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Tutorials In Introductory Physics and Homework Package

Tutorials In Introductory Physics and Homework Package PDF

Author: Lillian McDermott

Publisher: Pearson


Publish Date: August 20, 2001

ISBN-10: 0130970697

Pages: 9998

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

Tutorials in Introductory Physics is a set of instructional materials intended to supplement the lectures and textbook of a standard introductory physics course. The emphasis in the tutorials is on the development of important physical concepts and scientific reasoning skilJs, not on solving the standard quantitative problems found in traditional textbooks.

There is increasing evidence that after instruction in a typical course, many students are unable to apply the physics formalism that they have studied to situations that they have not expressly memorized. In order for meaningful learning to occur, students need more assistance than they can obtain through listening to lectures, reading the textbook, and solving standard quantitative problems. It can be difficult for students who are studying physics for the first time to recognize what they do and do not understand and to learn to ask themselves the types of questions necessary to come to a functional understanding of the material . Tutorials in Introductory Physics provides a structure that promotes the active mental engagement of students in the process of learning physics. Questions in the tutorials guide students through the reasoning necessary to construct concepts and to apply them in real-world situations. The tutorials also provide practice in interpreting various representations (e.g., verbal descriptions, diagrams, graphs, and formulas) and in translating back and forth between them. For the most part, the tutorials are intended to be used after concepts have been introduced in the lectures and the laboratory, although most can serve to introduce the topic as well.

The tutorials comprise an integrated system of pretests, worksheets, homework assignments, and post-tests. The tutorial sequence begins with a pretest. These are usually on material already presented in lecture or textbook but not yet covered in tutorial . The pretests help students identify what they do and not understand about the material and what they are expected to learn in the upcoming tutorial. They also inform the instructors about the level of student understanding. The worksheets, which consist of carefully sequenced tasks and questions, provide the structure for the tutorial sessions. Students work together in small groups, constructing answers for themselves through discussions with one another and with the tutorial instructors. The tutoriaJ instructors do not lecture but ask questions designed to help students find their own answers. The tutorial homework reinforces and extends what is covered in the worksheets. For the tutorials to be most effective, it is important that course examinations include questions that emphasize the concepts and reasoning skills developed in the tutorials.

The tutorials are primarily designed for a small class setting but have proved to be adaptable to other instructional environments. The curriculum has been shown to be effective for students in regular and honors sections of calculus-based and algebra-based physics. The tutorials have been developed through an iterative cycle of: research on the learning and teaching of physics, design of curriculum based on this research, and assessment through rigorous pretesting and post-testing in the classroom. T111orials in Introductory Physics has been developed and tested at the University of Washington and pilot-tested at other colleges and universities.

Comments on the First Edition
Ongoing research has led to modifications to the tutorials and associated homework in the Preliminary Edition of Tutorials in Introductory Physics. The First Edition incorporates these changes and also includes several new tutorials on topics covered in the Preliminary Edition. In addition, the First Edition contains a new section with tutorials on topics in hydrostatics, thermal physics, and modem physics.

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