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 develop a knowledge of specific physics principles and concepts including knowing where and when they apply
- They should develop the ability to use and recognize the use of concepts when solving problems and exercises
- They should develop the ability to apply concepts to new contexts (transfer)
- They should develop the ability to translate their conceptual understanding between multiple-representations (for example: between words, equations, graphs, and diagrams)
II. Students should begin developing expert-like problem solving skills
A. They should know how to use an expert-like strategy to solve problems.
1. Students should develop the ability to plan a solution
2. They should to use a strategy like GOAL in any context
B. They should be able to perform better on standard problems
1. More correct responses
2. Demonstrate deeper understanding in solving standard problems
C. They should be able to solve more challenging problems
1. Context rich problems
2. Estimation problems
3. Multi-step problems
D. They should be able to evaluate other people’s written solutions and solution plans
E. They should be able to test a hypothesis
III. Students should develop laboratory skills
- Students should have the ability to interact with an apparatus and make measurements
- Students should understand and be able to connect physics principles to the apparatus, measurements, and analysis of measurement data
- Students should understand how and why the apparatus works
- Students should have the ability to design, execute, analyze, and explain a scientific experiment
1. Ability to execute and explain an experiment that someone else has designed
2. Ability to evaluate someone else’s experimental design
IV. Students should develop technology skills
- Students should be able to use simulations and develop mathematical modeling of physical situations
- Students should learn technology skills related to networking computers, use of web pages and search engines, and the use of technical software applications.
V. Students should improve their communication, interpersonal, and questioning skills
A. They should have the ability to express understanding in written and oral forms
1. They should be able to explain their reasoning to peers.
2. They should be able to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of physics in written assignments
- They should be able to be able to present a well-reasoned argument supported by observations and physical evidence
- They should be able to evaluate oral arguments, both their own and those espoused by others
- They should be able to develop the inquiry and social skills necessary to function well in a group (team skills)
VI. Students should retain and/or develop student cognitive attitudes and beliefs (expectations) that are favorable for learning physics with understanding.
- Students should see what they are learning in the classroom as useful and strongly connected to their own real world.
- Students should believe that understanding physics means understanding the underlying concepts and principles instead of focusing on knowing and using equations
- Students should see themselves as part of a classroom community of learners
- Students should see physics as a coherent framework of ideas that can be used to understand many different physical situations
- Students should have a good understanding of physics is and how it is done.