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The Best Way to Test Students? Make Them Explain It On Video

WIRED

As a physics professor, I have two jobs. The first, obviously, is to help students understand physics. That makes me something of a coach. But I want to talk about my second job: evaluating what students understand about physics. You might call this grading them.


If Your Science Professors Aren't Confusing, They're Doing It Wrong

WIRED

It's just after a physics class in which students wrestled with a complicated idea. Perhaps they measured the electrical current in different resistors and must build a mathematical relationship between change in potential, resistance, and electric current. In the particular, the students might be discussing what happens to the total current coming from a battery when they add a fourth lightbulb in parallel. Here's something you might hear after class: I'm much better when everything is clear cut--like in biology. In that case you know the answer.


Trialog: How Peer Collaboration Helps Remediate Errors in an ITS

AAAI Conferences

Many intelligent tutoring systems (ITSs) offer feedback and guidance through structured dialogs with their students, which often take the form of a sequence of hints. However, it is often difficult to replicate the complexity and responsiveness of human conversation with current natural language understanding and production technologies. Although ITSs reveal enough information to continue solving a problem, the conversations are not very engaging. To enhance engagement, the current study manipulated tutorial dialog by transforming them into a trialog by adding another student. Our intention was to advance the help offered by the system by putting students in a position to help each other, as well as make sense of the help offered by the ITS. The present paper attempts to show that conversations, either with the system or with a peer, are important design considerations when building an effective ITS.


Electric honeycomb: Pakistani teen in scientific first

BBC News

Only 17-years-old and he is already a recognised scientist. Muhammad Shaheer Niazi's research on electric honeycomb was recently published in the Royal Society Open Science journal. Physicists have known the phenomenon of electric honeycomb for decades. It occurs when a layer of oil is placed in an electric field between a pointy electrode and a flat one - and the instability caused by the build up of ions applies pressure to the surface of the oil - creating a beautiful pattern that looks like a honeycomb, or a stained glass window. The high school student from Pakistan's city of Lahore managed to photograph the movement of ions that forms the honeycomb besides recording the heat found on the surface of oil.


The EmDrive, NASA's 'Impossible' Space Engine, Really Is Impossible

Forbes - Tech

The experimental setup of the EmDrive at NASA Eagleworks, where they attempted to isolate and test for a reactionless drive. They found a small, positive result, but it was uncertain whether this was because of new physics or merely a systematic... One of the ultimate dreams of humans everywhere is limitless, free energy. It's the ability to do the impossible: to pull power out of empty space itself; to create a device that spins faster-and-faster without an energy source; to accelerate a rocket without any fuel or propellant. Yet the laws of physics have always stood in the way.