University of Maryland
The Physics Education Research Group at the University of Maryland has developed a series of tutorials for introductory calculus-based physics using M.U.P.P.E.T. and other programs from Physics Academic Software.
Computer Tutorials in Physics
These tutorials are meant to be used in a group learning environment in which 2-4 students work together at one computer. They are meant to discuss and answer the questions in the tutorials among themselves. It is useful to have a facilitator (a grad student or faculty member) who is available to answer questions and to initiate discussions on tricky points.
It is best if the facilitators do NOT answer questions directly, or lead the students through the reasoning. The method works better if the facilitators engage in a "pseudo-Socratic dialog" by asking leading questions and then letting the students work out the answers for themselves.
This method is discussed in a number of papers in the literature, including:
- L. C. McDermott and P. S. Shaffer, "Research as a guide for curriculum development: An example from introductory electricity. Part I: Investigation of student understanding", Am. J. Phys. 60 (1992) 994; erratum, ibid. 61 (1993) 81.
- R. Hake, "Socratic pedagogy in the introductory physics laboratory", The Physics Teacher 30 (1992) 546.
- Robert A. Morse, "The classic method of Mrs. Socrates" The Physics Teacher 32 (1994) 276.
- Plato, "The Classic Socratic Method", The Physics Teacher 32 (May, 1994) 138.
Computer Based Tutorials
All of the tutorials below exist and have been tested with students. Those highlighted in blue may be obtained with a click of the mouse. Those not highlighted have not yet been translated to HTML. Watch this space for further developments!
Oscillations and Waves
- The Simple Harmonic Oscillator
- The Pendulum
- Standing Waves
Electricity and Magnetism
* Uses EMField by D. Trowbridge and B. Sherwood from Physics Academic Software
Comments and suggestions on the tutorials are most welcome and should be sent by e-mail to the author (below).
- Bound States
- The Shape of the Wave Function
U. of Md. Physics Education Research Group HomePage
U. of Md. Computers in Physics Education HomePage
Physics Academic Software HomePage
This page prepared 23. March 1995 by
Edward F. Redish
Department of Physics
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Phone: (301) 405-6120