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Abstract Title: The source of student engagement in IPLS
Abstract: Effectively teaching an Introductory Physics for the Life Sciences (IPLS) course means engaging life science students in a subject matter for which they may not have considerable preexisting interest. While we have found that the inclusion of topical examples of relevance to life-science students can help to engage students whose initial interest in physics is less developed, we have found that the inclusion of biological content is just one of several dimensions supporting student engagement in IPLS. When describing what is salient to them about their IPLS experiences, students are just as quick to cite particular pedagogical structures and supports as they are to cite issues relating directly to content choices. In this talk we begin to unpack this complex interplay of content and pedagogy in fostering student engagement in the IPLS classroom. We also describe the role that explicit messaging around disciplinary coherence may play in students' experiences.
Abstract Type: Symposium Talk
Parallel Session: Conceptual Issues and Content Revisions in the Introductory Physics Course for Life Science Students

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Benjamin D. Geller
Swarthmore College
and Co-Presenter(s)
Chandra Turpen, Department of Physics, University of Maryland
Catherine H. Crouch, Swarthmore College