CU Upper-Level E&M Curriculum

Developed by: Steven Pollock, Stephanie Chasteen, Bethany Wilcox, Qing Ryan, Charles Baily, and many others in the University of Colorado Boulder PER group and physics department

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Electricity / Magnetism
Lecture - Large (30+ students)  Lecture - Small (<30 students)  Recitation/Discussion Session  Homework

What? Supplementary activities for upper-level E&M. Includes learning goals, interactive lectures, homework problems, student difficulties, tutorials, in-class group activities, and clicker questions. All materials are modular and can be mixed and matched with other teaching strategies or materials.

Student skills developed

Designed for:
  • Conceptual understanding
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Using multiple representations
Can be adapted for:
  • Making real-world connections
  • Metacognition

Instructor effort required

  • Medium

Resources required

  • TAs / LAs
  • Clickers / polling method
  • Projector

You can download all course materials for free, including lecture slides, clicker questions, homework, exams, and solutions from the developer's website (you'll need to ask for a password to access solutions):

E&M I:


Bronze Validation
This is the third highest level of research validation, corresponding to:
  • at least 1 of the "based on" categories
  • at least 1 of the "demonstrated to improve" categories
  • at least 1 of the "studied using" categories
(Categories shown below)

Research Validation Summary

Based on Research Into:

  • theories of how students learn
  • student ideas about specific topics

Demonstrated to Improve:

  • conceptual understanding
  • problem-solving skills
  • lab skills
  • beliefs and attitudes
  • attendance
  • retention of students
  • success of underrepresented groups
  • performance in subsequent classes

Studied using:

  • cycle of research and redevelopment
  • student interviews
  • classroom observations
  • analysis of written work
  • research at multiple institutions
  • research by multiple groups
  • peer-reviewed publication