The Role Of Interest In The Effect Of Including Life Science Contexts In Introductory Physics

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Published In

2013 Physics Education Research Conference


We examined the impact of preexisting interest in physics on undergraduate student responses to the insertion of life science contexts into an introductory-level physics course for nonmajors, using an end-of-semester survey. Our findings suggest that inserting life science context into the content of the courses influenced students differentially based on their level of preexisting interest in physics.Taken together with results from the CLASS survey, these findings suggest that certain types of life science contexts in introductory physics can support students whose initial interest in physics is less developed to deepen their interest; however, not all contexts are equally effective.


Physics Education Research Conference 2013

Conference Dates

July 17-18, 2013

Conference Location

Portland, OR