NSF Proposal Summary DUE-1023120
9/10–9/14; $440,606

PARADIGMS IN PHYSICS: INTERACTIVE ELECTROMAGNETIC CURRICULAR MATERIALS
Tevian Dray, Corinne A. Manogue, & Emily H. van Zee

Intellectual Merit

This project builds on the joint work of two projects: The Paradigms in Physics Project, a complete redesign of the physics major, and the Vector Calculus Bridge Project, an effort to bridge the gap between the mathematics and physics of vector calculus.

The focus of this project is on the upper-division content in the area of electromagnetism. The goal is to increase the usability of the materials in four distinct ways: improving the effectiveness of the classroom materials; continuing development of a resource wiki, including descriptions of sequence of activities; adding narratives and video of classroom practice; and creating a modular online text. Both the text and the wiki are designed to be modular, allowing maximum flexibility in use. Both also contain a “meta” layer extensively documenting multiple pathways through the individual modules. The wiki further encourages faculty users to design and document alternatives, tailored to the needs of their own students. Pilot versions of all four pieces have been tested by instructors both at Oregon State University and elsewhere; extensive feedback is guiding further development.

This project includes an established team, an experienced science education researcher, recent adopters of the materials, a National Advisory Panel, and an external evaluator.

Broader Impact

The primary goal of this project is to provide online resources to a large audience, with most of the resources freely accessible to the general public. In the long run, the materials generated by this project can be used by many students and faculty well beyond the immediate adopters, both in the classroom and for professional development of TAs and other teachers. Furthermore, project research results and case studies are being disseminated to the education research community, not only on the project website, but also through presentations at conferences and publication in appropriate refereed journals.


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