1996 Two-Year College Physics Workshops


This program provides four different workshops in 1996 for two-year college physics teachers. There workshops are :


These workshops are derived from successful models that are based on the findings of cognitive physics education research and emphasize active-learning in cooperative groups. A more detailed description of these workshops is included later as well as an application form.

The objectives of these workshops are to: In addition to the workshops, there will be a four-day summer conference on introductory physics (TYC IPC) which will update, expand and share the results of previous workshops and other physics developments in areas such as ATE projects.


1996 TYC Physics Workshop/Conference Schedule


Workshop Materials

Participants will receive all instructional materials required for each workshop. This includes some background materials prior to the workshops as well as a substantial amount of materials for use during and after the workshops.

As a result of attending one of these workshops, participants will receive free access to an Internet electronic mail system as well as a computer bulletin board system at Joliet as part of the networking follow-up system. Additionally, newsletters will be provided to aid in the exchange of ideas and materials related to the workshops.

Workshop Schedule

These workshops will consist of approximately 35 scheduled hours of activities over three days, of which 25 hours will be in typical three-hour sessions. Workshop sessions meet from Thursday morning (8:30 AM) through Saturday afternoon (4:00 PM). Evening workshop sessions are also scheduled for Thursday and Friday.

Workshop Fees

There are no fees or costs directly associated with participation during these workshops due to the support of the National Science Foundation, Joliet Junior College, and Lee College.

Meals and Lodging

Participants will be provided a room (shared with one other participant) for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evenings at a nearby motel. Meals will also be provided from Thursday morning through Saturday noon. Pre and post workshop expenses will be the responsibility of the participant or their college.

Travel to the Workshop Site

Travel costs to the workshop site are expected to be provided by the participants' college. The host college will attempt to provide transportation to and from the nearest airport.

Stipends

There are no stipends for attending the workshops. However, workshop participants can receive support of up to $150 for contributions submitted following the workshops. TYC Introductory Physics Conference (TYC IPC) participants do not have a stipend opportunity.

Eligibility and Selection of Participants

All physics instructors currently teaching full-time at a recognized two-year college in the United States are eligible for this program. Participants will be selected from the pool of qualified applicants based on the following criteria:
those who appear to be most likely to benefit directly from the workshop(s) in terms of using workshop materials, as evidenced by administrative support and/or personal interest statement;

those who teach significant numbers of women, minorities, and the physically disabled;

those who seem to be likely to help other TYC teachers become familiar with the workshop information;

those who will balance out the geographic distribution of the participants;

those who are most enthusiastic about the workshop(s), as evidenced by their date of application.

TYC Introductory Physics Conference (TYC IPC) participants will be selected from previous workshop participants on the basis of their experience and application of previous workshop contents.

This program is open to all qualified individuals regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, or educationally unrelated handicaps.

Application Selection Dates:

The target date for selection of participants is 45-60 days prior to a particular workshop. However, early submission is highly recommended since the workshop participants may be selected sooner if a reasonable pool of applicants has been received.


For additional information regarding these workshops, contact the Project Co-Directors



Curtis J. Hieggelke
Joliet Junior College
Joliet, IL 60431-8938
(800) 728-1050 or (815)729-9020 Ext. 2371
email: curth@jjc.cc.il.us

Tom O'Kuma
Lee College
Baytown, TX 77520
(713) 425-6522
email: tlo@AIP.ORG


Implementing Workshop Physics and Effective Microcomputer Based Laboratories in Mechanics, Sound, and Heat in Introductory Physics Courses (MBL I)


Ron Thornton
Tufts University, Medford, MA

Priscilla Laws
Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA

David Sokoloff
University of Oregon, Eugene, OR

Curtis Hieggelke
Joliet Junior College, Joliet, IL

Tom O'Kuma
Lee College, Baytown, TX

Recently developed microcomputer-based laboratory (MBL) tools provide a better means of teaching physics by enabling the teaching/learning process to build on students' direct experiences of the physical world. Using MBL tools and various sensors, students can now simultaneously measure and graph several physical quantities such as position, velocity, acceleration, force, kinetic energy, momentum, temperature, light intensity, sound, angular rotation, radiation, magnetic field, electric current and potential difference.

These MBL tools give students immediate feedback by presenting data graphically in a manner that can be easily and quickly understood. The ease of data collection and presentation afforded by these tools invites students to ask, discuss, and answer their own questions. Thus, students acquire an increased competence in the use and interpretation of graphs as well as a better understanding of the physical relationships, principles, and concepts which underlie their experiences.

In this hands on workshop, participants will work in areas involving force, motion, rotation, sound, heat and temperature. They will explore approaches and curriculum materials from Tools for Scientific Thinking, Real Time Physics Mechanics, and Workshop Physics. The Workshop Physics approach will introduce modeling of physical systems and the blending of non MBL activities into an activity based approach of teaching/learning physics.

The primary emphasis of this workshop will be on using these tools (available for Mac and DOS systems) to teach physics effectively to community college students. There will be extensive discussions on how to use these tools in community college courses, and tactics to overcome problems at community colleges. In addition, this workshop will be concerned with the application of the research findings in cognitive science and physics education as applied to students' learning of introductory physics, particularly in the context of the use of the microcomputer at community colleges.

Professors Thornton and Laws have received awards for their innovative development and use of software in physics education from Computer's in Physics and the American Association of Physics Teachers. In 1993, they were awarded the Charles A. Dana Award for Pioneering Achievement in Education and Ron Thornton was honored with the 1992 Smithsonian Award for Computers in Education.

Implementing Modeling, Digital Video Analysis, and Microcomputer Based Laboratories in Electricity, Magnetism, and Optics in Introductory Physics Courses (MBL II)


Ron Thornton
Tufts University, Medford, MA

Priscilla Laws
Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA

David Sokoloff
University of Oregon, Eugene, OR

Curtis Hieggelke
Joliet Junior College, Joliet, IL

Tom O'Kuma
Lee College, Baytown, TX

Recently developed microcomputer based laboratory (MBL) tools provide a superior means of teaching physics by enabling the teaching/learning process to build on students' direct experiences with the physical world. Using MBL tools and various sensors, students can now simultaneously measure and graph several physical quantities such as position, velocity, acceleration, force, kinetic energy, momentum, temperature, light intensity, sound, angular rotation, radiation, magnetic field, electric current and potential difference.

These tools give students immediate feedback by presenting data graphically in a manner that can be easily and quickly understood. The ease of data collection and presentation afforded by MBL tools encourages students to ask, discuss, and model the physical system. Thus, students acquire more readily an understanding of the principles, concepts, and relationships which underlie the physical world.

This workshop will build on experiences gained in the MBL I workshop in mechanics, sound, and heat, but will deal with areas involving electricity, magnetism, nuclear radiation, and light. They will share and discuss approaches and explore new curriculum materials from Real Time Physics - Electricity, and Workshop Physics. The Workshop Physics approach will introduce the use of digital video and modeling of physical systems as well as the blending of non MBL activities into an activity based approach of teaching/learning physics.

The primary emphasis of this workshop will be on using MBL tools (available for Mac and DOS systems) to teach physics effectively to community college students. There will be extensive discussions and sharing on how to effectively use these tools in community college physics courses as well as tactics to overcome problems. In addition, this workshop will provide updates on the areas dealt with in the MBL I workshop.


Building a Better Understanding Of Physics And Developing Effective Problem Solving Skills In Introductory Physics Courses Using Conceptual Exercises and Overview Case Studies (CE/OCS) Workshop


David P. Maloney
Indiana University - Purdue University, Fort Wayne, IN

Alan Van Heuvelen
Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Curtis Hieggelke
Joliet Junior College, Joliet, IL

Tom O'Kuma
Lee College, Baytown, TX

Recent research findings indicate that "traditional" lecture style passive learning does not substantially impact the learning of most students who take introductory physics. The research also indicates that most students enter introductory physics with alternative conceptions to many of the basic concepts that are taught in introductory physics. For most students, passive learning techniques generally do not replace these "misconceptions" with concepts that are more consistent with our understanding of nature. Results from physics education research has indicated several different active learning techniques that have substantially increased student conceptual understanding in introductory physics at two year colleges.

During this workshop, participants will become familiar with several active learning techniques for enhancing conceptual understanding and problem solving skills of students. Participants will have an opportunity not only to be exposed to the most recent cognitive physics education research findings, but will also have an opportunity to develop, in a collaborative group of two year college educators, their own new materials for their students.

Three approaches -- using a uniform format, cognitive task analysis, and conceptual demonstrations - to developing conceptual exercises (CE) will be presented, and exercises using these techniques will be developed. In addition, the Overview Case Study (OCS) model which uses the results of physics education research in producing a flexible, spiral format that helps students build a knowledge hierarchy on a foundation of analogic and qualitative understanding will be explained and examined. The use of multiple representation problem solving techniques employing problem definition, sketches, and divide and conquer strategies will be presented. The utilization and development of effective worksheets for making lecture instruction an active student experience will be constructed.

One of the primary goals of this workshop is to show how these conceptual tasks and curriculum ideas can be implemented at two-year colleges. Several different methods of integrating the ideas presented at this workshop into the curriculum will be discussed with results from a variety of two-year college settings.

Professors Maloney and Van Heuvelen have been recognized by the physics community for their work in developing conceptual tools to aid student understanding of introductory physics. One of the conceptual exercises developed by David Maloney, the ranking task, is used widely at two-year colleges as well as universities to develop and test student understanding of introductory physics. One of the curriculum approaches, the OCS approach, was developed by Alan Van Heuvelen while at New Mexico State University. This approach has been used very successfully by Van Heuvelen and at two year colleges around the nation.


Constructing and Integrating Meaningful Microcomputer Simulations in Introductory Physics Courses (PS)


Cindy Schwarz
Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY

David Winch
Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI

Curtis Hieggelke
Joliet Junior College, Joliet, IL

Tom O'Kuma
Lee College, Baytown, TX

Traditional textbook problems, test questions, and class problem solutions teach students how to manipulate equations. Educational research has shown that most students do not see how objects actually move in time and space in simple situations even after taking a good traditional physics course. Computer simulations expand the range and nature of student experiences - and, if properly designed and used, will extend and expand their understanding of physics. Now with the development of the new generation of simulation construction software and tools, physics educators are no longer limited by the available "canned" simulation software.

Computer simulations give a much better visualization of the solutions to the equations of motion by presenting time graphs of quantities such as position, velocity, and acceleration while animating the motion of the object. The student can then change parameters (mass, charge, shape, etc.) and observe the effects on the system by observing the resulting animation of its motion. The ability to change parameters and to easily redo a situation allows more experience and, eventually, a better understanding of the physics involved. Computer simulations, appropriately used, should supplement and enhance experiments rather than replace real labs that measure the properties of real objects which fosters a better understanding of the underlying principles.

This workshop will focus on the creation of good simulations and how to blend these simulations into an effective, active learning environment at community colleges. Participants will also gain experience and insight by being exposed to a variety of existing good physics simulations and tools.

Interactive Physics II (from Knowledge Revolution) will be featured along with the HyperCard stack software from Apple Computer. Interactive Physics II software allows direct simulation of physical processes through the construction of virtual computer models. The program is an easy to use object oriented, general purpose simulation tool that simulates the fundamentals of physics. When objects are arranged into a system, the program executes a visual simulation animation of the system complete with graphs and fully exportable data. Interactive Physics won the 1989 MacUser award for best educational exploration program.

Workshop participants will be working in small groups to create new simulations. The new workshop simulations will be shared and critiqued by the participants and workshop leaders. The workshop will include how to obtain and setup the hardware/software needed to construct, and run these simulations and how to effectively incorporate these computer simulations into the classrooms and laboratories at community colleges.

The focus of this workshop is that participants will develop the ability and skills to: (1) use simulations effectively, (2) evaluate or select good simulations, and (3) to construct good and useful simulations. It is also expected that participants will continue this process after the workshop. At the workshop, participants will receive a run time version of the Interactive Physics II software, An Interactive Physics Workbook and a disk of Interactive Physics II simulations and HyperCard simulations.

Professor David Winch is well known in the physics education community for his work in developing software and video disk technology. The software he co-authored "Guilty or Innocent," received the MacWorld Prize for best educational HyperCard stack in 1988. He developed a new piece of educational simulation, "An Introduction to Electrostatic Force & Coulomb's Law," with M.D. Squiers and R Fuller, which is being distributed by Intellimation (1992). He was director of software development for the "National Interactive Media Project for the Physical Sciences" (U.S. DOE) and the co-director of "A College Faculty Leadership Workshop on Transforming Physics Content Using New Technologies" project.

Cindy Schwarz is a professor of physics at Vassar College. She devotes much of her time to improving the quality of undergraduate education in physics. She is particularly interested in integrating computers into all levels of the curriculum, including collection and analysis of data, using Interactive Physics and other simulation software. She is the author of The Interactive Physics Players Workbook published by Prentice Hall, Inc. (1996).