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Elmgren, Maja
Publications (10 of 54) Show all publications
Samuelsson, R., Elmgren, M. & Haglund, J. (2018). Going Through a Phase. In: : . Paper presented at The Gordon Research Seminar on Physics Research and Education, Smithfield, June 9-10, 2018.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Going Through a Phase
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Students have difficulties understanding energy transformations involved in phase changes in physics and chemistry education. For example, with a predict-observe-explain set-up, we have found that students tend to intuit that when table salt is poured onto ice, the ice will melt and the temperature increase. They are surprised to see that although the ice melts (due to freezing-point depression), the temperature actually decreases. In this study, we explore how infrared cameras as a visualization technology can help students come to terms with such challenges.

We have designed a teaching sequence for in-service science teachers on the topic of phase changes, with a focus on the central idea that it requires energy to break bonds between particles. In group discussions, students are encouraged to use this idea to explain how the temperature of water can be constant during phase change from solid to liquid, and from liquid to gas, and draw on their experiences that it feels cold when they walk out of the shower but hot when water is poured onto the stove in a sauna. With the help of an infrared camera, students can see how the temperature decreases as water evaporates from their body. With this technology, they can also see that the temperature of a piece of paper increases as moist air condenses on its surface, and that the temperature decreases when the water evaporates away in dry air. Through video analysis, we study students’ interactions with each other and the types of talk they engage in during the exercises. Early findings in a pilot study with secondary school students indicate that they tend to interpret condensation as release of energy due to particles colliding with a surface, rather than bond formation.

Keywords
Physics Education Research, Thermodynamics, Infrared Cameras, Teaching Sequence, Teacher Training, Thermodynamics Education Research, Science Education
National Category
Other Physics Topics
Research subject
Physics with specialization in Physics Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-356314 (URN)
Conference
The Gordon Research Seminar on Physics Research and Education, Smithfield, June 9-10, 2018
Note

Presented both orally and as a poster.

Available from: 2018-07-24 Created: 2018-07-24 Last updated: 2018-11-01Bibliographically approved
Johansson, A., Andersson, S., Salminen-Karlsson, M. & Elmgren, M. (2018). “Shut up and calculate”: the available discursive positions in quantum physics courses. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 13(1), 205-226
Open this publication in new window or tab >>“Shut up and calculate”: the available discursive positions in quantum physics courses
2018 (English)In: Cultural Studies of Science Education, ISSN 1871-1502, E-ISSN 1871-1510, Vol. 13, no 1, p. 205-226Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Educating new generations of physicists is often seen as a matter of attracting good students, teaching them physics and making sure that they stay at the university. Sometimes, questions are also raised about what could be done to increase diversity in recruitment. Using a discursive perspective, in this study of three introductory quantum physics courses at two Swedish universities, we instead ask what it means to become a physicist, and whether certain ways of becoming a physicist and doing physics is privileged in this process. Asking the question of what discursive positions are made accessible to students, we use observations of lectures and problem solving sessions together with interviews with students to characterize the discourse in the courses. Many students seem to have high expectations for the quantum physics course and generally express that they appreciate the course more than other courses. Nevertheless, our analysis shows that the ways of being a “good quantum physics student” are limited by the dominating focus on calculating quantum physics in the courses. We argue that this could have negative consequences both for the education of future physicists and the discipline of physics itself, in that it may reproduce an instrumental “shut up and calculate”-culture of physics, as well as an elitist physics education. Additionally, many students who take the courses are not future physicists, and the limitation of discursive positions may also affect these students significantly.

Keywords
Physics, Higher education, Quantum physics, Discourse, Identity
National Category
Physical Sciences Educational Sciences Gender Studies
Research subject
Physics with specialization in Physics Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-267306 (URN)10.1007/s11422-016-9742-8 (DOI)000429417900012 ()
Available from: 2015-11-20 Created: 2015-11-20 Last updated: 2018-08-19Bibliographically approved
Samuelsson, C. R., Haglund, J. & Elmgren, M. (2017). Looking for solutions: University chemistry and physics students interacting with infrared cameras. In: : . Paper presented at ESERA 2017, Dublin City University, Ireland, 21-25 August.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Looking for solutions: University chemistry and physics students interacting with infrared cameras
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Infrared (IR) cameras can be used to support the learning and understanding of thermodynamics. Previous research shows that the technology enables university physics students to observe otherwise invisible thermal phenomena. In the present study, the focus is extended to the use of IR cameras in an educational chemistry laboratory setting with a comparison to the physics labs. Depending on the communicative actions made to interact with the cameras, different affordances of the IR cameras are accessed. For example, some students compare what they see with the IR camera with their sense of touch. The kinds of actions students make depend on aspects like their disciplinary experience and the discipline of study. Predict-Observe-Explain is used to probe students’ potential actions for interaction with the IR camera. Data is collected by video recording and iterative transcription to find contrasting or shared patterns of interaction across the groups. A multimodal approach to conversation analysis is used to find these patterns. The result shows that the physics and chemistry students use the technology to confirm or disconfirm predictions made, but differ in the coordination of actions to achieve that goal. The physics students move around and use the sense of touch together with IR-camera observations, while the chemistry students focus on IR-camera observations from one perspective alone.

Keywords
laboratory practice, infrared cameras, affordance
National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Physics with specialization in Physics Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-328406 (URN)
Conference
ESERA 2017, Dublin City University, Ireland, 21-25 August
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2016-04113
Available from: 2017-08-23 Created: 2017-08-23 Last updated: 2017-08-23Bibliographically approved
Samuelsson, R., Haglund, J. & Elmgren, M. (2016). Användning av värmekameror vid öppna laborationer. In: : . Paper presented at Forskning i Naturvetenskapernas Didaktik, November 9-10, 2016, Falun.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Användning av värmekameror vid öppna laborationer
2016 (Swedish)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

Värmerelaterade fenomen och studiet av dem i termodynamik framstår ofta som abstrakta för studenter. Undervisningen bygger typiskt på algebraisk problemlösning och studenter har svårt att se kopplingen till fenomenen. Värmekameror ger dock en möjlighet att se sådana fenomen, som vi tidigare har närmat oss med vårt trubbiga känselsinne, och lämpar sig därigenom väl för undersökande arbetssätt vid laborationer. Mot bakgrund av ett utvecklingsarbete att designa om en inledande universitetskurs i kemi i riktning mot mer studentaktivt lärande och öppnare laborationer utgår vi från följande forskningsfråga: Hur kan kemistudenter använda värmekameror vid öppna laborationer om lösningsentalpi? Studenternas laborationsuppgift var att mäta temperaturändringar då natriumnitrat, respektive natriumhydroxid löses i vatten, en exoterm och en endoterm process, och beräkna salternas lösningsentalpi. Som metod för datainsamling videofilmades studenter då de arbetade parvis med laborationen, och deras laborationsanteckningar fotograferades.  Några par valdes ut för att studera samma reaktioner med hjälp av en värmekamera, och tunnare plastkoppar, vilket gör att stora lokala temperaturändringar kan uppstå där salterna reagerar med vattnet. De utvalda studenterna observerade dessutom med värmekameror vad som sker då koksalt strös på en isbit. Prelimära resultat visar att studenterna med värmekameran kunde se en temperaturökning på uppemot 50 °C på utsidan av koppen lokalt där natriumhydroxid reagerar med vatten. De diskuterade detta i termer av en felkälla för sina kalorimetriska beräkningar. De hade hypotesen att lösning av natriumnitrat i en tunn plastkopp skulle leda till en mindre temperaturminskning än då de själva använde en tjockare frigolitkopp, med fokus på lösningens temperatur, mer än på temperaturen på utsidan av koppen. Studenterna förutspådde att isen skulle smälta då den beströddes med koksalt och att temperaturen skulle öka eller vara konstant. De var förvånade över att istället se en kraftig temperaturminskning, och varierade i djup i sina förklaringar av denna endoterma process.

Keywords
Värmekameror i undervisning, didaktik, öppna laborationer
National Category
Didactics Other Physics Topics
Research subject
Physics with specialization in Physics Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-307411 (URN)
Conference
Forskning i Naturvetenskapernas Didaktik, November 9-10, 2016, Falun
Available from: 2016-11-15 Created: 2016-11-15 Last updated: 2017-01-16Bibliographically approved
Elmgren, M., Folke-Fichtelius, M., Hallsén, S., Román, H. & Wermke, W. (Eds.). (2016). Att ta utbildningens komplexitet på allvar: En vänskrift till Eva Forsberg. Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Att ta utbildningens komplexitet på allvar: En vänskrift till Eva Forsberg
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2016 (Swedish)Collection (editor) (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2016. p. 385
Series
Uppsala Studies in Education, ISSN 0347-1314 ; 138
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-286781 (URN)978-91-554-9475-9 (ISBN)
Available from: 2016-04-21 Created: 2016-04-21 Last updated: 2018-05-08Bibliographically approved
Haglund, J., Andersson, S. & Elmgren, M. (2016). Language aspects of engineering students’ view of entropy. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 17(3), 489-508
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Language aspects of engineering students’ view of entropy
2016 (English)In: Chemistry Education Research and Practice, ISSN 1756-1108, E-ISSN 1756-1108, Vol. 17, no 3, p. 489-508Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Entropy is a central concept in thermodynamics, but has been found to be challenging to students due to its abstract nature and the fact that it is not part of students’ everyday language. Interviews with three pairs of engineering students (N = 6) were conducted and video recorded regarding their interpretation and use of the entropy concept, one year after a course on chemical thermodynamics. From a syntax perspective, students were asked to assess whether sentences involving temperature, internal energy, and entropy make sense. With a focus on semantics, they were asked to rank a set of notions with regards to how closely they are related to entropy, how scientific they are, and how useful they are for explaining what entropy is. From a pragmatics point of view, students were asked to solve two qualitative problems, which involve entropy. The results show that these chemistry students regard internal energy, but not entropy, as a substance-like entity. The students’ ranking of how closely related to entropy notions are and how useful they are for explaining entropy was found to be strongly negatively correlated to how scientific the notions were seen to be. For example, disorder was seen as highly unscientific, but very useful for explaining entropy. In the problem-solving tasks, Chemical Engineering students were comfortable relating entropy to enthalpy and Gibbs free energy, the three notions being seen to form a “trinity” in thermodynamics. However, the students had challenges grasping the unchanged entropy in reversible, adiabatic expansion of an ideal gas, in which they did not consider how entropy relates to the second law of thermodynamics. In final reflections on their learning processes, the students saw weak connections between their problem-solving skills and their conceptual understanding of entropy, although acknowledging that both aspects of learning are important.

National Category
Didactics
Research subject
Physics with specialization in Physics Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-282925 (URN)10.1039/c5rp00227c (DOI)000379492700005 ()
Available from: 2016-04-08 Created: 2016-04-08 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved
Johansson, A., Andersson, S., Salminen-Karlsson, M. & Elmgren, M. (2016). Shut Up and Calculate: Becoming a Quantum Physicist. In: : . Paper presented at AAPT 2016 Summer Meeting, Sacramento, California. July 16 - 20.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Shut Up and Calculate: Becoming a Quantum Physicist
2016 (English)Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Educating new generations of physicists is often seen as a matter of attracting good students, teaching them physics and making sure that they graduate. Sometimes, questions are also raised about what could be done to increase diversity in recruitment. Our qualitative study of introductory quantum physics courses in Sweden, instead asks what it means to become a physicist, and whether certain ways of becoming a physicist and doing physics is privileged in this process. The results show that, although students have high and diverse expectations of the courses, a pronounced focus on techniques of calculation seem to place students in a position where the only right way of doing quantum physics is “shutting up and calculating.” This raises questions of how best to accommodate varying student motivations and make different ways of being a physicist possible.

National Category
Physical Sciences Gender Studies Educational Sciences
Research subject
Physics with specialization in Physics Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-300835 (URN)
Conference
AAPT 2016 Summer Meeting, Sacramento, California. July 16 - 20
Available from: 2016-08-15 Created: 2016-08-15 Last updated: 2016-08-15
Elmgren, M., Forsberg, E., Lindberg-Sand, Å. & Sonesson, A. (2016). The formation of doctoral education.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The formation of doctoral education
2016 (English)Report (Other academic)
Publisher
p. 101
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-282160 (URN)978-91-87833-81-6 (ISBN)978-91-87833-82-3 (ISBN)
Available from: 2016-04-04 Created: 2016-04-04 Last updated: 2016-04-04Bibliographically approved
Elmgren, M. & Henriksson, A.-S. (2016). Universitetspedagogik (3ed.). Lund: Studentlitteratur AB
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Universitetspedagogik
2016 (Swedish)Book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2016. p. 334 Edition: 3
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-282165 (URN)978-91-44-10835-3 (ISBN)
Available from: 2016-04-04 Created: 2016-04-04 Last updated: 2016-04-04
Haglund, J., Elmgren, M. & Andersson, S. (2015). Chemical engineering students’ conceptions of entropy. In: : . Paper presented at 11th Conference of the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA), Helsinki, Finland, 31 Aug-4 Sept.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Chemical engineering students’ conceptions of entropy
2015 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Understanding of the second law of thermodynamics and the closely connected entropy concept is central in thermodynamics, and thereby also in physics and chemistry education. Nonetheless, entropy has been found to be particularly challenging for students, not least due to its abstract character. One common approach to teaching and learning about entropy has been to make comparisons with more familiar and concrete domains, by means of analogy and metaphor, such as the metaphor ‘entropy is disorder’, which however has met with criticism in science education. In the present study, students (N = 73) filled out a questionnaire before and after a course on chemical thermodynamics. They were asked to: (1) describe their understanding of what entropy is; (2) list the most important other scientific concepts they relate to entropy; (3) after the course, also reflect on how their understanding of entropy had developed. Our analyses show that the disorder metaphor dominated the students’ responses, although in a more reflective manner after the course. The idea of entropy as the freedom for particles to move about gained in popularity. A majority of the students engaged particle interaction approaches to entropy, which indicates their identification within the chemistry tradition. This chemistry identification was further illustrated by enthalpy and Gibbs free energy being the concepts most often mentioned as connected to entropy. Intriguingly, no correlations were found between these qualitative ideas of entropy and the results of the written exam, primarily focusing on quantitative problem solving.

National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-262730 (URN)
Conference
11th Conference of the European Science Education Research Association (ESERA), Helsinki, Finland, 31 Aug-4 Sept
Available from: 2015-09-18 Created: 2015-09-18 Last updated: 2015-09-18
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