Course Reform MIT Style: Student Evaluations vs. Scientific Evidence

Course Reform MIT Style: Student Evaluations vs. Scientific Evidence

Physics Colloquium

Date

April 3, 2017 -
3:00pm to 4:00pm

Location

Marcus Nano

Room

1116-1118

Affiliation

MIT

The evaluation of most course reforms typically rests heavily on teacher and student evaluations; I’ll argue that this is unwise. In contrast, I’ll discuss course reform MIT style: select objectives, adopt metrics, experiment, and evaluate; recycle until objectives are achieved. Tellingly, educators call this “backward design”.

The MIT approach requires us to first discuss what should students learn? I’ll then describe our flipped classroom designed to teach strategic thinking and other expert traits in introductory physics. Three lines of evidence of success will be presented and one of failure.

Time remaining, I’ll compare learning from MasteringPhysics.com and edX.org – both used in our blended version of introductory Newtonian mechanics.