Developed by: Carl Wieman, Kathy Perkins, and Sam McKagan at the University of Colorado Boulder
middle schoolhigh schoolintro collegeinter-mediateupper levelgrad school other
What? Curriculum for a large-lecture modern physics class for engineering majors. Focus on reasoning development, model building, and real-world applications. Includes lectures, clicker questions, homework, exam questions, PhET simulations, learning goals, and discussion of common student difficulties.
Student skills developed
- Conceptual understanding
- Problem-solving skills
- Making real-world connections
- Using multiple representations
- Lab skills
Instructor effort required
- Computers for students
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): https://physicscourses.colorado.edu/EducationIssues/ModernPhysics/
This is the second highest level of research validation, corresponding to:
- at least 1 of the "based on" categories
- at least 2 of the "demonstrated to improve" categories
- at least 4 of the "studied using" categories
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
- retention of students
- success of underrepresented groups
- performance in subsequent classes
- cycle of research and redevelopment
- student interviews
- classroom observations
- analysis of written work
- research at multiple institutions
- research by multiple groups
- peer-reviewed publication
- C. Baily and N. Finkelstein, Development of quantum perspectives in modern physics, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 5 (1), 010106 (2009).
- C. Baily and N. Finkelstein, Interpretation in Quantum Physics as Hidden Curriculum, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2010, Portland, Oregon, 2010.
- S. McKagan, W. Handley, K. Perkins, and C. Wieman, A Research-based Curriculum for Teaching the Photoelectric Effect, Am. J. Phys. 77 (1), 87 (2007).
- S. McKagan, K. Perkins, and C. Wieman, Deeper look at student learning of quantum mechanics: The case of tunneling, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 4 (2), 020103 (2008).
- S. McKagan, K. Perkins, and C. Wieman, Design and validation of the Quantum Mechanics Conceptual Survey, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 6 (2), 020121 (2010).
- S. McKagan, K. Perkins, M. Dubson, C. Malley, S. Reid, R. LeMaster, and C. Wieman, Developing and Researching PhET simulations for Teaching Quantum Mechanics, Am. J. Phys. 76 (4), 406 (2007).
- S. McKagan and C. Wieman, Exploring Student Understanding of Energy through the Quantum Mechanics Conceptual Survey, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2005, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2005.
- S. McKagan, K. Perkins, and C. Wieman, Reforming a large lecture modern physics course for engineering majors using a PER-based design, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2006, Syracuse, New York, 2006.
- S. McKagan, K. Perkins, and C. Wieman, Why we should teach the Bohr model and how to teach it effectively, Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res. 4 (1), 010103 (2008).