Middle Tennessee State University: Course Reform
- Student reaction to both The Teaching of Physics and Physics Licensure has been very positive.
- Calculus-based Physics I & II were transformed from a standard lecture/lab model to an inquiry-based course that has two 3-hr meetings each week.
- Of the twelve students enrolled in the pilot of Calculus-based Physics II, five changed majors to physics.
- The low rate of failure (<"C") and withdrawal (DFW) is much lower in reformed physics courses than other STEM introductory sequences.
- A second course in Physics Licensure was established to cover topics of a traditional second semester of introductory physics.
- Real course reform can be very challenging (painful?) when it affects faculty workloads and room scheduling.
- Funding for space renovation must be planned years in advance.
- Reformed courses work best in unique spaces, and require more hours each week.
- Gains on standardized assessment is below expectations for reformed algebra-based physics.
- It is helpful to have the department chairman as a PhysTEC co-PI when workload and scheduling issues arise.
- Only the reformed versions of both Algebra- and Calculus-based Physics is offered.
The Teaching of Physics
- New course that introduces PER-based physics teaching pedagogies in the classroom, and gives students the opportunity to act as learning assistants in a hands-on cooperative-learning and/or discovery-learning based introductory physics course.
Physics Licensure I and II
- New course overviews topics that must be mastered to succeed on either the Physics Praxis II, or a comparable nationally standardized assessment. Students will be required to take the licensing exam.
- This course was extended to a full year to allow time to cover the full range of topics typically covered in the introductory physics sequence.
Concepts and Applications of Modern Physics I/II
- Reformed course that introduces modern physics topics in a more conceptual context, which is intended to be maximally beneficial to physics teaching majors. Lecture meets with existing Modern Physics I/II.
Concepts and Applications of Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
- Reformed course that addresses thermodynamics from the macroscopic and microscopic points of view with many applications and tangible examples. Lecture meets with existing Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics.
Calculus-based Physics I & II
- Reformed course was taught as a standard 3hr lecture/3hr laboratory offering. Now will meet as 1hr lecture/6hr laboratory in a space that is designed similar to the SCALE-UP model. Meeting schedule is based on our Non-Calculus Physics I/II that was reformed 15 years ago.