Monday, April 02, 2018

Mechanical Universe High School Video Questions

Some of us are old enough to remember physics lectures. I may have even dabbled in that art during the first five years of my career. But its appeal faded as I placed increasing emphasis on more active learning techniques. The closest I get to lecture is guided discussion into a topic. 

We spend more time in laboratory, demonstration, and experimental activities these days.

But I do not banish all exposition as an enemy of learning. I outsource that task to the likes of Paul Hewitt (via Conceptual Physics Alive!) and The Mechanical Universe, especially the High School Adaptation

The High School Adaptation was originally released in oddly-grouped quads. For my purposes, I rearranged the episodes into sets that made more sense to me.

I couldn't show episodes of either series until I had question sets to accompany them. Active engagement in an otherwise passive activity, I suppose. The question sets I wrote for Conceptual Physics Alive! are distributed by Arbor Scientific. (You can get seven sets for free at the link.)

The sets of questions I developed to accompany The Mechanical Universe High School Adaptation episodes is now distributed at Teachers Pay Teachers: The Lessons of Phyz.

When I create a set of video questions for in-class viewing, I try to produce two different worksheets to diminish any wandering eyes tendencies of side-by-side table partners. I use a heavy font to increase legibility in low light since videos are often shown in diminished classroom illumination. The questions are to be answered while the video is playing.

The questions are also varied in type: fill in the blank, multiple choice, matching, and short answer. There are often illustrations involved in the questions. Importantly, these are low-level questions. They are not deep; they do not involve synthesis. They are not prompts for paragraph-length reflections. Their purpose is to keep students connected to the lesson in real time.

Too many video question sets I see strike me as impractical for real-time responses. They shoot for the upper reaches of the Bloom's Taxonomy mountain. I love high-level questions and use them as much as I can. But not during video play. Other question sets are wire-to-wire fill-in-the-blanks from the text of the narration. That's a bit extreme at the other end. I prefer to mix it up a bit while keeping it simple.

In any case, here are the sets of The Mechanical Universe High School Adaptation questions I've posted to TpT.

The Law of Falling Bodies · The Law of Inertia · Newton's Laws · Moving in Circles

Kepler's Laws · The Apple and the Moon · Navigating in Space · Curved Space and Black Holes

Conservation of Energy · Conservation of Momentum · Angular Momentum

Temperature and the Gas Laws · Harmonic Motion · Introduction to Waves

Electric Fields and Forces · Equipotentials and Fields · Potential and Capacitance · The Millikan Experiment

Simple DC Circuits · Magnetic Fields · Electromagnetic Induction · Alternating Current

Wave Nature of Light · Models of the Atom · Wave-Particle Duality

And now the bad news: If you don't already have the High School Adaptation edits of The Mechanical Universe, you can't really get them anymore. Intelecom had the distribution rights once upon a time, but it appears they have since dropped it from their offerings. If you're a card-carrying member of a library that subscribes to the Hoopla media service, you're in luck.

So much for my schemes of early retirement...

1 comment:

Mon Monque said...

The question sets I wrote for Conceptual Physics Alive! are distributed by Arbor Scientific. (You can get seven sets for free at the link.)

You might want to inform Arbor that the links to the free sets are broken...