Integrating Web-Based Teaching Tools into Large University Physics Courses
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Teaching students in our large, introductory, calculus-based physics courses1 to be good problem-solvers is a difficult task. Not only must students be taught to understand and use the physics concepts in a problem, they must become adept at turning the physical quantities into symbolic variables, translating the problem into equations, and "turning the crank" on the mathematics to find both a closed-form solution and a numerical answer. Physics education research has shown that students' poor math skills and instructors' lack of pen-and-paper homework grading resources, two problems we face at our institution, can have a significant impact on problem-solving skill development.2-4 While Interactive Engagement methods appear to be the preferred mode of instruction,5 for practical reasons we have not been able to widely implement them. In this paper, we describe three Internet-based "teaching-while-quizzing" tools we have developed and how they have been integrated into our traditional lecture course in powerful but easy to incorporate ways.6 These are designed to remediate students' math deficiencies, automate homework grading, and guide study time toward problem solving. Our intent is for instructors who face similar obstacles to adopt these tools, which are available upon request.7.
author list (cited authors)
Toback, D., Mershin, A., & Novikova, I.