Edward E Prather
- Professor, Astronomy
- Member of the Graduate Faculty
- Ph.D. Physics
- University of Maine, Orono, Maine, United States
- An Investigation Into What Students Think and How They Learn About Ionizing Radiation and Radioactivity
- B.S. Physics and Astronomy
- University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States
- Bellevue Community College, Bellevue, Washington, United States
- Eller College Student's Choice Award for Outstanding Faculty
- Eller College of Management, Fall 2017
- William Holmes McGuffey Longevity Award
- Textbook & Academic Author's Association (TAA), Fall 2017
- Richard Ruiz Outstanding Faculty Fellow in a Specialized Center Award
- University of Arizona, Spring 2016
- University of Arizona, Henry and Phyllis Koffler Prize
- UA Provost Office, Spring 2016
No activities entered.
Directed ResearchASTR 392 (Fall 2023)
Independent StudyASTR 499 (Fall 2023)
Exploring Our UniverseASTR 170B1 (Spring 2023)
The Physical UniverseASTR 170B1 (Spring 2022)
Honors ThesisASTR 498H (Spring 2020)
The Physical UniverseASTR 170B1 (Spring 2020)
Honors ThesisASTR 498H (Fall 2019)
Directed ResearchASTR 492 (Spring 2019)
The Physical UniverseASTR 170B1 (Spring 2019)
Directed ResearchASTR 492 (Spring 2018)
The Physical UniverseASTR 170B1 (Spring 2018)
Directed ResearchASTR 392 (Spring 2017)
Directed ResearchASTR 492 (Spring 2017)
The Physical UniverseASTR 170B1 (Spring 2017)
The Physical UniverseASTR 170B1 (Spring 2016)
- Prather, E. E., Adams, J. P., Slater, T. F., & Brissenden, G. (2014). Lecture-Tutorials for Introductory Astronomy, 5th Custom Edition.
- Burd, G. D., Tomanek, D. J., Blowers, P., Bolger, M. S., Cox, J., Elfring, L. K., Grubbs, E. A., Hunter, J., Johns, K. A., Lazos, L., Lysecky, R. L., Milsom, J. A., Novodvorsky, I., Pollard, J. R., Prather, E. E., Talanquer, V. A., Thamvichai, R., Tharp, H. S., & Wallace, C. (2016). Developing faculty cultures for evidence-based teaching practices in STEM: A progress report.. In Transforming Institutions: 21st Century Undergraduate STEM. West Lafayette, IN.: Purdue University Press.
- Blowers, P., Burd, G. D., Bolger, M. S., Johns, K. A., Lazos, L., Lysecky, R. L., Milsom, J. A., Novodvorsky, I., Pollard, J. R., Prather, E. E., Talanquer, V. A., Thamvichai, R., Tharp, H. S., Wallace, C. S., Cox, J., Elfring, L., Grubbs, E., & Hunter, J. (2015). Developing Faculty Cultures for Evidence-Based Teaching Practices in STEM: A Progress Report. In Transforming Institutions, Undergraduate STEM Education for the 21st Century(pp 90-102). Indianapolis, IN: Purdue University Press,.
- Burd, G. D., Burd, G. D., Tomanek, D. J., Tomanek, D. J., Blowers, P., Blowers, P., Bolger, M. S., Bolger, M. S., Cox, J., Cox, J., Elfring, L. K., Elfring, L. K., Grubbs, E. A., Grubbs, E. A., Hunter, J., Hunter, J., Johns, K. A., Johns, K. A., Lazos, L., , Lazos, L., et al. (2015). Developing faculty cultures for evidence-based teaching practices in STEM: A progress report.. In Transforming Institutions: 21st Century Undergraduate STEM. West Lafayette, IN.: Purdue University Press.
- Blowers, P., Burd, G. D., Bolger, M. S., Johns, K. A., Lazos, L., Lysecky, R. L., Milsom, J. A., Novodvorsky, I., Pollard, J. R., Prather, E. E., Talanquer, V. A., Thamvichai, R., Tharp, H. S., Wallace, C. S., Cox, J., Elfring, L., Grubbs, E., & Hunter, J. (2014). Developing Faculty Cultures for Evidence-Based Teaching Practices in STEM: A Progress Report. In Transforming Institution: 21st Century STEM Undergraduate Education Conference. Indianapolis, IN: AAU-STEM.
- Wallace, C. S., & Prather, E. E. (2017). An Item Response Theory Evaluation of the Light and Spectroscopy Concept Inventory National Data Set. Physical Review – Physics Education Research, Focused Collection on Astronomy Education Research.
- Buxner, S. R., Simon, M. N., Prather, E. E., & Impey, C. D. (2019). The Development and Validation of the Planet Formation Concept Inventory (PFCI). International Journal of Science Education, 2448-2464.More infoThe discovery and characterisation of planets orbiting distant stars has shed light on the origin of our own Solar System. It is important that college-level introductory astronomy students have a general understanding of the planet formation process before they are able to draw parallels between extrasolar systems and our own Solar System. In this work, we introduce the Planet Formation Concept Inventory (PFCI), an educational research tool used to assess student learning on the topic of planet formation. The PFCI Version 3 was administered to N = 561 students pre-instruction and N = 374 students post-instruction. Here, we present a Classical Test Theory (CTT) analysis of the PFCI Version 3. Ultimately, we conclude that the PFCI is a reliable and valid instrument that can differentiate experts from novices, and can be used to assess college-level introductory astronomy students' learning on the topic of planet formation. Initial findings on class normalised gain scores indicate that the PFCI may be capable of assessing the effectiveness of different instructional models. In the future, we recommend a national study of the PFCI to discern its ability to provide insight regarding the ascribed characteristics of learners and the effectiveness of different instructional strategies being used to teach this topic.
- Brock, L. S., Impey, C., & Prather, E. E. (2017). Finding the Time: Exploring a New Perspective on Students’ Perceptions of Cosmological Time and Efforts to Improve Temporal Frameworks in Astronomy. Physical Review – Physics Education Research, Focused Collection on Astronomy Education Research.
- Brock, L. S., Prather, E. E., Impey, C., & Brock, L. S. (2018). Finding the time: Exploring a new perspective on students' perceptions of cosmological time and efforts to improve temporal frameworks in astronomy. Physical Review Physics Education Research, 14(1). doi:10.1103/physrevphyseducres.14.010138More infoPast research on students' understanding of cosmological time informs a proposed research and instructional agenda.
- Follettee, K., Buxner, S., Dokter, E., McCarthy, D., Vezino, B., Brock, L., & Prather, E. (2017). The Quantitative Reasoning for College Science (QuaRCS) Assessment 2: Demographic, Academic and Attitudinal Variables as Predictors of Quantitative Ability. Numeracy. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.5038/1936-4622.214.171.124
- Prather, E. E. (2018). Mapping the Milky Way: A Radio Astronomy-Directed Investigation for Lecture-Based Astro 101 Courses. Robotic Telescopes, Student Research and Education Proceedings.
- Wallace, C. S., Prather, E. E., & Chambers, T. G. (2018). Item response theory evaluation of the Light and Spectroscopy Concept Inventory national data set. Physical Review Physics Education Research, 14(1). doi:10.1103/physrevphyseducres.14.010149More infoItem response theory evaluation of light and spectroscopy concept inventory national data set yields methodological and instructional insights.
- McCarthy, D. W., Follette, K., Buxner, S. R., Dokter, E. F., Prather, E. E., Vezino, B., & Brock, L. S. (2017). The Quantitative Reasoning for College Science (QuaRCS) Assessment II: Demographic, Academic and Attitudinal Variables as Predictors of Quantitative Ability. Numeracy, 10(1), 33. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.5038/1936-46126.96.36.199
- Eckenrode, J. W., Prather, E. E., & Wallace, C. @. (2016). Correlations Between Students’ Written Responses to Lecture-Tutorial Questions and Their Understandings of Key Astrophysics Concepts. Journal of College Science Teaching, 45(3).
- Wallace, C. S., Chambers, T. G., Prather, E. E., & Brissenden, G. (2016). Using Graphical and Pictorial Representations to Teach Introductory Astronomy Students About the Detection of Extrasolar Planets Via Gravitational Microlensing. American Journal of Physics, 84(5). doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.4943035
- Wallace, C. S., Prather, E. E., Hornstein, S. D., Burns, J. O., Schlingman, W. M., & Chambers, T. G. (2016). Moving Beyond the Bohr Model: A New Lecture-Tutorial for Teaching Astro 101 Students about Molecular Vibrations, Molecular Rotations, and Synchrotron Radiation. The Physics Teacher, 54(1).
- Williamson, K. E., Prather, E. E., & Willoughby, S. (2016). Applicability of the Newtonian Gravity Concept Inventory to Introductory College Physics Classes. American Journal of Physics, 84(6). doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.4945347
- Prather, E. E., Mccarthy, D. W., Dokter, E., Buxner, S., Prather, E. E., Mccarthy, D. W., Follette, K. B., Dokter, E., & Buxner, S. (2015). The Quantitative Reasoning for College Science (QuaRCS) Assessment, 1: Development and Validation. Numeracy, 8(2). doi:10.5038/1936-46188.8.131.52More infoScience is an inherently quantitative endeavor, and general education science courses are taken by a majority of college students. As such, they are a powerful venue for advancing students’ skills and attitudes toward mathematics. This article reports on the development and validation of the Quantitative Reasoning for College Science (QuaRCS) Assessment, a numeracy assessment instrument designed for college-level general education science students. It has been administered to more than four thousand students over eight semesters of refinement. We show that the QuaRCS is able to distinguish varying levels of quantitative literacy and present performance statistics for both individual items and the instrument as a whole. Responses from a survey of forty-eight Astronomy and Mathematics educators show that these two groups share views regarding which quantitative skills are most important in the contexts of science literacy and educated citizenship, and the skills assessed with the QuaRCS are drawn from these rankings. The fully-developed QuaRCS assessment was administered to nearly two thousand students in nineteen general education science courses and one STEM major course in early 2015, and results reveal that the instrument is valid for both
- Burd, G. D., Tomanek, D., Tomanek, D. J., Blowers, P., Bolger, M. S., Elfring, L. K., Elfring, L. K., Grubbs, E., Hunter, J., Johns, K., Johns, K. A., Lazos, L., Lazos, L., Lysecky, R., Milsom, D., Novodvorsky, I., Novodvorsky, I., Pollard, J., Prather, E. E., , Prather, E. E., et al. (2014). Leading institutional change through faculty support and engagement with administrators: Use of evidence based teaching practices. Education Division 2014 - Core Programming Area at the 2014 AIChE Annual Meeting.
- Wooten, M. M., Cool, A. M., Prather, E. E., & Tanner, K. D. (2014). Comparison of performance on multiple-choice questions and open-ended questions in an introductory astronomy laboratory. Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research.More infoWhen considering the variety of questions that can be used to measure students’ learning, instructors may choose to use multiple-choice questions, which are easier to score than responses to open-ended questions. However, by design, analyses of multiple-choice responses cannot describe all of students’ understanding. One method that can be used to learn more about students’ learning is the analysis of the open-ended responses students’ provide when explaining their multiple-choice response. In this study, we examined the extent to which introductory astronomy students’ performance on multiple-choice questions was comparable to their ability to provide evidence when asked to respond to an open-ended question. We quantified students’ open-ended responses by developing rubrics that allowed us to score the amount of relevant evidence students’ provided. A minimum rubric score was determined for each question based on two astronomy educators perception of the minimum amount of evidence needed to substantiate a scientifically accurate multiple-choice response. The percentage of students meeting both criteria of (1) attaining the minimum rubric score and (2) selecting the correct multiple-choice response was examined at three different phases of instruction: directly before lab instruction, directly after lab instruction, and at the end of the semester. Results suggested that a greater proportion of students were able to choose the correct multiple-choice response than were able to provide responses that attained the minimum rubric score at both the post-lab and post-instruction phases.
- Prather, E. E., Cormier, S., Wallace, C. S., Lintott, C., Raddick, M. J., & Smith, A. (2013). Measuring the conceptual understandings of citizen scientists participating in zooniverse projects: A first approach. Astronomy Education Review, 12(1).More infoAbstract: The Zooniverse projects turn everyday people into "citizen scientists" who work online with real data to assist scientists in conducting research on a variety of topics related to galaxies, exoplanets, lunar craters, and solar flares, among others. This paper describes our initial study to assess the conceptual knowledge and reasoning abilities of citizen scientists participating in two Zooniverse projects: Galaxy Zoo and Moon Zoo. In order to measure their knowledge and abilities, we developed two new assessment instruments, the Zooniverse Astronomical Concept Survey (ZACS) and the Lunar Cratering Concept Inventory (LCCI). We found that citizen scientists with the highest level of participation in the Galaxy Zoo and Moon Zoo projects also have the highest average correct scores on the items of the ZACS and LCCI. However, the limited nature of the data provided by Zooniverse participants prevents us from being able to evaluate the statistical significance of this finding, and we make no claim about whether there is a causal relationship between one's participation in Galaxy Zoo or Moon Zoo and one's level of conceptual understanding or reasoning ability on the astrophysical topics assessed by the ZACS or the LCCI. Overall, both the ZACS and the LCCI provide Zooniverse's citizen scientists with items that offer a wide range of difficulties. Using the data from the small subset of participants who responded to all items of the ZACS, we found evidence suggesting the ZACS is a reliable instrument (α=0.78), although twenty-one of its forty items appear to have point biserials less than 0.3. The work reported here provides significant insight into the strengths and limitations of various methods for administering assessments to citizen scientists. Researchers who wish to study the knowledge and abilities of citizen scientists in the future should be sure to design their research methods to avoid the pitfalls identified by our initial findings. © 2013 The American Astronomical Society.
- Wallace, C. S., Prather, E. E., & Mendelsohn, B. M. (2013). Astro 101 students' perceptions of science: Results from the Thinking about science survey instrument. Astronomy Education Review, 12(1), 1-28.More infoAbstract: What are the underlying worldviews and beliefs about the role of science in society held by students enrolled in a college-level, general education, introductory astronomy course (Astro 101)-and are those beliefs affected by active engagement instruction shown to significantly increase students' conceptual knowledge and reasoning abilities related to astronomy? To help answer this question, we administered Cobern's (Cobern 2001) Thinking About Science Survey Instrument (TSSI) to an Astro 101 class in the spring 2011. The TSSI probes students' beliefs about the relationship between science and many aspects of contemporary society. In this paper, we analyze the 442 pre-instruction and 294 post-instruction student responses we received to the TSSI. Many students select responses to the TSSI's items indicating they have positive views about the role of science in society. We also see a slight increase in the number of positive responses pre- to post-instruction. While there are limitations to the inferences one can draw from responses to a Likert scale survey such as the TSSI, this work nevertheless provides an important first step in a larger project to understand and affect the worldviews of general education, introductory astronomy students. To better interpret the significance of these results, we conclude by comparing the TSSI data to preliminary data from a related study in which we collected students' written responses to a series of provocative, open-ended prompts on the relationship between science and society. © 2013 The American Astronomical Society.
- Williamson, K. E., Willoughby, S., & Prather, E. E. (2013). Development of the Newtonian gravity concept inventory. Astronomy Education Review, 12(1).More infoAbstract: We introduce the Newtonian Gravity Concept Inventory (NGCI), a 26-item multiple-choice instrument to assess introductory general education college astronomy ("Astro 101") student understanding of Newtonian gravity. This paper describes the development of the NGCI through four phases: Planning, Construction, Quantitative Analysis, and Validation. We discuss the evolution of the instrument through three versions, including the refinement of a set of four concept domains and nine examples of items to illustrate how expert review, student interviews, and Classical Test Theory statistics informed our approach. We conclude that the NGCI is a reliable and valid instrument. © 2013 The American Astronomical Society.
- Bailey, J. M., Johnson, B., Prather, E. E., & Slater, T. F. (2012). Development and Validation of the Star Properties Concept Inventory. International Journal of Science Education, 34(14), 2257-2286.More infoAbstract: Concept inventories (CIs)-typically multiple-choice instruments that focus on a single or small subset of closely related topics-have been used in science education for more than a decade. This paper describes the development and validation of a new CI for astronomy, the Star Properties Concept Inventory (SPCI). Questions cover the areas of stellar properties (focussing primarily on mass, temperature, luminosity, and lifetime), nuclear fusion, and star formation. Distracters were developed from known alternative conceptions and reasoning difficulties commonly held by students. The SPCI was tested through an iterative process where different testing formats (open-ended, multiple-choice + explain, and multiple-choice) were compared to ensure that the distracters were in fact the most common among the testing population. Content validity was established through expert reviews by 26 astronomy instructors. The SPCI Version 3 was then tested in multiple introductory undergraduate astronomy courses for non-science majors. Post-test scores (out of 23 possible) were significantly greater (M = 11.8, SD = 3.87) than the pre-test scores (M = 7.09, SD = 2.73). The low post-test score-only 51.3%-could indicate a need for changing instructional strategies on the topics of stars and star formation. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
- Follette, K. B., McCarthy, D., Doktor, E., Buxner, S., & Prather, E. E. (2014). The Quantitative Reasoning for College Science (QuaRCS) Assessment I: Development and Validation. Numeracy.
- Wallace, C. S., & Prather, E. E. (2012). Teaching physics with Hubble's law and dark matter. American Journal of Physics, 80(5), 382-390.More infoAbstract: Physics instructors can enrich, enliven, and enhance their courses with conceptually rich cosmology content. In this paper, we specifically discuss how instructors can integrate lessons on Hubble's law (as it relates to the expansion of the universe and dark energy) and spiral galaxies' rotation curves (as they relate to the presence of dark matter) into an introductory, college-level course on mechanics. These cosmology topics intersect with the content of introductory physics in a number of areas, such as students' abilities to read and interpret graphs and their conceptual understandings of both kinematics and dynamics. Throughout this paper, we draw upon the results from, and research-validated curricula informed by, physics and astronomy education research. In particular, we feature the results from a national study we recently completed with introductory college-level general education astronomy students on the teaching and learning of cosmology. © 2012 American Association of Physics Teachers.
- Wallace, C. S., Prather, E. E., & Duncan, D. K. (2012). A Study of General Education Astronomy Students' Understandings of Cosmology. Part V. The Effects of a New Suite of Cosmology Lecture-Tutorials on Students' Conceptual Knowledge. International Journal of Science Education, 34(9), 1297-1314.More infoAbstract: This is the final paper in a five-paper series describing our national study of the teaching and learning of cosmology in general education astronomy college-level courses. A significant portion of this work was dedicated to the development of five new Lecture-Tutorials that focus on addressing the conceptual and reasoning difficulties that our research shows students have with frequently taught cosmology topics, such as the expansion of the universe, the Big Bang, and dark matter. We conducted a systematic investigation of the implementation of these new Lecture-Tutorials and resulting learning gains in order to test the efficacy of these new Lecture-Tutorials. Our investigation included classroom observations, results from pre-post testing using four conceptual cosmology surveys, and comparisons between classes in terms of the class time spent on cosmology topics and other instructional strategies used to teach cosmology. We used this combination of qualitative and quantitative research results to evaluate the conceptual understandings of students who used the new cosmology Lecture-Tutorials compared to those students who did not. The analysis of our data shows that, in many cases, classrooms that used the cosmology Lecture-Tutorials saw a greater increase in their students' conceptual cosmology knowledge compared to classrooms that did not use the cosmology Lecture-Tutorials. However, our results also indicate how instructors implement the Lecture-Tutorials into their classrooms strongly influences their students' learning gains. © 2012 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
- Wallace, C. S., Prather, E. E., Hornstein, S. D., & Schlingman, W. M. (2014). Moving Beyond the Bohr Model: A New Lecture-Tutorial for Teaching Astro 101 Students about Molecular Vibrations, Molecular Rotations, and Synchrotron Radiation. The Physics Teacher.
- Wallace, C. S., Wallace, C. S., Schlingman, W. M., Rudolph, A. L., Prather, E. E., & Brissenden, G. (2012). A Classical Test Theory Analysis of the Light and Spectroscopy Concept Inventory National Study Data Set.. Astronomy Education Review, 11(1). doi:10.3847/aer2012010More infoThis paper is the first in a series of investigations into the data from the recent national study using the Light and Spectroscopy Concept Inventory (LSCI). In this paper, we use classical test theory to form a framework of results that will be used to evaluate individual item difficulties, item discriminations, and the overall reliability of the LSCI. We perform an analysis of individual students’ normalized gains, providing further insight into the prior results from this data set. This investigation allows us to better understand the efficacy of measuring student achievement using the LSCI. Future papers will discuss our investigation of the data from the recent national study using item response theory (IRT).
- Wallace, C. S., Wallace, C. S., Prather, E. E., & Duncan, D. K. (2011). A Study of General Education Astronomy Students' Understandings of Cosmology. Part I. Development and Validation of Four Conceptual Cosmology Surveys. Astronomy Education Review, 10(1), 010106-010106-20. doi:10.3847/aer2011029More infoThis is the first in a series of five articles describing a national study of general education astronomy students’ conceptual and reasoning difficulties with cosmology. In this paper, we describe the process by which we designed four new surveys to assess general education astronomy students’ conceptual cosmology knowledge. These surveys focused on the expansion and evolution of the universe, the Big Bang, and the evidence for dark matter in spiral galaxies. We also present qualitative evidence for the validity of these surveys.
- Wallace, C. S., Wallace, C. S., Prather, E. E., & Duncan, D. K. (2011). A Study of General Education Astronomy Students' Understandings of Cosmology. Part III. Evaluating Four Conceptual Cosmology Surveys: An Item Response Theory Approach.. Astronomy Education Review, 11(1), 010107-010107-9. doi:10.3847/aer2011030
- Rudolph, A. L., Prather, E. E., Gonzaga, V., Consiglio, D., & Brissenden, G. (2010). A National Study Assessing the Teaching and Learning of Introductory Astronomy Part II: The Connection between Student Demographics and Learning. Astronomy Education Review, 9(1). doi:10.3847/aer0009068More infoThis is the second in a series of reports on a national study of the teaching and learning of astronomy in general education, nonscience major, introductory college astronomy courses hereafter referred to as Astro 101. The analysis reported here was conducted using data from nearly 2000 students enrolled in 69 Astro 101 classes taught across the country. These students completed a 15-question demographic survey, in addition to completing the 26-question Light and Spectroscopy Concept Inventory LSCI pre- and post-instruction. The LSCI was used to determine students’ learning via a normalized gain calculated for each student. A multivariate regression analysis was conducted to determine how ascribed characteristics personal demographic and family characteristics, achieved characteristics academic achievement and student major, and the use of interactive learning strategies are related to student learning in these classes. The results show dramatic improvement in student learning with increased use of interactive learning strategies even after controlling for individual characteristics. In addition, we find that the positive effects of interactive learning strategies apply equally to men and women, across ethnicities, for students with all levels of prior mathematical preparation and physical science course experience, independent of GPA, and regardless of primary language. These results powerfully illustrate that all categories of students can benefit from the effective implementation of interactive learning strategies.
- Johnson, B., Slater, T. F., Prather, E. E., Johnson, B., & Bailey, J. M. (2009). College Students' Preinstructional Ideas About Stars and Star Formation. Astronomy Education Review, 8(1). doi:10.3847/aer2009038More infoAbstract This study Note 1 investigated the beliefs about stars that students hold when they enter an undergraduateintroductory astronomy course for nonscience majors. Students’ preinstructional ideas were investigated throughthe use of several student-supplied-response SSR surveys, which asked students to describe their ideasabout topics such as what is a star, how is starlight created, how are stars formed, are all stars the same, andmore. The results from more than 2,200 responses suggest that although students often have some initialknowledge about stars, their knowledge is often incomplete or incorrect in important ways that could negativelyimpact instructional objectives. 1. INTRODUCTION As we look into the sky during the daytime, what we see is dominated by the incredibly bright Sun. In theSun’s absence, we see points of light—virtually all of which are stars. The Sun, our closest star, plays atremendous role in the physical processes on Earth, which allow life to exist. Furthermore, the presenceand patterns of stars have played important roles in human beliefs, primarily through religions, calendars, andmythologies. A tremendous number of stars populate the universe, and the study of their nature and evolutionis a primary subdiscipline of astronomy. Given the importance of stars in our cultural and scientiﬁc history, itshould come as no surprise that stars are considered a central topic in astronomy.From a survey of U.S. college syllabi available on the Internet at that time, Slater
- Prather, E. E., & Brissenden, G. (2009). Clickers as Data Gathering Tools and Students' Attitudes, Motivations, and Beliefs on Their Use in This Application. Astronomy Education Review, 8(1). doi:10.3847/aer2009004More infoMembers of the Center for Astronomy Education (CAE) and the Conceptual Astronomy and Physics Education Research (CAPER) Team at the University of Arizona have conducted a systematic investigation into the use of wireless, electronic personal response systems (PRS), more commonly known as “clickers,” to gather research data in the large enrollment introductory astronomy course for nonscience majors (Astro 101). We describe a study and data, which support the assertion that clickers can be used as a data gathering tool for conducting “real-time” research on student learning in the classroom setting. We also present data suggesting that students believe the use of clickers (1) is beneficial to their understanding of course concepts; (2) contributes to improving their exam grades; and (3) increases their interest in course topics even when the clickers are being used solely as research data gathering tools rather than the more traditional application in which clickers are used as an instructional device to gather student votes as part of Think-Pair-Share (TPS) or Peer Instruction (PI). Additionally, we offer a description of our classroom observations, which suggests that the use of color-coded A, B, C, D, E voting cards for gathering student answers in class may hold greater pedagogical value and provide a greater potential to gather accurate research results than do the use of clickers or Scantron™ forms.
- Prather, E. E., Rudolph, A. L., & Brissenden, G. (2009). Teaching and learning astronomy in the 21st century. Physics Today, 62(10), 41-47.
- Prather, E. E., Rudolph, A. L., Brissenden, G., & Schlingman, W. M. (2009). A national study assessing the teaching and learning of introductory astronomy. Part I. the effect of interactive instruction. American Journal of Physics, 77(4), 320-330.More infoAbstract: We present the results of a national study on the teaching and learning of astronomy as taught in general education, non-science-major, introductory astronomy courses. Nearly 4000 students enrolled in 69 sections of courses taught by 36 different instructors at 31 institutions completed (pre- and post-instruction) the Light and Spectroscopy Concept Inventory (LSCI) from Fall 2006 to Fall 2007. The classes varied in size and were from all types of institutions, including 2- and 4-year colleges and universities. Normalized gain scores for each class were calculated. Pre-instruction LSCI scores were clustered around ∼25%, independent of class size and institution type, and normalized gain scores varied from about -0.07 to 0.50. To estimate the fraction of classroom time spent on learner-centered, active-engagement instruction we developed and administered an Interactivity Assessment Instrument (IAI). Our results suggest that the differences in gains were due to instruction in the classroom, not the type of class or institution. We also found that higher interactivity classes had the highest gains, confirming that interactive learning strategies are capable of increasing student conceptual understanding. However, the wide range of gain scores seen for both lower and higher interactivity classes suggests that the use of interactive learning strategies is not sufficient by itself to achieve high student gain. © 2009 American Association of Physics Teachers.
- Prather, E. E., & Brissenden, G. (2008). Development and Application of a Situated Apprenticeship Approach to Professional Development of Astronomy Instructors. Astronomy Education Review, 7(2), 1-17. doi:10.3847/aer2008016More infoProfessional development for astronomy instructors largely focuses on enhancing their understanding of the limitations of professor-centered lectures while also increasing awareness and better implementation of learning strategies that promote a learner-centered classroom environment. Given how difficult it is to get instructors to implement well-developed and innovative teaching ideas, even when these instructors are supplied with significant and compelling education research data, one must wonder what is missing from the most commonly used professional development experiences. This article proposes a learner- centered approach to professional development for college instructors, which we call situated apprenticeship. This novel approach purposely goes beyond simple awareness building and conventional modeling, challenging instructors to actively engage themselves in practicing teaching strategies in an environment of peer review in which participants offer suggestions and critiques of each other’s implementation. Through this learner-centered teaching and evaluation experience, instructors’ preexisting conceptual and pedagogical understandings of a particular instructional strategy are brought forth and examined in an effort to promote a real change of practice that positively impacts both their core pedagogical content knowledge and their skills in successfully implementing these teaching strategies. We believe that the adoption of our situated apprenticeship approach for professional development will increase the frequency and success of college instructors’ implementation of research-validated instructional strategies for interactive learning.
- Prather, E. E., & Harrington, R. R. (2008). Using an introductory physics course to train pre-service & in-service teachers. The changing role of physics departments in modern universities, 399(1), 797-800. doi:10.1063/1.53210
- Slater, T. F., Sabers, D., Prather, E. E., Hufnagel, B., Deming, G. L., & Brogt, E. (2007). Analysis of the Astronomy Diagnostic Test. Astronomy Education Review, 6(1), 25-42. doi:10.3847/aer2007003More infoSeventy undergraduate class sections were examined from the database of Astronomy Diagnostic Test (ADT) results of Deming and Hufnagel to determine if course format correlated with ADT normalized gain scores. Normalized gains were calculated for four different classroom scenarios: lecture, lecture with discussion, lecture with lab, and lecture with both lab and discussion. Statistical analysis shows that there are no significant differences in normalized gain among the self- reported classroom formats. Prerequisites related to mathematics courses did show differences in normalized gain. Of all reported course activities, only the lecture and the readings for the course correlate significantly with the normalized gain. This analysis suggests that the ADT may not have enough sensitivity to measure differences in the effectiveness of different course formats because of the wide range of topics that the ADT addresses with few questions. Different measures of gain and their biases are discussed. We argue that the use of the normalized gain is not always warranted because of its strong bias toward high pretest scores.
- Slater, T. F., Prather, E. E., Brecher, K., & Bardar, E. M. (2006). Development and Validation of the Light and Spectroscopy Concept Inventory. Astronomy Education Review, 5(2), 103-113. doi:10.3847/aer2006020More infoThis article describes the development and validation of the Light and Spectroscopy Concept Inventory (LSCI), a 26-item diagnostic test designed (1) to measure students’ conceptual understanding of topics related to light and spectroscopy, and (2) to evaluate the effectiveness of instructional interventions in promoting meaningful learning gains in an introductory college astronomy course. We also present the final field- tested version of the LSCI for general use by the astronomy education community.
- Smits, D. P., Prather, E. E., Hudgins, D. W., & Grayson, D. J. (2006). Effectiveness of Collaborative Ranking Tasks on Student Understanding of Key Astronomy Concepts. Astronomy Education Review, 5(1), 1-22. doi:10.3847/aer2006001More infoThis research concerns the development and assessment of a program of introductory astronomy conceptual exercises called ranking tasks. These exercises were designed based on results from science education research, learning theory, and classroom pilot studies. The investigation involved a single-group repeated measures experiment across eight key introductory astronomy topics with 253 students at the University of Arizona. Student understanding of these astronomy topics was assessed before and after traditional instruction in an introductory astronomy course. Collaborative ranking tasks were introduced after traditional instruction on each topic, and student understanding was evaluated again. Results showed that average scores on multiple-choice tests across the eight astronomy topics increased from 32% before instruction, to 61% after traditional instruction, to 77% after the ranking- task exercises. A Likert scale attitude survey found that 83% of the students participating in the 16-week study thought that the rankingtask exercises helped their understanding of core astronomy concepts. Based on these results, we assert that supplementing traditional lecture- based instruction with collaborative ranking-task exercises can significantly improve student understanding of core astronomy topics.
- Offerdahl, E. G., Morrow, C. A., Prather, E. E., & Slater, T. F. (2005). Journey across the disciplines: A foundation for scientific communication in bioastronomy. Astrobiology, 5(5), 651-657.More infoPMID: 16225437;Abstract: As an increasing number of fascinating discoveries within the realm of bioastronomy appear in media headlines, participating scientists continue to pursue ways of insuring the long-term success of the scientific discipline. In an effort to foster cross-disciplinary collaboration, communication, and training for scientists involved in bioastronomy research, a team of scientists and science education professionals have developed a survey to assess (1) the degree to which scientists in bioastronomy define themselves as interdisciplinary scientists, (2) the extent to which scientists identify their needs for professional development opportunities to become more effective interdisciplinary collaborators, and (3) what services and infrastructure the bioastronomy community needs to develop for long-term productive interdisciplinary communication, collaboration, research and training. The results of a survey, distributed at the 2004 Astrobiology Science Conference (held at Moffett Field, CA), serve the bioastronomy science community by providing a sound research baseline that informs decisions and targeted efforts to increase cross-disciplinary communication, gathering information about needed professional development opportunities for scientists, and generating insights for training of the next generation of astrobiologists. Results indicate that members of the community feel that interdisciplinary communication and collaboration can best be supported by (1) increased funding opportunities, (2) scheduled time for collaboration at professional meetings, (3) reduction of concurrent sessions at professional meetings, and (4) creation of professional development opportunities for scientists. © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
- Prather, E. (2005). Students' beliefs about the role of atoms in radioactive decay and half-life. Journal of Geoscience Education, 53(4), 345-354.More infoAbstract: Contemporary science education research emphasizes the importance of considering students pre-instructional beliefs when designing effective, learner-centered instructional strategies. When scientist teach about dating geological events, most often the concepts of radioactive decay and half-life are presented. However, the research base on student understanding of radiation and radioactivity is currently quite limited. The principal research question used to focus this investigation asked: What are the common difficulties that students experience when trying to learn about radiation and radioactivity? Our research illustrates that students bring to the classroom many inaccurate ideas and reasoning difficulties on the topics of ionizing radiation, radioactivity, and radioactive decay that are well-poised to interfere with students' understanding of how half-life is used to determine geologic time. To uncover the range and frequency of the dominant student beliefs, we performed individual demonstration interviews and administered open-response and multiple-choice conceptual tests to students from a wide-range of science backgrounds. Our results show that students are often unable to differentiate between the ideas of irradiation and contamination, and that many of these students' reasoning difficulties about radioactive decay and half-life stem from their inaccurate mental models regarding the atom.
- Slater, T. F., Prather, E. E., Brecher, K., & Bardar, E. M. (2005). The Need for a Light and Spectroscopy Concept Inventory for Assessing Innovations in Introductory Astronomy Survey Courses. Astronomy Education Review, 4(2), 20-27. doi:10.3847/aer2005018More infoIn this era of dramatically increased astronomy education research efforts, there is a growing need for standardized evaluation protocols and a strategy to assess both student comprehension of fundamental concepts and the success of innovative instructional interventions. Of the many topics that could be taught in an introductory astronomy course, the nature of light and the electromagnetic spectrum is by far the most universally covered topic. Yet, to the surprise and disappointment of instructors, many students struggle to understand underlying fundamental concepts related to light, such as blackbody radiation, Wien’s law, the Stefan-Boltzmann law, and the nature and causes of emission and absorption line spectra. Motivated by predecessor instruments such as the Force Concept Inventory (FCI), the Astronomy Diagnostic Test (ADT), and the Lunar Phases Concept Inventory (LPCI), we call for, and are working on, the development and validation of a Light and Spectroscopy Concept Inventory. This assessment instrument should measure students’ conceptual understanding of light and spectroscopy and gauge the effectiveness of classroom instruction in promoting student learning in the introductory astronomy survey course.
- Bailey, J. M., Prather, E. E., & Slater, T. F. (2004). Reflecting on the history of astronomy education research to plan for the future. Advances in Space Research, 34(10 SPEC. ISS.), 2136-2144.More infoAbstract: Despite astronomy's widespread inclusion in curricula prior to the 20th century, educational research in astronomy is a relatively new endeavor. To date there are no dedicated paper journals for astronomy education research, although the electronic Astronomy Education Review (http://aer.noao.edu) has recently released its first issue. As the field of astronomy education research grows, many may find it useful to know what has been done so far. The new SABER database represents an ongoing, collaborative attempt for the astronomy education community to collect and summarize the highly dispersed literature on astronomy education research, although it is not yet complete. Starting with and expanding beyond this database, a systematic review and classification of the literature was performed. Some of the research themes that emerged include: student beliefs and misconceptions; collaborative learning; and the Astronomy Diagnostic Test. Key studies in these areas are described and a bibliography is presented. © 2004 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Slater, T. F., Prather, E. E., & Offerdahl, E. G. (2004). Emphasizing Astrobiology: Highlighting Communication in an Elective Course for Science Majors.. The journal of college science teaching, 34(3), 30-34.
- Slater, T. F., Prather, E. E., Jones, L. V., Dostal, J. A., Bailey, J. M., & Adams, J. P. (2004). Research on a Lecture-Tutorial Approach to Teaching Introductory Astronomy for Non-Science Majors. Astronomy Education Review, 3(2), 122-136. doi:10.3847/aer2004019More infoThe Lecture-Tutorial curriculum development project produced a set of 29 learner-centered classroom instructional materials for a large- enrollment introductory astronomy survey course for non-science majors. The Lecture-Tutorials are instructional materials intended for use by collaborative student learning groups, and are designed to be integrated into existing courses with conventional lectures. These instructional materials offer classroom-ready learner-centered activities that do not require any outside equipment or drastic course revision for implementation. Each 15-minute Lecture-Tutorial poses a sequence of conceptually challenging, Socratic dialogue-driven questions, along with graphs and data tables, all designed to encourage students to reason critically about difficult concepts in astronomy. The materials are based on research into student beliefs and reasoning difficulties, and use proven instructional strategies. The Lecture-Tutorials have been field- tested for effectiveness at various institutions, which represent a wide range of student populations and instructional settings. In addition to materials development, a second effort of this project focused on the assessment of changes in students’ conceptual understanding and attitudes toward learning astronomy as a result of both lecture and the subsequent use of Lecture-Tutorials. Quantitative and qualitative assessments were completed using a precourse,
- Bailey, J. M., Prather, E. E., & Slater, T. F. (2002). Reflecting on the History of Astronomy Education Research to Plan for the Future. Advances in Space Research.More infoDespite astronomy’s widespread inclusion in curricula prior to the 20th century, educational research in astronomy is a relatively new endeavor. To date there are no dedicated paper journals for astronomy education research, although the electronic Astronomy Education Review (http://aer.noao.edu) has recently released its first issue. As the field of astronomy education research grows, many may find it useful to know what has been done so far. The new SABER database represents an ongoing, collaborative attempt for the astronomy education community to collect and summarize the highly dispersed literature on astronomy education research, although it is not yet complete. Starting with and expanding beyond this database, a systematic review and classification of the literature was performed. Some of the research themes that emerged include: student beliefs and misconceptions; collaborative learning; and the Astronomy Diagnostic Test. Key studies in these areas are described and a bibliography is presented.
- Prather, E. E., & Slater, T. F. (2002). An online astrobiology course for teacherst. Astrobiology, 2(2), 215-223.More infoPMID: 12469370;Abstract: A continuing challenge for scientists is to keep K-12 teachers informed about new scientific developments. Over the past few years, this challenge has increased as new research findings have come from the field of astrobiology. In addition to trying to keep abreast of these new discoveries, K-12 teachers must also face the demands of the content and pedagogical goals imposed by state and national science education standards. Furthermore, many teachers lack the scientific content knowledge or training in current teaching methods to create their own activities or to implement appropriately new teaching materials designed to meet the standards. There is a clear need for special courses designed to increase the scientific knowledge of K-12 science teachers. In response to this need, the authors developed a suite of innovative, classroom-ready lessons for grades 5-12 that emphasize an active engagement instructional strategy and focus on the recent discoveries in the field of astrobiology. They further created a graduate-level, Internet-based distance-learning course for teachers to help them become familiar with these astrobiology concepts and to gain firsthand experience with the National Science Education Standards-based instructional strategies. © Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
- Slater, T. F., Prather, E. E., & Offerdahl, E. G. (2002). Hints of a Fundamental Misconception in Cosmology. Astronomy Education Review, 1(2), 28-34. doi:10.3847/aer2002003More infoTo explore the frequency and range of student ideas regarding the Big Bang, nearly 1,000 students from middle school, secondary school, and college were surveyed and asked if they had heard of the Big Bang and, if so, to describe it. In analyzing their responses, we uncovered an unexpected result that more than half of the students who stated that they had heard of the Big Bang also provided responses that suggest they believe that the Big Bang was a phenomenon that organized pre-existing matter. To further examine this result, a second group of college students was asked specifically to describe what existed or occurred before, during, and after the Big Bang. Nearly 70% gave responses clearly stating that matter existed prior to the Big Bang. These results are interpreted as strongly suggesting that most students are answering these questions by employing an internally consistent element of knowledge or reasoning (often referred to as a phenomenological primitive, or p-prim), consistent with the idea that "you can’t make something from nothing." These results inform the debate about the extent to which college students have pre-existing notions that are poised to interfere with instructional efforts about contemporary physics and astronomy topics.
- Slater, T. F., Prather, E. E., & Offerdahl, E. G. (2002). Students' Pre-Instructional Beliefs and Reasoning Strategies About Astrobiology Concepts. Astronomy Education Review, 1(2), 5-27. doi:10.3847/aer2002002More infoThe purpose of this study is to identify and document student beliefs and reasoning difficulties concerning topics related to astrobiology. This was accomplished by surveying over two thousand middle school, high school, and college (science and non-science majors) students. Students were surveyed utilizing student-supplied response questions focused on the definition of life and its limitations. Careful, inductive analysis of student responses revealed that the majority of students correctly identify that liquid water is necessary for life and that life forms can exist without sunlight. However, many students incorrectly state that life cannot survive without oxygen. Furthermore, when students are asked to reason about life in extreme environments, they most often cite complex organisms (such as plants, animals, and humans) rather than the more ubiquitous microorganisms. Results of this study were used to inform the development of astrobiology curriculum materials. Astrobiology can be defined as the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and destiny of life in the universe. It exists as an interdisciplinary science at the intersection of astronomy, biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, and geology. Recent discoveries reported in both scientific journals and the popular press have dramatically changed our view of the potential for life existing elsewhere in the universe. As one example, nearly ten times as many planets have been discovered outside our solar system as there are within it. Perhaps even more impressive is that life has been found to exist under conditions previously thought impossible. This includes organisms that thrive in extreme temperatures, in highly acidic and basic conditions, at thousands of feet below Earth’s surface, on the dark ocean floor, and in the adverse radiation conditions of outer space (SpaceRef Interactive 2002). These discoveries are being made concurrently with discoveries that strongly suggest the existence of liquid water oceans beneath the icy surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa, and that running water was likely present on the surface of Mars in the past. As a result, our understanding of the limits on life has forever been changed. Because of astrobiology’s truly interdisciplinary nature, many classroom teachers are actively considering the inclusion of astrobiology concepts in their courses. As a result, there exists a growing need to create effective astrobiology teaching resources. However, there is a severe lack of documentation of the specific conceptual and reasoning difficulties students have when encountering astrobiology topics. Furthermore, there is also a serious absence of more fundamental research into students’ general preinstructional beliefs concerning such topics. The preliminary research project presented in this paper describes our efforts to uncover and document students’ beliefs about astrobiology-related topics prior to formal instruction. The results of this investigation were used to inform the development of a multitude of innovative, guided inquiry instructional materials in the field of astrobiology that are not described here. 1. BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT OF THE STUDY Contemporary efforts to create effective teaching resources have a long history of relying on an understanding of how people learn. The behaviorist view of learning, and consequently teaching materials, strongly influenced how learning was viewed during the early part of the twentieth century. Behaviorism focuses on the examination of students’ objective, observable behaviors rather than on the processes of the mind (Gardener 1987). Under this paradigm, teaching is conceived as creating a conditioned response in the student. For example, to teach a student about a complex process, teachers first break the process into its basic components. Next, the student is instructed on each of the individual components, followed by a demonstration of how each of the components is connected to the others. When the student has performed the "desired behavior," he or she is deemed to have successfully "learned" the complex process. We now understand that this behavioral view of learning is insufficient. It ignores two critical aspects of the active learning process: (1) the importance of engaged mental effort used by the individual in learning a complex process/concept, and (2) whether the individual is able to accommodate the learned process/concept in a meaningful and appropriate way into his or her existing conceptualizations (Posner, Strike, Hewson, & Gertzog 1982). Fortunately, with targeted effort, teaching resources can be created to engender deep thinking in students if their pre-instructional beliefs are taken into consideration (Prather & Slater, in press). Our research questions are both motivated and guided by a constructivist view of the learning process. According to this perspective, students do not enter into the classroom as "blank slates" (Saunders 1992; Slater, Carpenter, & Safko 1993). Rather, new experiences and observations are actively interpreted and manipulated by students to create personal mental models of specific topics. The most important aspect of this viewpoint on learning is that students’ pre-instructional beliefs strongly influence the creation of their mental models and how prior experiences and observations become incorporated into these models (Redish 1994; von Glasserfield 1992). Consequently, the acquisition of new knowledge is highly dependent on (1) the topic under investigation, (2) the students’ prior exposure and experience with the topic, and (3) the instructional techniques used to introduce the topic (Prather 2000). In addition, students may even possess multiple and conflicting pre-instructional beliefs about the topic at hand. These beliefs may also simultaneously contradict and align with accepted scientific understandings of the topic. The more closely students’ pre-instructional beliefs are aligned with new experiences and observations, the greater the likelihood that new concepts will be accepted by the students, and in a manner consistent with the original intent. It is our belief that student learning will be enhanced by the use of instructional strategies that are guided by an understanding of the pre-instructional ideas students bring to the astrobiology classroom.
- Prather, E. E., & Harrington, R. R. (2001). Student Understanding of Ionizing Radiation and Radioactivity.. The journal of college science teaching, 31(2), 89-93.
- Prather, E. E., & French, R. S. (2019). Uncovering the unknown unknowns of Peer Instruction Questions. In 2018 Physics Education Research Conference Proceedings, 2018.
- Brogt, E., Prather, E. E., & Slater, T. F. (2004, Janruary). The Conceptual Astronomy and Physics Education Research (CAPER) Team. In American Astronomical Society Meeting.
- Brock, L. S., Impey, C. D., Prather, E. E., & Buxner, S. R. (2017, April/Spring). Tyrannosaurus Rex and Stegosaurus Never Met: The Importance of Time in Astrobiology. Contributed Talk - The Astrobiology Science Conference. Mesa, Arizona.
- Buxner, S., Impey, C., Follette, K., Dokter, E., McCarthy, D., Vezino, B., Formanek, M., Romine, J., Brock, L., Neiberding, M., & Prather, E. (2017, January/Winter). Results of Studying Astronomy Students’ Science Literacy, Quantitative Literacy, and Information Literacy. Contributed Talk - American Astronomical Society National Meeting. Grapevine, TX: American Astronomical Society.
- Donahue, J. L., Prather, E. E., Pollard, J. R., Elfring, L. K., & Blowers, P. (2018, Spring). Engaging Students in Learning Through Interactive Teaching. Graduate Center and Postdoctoral Affairs. BIO5/Thomas W. Keating Building, Room B103, Tucson, AZ: Graduate Center and Postdoctoral Affairs.
- Prather, E. E. (2017, August/Summer). Looking Backward and Forward into Research on U.S. Astronomy and Physics Education. Invited Talk - NARIT. Chiang Mai, Thailand.
- Prather, E. E. (2017, August/Summer). Looking Backward and Forward into Research on U.S. Astronomy and Physics Education. Invited Talk - UNSECO, ITCA. Chiang Mai, Thailand.
- Prather, E. E. (2017, July/Summer). Learner-Centered Teaching in Physics and Astronomy. Invited Talk - AAPT/APS/AAS New Faculty Workshop. American Center for Physics: NSF.
- Prather, E. E. (2017, May). Re-Thinking Astronomy and Physics Education: Lessons Learned from Two Decades of Experiments on College-Level Teaching and Learning. Colloquium - Physics and Astronomy Department - Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Cambridge, MA.
- Prather, E. E. (2017, November/Winter). Learner-Centered Teaching in Physics and Astronomy. Invited Talk - AAPT/APS/AAS New Faculty Workshop. American Center for Physics: NSF.
- Wallace, C. S., Prather, E. E., Chambers, T. G., Kamenetzky, J. R., & Hornstein, S. D. (2017, January/Winter). Using pedagogical discipline representations (PDRs) to enable Astro 101 students to reason about modern astrophysics. Contributed Talk - American Astronomical Society National Meeting. Grapevine, TX: American Astronomical Society.
- Prather, E. E. (2018, April/Spring). Re-Thinking Astronomy and Physics Education: Lessons Learned from Two Decades of Experiments on College-Level Teaching and Learning. Physics and Astronomy Department, Georgia Southern University.
- Prather, E. E. (2018, August/Summer). Developing Fluency: A Framework for Generating Effective Representations and Tasks. AAPT National Meeting PERC, Washington DC, August 2018.
- Prather, E. E. (2018, August/Summer). Uncovering the Unknown Unknowns of Peer Instruction Questions, Rica French, Edward Prather. AAPT National Meeting PERC, Washington DC, August 2018.
- Prather, E. E. (2016, July/Summer). Learner-Centered Teaching in Physics and Astronomy. Invited Talk - AAPT/APS/AAS New Faculty Workshop. American Center for Physics: NSF.
- Prather, E. E. (2016, June/Summer). Trying to Reason with Students about General Relativity. Invited Talk - Gordon Research Conference on Physics Research and Education. Salve Regina University, Newport, RI: NSF.
- Prather, E. E. (2016, March/Spring). Interactive Engagement in Large Introductory Courses. Invited Talk - AAPT/APS/AAS Experienced Faculty Workshop. American Center for Physics: NSF.
- Prather, E. E. (2016, November/Fall). Learner-Centered Teaching in Physics and Astronomy. Invited Talk - AAPT/APS/AAS New Faculty Workshop. American Center for Physics: NSF.
- Wallace, C. S., Chambers, T. G., Kamenestzky, J. R., Prather, E. E., & Hornstein, S. D. (2016, Janruary/Winter). Invited Talk - A Research-Informed Approach to Teaching about Interferometry in STEM Classrooms. 227th AAS National Meeting. Kissimmee FL: NSF.
- Blowers, P., Burd, G. D., Bolger, M. S., Johns, K. A., Lazos, L., Lysecky, R. L., Milsom, J. A., Novodvorsky, I., Pollard, J. R., Prather, E. E., Talanquer, V. A., Thamvichai, R., Tharp, H. S., Wallace, C. S., Cox, J., Elfring, L., Grubbs, E., Hunter, J., Blowers, P., , Burd, G. D., et al. (2014). Developing Faculty Cultures for Evidence-Based Teaching Practices in STEM: A Progress Report. Transforming Institution: 21st Century STEM Undergraduate Education Conference. Indianapolis, IN: AAU-STEM.
- Blowers, P., Burd, G. D., Bolger, M. S., Johns, K. A., Lazos, L., Lysecky, R. L., Milsom, J. A., Novodvorsky, I., Pollard, J. R., Prather, E. E., Talanquer, V. A., Thamvichai, R., Tharp, H. S., Wallace, C. S., Cox, J., Elfring, L., Grubbs, E., Hunter, J., Blowers, P., , Burd, G. D., et al. (2014, Oct). Developing Faculty Cultures for Evidence-Based Teaching Practices in STEM: A Progress Report. Transforming Institution: 21st Century STEM Undergraduate Education Conference. Indianapolis, IN: AAU-STEM.
- Prather, E. E. (2014, April/Sprin). How Do We Know Students Are Learning What We Think We Are Teaching. Keynote Talk - Western Washington University NSF WIDER Irwin L. Slesnick STEM Education Symposium. Western Washington University, Bellingham WA: NSF Wider Program, WWU.
- Prather, E. E. (2014, August/Summer). An Introduction to Learner-Centered Teaching Practices. College of Science Graduate Student Orientation. University of Arizona: University of Arizona.
- Prather, E. E. (2014, December/Fall). Learner-Centered Teaching in Physics and Astronomy. Uppsala University Physics and Astronomy Department Colloquia. Uppsala University.
- Prather, E. E. (2014, Feb/Spring). Creating Highly Interactive Learning Environment for 10 to 1000 Students. UA Survival Skills and Ethics Graduate Seminar. University of Arizona: UA Survival Skills and Ethics Graduate Seminar.
- Prather, E. E. (2014, Jan/Spring). The Collaboration of Astronomy Teaching Scholars (CATS) – Reporting from the Nation’s Largest College-Level, Astronomy Education Research Initiative. American Astronomical Society (AAS), National Meeting. Washington DC: NASA JPL ExEP CAE.
- Prather, E. E. (2014, July/Summer). Best Practices with Faculty Learning Communities. Association of American Universities – STEM Reform National Meeting. PEW Charitable Trust - Washington DC: Helmsley Foundation and the AAU.
- Prather, E. E. (2014, July/Summer). Illuminating a Blind Spot in STEM Education Research. American Association of Phyisc Teachers (AAPT) National Meeting. University of Minneapolis, Minneapolis, MN: AAPT.
- Prather, E. E. (2014, July/Summer). Interactive Engagement Strategies for ALL Classes. AAPT/AAS/APS Experienced Faculty Workshop. University of Minneapolis, Minneapolis, MN: NSF AAPT/AAS/APS.
- Prather, E. E. (2014, June/Summer). Learner-Centered Teaching in Physics and Astronomy. AAPT/AAS/APS NEW Faculty Workshop. College Park, Maryland: NSF AAPT/AAS/APS.
- Prather, E. E. (2014, March/Spring). Teaching and Learning at Scale - Active Engagement for classrooms of 10 to 1000. AAC&U PKAL Learning Spaces Webinar. Online Webinar: AAC&U PKAL.
- Prather, E. E. (2014, May/Spring). Are You Really Teaching if No One Is Really Learning? - Designing Evidence-Based Instruction in Extreme Classes. STEM Center Colloquium series. University of Minneapolis, Minneapolis, MN.
- Prather, E. E. (2014, November). Reforming Astronomy and Physics Education: Lessons Learned from Two Decades of Experiments on Teaching and Learning. Colloquium - Physics and Astronomy Department - University of NC Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: UNC Phyics Department.
- Prather, E. E. (2014, November/Fall). Learner Centered Teaching in Physics and Astronomy. AAPT/AAS/APS New Faculty Workshop. University of Minneapolis, Minneapolis, MN: NSF AAPT/AAS/APS.
- Prather, E. E. (2014, September/Fall). CAE as a Model for STEM Reform. AAU/AAPT/NSF Integration of Strategies that Support Undergraduate Education in STEM (ISSUES) Meeting. Arlington, VA: AAU/AAPT/NSF.
- Becker, S., Hurst, D., Barron-Santella, A., Prather, E. E., Mendelsohn, B., & Wallace, C. S. (2014, June/Summer). Shaping and Shifting Worldviews: An Analysis of What Astro 101 Students Learned About the Role of Science in Society. Meeting of the American Astronomical Society. Boston, MA: American Astronomical Society.
- Prather, E. E., Wallace, C. S., Milsom, D., Johns, K., Manne, S., Tomanek, D., Novodvorsky, I., Burd, G. D., Elfring, L., & Talanquer, V. A. (2014, October/Fall). Active Learning Strategies that Promote Group Problem Solving and Increased Student Success in Large Enrollment Science Courses. University of Arizona Education Expo. University of Arizona.
Other Teaching Materials
- Prather, E. E., Brissenden, G., & Loranz, D. (2017. Homework for Introductory Astronomy, A Custom Publishing with the University of Arizona. University of Arizona.
- Prarther, E., Brissenden, G., & Loranz, D. (2016. Homework for Introductory Astronomy, A Custom Publishing with the University of Arizona. University of Arizona.