Proposal Title

Shifts in Students Attitudes toward an Integrated Math and Physics Curriculum

Session Type

Presentation

Room

P&A Rm 148

Start Date

July 2015

Keywords

Curriculum, Integrated, Physics, Math

Primary Threads

Curriculum

Abstract

In September of 2012, the University of Guelph launched a new first year introductory math and physics course. The Integrated Physical Science (IPS) course was designed to replace the traditional first year calculus and physics courses. The intent was that combining these courses would allow learning across these two disciplines to be mutually supportive. The content typical of first-year physical and mathematical sciences is fully retained with the math enhanced in support of some physics topics. The integration of schedules allows for a just-in-time approach to the provision of necessary mathematical tools needed to solve problems in physics, while simultaneously providing context to the mathematical concepts. An attitudinal survey was conducted on two cohorts of students who have been through the IPS course and one cohort of students who went through a standard program of separate first year math and physics courses. The two IPS cohorts were compared to the non-IPS students to inquire as to whether groups had a significant difference in attitudes along several categories. The preliminary results show indications that IPS students have a more positive and sophisticated attitude towards their first year undergraduate experience. This initiative is an exciting opportunity to enhance first-year science education and growth within our existing programs.

Elements of Engagement

The presentation will facilitate audience interaction and feedback.

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Jul 8th, 4:30 PM

Shifts in Students Attitudes toward an Integrated Math and Physics Curriculum

P&A Rm 148

In September of 2012, the University of Guelph launched a new first year introductory math and physics course. The Integrated Physical Science (IPS) course was designed to replace the traditional first year calculus and physics courses. The intent was that combining these courses would allow learning across these two disciplines to be mutually supportive. The content typical of first-year physical and mathematical sciences is fully retained with the math enhanced in support of some physics topics. The integration of schedules allows for a just-in-time approach to the provision of necessary mathematical tools needed to solve problems in physics, while simultaneously providing context to the mathematical concepts. An attitudinal survey was conducted on two cohorts of students who have been through the IPS course and one cohort of students who went through a standard program of separate first year math and physics courses. The two IPS cohorts were compared to the non-IPS students to inquire as to whether groups had a significant difference in attitudes along several categories. The preliminary results show indications that IPS students have a more positive and sophisticated attitude towards their first year undergraduate experience. This initiative is an exciting opportunity to enhance first-year science education and growth within our existing programs.