Course Reports

Category archives for Course Reports

As noted in previous posts, I’ve been trying something radically different with this term’s classes, working to minimize the time I spend lecturing, and replace it with in-class discussion and “clicker questions.” I’m typing this while proctoring the final exam for the second of the two classes I’m teaching, so it’s not exactly the end,…

Tuesday was the last day of the fifth week of classes (out of ten; for reasons that passeth all understanding, we started on Wednesday, so all the week-based deadlines fall on Tuesday). Accordingly, it seems like a decent time for an update on the active learning stuff I’ve been doing in my classes. Each class…

As mentioned a while back, I’m experimenting with “active learning” techniques in my intro courses this term. Specifically, I’m doing a variant of the “Peer Instruction” method developed by Eric Mazur and others. There are a few complications imposed by our calendar/ class schedule, but I’m giving it a shot, and I thought I’d report…

As previously noted, I’m planning to do more active-learning stuff in my intro mechanics courses this fall (starting next Tuesday), and as a result have been reading/ watching a lot of material on this (which, by the way, includes far too many slickly produced sales videos and not nearly enough “here’s an example video of…

The week before last, I finished writing up a pedagogical paper I’ve been meaning to write for some time, and sent it off to The Physics Teacher. A couple of days ago, it occurred to me that I could probably post that to the arxiv. So I did, just before I left town for an…

Resources for Physics Teaching

I continue to be distracted from the paper-writing that I really ought to be doing by thinking about my classes this fall, and Joss Ives isn’t helping. By being very helpful– he posted a nice list of resources for active teaching. His blog has a bunch of other interesting stuff, too. For the specific Matter…

A Risky Educational Experiment

It’s that time of year again, when I start thinking about my fall term classes. I would really prefer to put it off for another couple of weeks, and I will put off spending much time on class prep in favor of finishing up some paper-writing and other things, but when the calendar turns to…

A month and a half ago, I reported on a simple experiment to measure the performance of a timer from the teaching labs. I started the timer running at a particualr time, and over the next couple of weeks checked in regularly with the Official US Time display at the NIST website, recording the delay…

A few years ago, we switched to the Matter & Interactions curriculum for our introductory classes. This has not been without its hiccups, among them the fact that there has been a small decline in the conceptual learning gains measured by the Force Concept Inventory, the oldest and most widely used of the conceptual tests…

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m schedule to teach a class on “A Brief History of Timekeeping” next winter term as part of the Scholars Research Seminar program. Even though I have a hundred other things to do, I continue to think about this a lot. One of the goals of the course is to introduce…