The Physics Suite
In 1997 and 1998,Wiley's physics editor, Stuart Johnson, and an informally constituted
group of curriculum developers and educational reformers known as the Activity
Based Physics Group began discussing the feasibility of integrating a broad array of
curricular materials that are physics education research-based. This led to the assembly
of the Activity Based Physics Suite. The Physics Suite
includes materials that can be combined flexibly to meet the needs of instructors
working in vastly different learning environments. The Interactive Lecture
is designed primarily for use in lecture sessions. Other Suite
materials can be used in laboratory settings including the Workshop Physics Activity
the Real Time Physics Laboratory modules,
3 and Physics by Inquiry.
elements in the collection are suitable for use in recitation sessions such as the
University of Washington Tutorials in Introductory Physics (available from Prentice
and a set of Quantitative Tutorials
6 developed at the University of Maryland.
A textbook entitled Understanding Physics has been developed for use with the other
The Activity Based Physics Suite is rounded out with a collection of thinking problems,
developed at the University of Maryland. A more detailed description of the Physics Suite elements follows.
Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite
Interactive Lecture Demonstrations
Tutorials in Introductory Physics
Physics by Inquiry
The Activity Based Physics Tutorials
The Understanding Physics Video CD for Students
This book is not only the "Instructors Manual" for Understanding
Physics, but it is also a book for anyone who is interested in learning about
recent developments in physics education. It is a handbook with a variety of
tools for improving both teaching and learning of physics-from new kinds of
homework and exam problems, to surveys for figuring out what has happened
in your class, to tools for taking and analyzing data using computers and video.
The book comes with a Resource CD containing 14 conceptual and 3 attitude
surveys, and more than 250 thinking problems covering all areas of introductory
physics, resource materials from commercial vendors on use of computerized
data acquisition and video, and a variety of other useful reference materials.
(Instructors can obtain a complimentary copy of the book and Resource CD,
from John Wiley & Sons.)
RealTime Physics is a set of laboratory materials that uses computer-assisted data acquisition to help
students build concepts, learn representation translation, and develop an understanding
of the empirical base of physics knowledge. There are four modules in
the collection: Module 1: Mechanics (12 labs), Module 2: Heat and Thermodynamics
(6 labs), Module 3: Electricity and Magnetism (10 labs), and Module 4: Light and
Optics (in production). (Available both in print
and in electronic form from John Wiley & Sons.)
by David Sokoloff (University of Oregon), Ron Thornton (Tufts University),
and Priscilla Laws (Dickinson College).
Interactive Lecture Demonstrations
ILDs are worksheet-based guided demonstrations
designed to focus on fundamental principles and address specific naive
conceptions. The demonstrations use computer-assisted data acquisition tools to
collect and display high quality data in real time. Each ILD sequence is designed
for delivery in a single lecture period. The demonstrations help students build
concepts through a series of instructor led steps involving prediction, discussions
with peers, viewing the demonstration and reflecting on its outcome.The ILD collection
includes sequences in mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity, optics and
more. (A set of mechanics ILD's is currently available from Vernier Software and Hardware. A
more complete set of modules is currently in production at John Wiley & Sons. For more information,
contact David Sokoloff at firstname.lastname@example.org)
by David Sokoloff (University of Oregon) and Ron Thornton (Tufts University).
Workshop Physics consists
of a four part activity guide designed for use in calculus-based introductory
physics courses.Workshop Physics courses are designed to replace traditional lecture
and laboratory sessions. Students use computer tools for data acquisition,
visualization, analysis and modeling. The tools include computer-assisted data
acquisition software and hardware, digital video capture and analysis software,
and spreadsheet software for analytic mathematical modeling. Modules include
Classical Mechanics (Modules 1 & 2), Heat, Temperature and Nuclear Physics (Module 3), and Electricity
& Magnetism (Module 4). (Available both in print from
John Wiley & Sons and in electronic form on The Physics
by Priscilla Laws (Dickinson College).
consist of a set of worksheets designed to supplement instruction by lectures and
textbook in standard introductory physics courses. Each tutorial is designed for
use in a one-hour class session in a space where students can work in small groups
using simple inexpensive apparatus. The emphasis in the tutorials is on helping
students deepen their understanding of critical concepts and develop scientific
reasoning skills. There are tutorials on mechanics, electricity and magnetism,
waves, optics, and other selected topics. (Available in print from
Upper Saddle River, New Jersey)
Physics by Inquiry
curriculum consists of a set of laboratory-based modules that emphasize the development
of fundamental concepts and scientific reasoning skills. Beginning with
their observations, students construct a coherent conceptual framework through
guided inquiry. Only simple inexpensive apparatus and supplies are required. Developed
primarily for the preparation of precollege teachers, the modules have
also proved effective in courses for liberal arts students and for underprepared
students. The amount of material is sufficient for two years of academic study.
(Available in print from John Wiley & Sons.)
by Lillian C. McDermott and the
Physics Education Group at the University of Washington at the University of Washington.
The Activity Based Physics Tutorials
These tutorials, like those developed
at the University of Washington, consist of a set of worksheets developed to
supplement lectures and textbook work in standard introductory physics courses.
But, these tutorials integrate the computer software and hardware tools used in
other Suite elements including computer data acquisition, digital video analysis,
simulations, and spreadsheet analysis. Although these tutorials include a range of
classical physics topics, they also include additional topics in modern physics.
(Only available electronically
from the University of Maryland Physics Education Research Group Website.
A CD is being prepared by John Wiley & Sons for distribution of the Activity Based
Physics Tutorials as part of the Physics Suite CD.)
by Edward F. Redish and the University of Maryland Physics Education Research Group.
This new text (which is based on the 6th Edition of Halliday, Resnick and Walker's Fundamentals
of Physics) is designed for compatibility with other Activity Based Physics Suite elements.
Authors Karen Cummings, Priscilla Laws, E.F. Redish and Pat Cooney have incorporated some
new features including:
1. Stronger Storyline to link topics throughout text.
2. More emphasis on the observational basis of physics, including sample data acquired in
introductory physics laboratories.
3. Narratives rewritten to address student learning difficulties.
4. Incorporation of Active Learning Opportunities.
5. Use of the New Mechanics Sequence.
6. Introduction of more systematic notation conventions.
Available in print from John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
This CD contains a collection of the video clips that are introduced in Understanding
Physics narrative and alternative problems. The CD includes a number
of QuickTime movie segments of physical phenomena along with QuickTime
player software and VideoPoint Lite analysis software. Students can view video
clips as they read the text, reproduce data presented in text graphs or complete
video analyses based on assignments designed by instructors. (In Production at John Wiley & Sons,
for more information contact Priscilla Laws at email@example.com)
1- David R. Sokoloff and Ronald K. Thornton, "Using Interactive Lecture Demonstrations to Create an
Active Learning Environment." The Physics Teacher, 35, 340-347, September 1997.
2- Priscilla W. Laws,Workshop Physics Activity Guide, Modules 1-4 w/ Appendices (John Wiley & Sons, New
3- David R. Sokoloff, RealTime Physics, Modules 1-2, (John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1999).
4- Lillian C. McDermott and the Physics Education Group at the University of Washington, Physics by
Inquiry (John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1996).
5- Lillian C. McDermott, Peter S. Shaffer, and the Physics Education Group at the University of Washington,
Tutorials in Introductory Physics, First Edition (Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River,NJ, 2002).
6- Richard N. Steinberg, Michael C.Wittmann, and Edward F. Redish, "Mathematical Tutorials in Introductory
Physics," in, The Changing Role Of Physics Departments In Modern Universities, Edward F. Redish
and John S. Rigden, editors, AIP Conference Proceedings 399, (AIP, Woodbury NY, 1997), 1075-1092.
7- K. Cummings, P. Laws, E.F. Redish, P.J. Cooney, Understanding Physics. (John Wiley & Sons, New York, 2004).