Creating an active learning introductory physics curriculum
The physics education research literature has laid bare an embarrassing fact. On the whole, students who complete any traditional first course in introductory physics do not take away from the course anything close to the understandings and skills set down as course objectives by the instructors. On top of that, traditional curriculum alterations of any kind (including change of lecture style) have no significant impact on the problem. The purpose of this paper is to describe a low technology curriculum at Columbia College that makes significant strides toward promoting the kind of learning physics educators seek for introductory physics students. In the following sections I will address why and how the curriculum was reinvented, how the new curriculum is different from the traditional curriculum, and the impact of the new curriculum.
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