University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Physics Education Seminar

Friday, February 13th 2015
3:35 pm:
Speaker: Ken Heller, University of Minnesota
Subject: A Systems Approach to Teaching: Why the Introductory Physics Courses at Minnesota Work and How They Can Fail.

This seminar will be a discussion of the parts that go into the structure of the
introductory physics courses at the University of Minnesota. The design of these courses is based on empirical studies and general principles of cognitive science to fit the constraints and institutional goals of the University. We will discuss the goals of the course, the pedagogy employed and the impact of the structure on students, TAs, and faculty. Within this learning framework important considerations are the role of the faculty, TAs, and students and the purpose of lectures, laboratories, discussion sections, problems, and tests. We will also discuss how the outcomes of the course can be changed, for better or worse, and what changes cause it to fail.

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