Abstract Archive Detail
A Research-validated Approach to Transforming Upper-division E&M: Issues and Measures
A presentation from the 2014 Summer Meeting: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Upper-division E&M is traditionally taught using a lecture approach that does not make use of many of the instructional techniques that have been found to improve student learning at the introductory level. At the University of Colorado, we are transforming upper-division E&M (and other courses) using principles of active engagement and learning theory. We are guided by extensive faculty conversations on course-level learning goals. Our work builds on a research base of observations, interviews, and analysis of student work. Here I will outline the nature of the consensus learning goals we developed, and some associated assessments and pedagogical transformations. We have examined the effectiveness of these reforms relative to traditional courses based on grades, interviews, and both attitudinal and conceptual surveys. This approach provides insights into the process and structure of curriculum and pedagogical change, as well as into student difficulties in these advanced undergraduate areas.
Steven J. Pollock
The Role and Implementation of Upper-level E&M