COURSE GOALS FOR THE SCALE-UP CURRICULUM

Measurable learning objectives of what we would like students to achieve after one year of SCALE-UP introductory physics

 

I. Students should develop a good functional understanding of physics.
They should be able to:

A. describe and explain physics concepts including knowing where and when they apply
B. apply physics concepts when solving problems and examining physical phenomena
C. apply concepts in new contexts (transfer)
D. translate between multiple-representations of the same concept (for example: between words, equations, graphs, and diagrams)
E. combine concepts when analyzing a situation.
F. evaluating explanations of physical phenomena

II. Students should begin developing expert-like problem solving skills.
They should be able to:

A. satisfactorily solve standard textbook problems
B. apply all or part(s) of the GOAL expert problem-solving protocol in any context
C. solve more challenging problems, including:

1. context-rich ("Real World") problems
2. estimation problems
3. multi-step problems
4. multi-concept problems
5. problems requiring qualitative reasoning

D. evaluate other people’s written solutions and solution plans

III. Students should develop laboratory skills.
They should be able to:

A. interact (set up, calibrate, set zero, determine uncertainty, etc.) with an apparatus and make measurements
B. explain the physical principles underlying the operation of the apparatus , measurements, physical situation being studied and analysis of data
C. design, execute, analyze, and explain a scientific experiment to test a hypothesis
D. evaluate someone else’s experimental design

IV. Students should develop technology skills.
They should be able to:

A. use simulations to develop mathematical models of physical situations
B. utiize a spreadsheet to graph and do curve fitting
C. find information on the web
D. use microcomputer, video, and web-based software and hardware for data collection and analysis

V. Students should improve their communication, interpersonal, and questioning skills.
They should be able to:

A. express understanding in written and oral forms by explaining their reasoning to peers
B. demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of physics in written assignments
C. discuss experimental observations and findings
C. present a well-reasoned argument supported by observations and physical evidence
D. evaluate oral arguments, both their own and those espoused by others
E. function well in a group
F. evaluate the functioning of their group

VI. Students should retain and/or develop student cognitive attitudes and beliefs (expectations) that are favorable for learning physics with deep understanding.
They should:

A. believe that understanding physics means understanding the underlying concepts and principles instead of focusing on knowing and using equations
B. see physics as a coherent framework of ideas that can be used to understand many different physical situations
C. see what they are learning in the classroom as useful and strongly connected to the real world
D. be cognizant of the scientific process/approach and how to apply it
E. indicate a willingness to continue learning about physics and its applications
F. see themselves as part of a classroom community of learners