I. Course Description
II. Required Course Package
This class presents a broad study, including laboratory experiences, of the areas of physics relevant to science teaching in grades K-12. Instruction will be differentiated according to the student needs. The course is designed for pre-service or in-service teachers who have a minimal physics background, and is only applicable toward a mojor or minor in physics for those students obtaining teacher certification.
In this course, everything you learn will be built up from direct observations. You will help design and carry out experiments, participate in online discussions, and also carry out your own personal observations, predictions, and reflections. Your ability to perform observations, take data, analyze results, and write reports will be enhanced by the use of computer-based sensors and software for data collection and display, mathematical calculations, graphing, drawing, the simulation of physical events, mathematical modeling, and word processing. This process will provide you with more than just knowledge about the particular concept under study. The goal is for you to understand why a particular scientific definition is made and be able to better comprehend the meaning of the physical laws that unfold.
Pre-requisites: PHYS 201 or PHYS 231 or PHYS 255
To succeed in this course it is necessary that you possess solid college-level reading, writing and critical thinking skills.
Math at the high school algebra level will be used, so the student should be familiar with basic algebra, geometry and trigonometry. Most importantly, you must demonstrate good time management skills and be highly self-motivated and self-disciplined.
230 Thompson Complex, Central Wing,
Western Kentucky University
1906 College Heights Blvd
Bowling Green, Kentucky 42101-1077
IV. EXPECTED COURSE OUTCOMES
Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:
A. Describe the strategies for teaching physics that result in the most student learning. Demonstrate familiarity with the neurological and pedagogical research supporting these strategies and with methods to implement the strategies in the classroom.
B. Understand how a scientific theory can be developed from systematic observations and experiments. Perform observations and experiments and build a conceptual framework to explain phenomena.
C. Learn to observe, classify, and describe one-dimensional motion using different representations including words, pictures, graphs, and mathematical equations.
D. Observe how forces affect the motion of an object that is moving along a line and use those observations to develop more specific hypotheses about how the motion of an object is affected by forces.
E. Develop computer skills needed to collect and analyze scientific data using various computer tools to effectively manage experimental uncertainty and instrumental sensitivity.
This course is is comprised of experiments that require preparation, execution, reporting, and collaborative reflection. There are four required quizzes to assess the degree to which material from each section is learned. The collaborative final project is the capstone experience of the course, using the skills developed by the previous experiments.
Your grade will be based on your performance of the course requirements.
Points are earned based on the values for each course requirement stated below.
All work turned in for a grade must be your own. No credit will be given for work that is not demonstrably your own.
The following grade scale will be used to determine your semester grade.
REQUIRED GRADED ASSIGNMENTS
Required In-Class Activities & Homework Assignments
The assignments are time-sensitive and have firm participation deadlines.
|400 pts total
Quizzes are time-sensitive and must be taken during the class meeting when each is scheduled. There are no make-ups for missed assignments.
|2 @ 50 pts ea
Exams are time-sensitive and must be taken during the period they are offered. There are no make-ups for missed exams.
| 2 @ 100 pts ea
Every student must submit a Proposal, arrange to join a group, collaborate with the group to complete the project, and produce a Project Report.
MAXIMUM TOTAL POINTS FOR THIS COURSE =
VI. Time Magnagement, Assignments & Due Dates
Plan to start the course promptly and complete each assignment well before its deadline. Visit the Blackboard online classroom at least every other day to read announcements, check the assignment schedule, take quizzes, and read/post discussion board messages. Students are responsible for keeping up with and adhering to the due dates and other instructions posted there in the course calendar and announcements areas of the Blackboard online classroom.
All assignments required for our course are provided as weekly assignment checklists within your Blackboard account. Click "Assignments" in the lefthand Blackboard menu to view them. Within every assignment folder is a list of all the topics and tasks for this portion of the learning module, including due date and possible points for each task. In case of a discrepancy, the information on Blackboard will be taken as the authoritative due date or point value.
Each quiz will be taken online via Blackboard after completing the assigned readings, reviewing the appropriate topics, and successfully submitting each of the assigned workbook entries.
VII. Capstone Project
This course requires completion of a collaborative experimental investigation. Each student is required to submit an individual project proposal that is meant to demonstrate the preliminary planning that has occurred and to offer your instructor an opportunity to assess the level of difficulty and to help you plan a project that can be completed in the appropriate time frame. Your group will decide what project to undertake and what you hope to learn. In addition to carrying out the necessary experimental measurements and data analysis, you will be expected to complete a concise written report of your investigation. Your project report is a group effort, with all group members expected to contribute in a substantial way. Download guidelines for the project proposal and report.
Beware of Murphy's Law. Working on your projects is your responsibility. Due to the independent nature of the work, there is a tendency for students to put off the project until the deadline for completion nears. Because there are usually unforeseen problems when attempting any scientific experiment, you are urged to begin your projects early. One of the skills we hope you learn is how to deal effectively with unforeseen (and sometimes difficult) problems.
VIII. Blackboard Policies for this course
At the WKU Blackboard website,
https://ecourses.wku.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp, you will find logon instructions about
how to gain entry into the online course for which you have registered.
In the online classroom, click the Tools button to find a manual explaining the various
functionalities of Blackboard. Please look it over and consult it when you have questions about
how to use the various Blackboard elements.
Once you successfully enter our online PHYS 410 coursepage on Blackboard, you can click on the
various icons there to read announcements, pick up assignments, take tests, view grades, use
the discussion board, use email, and consult other materials placed there.
You are responsible for reading all announcements posted in the Blackboard announcements area.
Check announcements each time you login being sure to read all announcements posted since the
last time you logged in.
Announcements are automatically shown to you on entry to the Blackboard online classroom.
Some are permanent and always show. Others only show for a limited time after being posted.
To see previously posted, nonpermanent announcements, select one of the tabs (last seven days,
last month, etc.) and use the scroll bar on the right of the screen.
- Discussion Board
Participation in online discussions is required and graded. The discussion
board conferences are asynchronous and have definite start and finish
dates indicated in the instructions for each conference. The purpose of the discussions is to stimulate study
of the weekly reading assignments.
Discussion board exchanges are time sensitive and, if missed, may not be made up.
However, there are more conference points available than can be used if you earned them all.
Missing a conference or two or a quiz or two will not prevent you from earning the necessary
points so long as you perform well on the discussions in which you do participate.
The following Discussion Board participation rules and guidelines apply to all posts:
---- Students must make at least two types of contributions to each posted discussion board topic.
---- Each new Thread Topics must respond to the discussion board assignment. No credit can be earned in a conference for reply postings unless a new thread is started.
---- Replies (or secondary postings) respond to the new threads other students.
---- Late postings to conferences will NOT be graded.
---- If you participate in more than the required number of
conferences then the posts with the lowest grades will be ignored.
- Weekly Assignments
Weekly assignments are available from the Blackboard menu by clicking on the button titled Assignments, and clicking on the assignment with the current week's date. Each weekly assignment has a checklist that indicates the topics, reading assignments, essays, conferences, quizzes and any other activities that must be completed during the week.
There are five quizzes during the semester that count toward your overall grade. Each of the quizzes must be taken online in Blackboard and must be completed during its window of availability. The tests are open-book, students may use any outside resource, including, but not limited to, textbook, notes, or the Internet.
The instructor will clear any locked quizzes. But don't expect the instructor
to be able to unlock it in time for you to retake a quiz if you get locked-out late on the last
day of its availability. It is strongly suggested that you take the test early in the week to
avoid this potential pitfall.
No make-up quizzes are given for unless the student  notifies the instructor prior to missing the quiz or  provides acceptable documentation indicating an exceptional circumstance caused the quiz to be missed without prior notification. Since the quiz is available for several days, it is rare that a student will be allowed to take a missed test.
IX. Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities who require accomodations (academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids
or services) for this course must contact the Office for Student Disability Service,
(270) 745-5004 V/TDD. Please do not request accomodations directly from the professor without a
letter from the office of Student Disability Services.