VIEWS: 0 PAGES: 32 POSTED ON: 5/10/2013
Very Large Contexts (VLCs) By David Weaver Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) Chandler, Gilbert and Mesa AZ 124th AAPT Meeting firstname.lastname@example.org Caveat Emptor I’m going to talk very fast and leave no time for questions (on purpose!) This presentation will soon be available on my school website (www.cgc.maricopa.edu) Also available at Curt Hieggelke and Tom O’Kuma’ TYC site (www.tycphysics.org) All of my curricular materials are/will be available at those sites I offer the following with extreme humility, recognizing that many of you have far more knowledge and experience than I… Overview Embarked on (yet another) New! And Improved!!! way of teaching physics in which I eschewed topics and embraced contexts How I got here What I did Where I go next The Holy Grail I want every student to be totally engaged in learning practical physics at all times in each of my courses. “Did” a PRISMS workshop in ‘92 Began attending Winter AAPT meetings in ‘93 Met Curt and Tom in ‘94 Been suffering from both the agony and the ecstasy ever since… It’s the journey, not the destination… My grail is not attainable, but the goal of having every student to be totally engaged in learning practical physics at all times in each of my courses is worth pursuing. In the last decade I’ve used portions of: PRISMS, ALPS, CE/OCS, Workshop Physics, ActivPhysics I&I, JiTT, Modeling methods, and Physics In Context (PIC) as instructional strategies as well as many tools such as MBL, CBL, Interactive Physics, Video Analysis, and Physlets …things’ve been improving Saw steady increases in FCIs and student/teacher attitudes improve, however… No single PER approach/tool set completely resonated with me Frankenstein-ing multiple approaches caused cognitive dissonance (at least with me) We have SO many topics to cover I’m not sure what “practical physics” means… Enter the PIC workshop in Dayton, OH (11/00) Another Tom and Curt Boot Camp that saw us build digital control circuits (DCU) and explore teaching within contexts rather than topics. Introduced the DCU to my 2nd semester course the next semester (Spring ’01) Tried a context in the 1st semester course as well However, 1/3 context oriented and the rest topic oriented didn’t get me to the grail… Summer Curriculum Development Project The TYC-21C project provided summer curriculum development support to construct six VLCs for use in a two-semester algebra/trig based course sequence. PHY 111 Mousetrap Powered Egg Delivery Vehicle (MPEDV) We Be Chillin’ (WBC) Play That Funky Music (PTFM) Summer Curriculum Development Project (cont.) PHY 112 Play That Funky Music Right (PTFMR) You Light Up My Life (YLUML) Calling Art Bell (CAB) PHY 111 MPEDV Topics Build a Mousetrap Powered Egg Delivery Vehicle that will carry a raw chicken egg off a ramp, land and come to a stop without cracking the egg. Mechanics Displacement, velocity, and acceleration Motion in a plane Forces and momentum Work and energy Rotational motion Mechanical properties of matter Gravity PHY 111 WBC Topics Build a cooling system that will lower the temperature within Styrofoam cooler at least 5o C below ambient temperature. Fluids Heat Pressure Temperature Viscosity Internal energy and heat Fluid statics Change of state Fluid dynamics Thermal properties of matter Thermodynamics PHY 111 PTFM Topics Build a stringed instrument capable of playing a full octave from A4 (440 Hz) to A5 (880 Hz). Waves and Sound Harmonic motion Mechanical waves Sound waves PHY 112 PTFMR Topics Build an 8 W speaker system capable of a flat (?!) response for 100-10 kHz. Electricity Electric charge Electric field Electric current Magnetism Magnetic fields Electromagnetic induction Capacitance and inductance Alternating current Electromagnetic waves PHY 112 YLUML Topics Build a stage lighting system that involves one (or more) of the following: Effect Lighting, LASER, Intelligent Lighting Optics Geometrical optics Wave optics PHY 112 CAB Topics Design a means to travel to a planet orbiting Alpha Centauri A and return within one generation. They need not build the system to get full credit (but I’d give them extra credit if they did!) Twentieth-Century physics Quantum mechanics Relativity Atomic and nuclear physics General Course Structure 16 week semester Dedicated ~5 weeks to each context Met 2x week for 2:45 (Integrated Lec/Lab) Class limited to 24 (or 27!) Most students are ASUE students: Technology Aviation (Pilot as well as management) Agribusiness (Pre-Vet) Worked in teams of 3-5 Tuesdays for tool development (I guide) Thursdays for project work (they guide) Other course elements No lectures (15 minute rule) Gave minimal directions as to how to proceed No written tests At the end of each 5 weeks, students: Demonstrated project (group) Gave PowerPoint presentation (group) Submitted written report (group->individual) Submitted their notebook (individual) Had a 15 minute private interview with me Grades based on notebook, self/peer evaluations and attendance Let’s look at a week in detail On 2 subsequent Tuesdays we did: Graph matching with motion detector Translating between English descriptions of motion Motion Diagrams P vs. t, V vs. t, and A vs. t graphs On Thursdays, students attempted to use MBL to collect data for their MPEDV to build graphical and mathematical models of their vehicle’s motion In this case, Tuesday and Thursday activities were explicitly linked (often weren’t) More detail We did similar lab-type activities with thermodynamics, sound, static electricity (sticky tape), electric current (CASTLE), optics, and atomic/nuclear physics. The connections between the Tuesday activities and the Thursday project work were not generally very explicit Walked fine line twixt providing some direction to underlying physics and giving virtually no guidance on project design itself. They needed to decide what to teach themselves Grading? All submissions were deemed (by me) either acceptable or not If not acceptable, reworked until acceptable All students had to submit acceptable work for all basic requirements to pass with “C” In addition, “B” and “A” students needed to complete additional (acceptable) work as well as being held to higher attendance and participation standards This format allowed me to assign grades on quantity of work rather than quality Students tricked: no tests/homework=easy? How did we do? FCI – no statistically significant gain E&M – ditto I maintain (rationalize) that the lack of measurable growth on the concepts inventories is due to the fact that we spent 5 weeks total on the whole of Mechanics (same with E&M). In addition, the students had to: build the projects, prepare a PowerPoint presentation, a technical report, and their notebooks as well as teach themselves and each other most of the relevant physics. How did we do? In a recent workshop, Alan Van Heuvelen shared the results of 4 surveys and reports that identified and ranked important skills needed/used by those outside academe. Problem solving, team work, technical communication, system/experimental design/analysis ranked high, physics concepts and most of the rest of what I used to do were ranked low. I need to find out how to better assess the important stuff, but here is some (positive) student feedback from last semester. How did we do? (student comments) Enjoyed format, a lot of work and liked the time to work at own pace and according to own needs I liked this class and think i learned more in this sort of class than i would in a normally structured class This is definitely a much better approach to learning than reading a textbook and answering questions on a test. How did we do? (student comments) I like the course set-up, it is a relaxed atmosphere.keep doing what you are doing, it gives the hope of students like myself who have low self esteem in science! You are an instructor that I will remember and one that has taught me well. I will recommend you to others even if they don't need physics. You have succeeded...... How did we do? (student comments) Dave, I just want to thank you for a great semester. Your class was the highlight of the semester in a bunch of boring lecture classes. I could always look forward to the tue. thur. afternoon when I could get with a group of great people and learn about a useful and very entertaining class and subject. (cont.) How did we do? (student comments) I only wish every teacher could take the path you have started here with this great new style. The new style I feel has prepared me for a job or the "real world" so much better than a lecture lab set up would have. Well, I hope you keep up the great work and continue to enrich students lives as you have enriched and touched mine through this one class. How did we do? (student comments) Student comments were NOT all positive: I did not learn as much physics as I thought I would during this project because during the course of the project my group and I were more focused on design of the project and how it would perform rather on how it would work I thought that we were left to fend for ourselves without really ideas or input from the instructor on what to do. How did we do? (student comments) I didn't learn a whole lot of new ideas or concepts I didn't like all the time spent in class. I didn't like not having any tests I did not like the fact that we had to basically teach ourselves many of the required topics in this course. Sometimes I felt like research was limited. - There were frustrating times when trying to meet deadlines. -Sometimes I felt like we were to do the impossible. What will I change? PHY 111 Replace MPEDV with mechanical egg launcher (ala` Junkyard Wars) Replace PTFM with any sort of musical instrument capable of playing a specific octave (Middle C up). However, no cannibalization of existing musical instruments for parts is allowed. Require much more rigorous physics models for each project Make sure (during interviews) that notebooks reflect real understanding and not just good research What will I change? PHY 112 Replace PTFMR (speaker) with building/analysis of Soccer Robot kit Replace YLUML with design/building a BEAM Solar Roller. Made entirely (?!) from cannibalized electronics parts of old Walkman, etc. Require much more rigorous physics models for each project Make sure (during interviews) that notebooks reflect real understanding and not just good research Additional Resources This presentation, all of the VLC materials I developed this summer, all of the student comments from each of the 6 projects during fall ’01, and all of the updated curricular materials for this semester (so far) are available at: My school website (www.cgc.maricopa.edu) and Curt Hieggelke and tom O’Kuma’ TYC site (www.tycphysics.org) Questions?
Pages to are hidden for
"Very Large Contexts _VLCs_"Please download to view full document