Integrating all course resources for PHYS 131

Project TitleIntegrating all course resources for PHYS 131
Principal InvestigatorErfan Rezaie
Co-ApplicantsGeorg Rieger, Associate Professor of Teaching, Physics & Astronomy
Funding Year2022
Project SummaryPHYS 131 is the largest first-year physics course with approximately 1600 students per year, spread out over three terms and seven lecture sections. Students in the fall term (700 students) are currently using a commercial text (Hawke’s et. al.) and an open source homework platform (WebWork). Students in the other sections are using the open University Physics textbook from OpenStax and also WebWork. In addition, paper worksheets and tutorials (or pdfs on canvas), and lecture notes support the lecture activities, as well as clicker questions, content which WebWork can not host.

Having all these tools in different places is challenging for students and impedes the process of making connections and seeing the big picture. Moreover, sharing resources between instructors has been challenging as well. In addition, correcting or authoring questions in the WebWork platform is difficult, as it uses a programming language (Perl) that few instructors know.
By contrast, the two applicants have used edge.edX for the creation of course resources in three other courses: PHYS 100, PHYS 117, and PHYS 118. These resources have been very successful and are used in all lecture sections of these courses. In our view, the potential for integrating customized reading, lecture and tutorial worksheets, videos, homework and quizzes makes it a better platform than all commercial products. Moreover, edge.edX uses basic html language (Python scripts for more advanced questions) and most things like text with pictures can be created by cut and paste, similar to authoring on canvas. It thus supports improvement and growth of such a course resource. The goal or our project is therefore to move all resources into edge.edX and make it available to all sections in PHYS 131.
Grant type OER Rapid Innovation
Funded Amount $2,000