Physics & Astronomy

Related Pages


Cycles in curriculum planning
John E. Kolb, Gary A. Gabriele, Sharon Roy
A chapter in the SCUP publication Technology-Driven Planning: Principles to Practice, edited by Judith V. Boettcher, Mary M. Doyle, and Richard W. Jensen, this essay serves as an accompaniment to the presentation above and provides insight into the RPI story and the institution's change in curriculum, computers, and teaching styles.

Link to another site

A story from the University of Wisconsin–Madison: Cluster hires
The experience of the University of Wisconsin– Madison in shaping a faculty for the future, one ready to "seize the opportunities for advancing knowledge at interdisciplinary crossroads..." serves as a compelling model for leaders on other campuses who recognize that "[n]ew areas of knowledge and complex societal issues don't always fall neatly into departmental disciplines and structures." According to their web site, "[t]he new hiring approach has triggered hundreds of faculty collaborations, leading to knowledge that is wholly original and often counter-intuitive. Most importantly, it helps faculty who are teaching and researching to a way to better anticipate the changing needs of society."
National Task Force on Undergraduate Physics
The National Task Force on Undergraduate Physics undertook the SPIN-UP project to identify salient characteristics of strong undergraduate physics department. The Task Force found that thriving departments have many common characteristics: well-developed and challenging curricula, extensive advising and mentoring, significant opportunities of student-faculty interaction.


A report from the undergraduate physics community
Robert C. Hilborn
Three national physics societies, with support from the ExxonMobil Foundation, collaborated in identifying how certain undergraduate physics departments are achieving success in increasing the numbers, persistence and success of students. The chair of the project (Strategic Programs for Innovations in Undergraduate Physics: SPINUP), Robert Hilborn of Amherst College, reports on their findings: that what works is a challenging but supportive academic program, strong and sustained departmental leadership, with continuing experimentation and evaluation built into the process of curricular transformation.
Assessment of Student Learning in Introductory Science Courses
Richard R. Hake
Presented at the 2002 PKAL Roundtable of the Future, Richard R. Hake discusses the roundtable topic of Assessment in the Service of Student Learning.
Changing to a student-centered learning environment
Gay B. Stewart
Based on Novak's views on teaching reform, Gay Stewart focuses on her personal experiences with student-centered learning at the University of Arkansas.
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Bruce A. Mason
A report describing the use of a central, standards-based database to serve a diverse set of community collections in Physics and Astronomy providing links between simulations, student activities, labs, lesson plans, and research.
The Gainesville College story
J. B. Sharma
One case study from the SPIN-UP/TYC report is from the work of J.B. Sharma, Professor of Physics at Gainesville College in Georgia, which includes an active Society of Physics Students (SPS) which brings students into the physics community on the campus and keeps them engaged. Dr. Sharma is a member of the PKAL Faculty for the 21st Century and serves on the PKAL Phase IV Steering Committee.

Case Studies

Departmental Transformation: A Case Study - University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
Gubbi Sudhakaran
This case study was presented at the PKAL 2002 Summer Institute in sessions organized by the National Task Force on Undergraduate Physics.

Other Resources

Departmental self-study at Allegheny College
David Statman
How the process of a departmental self-study results in a better sense of "who we are, who our students are, and where we fit into the liberal arts college."

Physics by Inquiry
Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL)

Other Resources

Re-inventing my introductory physics course
Eric C. Anderson

Web-based Materials
Workshop Physics