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Pathways to increase problem solving skills, motivation and depth of knowledge in a first year physics course

posted on 2023-06-07, 22:31 authored by Winfried HensingerWinfried Hensinger
I will show how problem solving skills, motivation and depth of knowledge can be significantly increased by introducing a modified first year physics curriculum. This new curriculum consists of a series of educational interventions which can be applied in the frame-work and conditions of a standard Australian first year physics course. The problem context was a traditional first year physics course design. Students complained about a lack of motivation, and problem solving skills were not likely to be developed as well as they should be. The system unintentionally encouraged students to memorize knowledge and not necessarily to really understand the physics involved. A typical signature of this mechanism was the approach of many students to gain most of their skills a week before their exams rather than constructing them during the whole length of the course. I will introduce a series of educational interventions concerning assessment, learning inside and beyond the classroom as well as motivation, which I have applied and modified in the past two years. Outcomes, which will be discussed, indicate that these have successfully addressed the issues mentioned above. Furthermore I will also introduce some highly effective teaching evaluation schemes while critically evaluating some of the conventional ones.


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  • Published

Presentation Type

  • paper

Event name

Effective Teaching and Learning at University

Event location

University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

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Department affiliated with

  • Physics and Astronomy Publications

Full text available

  • No

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

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