In partnership with the Department of Physics, REBUILD is developing metrics for all of the introductory physics courses to evaluate the effectiveness of classroom innovations in improving student learning. These metrics include exam outcomes, classroom observations, and student surveys.
The introductory mechanics course for engineers (Physics 140) is incorporating modeling using Python, giving students practical programming experience and teaching them how to ensure the physics is accurate in their models.
The introductory electricity and magnetism course for engineers (Physics 240) piloted a new online homework system with a small group of students during the Spring 2014 term that gives students interactive pre-lecture videos that replace pre-lecture readings. Students responded positively to the videos, saying that they were more likely to watch videos before lecture than read a textbook. They highly recommended using the system in the future, so it was launched at a larger level during the fall term. Physics 240 also transitioned to a frequent quizzing format in place of fewer high-stakes exams.
The introductory mechanics course for pre-health students (Physics 135) has been working to incorporate more material relevant to medicine into the course, and collaborations are starting with the lecturers from the Dept. of Medical Education. The College of Pharmacy teaches all of their courses using case studies, so we have met with them to discuss how to implement these in our own courses most effectively.
The introductory electricity and magnetism course for pre-health students (Physics 235) is incorporating case studies to teach students how physics applies to real-world scenarios that they would face in the medical profession.
REBUILD postdoc Nicole Michelotti, as well as several physics graduate and undergraduate students, are working to support these initiatives in the Department of Physics.
Here is a list of past events in physics.