- Conference date: 31 Jul-3 Aug 1996
- Location: College Park, Maryland (USA)
The Flexible Learning Approach to Physics (FLAP) is an extensive, high quality, supported self-study teaching resource, developed on behalf of the whole UK university sector. FLAP addresses the twin problems of an increasing diversity of intake into physics degree courses and their decreasing familiarity with the use of mathematics in a physical context. It has been developed over a three year period, funded ($1M) by the UK Higher Education Funding Councils. It offers a new approach to the teaching of physics and its associated mathematics. FLAP includes 83 free-standing modules of physics and mathematics, ranging from pre-university level to some point within the first or second year of a physics or engineering degree course. Its range also makes it useful at upper high school level. It presents an integrated approach to physics and mathematics, introducing mathematics within a physical context, where possible, and sharing a common notation with the physics. FLAP includes about 2500 pages of text, with video, audio and CAL support and has a Tutor Guide with an electronic question bank of about 1700 questions and solutions. A feature of the resource is that the modular text is photocopiable by departments for their own students, giving maximum flexibility of use. Physics departments can use this as they choose, to support their present courses or to create new courses of their own design. The FLAP self-study teaching style encourages active learning and gives students more ownership of this learning. Field trials show that it can increase student self-motivation and its style is welcomed. It offers gains in the quality and efficiency of teaching and learning and is expected to make a considerable impact wherever teaching quality has to be maintained or improved, particularly with reducing staff resources. FLAP is now being made available world-wide.
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