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Learn physics by DOING physics.

All of our introductory-level classes utilize active learning methods that have been proven effective in pedagogical research.

Making the most of your physics classes.

Physics education research has repeatedly proven the effectiveness of a "flipped classroom" environment, which centers on student-student interactions. The classrooms allow you to tackle tough problems with others in class so that you are more prepared to tackle similar problems on homework and tests.

The Ithaca College Department of Physics & Astronomy were early leaders in the design and creation of a Performance-Based Physics Lab. Our PBP lab was developed in collaboration with Physics Education Researcher and active learning pioneer, Robert Beichner (North Carolina State University) beginning in 2005. In the years since, our PBP Lab has been significantly updated and remains a state-of-the-art space for active learning and collaboration.

Active learning classrooms put Ithaca College above the rest.

Active learning classrooms like our PBP lab are designed to facilitate interactions between students working on problem-solving activities, experiments, simulations, and hands-on activities. Instead of separating traditional lecture from lab, our PBP lab allows us to integrate traditional lecture with more active components so in a typical class period, you might end up doing all of the above! The pedagogy has been derived from the proven SCALE-UP (Student-Centered Active Learning Environments with Upside-down Pedagogies) developed by Robert Beichner (video) and other physics education researchers.

Why do active learning?

It leads to improved learning and retention for students of all levels, genders, and races. Additionally, instructors approach the class with intentional pedagogies that lead to more effective learning for you. (Read more about this research at PhysPort.)

Selected Physics Education Research Publications from IC about Active Learning

Saltzman, J., M. F. Price, and M. B. Rogers. 2016. Initial study of neutral post-instruction responses on the Maryland Physics Expectation Survey. Physical Review Physics Education Research 12.1 (2016): 013101.

Price, M. and M. Rogers. 2016. Teaching Nature of Science through Scientific Models: The Geocentric vs. Heliocentric CosmologyJournal of College Science Teaching. 46 (2) pp. 58-62.

Rogers, M., M. Price, L. Keller, and A. Crouse. 2015. Implementing Comprehensive Reform of Introductory Physics at a Primarily Undergraduate Institution: A Longitudinal Case Study. Journal of College Science Teaching. V44 (3) pp. 90-98.

Kregenow, J., M. Rogers, M. Price. 2011. Is there a "back" of the room when the teacher is in the middle?Journal of College Science Teaching. V60 (6).