you will be working with students in the Course Center (room 0208).  There are no labs or recitations in the week of Sept. 5th--but we will have our TA training that Thursday, Sept. 8th!

Cheers! ~KIM


Email notice to students:

We have sent a notice to 132 students reminding them to bring their laptops to lab, to bring a flashdrive/have a dropbox for file-saving between weeks, to print out their own copies of the recitations/labs, and to READ the lab documents before coming to class.  We have also encouraged them to re-read the Intro to Scientific Community Labs document they used last semester in Physics 131.  We have informed them that their recitation/lab room is 3310 until further notice (we will switch again in the second week of October).  We have also informed them that the first labs/recitations will begin on Monday, Aug. 29th.


This week in Recitation/Lab:


(There is no login info for the computers. If a computer is 'logged out,' simply turn it off and reboot the computer. It will automatically login.)


0) Take attendance.  You can normally do this in ELMS (that is how I do it, by entering their participation score in ELMS--which you can always adjust later if their behavior is poor)--but right now you do not have ELMS access and they may not have this fixed before your first section.  So, for this week you can take attendance by checking off their names on a roster printout (from the roster I emailed on Saturday) on paper or in a spreadsheet, or by having the students write their name on a sheet of paper (a sign-in).  Whatever works for you, just be sure you know who is there for each recitation and each lab.  Also, please double-check that the students are 132 students (not 131 students in the wrong room!)....


1) Recitation: How a Kinesin Walks

Link: http://umdberg.pbworks.com/w/page/53985671/How%20a%20Kinesin%20Walks%20-%20Revision

Students should NOT write on the "room copies" of the recitation paper. Please collect the room copies between recitation and lab. If supplies are running low, email your Lead TA, Kim Moore, ASAP.  These papers can be found on the printer-table at the back of the room.  Remember that students are not turning in any work for a grade at the end of recitation.


Please track the student attendance/participation at the recitations (and labs).  Record the students' participation scores in ELMS (or in a spreadsheet while you are waiting for ELMS access), 3 pts for participation for each recitation.


In the "My Documents" folder on the desktop computers, there is a Kinesin Walking video--students saw this in Phys 131, but they may find it helpful to see it again.  (Note: The computers DO NOT have a sound card....)


TAs and LAs: Please remember that the general goals of recitation are group discussion, communication of ideas/logic, and reconciliation of individual perspectives. We'd love for the students to get the "right" answer, but that is less important than the exchange of ideas and negotiation of meaning among group members. Please encourage the students to think deeply about what they are doing, rather than rushing through the worksheet and stressing about how "correct" their answers are.  Themes that appear all over these recitations (as well as in the Labs, HWs, and Lecture) are: Multiple Representations, Modeling, Reconciling Perspectives, Interdisciplinary Thinking, and Epistemic Games.


TAs: Don't forget the wrap-up/summary at the end of recitation!


(10 minute Break.... Start lab on the hour.)


2) Surveys:


Students will be asked to fill out three surveys: (TWO on paper/scantrons and ONE online)

* the MEGS (paper) survey using the green scantron;

* the MAX (paper) survey using the blue scantron; and

* the pre-lab NEXUS/Physics survey ( http://tinyurl.com/132-Fa2016-NEXUS-Pre )   (Or, in case the tinyurl above isn't working, here is the long and ugly Qualtrics link: https://umdsurvey.umd.edu/SE/?SID=SV_bBkXWP11dhXeDVH )


Students will be completing the MEGS and MAX on-paper surveys during the first hour of the 'lab' time.  These surveys, together, will take a little over one hour.  Either Mark or Deborah will be present to introduce the surveys to your students and to answer any questions your students may have. Completed surveys should be placed in the "Completed MEGS" and "Completed MAX" boxes, on the "TA" desk at the front of the room.  Please make sure that you also re-collect the MEGS and MAX question booklets, as these will be used for the next section's students, too.  (And students should NOT write on the question booklets!)  As with all Scantron surveys, students should use a #2 pencil (there are extra pencils on the back-left table--re-collect these, too, if distributed).  Do the MEGS first, then the MAX.  Check with Deb and Mark--but I am pretty sure you can just collect the MEGS and scantron when they finish it, student-by-student, and immediately hand them a MAX and new scantron to start the new survey.

      • Blank scantrons and question booklets are in the front of the room, on the "TA" desk.
      • Students should NOT write in the question booklet.  These question booklets cannot be removed from the room.
      • Students must use a #2 pencil (there are extras on the "TA" desk--borrowed things should be returned).
      • ON THE SCANTRON SHEET: Students must write AND bubble-in their: 
                      • Full Name
                      • Student ID number (University ID number), and
                      • Section number--this goes in the "Special Code" box. E.g., a student in section 0101 would code "0101" in the Special Code box.
                      •  "2" in "Grade or Educ" (this indicates that they're in 132, not 131) 
      • TAs should double check that students have both written and bubbled-in the required information.  Any unused scantrons should go back in the appropriate stack; all question booklets should be checked for writing and returned to the appropriate box, and the completed surveys should be placed in the "Completed" box for that type of survey--the completed scantrons are in the correct bin with all the same orientation (otherwise the scantron reader gets confused).



If students finish the surveys rapidly, they can look at the following:

    • read (re-read) the Intro to the Scientific Community Lab document; or,
    • try to do the ImageJ download (though they must wait until later to ask you questions, if they get stuck).
    • look at the Peer Review readings/information in the ELMS announcement (work they will do independently during the week of Sept. 5th). 



3) Introduce yourself and find out a little bit about your students.  Say hello, introduce yourself to your students, and ask them a few questions.  Things you might want to ask about include:


    • Are there any students in the section who did not take Physics 131 last semester?  If so, did they take Phys 131 previously (before last semester)?  Are they coming from a different UMD intro physics course?  Are they coming from a different institution/did they complete a first semester course somewhere else?  If they have had Phys 131 at some point, then the should transition smoothly to Phys 132.  If they are coming from a different course or from a course at another institution, then ImageJ and the style of these labs will be new to them--note who they are!
    • Are there any students in the section who have done research in a real science lab (e.g., a university lab group lead by a professor, a government lab, etc.)?  Have they been authors on any published articles?  (In their opinion, has their average lab experience in high school or college been anything like their research experience?)
    • Quick show of hands for: Who is (is not) a life science major? (What are the 'nots'?)  Who is a (freshman/sophomore/junior/senior/post bac/grad student/transfer)?

4) (Re-)Intro to SCL/NEXUS Labs: Cover the portions of the Intro to the Scientific Community Lab that you think are most important/interesting.  You must also mention:


    • the attendance policy (end of the Intro to SCL document);
    • that lab scores are renormalized for fairness at the end of the semester;
    • that the second semester of this course adds Peer Grading (an approximation of Peer Review) to the labs as a model of how the Scientific Community functions in the real world; and 
    • that the Phys 132 labs are often and intentionally weeks ahead of when the content is covered in lecture--this is about developing and understanding epistemology! (Epistemology: What does it mean "to know?"  How do you know that you know? and How do you build new knowledge?) 


5) Peer Review Brainstorm: 

  • Give the students about 5 minutes to brainstorm in their group (at their whiteboard) about the purpose and function of Peer Review in science and medicine.  (One of the survey questions asked them to think about this, so they should already have their mental gears turning.)
  • Take another 5 minutes after the brainstorm for students to share their thoughts and ideas with the class.
  • Give the students about 5 minutes to brainstorm in their group (at their whiteboard) about the purpose and function of Peer Grading in school.
  • Take another 5 minutes after the brainstorm for students to share their thoughts and ideas with the class.  Focus on helping students see how Peer Grading can be used as a proxy for the Peer Review process.



  • If any of the major ideas of peer review have not been mentioned in the brainstorms, feel free to talk about them with students.  Also, let them know that we will be giving them resources to learn more about peer review and about the peer grading that they will be doing in Physics 132.  This will be an independent reading assignment that they complete during the week of Sept. 5th--there is an ELMS announcement about this.
  • If you have time, you might consider discussing some of the logistics of peer grading.  We will talk more about this during the first week of Lab 6.
    • Logistics: For this semester, all labs will be submitted electronically as PDFs and as a group (and they will get an ELMS notice with more details on how to do this).  Students will then peer grade (within each section) and peer review each others' work, providing constructive and critical feedback and assessing the grades for the reports using a rubric (the rubrics are built from the student lab document, so there is no need for the students to see the rubric ahead of time--they already have (and should already be carefully reading) the student lab documents).  Each report will be peer graded anonymously by approximately four of their fellow students, and the grade for the report will be determined from these scores.  Students' work in doing the peer grading (and the practice peer grading for lab 6) will help them earn up to 4 additional points for their own lab score (up to 2 pts. for timeliness and up to 2 pts. for a critical but fair review).  The act of reviewing each others' work will not only help the reviewee improve future reports but will help the reviewer, too!  TAs will grade the first report (Lab 6).  Students will read about peer review and peer grading and practice peer grading Lab 6--putting their scores and comments on ELMS and sending their scores and comments to the TA for feedback on their peer grading.  Students will peer grade Labs 7, 9, 10, and 11.  TAs will grade Lab 8.


6) Downloading ImageJ and the Plugins: If you have any students in your section who did NOT take Phys 131 previously, they may need help downloading and installing ImageJ and the necessary plugins to their computer/laptop.  This is not too difficult to do, so please help them.  The download links and instructions are here: ImageJ Download Instructions for Students .  They will need ImageJ for Labs 6 and 7 (the first month of the class). 



Other Logistics:


*** Course Center (room 0208) will start the week of Sept. 5th.  Full TAs work 2 hours each week.  Half TAs work 1 hour each week.  If room 0208 is locked and you need access, come by Prof. B's office or the PERG office (room 1322)--this is Kim's office, too.  Here is a link to the current schedule: Course Center Schedule, Fall 2016 .  If you have not emailed Kim with the hours you want to work, do so ASAP.


Here are some useful links for TAs and LAs: (Please DO NOT share these links with the students!!)


Physics 132 TA and LA Information page on the UMD-BERG wiki: http://umdberg.pbworks.com/w/page/68630246/Physics%20131-132%20TA%20and%20LA%20Information

(Here you will find a host of useful links, including:

What am I doing in recitation?

What am I doing in lab?

What happens at the weekly meetings?

What am I doing in the Course Center? (See Prof. Redish's helpful discussion at:  http://umdperg.pbworks.com/w/page/10511168/121-122%20Giving%20Help.)

All reminder emails will be stored here, too. TAs can also find grading information, ImageJ download instructions, and other useful information.)


Physics 132 LA Teaching Assignments: (information about your helper TAs and LAs will be added soon...)


Physics 132 TA/Student Lab Documents: http://umdberg.pbworks.com/w/page/68933700/NEXUS%20Physics%20Labs%2C%202013-2014

(Including a TA Guide to Guiding labs, How to grade Lab Reports, and the Introduction to the Scientific Community-style Labs (SCL).)


Physics 132 Course Web-page: This will be done entirely via ELMS (which you cannot access yet).  Until then, try looking at this old webpage from a previous semester--a lot of stuff will be similar: http://www.physics.umd.edu/courses/Phys132/spring2016/index.html

(You can find HW problems, schedule of readings, and list of labs/recitations on ELMS.  Try solving the HW before you go to the course center.  Read the "What am I doing in the Course Center?" if you are unsure how this learning space works.)


ELMS/CANVAS: http://myelms.umd.edu

(For grade-entry, emailing students, finding HW solutions, etc.)


UMEG: https://was-3.umd.edu/commonlogin/login?goto=https://www.sis.umd.edu/umeg/

(For printing rosters and setting up a course email reflector.)


WebAssign: https://www.webassign.net/login.html

(For grading online homework.)




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