Posts Tagged ‘Teaching’

More Physics Links

UMD Physics Education Group’s redesigned website. Collections of good problems (particularly the Alternative Homework Assignments and the two sections of “Thinking Problems”), a set of open-ended problem-based labs, and demo worksheets. Context-rich problems from the University of Minnesota (see the “On-line archive”). MagnetLab at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at UF. Look at the [...]

Essentials of Paleomagnetism

Thanks to Kurt for this: Lisa Tauxe has released the first web edition of Essentials of Paleomagnetism, which she wrote along with Rob Butler and Subir Banerjee. It looks like EoP contains material from Lisa’s class notes, Rob’s classic out-of-print textbook on paleomag, and a chapter by Subir on environmental magnetism. Lisa’s PmagPy python software [...]

Tracker, Meet AudioXPlorer

I’ve been noticing more and more people using the awesome free program Tracker for video analysis. But what about audio analysis? I’m teaching the third quarter of physics soon (waves, optics, and thermodynamics), and have been looking for ways to get students to do some basic acoustical measurements and processing. Clearly they’ll need some software. [...]

What do Grades Mean?

New research, which may not shock professors, suggests that the reason students protest over their grades is that they associate good grades with simply performing tasks, not achieving particular levels of excellence. The New York Times today reports on a study that found that about one third of students expect B’s just for attending lectures, [...]

Logic, Logical Fallacies, and Fallacies: How to Argue a Point from FactCheck

The wonderful website FactCheck recently ran a piece distinguishing between fallacies and logical fallacies. It contains a link to a nice set of examples of logical fallacies and “booby traps” – great material for anyone teaching students how to construct (or destroy) arguments. This is the kind of stuff everybody should know. If we teach [...]

Physics Lab as Exploration

I’ve been reworking some of my intro physics labs so that they are simpler and more straightforward. Personally, I feel pretty strongly that the two main types of physics lab activity – exploration and verification – are both important to a student’s education. I want to include more exploratory activities in my classes (perhaps instead [...]

Perhaps I am Misguided?

An insightful email from Boris Korsunsky, a high school physics teacher,  just came through the PHYSLRNR mailing list. This excerpt (emphasis is mine) gave me pause: Besides, even if the hypothetical professor is well-versed in PER [physics education research - ed.] and enthusiastic about teaching, what is important at the college level may not be [...]

Physics of Music

I’m starting my third quarter physics course off with a few weeks on waves, so I was excited to find The Physics of Music and Musical Instruments, a neat online book by David R. Lapp of Tufts. It’s got some exercises and projects I think I’ll have my students do. Now, if only I could [...]

Toys for Physics

So, among other projects, I’m putting together a proposal to buy toys for physics demos. We have some simple ones already – nerf soccer balls, for example (one of which I want to cut up to install a wireless accelerometer… more on that later).  I’m making a wish list, and have decided on a few [...]

Student Evaluations

My evals came back from last quarter. I won’t tell you “how I did”, but I will tell you that neither I nor anyone I know takes the numerical evaluations very seriously, at least without a lot of context (how students usually feel about the class, what else is going on in the instructor’s academic [...]