Physics and Astronomy

courses we are working on

Status as of May 2016:
Course Learning goals New Assessments Improved Methods
ASTR 310: Exploring the Universe I: The Solar System
(Summer ’08 – 2012)

Faculty: Brett Gladman, Harvey Richer
STLF: Peter Newbury
Grad Student: M. Milkeratis, S. Lawler, M. Gendre, S. Vafaei

Poster (CWSEI EOY 2011): Shifting to a Copernican Model of the Solar System by Shifting Away from a Copernican Model of Teaching

Poster (CWSEI EOY 2009): Exploring the Solar System with a Human Orrery

Poster (CWSEI EOY 2009): Interactive Tutorial Activities in ASTR 310
Course-level goals: complete

Topic-level goals: complete
Improved midterm and final exam questions based on assessing learning goals


Created 6 activities for tutorials including guidelines for TAs for facilitating the activities

Using MasteringAstronomy for Just-in-time teaching (Gladman)

Aligning lecture material with learning goals

Peer instruction using clickers (Richer)

Using Lecture-Tutorial workbooks (Richer)


ASTR 311:  Exploring the Universe II:  Stars and Galaxies
(Summer ’09 – 2012)

Faculty: Ingrid Stairs, Jeremy Heyl, Ludovic Van Waerbeke, Jim Zibin
STLF: Peter Newbury
Grad Student: M. Gendre, T. Vernstrom

Poster (CWSEI EOY 2010): Transforming Introductory Astronomy: from Learning Goals to Instruction & Assessment
Course-level goals: complete

Topic-level goals: complete
Developed pre/post concept test for tutorial activities

Improved final exam based on learning goals

Light and Spectroscopy Concept Inventory (LSCI) pre- and post-test (Stairs)

Pre-, Post-testing with the Test of Astronomy Standard
Developed 7 50-minute activities for tutorial sessions including guidelines for TAs for facilitating the activities

Intense focus on learner-centered instruction: peer-instruction with clickers, lecture-tutorial workbook, in-class worksheets (Stairs)
PHYS 100: Introductory Physics (Sept ’07 – ongoing)

Faculty: Georg Rieger, Andrzej Kotlicki, Stefan Reinsberg
STLF: Ido Roll, Jim Carolan
Grad Student: F. Moosvi, M. Sitwell, S. Berkman


movie camera Video

Paper (Physics in Canada, 2014): A “flipped” approach to large-scale first-year labs

Poster (CWSEI EOY 2013): Interactions between teaching assistants and students boost engagement in physics labs

Poster (CWSEI EOY 2012): Transforming and Evaluating the Physics 100 Labs

Course-level goals: complete

Topic-level goals: complete

Lab goals revised towards skills development: complete
Conducted study on impact of learning goals on student self assessment of understanding

Lab diagnostic developed and interviews conducted

Improved the lab skills assessment - given to students on the first and last weeks of the term

Conducted study comparing different forms of invention activities an support for group work

Use of the CLASS survey to monitor students’ attitudes over several years during course transformation

Used two-stage midterm exams

Evaluated all labs using surveys and interviews

Use of a frequent-testing approach
Provided feedback for clicker question improvement and more student engagement in lectures

Revised the labs - they now include a homework component in which students do the actual experiments prior to coming to the lab for data analysis. The labs and homework build on each other so that each component is required for the subsequent task; so they create a sequence in which students use new tools to analyze old data, or collect more data to improve conclusions from data collected earlier, etc.

Added clickers to the lab – a couple of clickers at the beginning of class are used to recap previous labs. Several clickers at the end of the lab are used to summarize the lab and frame the discussion about what was done during that specific lab. Description of the reformed lab and lab worksheets are now available at http://www.phas.ubc.ca/teaching-support

Use of Learning Catalytics and bi-weekly quizzes. (2014)

Development of an online lab section with experiments at home and online support

Developed a blended resource for use in face-to-face and online sections based on an edX platform. Integrated open-stax textbook and labs at home.
PHYS 101: Energy and Waves
(2007–2015 for transformation; paired teaching ongoing)

Faculty:
 Fran Bates, Georg Rieger, Cynthia Heiner, Javed Iqbal, Alex Mackay
STLF:  Jared Stang (2015-)
Cynthia Heiner, Peter Newbury

Poster (CWSEI EOY 2013): Productive Engagement with PhET Simulations

click here to view course materials
Course-level goals: complete

Topic-level goals: complete
Conducted survey targeting students approach to and learning from pre-readings, clickers, and in-class worksheets

Used two-stage exams (summer)

Conducted survey targeting attitudes towards two-stage exams

Joss Ives is currently developing a diagnostic test specifically for PHYS 101 content.
Developed new lab experiments on measurement/uncertainty and interference

Complete set of in-class activities and worksheets developed

Complete set of pre-reading assignments developed

Use of PeerWise in spring and summer. A similar tool that expands the capability of PeerWise to different learning objects is currently under development for Blackboard/Connect, with the goal of supporting pre-class reading.

Paired teaching in one section: pairing of a research scientist with a PER specialist

Using two-stage exams consistently in midterms and finals from Fall 2014 onwards

Learning object assessments deployed in W2 sections (2013 and 2014). Initially through Connect, now entirely within UBC Blogs (including assessment).

Paired teaching (Spring 2016): pairing two STLFs (Stang & Strubbe)
PHYS 102 (now PHYS 118): Electricity, Light and Radiation
(Sept ’09 – 2015)

Faculty:
 Georg Rieger, Fran Bates, Vesna Sossi, Joerg Roettler, James Charbonneau
STLF:  Jared Stang (2015-)
Peter Newbury, Louis Deslaurier
Course-level goals: complete

Topic-level goals: complete
Creating pre-lab exercises using PhET simulations.

Used two-stage exams (summer)

Used the BEMA diagnostic
Fully interactive environment

Developing complete set of reading assignments, clicker questions, and worksheets

Revising lab experiments

Use of the Washington Tutorials

Paired teaching in one section: pairing of a research scientist with a PER specialist
PHYS 107 & 109: Enriched Physics 1 lab and Intro to Experimental Physics (Sept ’07 – ongoing)

Faculty: Doug Bonn
STLF: J. Day, I. Roll, L. Strubbe
Grad Student
N. Holmes

Poster (PERC 2013): Doing science or doing a lab? Engaging students with scientific reasoning during physics lab experiments

Poster (CWSEI EOY 2011): On Guided Invention Activities that Support Scientific Reasoning and Domain Learning

Poster (CWSEI EOY 2010): Preparing students for learning through invention activities

Poster (CWSEI EOY 2010): Using Invention Tasks to Help Students Become Better Scientists

Poster (CWSEI EOY 2009): Physics Lab Diagnostic & Teaching by Building from Student Invention
Course-level goals: complete

Topic-level goals: complete
Developed & validated physics lab pre-post diagnostic

Conducted study on the impact of invention activities completed preceding versus following a lesson

End-of-term survey

Conducted studies on the impact of structure in invention activities on learning and on scientific reasoning skills

Several additional surveys being used to measure student attitudes and motivation across the year including the E-CLASS (C-LASS for Experimental Physics) and Achievement Goal Questionnaire

Conducting study on gender biases of mix-gender groups during experiments

Conducting study on students’ use of evaluation and reflection during experiments and their understanding of measurement and uncertainties
Developed 15 invention activities on data interpretation and analysis

Developed marking rubrics for all labs and improved them to reward for quality of measurements and experimental and reflection procedures

Introduced Learning Catalytics to support peer instruction during lab discussions and instruction

Introduced scientific reasoning scaffolding in early experiments to encourage reflection and evaluation in order to improve the quality of measurements

Introduced (weekly) reflection questions for students, to help them recognize their development as scientists and connect their in-class learning to other science courses and everyday life
PHYS 107: Enriched Physics I (Sept '10 – Fall ‘14)

Faculty: Ian Affleck
STLF: Jim Carolan
Course-level goals: complete

Topic-level goals: under development
Pre & post concept surveys completed ('10 & '11)

Lecture observations

Student post course interviews completed for '10 and '11

Pre and post problem solving skills surveys completed for '11

Used the Mechanics Baseline Test and the CLASS survey
Clicker use – developed

Online pre reading quizzes – developed

In-class activities - worksheets developed
PHYS 117: Dynamics and Waves &
PHYS 118: Electricity, Light and Radiation

(Sept '14 - ongoing)

Faculty: Joss Ives and Georg Rieger
Course-level goals and topic –level goals: complete
Used the FCI in English and Chinese

Use of bi-weekly tests

Use of two-stage tests and exams

Conducted BEMA survey
Development of two sections for an international cohort of students (“Vantage College”)

Fully interactive environment (fully developed ‘flipped’ approach)

Complete set of reading assignments, clicker questions, and worksheets

Paired teaching in one section: pairing of a research scientist with a PER specialist
PHYS 119: Experimental Physics Lab
(Jan ’16 – ongoing)

Faculty: D. Bonn, J. Ives, R. Kiefl
STLF: L. Strubbe

Poster (Science Education Open House 2016): Developing Student Attitudes in the First-Year Physics Lab at UBC

AAPT/PERC presentations forthcoming (summer 2016)
New course (mostly) using first half of curriculum from PHYS 107/PHYS 109 Conducted CDPA at beginning of course

Conducted ECLASS at beginning and end of course
Revised first three labs to introduce confidence intervals and probability distributions more clearly

As above in Phys 107, introduced (weekly) reflection questions for students, to help them recognize their development as scientists and connect their in-class learning to other science courses and everyday life
PHYS 157 & 158: Introductory Physics for Engineers I & II [formerly PHYS 153] (Sept '10 – ongoing)

Faculty: Sarah Burke, Don Witt, Andrzej Kotlicki, Kristin Schleich, Michael Hasinoff
STLF: Cynthia Heiner, Louis Deslauriers

Poster (CWSEI EOY 2012): Transforming traditional large lectures into active learning environments
Course-level goals: complete

Topic-level goals: complete
Compared student performance on exams in transformed course vs. earlier traditional version

Conducted BEMA survey

Conducted student survey rating course elements
Bank of clicker questions

In-class activities for entire term

Peer instruction

Learning goals were referred to throughout the course for aligning material and for creating exams

Paired teaching in one section: pairing of a research scientist with a PER specialist

Use of PhET simulations in conjunction with pre-reading assignments
PHYS 159: Introductory Physics Laboratory for Engineers [formerly part of PHYS 153]
(Nov '11 – ongoing)

Faculty: Doug Bonn, Jeff Young, Michael Hasinoff, Bill McCutcheon, Don Witt, Evert Koster
STLF: James Day
Course-level goals: complete Two final lab exams created, closely aligned with course-level learning goals

Peer assessment between TAs, to promote and support deliberate practice
Three “tutorial weeks” modified (based on last year's TA and student feedback) to provide students with basic skills needed for the rest of course (i.e. use of basic stats, uncertainty analysis, and experimental design)

Rubrics created for individual labs

Brief pre-lab readings created

2-day TA and instructor training sessions added
PHYS 200: Relativity and Quanta
(Sept ’08 – 2015)

Faculty: Mark Van Raamsdonk, J. Karczmarek
STLF: Louis Deslauriers
Course-level goals: complete

Topic-level goals: complete
Lecture & HW session observations

Analyzed Mid-term

Midterm & end-of-term survey
Weekly interactive tutorials developed.

Improved clicker questions

Use of pencasts (J. Karczmarek)
PHYS 250: Introduction to Modern Physics
(2009 -2015)

Faculty: Carl Wieman, Louis Deslauriers
STLF: Louis Deslauriers

click here to view course materials
Course-level goals: complete

Topic-level goals: complete
Development of an extended Quantum Mechanical Conceptual Survey

Lecture & HW session observations

Two-stage exams

Analyzed Mid-term

Midterm & end-of-term surveys

Measured long term retention of quantum concepts
Weekly tutorials developed

Bank of clicker questions

In-class activities for entire term

Measurement of long term retention for the quantum part of course

Demonstrated a successful intervention with lower performing students
PHYS 301: Electricity and Magnetism
(2009, 2014)

Faculty: Doug Bryman
  Administered the CUE (Colorado Upper Division Electrostatics Assessment, 2009 & 2014) Clicker questions incorporated into lecture (2014)
PHYS 304: Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
(2010–2014)

Faculty: Kirk Madison, Ariel Zhitnitsky
STLF:
Louis Deslauriers

Course-level goals: complete

Topic-level goals: 80% complete
Lecture & HW session observations

Measured effect of BONUS clicker questions on student engagement during voting period.

Compared student performance to previous terms – transformed course scores are consistently higher

Measured student engagement in general - compared it to other course the Eng Phys cohorts were taking at the same time
Creating a bank of clicker questions

Designing  in- class activities for every lecture

Improved  engagement during clicker questions by adding BONUS questions

Clicker questions and weekly quizzes (2014)
PHYS 315: Physics of Materials
(Sept ’11 – 2014)

Faculty: Vladimir Hinkov
STLF:
James Day


Poster (CWSEI EOY '12): The transformation of Physics 315

click here to view course materials
Course-level goals: complete

Topic-level goals: complete
Homework assignments closely aligned to learning goals New clicker questions drafted and older clicker questions improved

Training on delivery of clicker questions and subsequent results

In-class group activities

Implementation of pre-reading

Lecture video recorded to help instructor associate feedback on style with actual footage

Formative midterm and year-end feedback form created
PHYS 333: Energy and Climate (online)
(2014 – ongoing)

Faculty:
James Charbonneau
Detailed set of learning goals created Piloted the "Adaptive comparative judgment" online peer review system (students compare assignments based on a supplied rubric)

Created rubrics for all assessments
Problem sets linked to learning objectives

Targeted quiz questions in online materials

Authentic take-home experiments with PowerPoint-based lab reports
PHYS 401: Electromagnetic Theory
(Sept ’11 – 2012)

Faculty:
Doug Bryman
STLF: Peter Newbury
Course-level goals: draft

Topic-level goals: complete set
  Creating in-class worksheets and clicker questions aligned with learning goals

Focus on moving from instructor-centred to student-centred instruction

Development of pre-reading assignments
PHYS 403: Statistical Mechanics
(2014)

Faculty:
Mayra Tovar
    Use of clicker questions (coloured cards) and worksheet activities (2014)
PHYS 408: Optics
(Sept ’09 – 2013)

Faculty:
David Jones
STLF: Louis Deslauriers

Course successfully transferred to Kirk Madison

click here to view course materials
Course-level goals: complete

Topic-level goals: complete
Developd Optics Conceptual Survey

Lecture observations; observed HW sessions

Analyzed Mid-term

Compared student performance to previous terms – transformed course scores are consistently higher

Measured student engagement and compared it to other course the students were taking at the same time
Created a bank of clicker questions

In-class activities for entire term

Developed a remedial tutorial for students lacking pre-requisite in signal processing (Fourier Transforms)

Development of active learning materials for two new topics: Quantum optics and non-linear optics
PHYS 450: Quantum Mechanics
(Jan ’09 – 2013)

Faculty: Joshua Folk
STLF: Louis Deslauriers

Course and Topic level
learning goals: 95% complete
Lecture & HW session observations

Analyzed Mid-term

Conducted study on impact of student peer discussions vs. classic instruction on students’ knowledge retention
Created a bank of clicker questions (including isomorphic questions to test longer-term retention)
PHYS 170 & 270– Mechanics diagnostic surveys are being  administered annually to monitor conceptual learning gains and aid future course development. Clicker usage is being encouraged in the large multi-section engineering course, PHYS 170, with lecture observation and advice from STLF Jim Carolan. Paired teaching in one section of PHYS 170.

PHYS 101 & 108 - clicker usage was developed & improved in these large freshman courses with extensive observation and advice from Jim Carolan