Monday, May 27, 2013

End of School Year Reflections

Well, school is over and following are a few reflections.

1) Results of pre/post diagnostic tests were not earth chattering but they were very encouraging and satisfying in that they confirmed that my students on average have grasped core concepts of Kinematics and Dynamics. What remains to see is how the two genders faired and how the various majors faired as well for I like to keep track of both of these statistical results to fine tune the pedagogy. 

2) Informal surveys of students seem to show they were satisfied with their year of Physics overall but they seem to all find the Clickerisms (multiple choice conceptual questions that are answered using clickers and employing think-pair-share or peer instruction as advanced by Eric Mazur and other PER instructors) useful from an educational point of view. This is very encouraging for it implies that the majority of the students are sharing one of my views regarding the efficacy of the approaches advanced by the PER community. 

3) Two unexpected heartwarming occurrences in the last days of the year confirmed that I must have had a positive impact on at least two students. Interestingly, both students dropped Physics at the conclusion of first semester yet were kind enough to show their appreciation at the end of the school year. One of them brought me a bag of cookies with a thank you note and the other sent me an email with kind words of praise and topped it off by stating "That was the uncoolest thing I have ever done." in reference to the dropping of my Physix class. Thank you to both for their kindness, their classy acts, and the time they took to make not just my day but my whole year.   

4) This year's batch of Physix projects were of high quality and hopefully I will feature some of them in future posts (ISA!)

After reading the above, please share on the comments heartwarming things you experienced in your last days of classes and what reflections you may have drawn from your eventful year of Physix. Thank you

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