How do I facilitate Tutorials in Introductory Physics?

posted March 15, 2016 and revised March 30, 2017
by Sam McKagan and Stephanie Chasteen

Tutorials in Introductory Physics are a research-based student activity, developed by the Physics Education Group at the University of Washington (UW). Students work in small groups to complete worksheets based on common student difficulties. Extensive research has demonstrated that Tutorials can improve student learning when implemented properly. Tutorials have been implemented in hundreds of physics classes at colleges throughout the country and beyond. The University of Colorado Boulder (CU-Boulder) has used Tutorials since 2003. Steve Pollock, a faculty member at CU-Boulder, started by visiting UW to learn how to implement Tutorials, and then carefully documented learning gains and what worked at CU-Boulder. Many instructors implementing Tutorials for the first time visit UW to see them in action and learn about effective implementation from the developers. Since not everyone can visit the developers, PhysPort and the CU-Boulder Learning Assistant Alliance have teamed up to create a series of videos to show you how to implement Tutorials in your classroom:

Tutorials in Introductory Physics at the University of Colorado

The History of Tutorials at the University of Colorado Boulder

Using Tutorials: Facilitation Tips

Running Weekly Tutorial Preparation Sessions

Image courtesy of PhET Interactive Simulations, University of Colorado Boulder