Montana State University

Department of Physics

Montana State University
P.O. Box 173840
Bozeman, MT 59717-3840

Tel: (406) 994-3614
Fax: (406) 994-4452
Location: EPS building, Room 264

Department Head:
Prof. Yves Idzerda

For suggestions or corrections to the Web site, email the


Shannon Willoughby, Ph.D -  Assistant Professor

Email: You will need to type email address
Phone: 406-994-1673
Fax: 406-994-4452
EPS Room 224, MSU, Bozeman, 59717-3840, MT

Related Links:
Curriculum Vitae


Biographical Sketch:

M.S., Ph.D. Physics, Tulane University 2003

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Chemistry and Geochemistry, Colorado School of Mines 2003-2005.

Postdoctoral Fellow, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Boulder, 2004-2005.


My research focuses on how students learn (and don't learn!) physics and astronomy.  Kathryn Williamson and I recently finished creating and testing a concept inventory to gauge student understanding of Newtonian gravity concepts.  


Another project we are currently working on is measuring student attitudes toward science.  Using a valid and reliable attitude test, baseline data is being collected in Astronomy 110 this academic year.  Reforms to the course will be applied during the 2014-2015 academic year and attitudes will again be measured.  

Selected Publications:

"Developement of the Newtonian Gravity Concept Inventory", K. Williamson, S. D. Willoughby and E. Prather.   (Available here)


"Student Understanding of Gravity in Introductory College Astronomy", K. Williamson and S. D. Willoughby. (Available here)

 "Encouraging Studet Participation in Large Astronomy Courses", S. D. Willoughby.  (Available here)


"Exploring gender difference with different gain calculations in astronomy and biology", S. D. Willoughby and A. Metz. (Available here)


"Technology talks:  Clickers and grading incentive in the large leture hall", S. D. Willoughby and E. Gustavson

(Available here)

Selected Talks:

Invited talk, AAPT Chicago, Spring 2009.  "Student conversations during clicker questions:  What are they saying?" S. Willoughby and M. James.

"Badass Women Astronomers" March 19th, 2008. Women's History month sack lunch talk.


Academic Responsibilities:
Classes being taught by Dr. Willoughby this semester are listed below. Follow the link to find the online content for the class:-

Personal webpage updated: 3/6/2014 10:19:17 AM

Updated: September 2, 2014 12:06