Tag «learning»

Oral Interviews as Assessment

TL;DR I have begun using oral interviews as a replacement for traditional written tests and quizzes. There are many advantages for faculty and students, including elimination of paperwork, better chances for understanding students’ state of comprehension, a more relaxed environment, and no possibility for gaming for points. The ongoing pandemic has amplified many questions I …

Musical Thoughts On Teaching Physics

TL;DR There are many lessons physics teachers can learn from music teachers about teaching one’s discipline. Many, and perhaps most (all?), concepts in music have analogs in physics and mathematics. I have a background in music, spefically percussion. Marching band was my life in high school and that carried over into my college years. I …

Angular Quantities II

In this post, I will address the first question on the list in the previous post. What exactly does it mean for something to be a vector? In almost every introductory physics course, vectors are introduced as “quantities having magnitude and direction” and are eventually equated to graphical arrows. A vector is neither of these, …

What I Think My Students and I Got Right This Semester

I think my students and I finally got some things right this semester. Too bad it only took twenty-five years, but I’ll take it anyway. Rather than wallow in self pity, I’ll just get right to it. My students and I have finally mainstreamed special relativity as the starting point in introductory calculus-based physics. There …

Learning Critical Thinking Through Astronomy, Week 15

Because of Thanksgiving, this week was a short week, only two days (Monday and Tuesday). However, because of a bizarre institutional policy (described here) Tuesday ran on a Friday schedule. Therefore, my MW evening astronomy section only met once, the TuTh section didn’t meet at all, and the MWF section met on two consecutive days. …

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