Recent Curricula and Tool Development

In the last several years, there have been a number of new and promising, research-based curricular and tool developments that are enabling instructors to integrate and enhance the effectiveness of the ABP Suite materials. These developments take advantage of advances in video capture and analysis technology, made possible by the widespread availability of low-cost digital video cameras and computers using Firewire (IEEE 1394) that can capture video images in real time. They also take advantage of asynchronous web-based delivery of interactive out-of-class activities that involve the analysis of video and sensor data. While not yet formally part of the ABP Suite, their development has been based on the same underlying philosophy as the Suite materials.These are summarized below.

Web-Based Interactive Lecture Demonstrations (WebILDs): The ILD strategy has been adapted to web-based, asynchronous delivery. QuickTime videos of real physics demonstrations replace live demonstrations. Students join a group, make predictions by drawing graphs that are shared within the group, discuss predictions with other group members in a chat room, observe a video of the demonstration with results displayed, compare their predictions to the results, and then view a closing remarks video with relevant comments by the instructor. Mechanics WebILDs have been tested with university students, and the conceptual learning gains compare favorably to those with in-class ILDs. WebILDs are being developed by Co-PI Ronald Thornton and PI David Sokoloff.

Video-Based Homework Collections: A growing body of real world homework assignments have been developed and made available on the Web that involve the analysis of video images and, in some cases, sensor data (for example, the collections of Bob Beichner, Aron Titus and others.

Video Images Synchronized with Sensor Data: There are over 30 QuickTime movie segments coordinated with sensor data on the LoggerPro 3 CD. In replay mode, students and instructors can see what is happening as the sensor data emerge on the graph axes. An example of this is shown below. The graph on the right shows the pressure inside the balloon measured in real time by a pressure sensor as the balloon is being blown up in the movie on the left. In the near future students will be able to combine video analysis with analysis of sensor data within one software package. For example, pressure data could be graphed against the volume of the balloon obtained from analysis of the balloon video.

Web-Based Video Analysis Activities: The NSF funded LivePhoto Physics Project is bringing video-based interactive engagement and collaborative learning to students. Besides creating videos and curricular materials (including ILDs) for in-class use, the project is creating a system for assigning video analysis homework over the Web. Similar to WebILDs using a cycle including predictions, analysis, chat-room discussion and conclusions, it is different in that students make measurements themselves by clicking on short videos using software tools that are being developed as part of the project. (The LivePhoto project team, led by PI Robert Teese of Rochester Institute of Technology, includes three of the Co-PIs on this proposal.)

Just-In-Time Teaching(JiTT):Warm-up questions are made available to students on the web prior to lecture. These require them to read the text and carefully reason out an answer that will be graded for effort, but not correctness. Responses are available to instructors prior to class, and form the motivation for classroom discussion and activities. ABP Group members have found JiTT to be a very powerful complement to Suite materials. (Developed by Gregor Novak and Andy Gavrin, Indiana University/Purdue University Indianapolis, Evelyn Patterson,U.S. Air Force Academy and and Wolfgang Christian,Davidson College.

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