AAPT_WM14program_final - page 89

January 4–7, 2014
Tuesday afternoon
1-1:30 p.m. A Word of Caution About the Future of
Invited – Lillian McDermott, University of Washington, Department of
Physics, Seattle, WA 98195-1560;
There seems to be an increasing tendency for research in physics
education to extend beyond primarily intellectual issues to others
that involve social and psychological considerations. Some of these
deserve serious attention, but there may be unfortunate consequences
if such studies dominate the field. Being able to obtain and retain a
regular faculty position in a physics department is much more likely
when one’s research has a strong disciplinary emphasis. It is hard to
make a strong case for tenure or tenure-track positions in physics
departments, or even to influence physics faculty, if the research is not
sufficiently content specific. For PER to thrive, it is necessary that at
least a few universities maintain PER groups (with at least two or three
physics faculty) with strong programs to prepare graduate students
and post-docs to be future leaders in the field.
Session GC: Effective Practices in
Educational Technology
Location: Salon 6
Sponsor: Committee on Educational Technologies
Date: Tuesday, January 7
Time: 12–1:20 p.m.
Presider: Frances Mateycik
12-12:10 p.m. Challenges of Teaching a MOOC,
Examples from 8.01x and 8.02x
Contributed – Saif Rayyan, MIT, 77 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA
Daniel Seaton, John Belcher, MIT
How do you teach a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) with tens
of thousands of registered students? Who are the participants in your
course and how do you meet their needs? What level of activity do you
expect throughout the course? What are the best practices in creating
interactive content for your course? What level of involvement do
you expect to have with your students? I will attempt to answer some
of these questions by presenting examples from 8.01x (Introductory
Mechanics) and 8.02x (Introductory Electricity and Magnetism), the
physics MOOC offerings on the edX platform (
I will also present some of the challenges associated with creating the
course, including the limitation of the current technologies and the
high cost of producing high quality content.
12:10-12:20 p.m. Creating Online Learning Modules:
Attending to Students Affect and Cognition
Contributed – Dedra N. Demaree, Georgetown University, Washington,
DC 20057;
Carolyn Wakulchik, Georgetown University
At the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship at
Georgetown University, we have been assisting faculty with creating
online learning modules using the HTML-5 based Rapid eLearn-
ing Content Development tools Adobe Captivate 7 and Articulate
Storyline. These modules are being used to supplement learning as
well as to flip classrooms. We have found that faculty are excellent at
explaining the content in their modules but often do not have a clear
template for how to address the holistic student experience in the
eLearning environment. In this talk, I will focus on how to structure
such modules for physics learning to attend to affective issues and
help assure that students’ working memory is focused on the physics
content rather than side issues such as module navigation. The talk
will illustrate key design principles for creating self-directed learning
modules that are easy for students to navigate and useful in providing
real-time feedback to both the student and the instructor.
12:20-12:30 p.m. Interactive Video Vignettes and
Interactive Online Lectures*
Contributed – Robert B. Teese, Rochester Institute of Technology, Roch-
ester, NY 14623;
Thomas J. Reichlmayr, Rochester Institute of Technology
Priscilla W. Laws, David Jackson, Dickinson College
The LivePhoto Physics Project is creating a set of Interactive Video
Vignettes and testing them at multiple institutions. These are short,
online activities that combine narrative videos with interactive,
hands-on elements for the user including video analysis or making
predictions based on replaying segments of a video. Vignettes can also
contain branching questions, in which the user’s answer affects the
sequence of elements that follow. The software that powers vignettes is
delivered over the Internet and runs in a normal browser on the user’s
device. The same software can be used to make Interactive Online
Lectures for flipped classrooms, online learning, and MOOCs. A Java
application that teachers can use to create their own vignettes and on-
line lectures is under development. The software will be demonstrated
and the status of the development will be described.
*Supported by NSF grants DUE-1122828 and DUE-1123118.
12:30-12:40 p.m. Integrating Simulations into the
Introductory Calculus-based Sequence
Contributed – Ximena C. Cid, University of Washington, Department of
Physics, Seattle, WA 98195-1560;
The introductory sequence in physics has topics that are abstract and
spatial in nature. These topics can be difficult for students to compre-
hend due to a variety of reasons, including increases in cognitive load.
Previous research suggests that incorporating computer simulations
can reduce cognitive load for specific topics, and thereby allowing stu-
dents to dedicate more of their working memory to the task at hand.
This talk will discuss the incorporation of computer-based interactive
simulations, using the Glowscript language (based on the Vpython
language), into various components of the introductory calculus-
based sequence at the University of Washington.
12:40-12:50 p.m. It Is Not a Flipped Classroom!
Contributed – Taha Mzoughi, Kennesaw State University, Department of
Biology and Physics, Kennesaw, GA 30144-5591;
In an effort to enhance student learning in introductory physics
classes, I had gradually transformed my classes into what is now com-
monly referred to, to my chagrin, as flipped classrooms. The courses
follow a hybrid format where most of the learning occurs outside
of class. Before class, students complete online multimedia quizzes,
embedding both short lecture type recording segments and simula-
tions. Class time is devoted to students solving problems in teams.
Homework is completed online. In classes that include labs, students
complete pre-laboratory simulation mediated activities. Preliminary
results seem to indicate improvement in student learning as well as an
increase in the interest and appreciation of the topics covered.
12:50-1 p.m. Technologies for Computational
Contributed – Larry Engelhardt, Francis Marion University, Florence, SC
It is generally recognized that computer simulations provide impor-
tant tools for solving a wide variety of 21st century physics problems.
In this presentation, we discuss the technologies that we use for
teaching undergraduate physics students to create and use computer
simulations. At the introductory level, students use the Python pro-
gramming language for creating simulations and analyzing data. At
the upper level, students learn parallel programming and execute their
simulations on a high-performance computing cluster.
*This project is supported by the NSF EPSCoR RII Track 1 cooperative agree-
ment awarded to the University of South Carolina.
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