When Deeper Conceptual Understanding is Just One Click Away: Using Technology-Enhanced Formative Assessment to Promote Physics Teacher-Candidates’ Pedagogical Content Knowledge

When Deeper Conceptual Understanding is Just One Click Away: Using Technology-Enhanced Formative Assessment to Promote Physics Teacher-Candidates’ Pedagogical Content Knowledge

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When Deeper Conceptual Understanding is Just One Click Away: Using Technology-Enhanced Formative Assessment to Promote Physics Teacher-Candidates’ Pedagogical Content Knowledge

In 1986 Shulman coined a term Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) to emphasize that effective teaching requires mastering both subject-matter and subject-specific pedagogies. Since then PCK became a leading theoretical framework in teacher education. Nowadays, educational technologies, such as electronic response systems (clickers) are becoming useful tools in helping teacher-candidates develop their PCK. Clickers allow implementation of continuous formative assessment by asking multiple-choice questions, polling students in real time, and adjusting lessons according to students’, responses. The pedagogical effectiveness of clicker-enhanced pedagogy depends on teacher’,s ability to design, evaluate and implement multiple-choice questions that address student conceptual difficulties. This study investigates the effectiveness of a semester-long clicker-enhanced secondary physics methods course at a large North American university in helping teacher-candidates learn how to (a) design pedagogically effective multiple-choice physics questions, and (b) evaluate questions designed by others. To evaluate the pedagogical effectiveness of teacher-candidates’, generated questions we designed a PCK rubric and applied it to the analysis of teacher-candidates-generated multiple-choice physics questions. The results of the analysis and our observations of teacher-candidates during the school practicum indicate that modeling technology-enhanced formative assessment in a physics methods course helped teacher-candidate enhance their PCK and their confidence in physics teaching.

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