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written by Eugenia Etkina
supported by the National Science Foundation
This learning cycle features 19 videotaped experiments, organized sequentially for introducing fundamentals of motion in introductory physics courses. Each video includes learning goal, prior information needed to understand the material, and elicitation questions. Topics include constant velocity, constant acceleration, falling objects, projectiles, and the physics of juggling. The instructional method is based on cognitive apprenticeship, in which students focus on the process of science by observing, finding patterns, modeling, predicting, testing, and revising. The materials were designed to mirror the activities of scientists when they construct and apply knowledge.

See Related Materials for links to the full collection by the same authors and for free access to an article explaining the theoretical basis for this instructional method.

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Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Motion in One Dimension
= Acceleration
= Gravitational Acceleration
= Velocity
- Motion in Two Dimensions
= Projectile Motion
- Newton's Second Law
= Force, Acceleration
Education Foundations
- Cognition
= Cognition Development
- High School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Problem/Problem Set
= Unit of Instruction
- Audio/Visual
= Movie/Animation
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Educators
- Learners
- video/quicktime
- text/html
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Access Rights:
Free access
© 2004 Rutgers University
1D motion, ISLE, Investigative Science Learning Environment, freefall, gravitational acceleration, gravity, kinematics, physics videos, projectiles, video clips
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created November 18, 2011 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
August 19, 2020 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
September 19, 2008
Other Collections:

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

4. The Physical Setting

4F. Motion
  • 3-5: 4F/E1a. Changes in speed or direction of motion are caused by forces.
  • 3-5: 4F/E1bc. The greater the force is, the greater the change in motion will be. The more massive an object is, the less effect a given force will have.
  • 6-8: 4F/M3a. An unbalanced force acting on an object changes its speed or direction of motion, or both.
  • 9-12: 4F/H1. The change in motion (direction or speed) of an object is proportional to the applied force and inversely proportional to the mass.
  • 9-12: 4F/H7. In most familiar situations, frictional forces complicate the description of motion, although the basic principles still apply.
  • 9-12: 4F/H8. Any object maintains a constant speed and direction of motion unless an unbalanced outside force acts on it.
4G. Forces of Nature
  • 3-5: 4G/E1. The earth's gravity pulls any object on or near the earth toward it without touching it.

9. The Mathematical World

9B. Symbolic Relationships
  • 9-12: 9B/H4. Tables, graphs, and symbols are alternative ways of representing data and relationships that can be translated from one to another.
9C. Shapes
  • 9-12: 9C/H3c. A graph represents all the values that satisfy an equation, and if two equations have to be satisfied at the same time, the values that satisfy them both will be found where the graphs intersect.

12. Habits of Mind

12C. Manipulation and Observation
  • 6-8: 12C/M3. Make accurate measurements of length, volume, weight, elapsed time, rates, and temperature by using appropriate devices.
12D. Communication Skills
  • 6-8: 12D/M6. Present a brief scientific explanation orally or in writing that includes a claim and the evidence and reasoning that supports the claim.

Common Core State Standards for Mathematics Alignments

Standards for Mathematical Practice (K-12)

MP.2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively.

High School — Functions (9-12)

Interpreting Functions (9-12)
  • F-IF.7.a Graph linear and quadratic functions and show intercepts, maxima, and minima.
  • F-IF.9 Compare properties of two functions each represented in a different way (algebraically, graphically, numerically in tables, or by verbal descriptions).
Building Functions (9-12)
  • F-BF.1.a Determine an explicit expression, a recursive process, or steps for calculation from a context.
  • F-BF.3 Identify the effect on the graph of replacing f(x) by f(x) + k, k f(x), f(kx), and f(x + k) for specific values of k (both positive and negative); find the value of k given the graphs. Experiment with cases and illustrate an explanation of the effects on the graph using technology. Include recognizing even and odd functions from their graphs and algebraic expressions for them.
Linear, Quadratic, and Exponential Models? (9-12)
  • F-LE.3 Observe using graphs and tables that a quantity increasing exponentially eventually exceeds a quantity increasing linearly, quadratically, or (more generally) as a polynomial function.
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E. Etkina, (2004), WWW Document, (
E. Etkina, Physics Teaching Technology Resource: Learning Cycles on Motion (2004), <>.
APA Format
Etkina, E. (2008, September 19). Physics Teaching Technology Resource: Learning Cycles on Motion. Retrieved July 24, 2024, from
Chicago Format
Etkina, Eugenia. Physics Teaching Technology Resource: Learning Cycles on Motion. September 19, 2008. (accessed 24 July 2024).
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Etkina, Eugenia. Physics Teaching Technology Resource: Learning Cycles on Motion. 2004. 19 Sep. 2008. National Science Foundation. 24 July 2024 <>.
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@misc{ Author = "Eugenia Etkina", Title = {Physics Teaching Technology Resource: Learning Cycles on Motion}, Volume = {2024}, Number = {24 July 2024}, Month = {September 19, 2008}, Year = {2004} }
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%A Eugenia Etkina %T Physics Teaching Technology Resource: Learning Cycles on Motion %D September 19, 2008 %U %O video/quicktime

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%0 Electronic Source %A Etkina, Eugenia %D September 19, 2008 %T Physics Teaching Technology Resource: Learning Cycles on Motion %V 2024 %N 24 July 2024 %8 September 19, 2008 %9 video/quicktime %U

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A link to the full collection of video-based learning cycles by the same author.

relation by Caroline Hall
Is Based On ISLE: Investigative Science Learning Environment

This is the website for ISLE (Investigative Science Learning Environment), the instructional approach upon which the Rutgers learning cycles for introductory physics are based.

relation by Caroline Hall

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