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New Physics Videos from the University of Guelph

Joanne O’Meara, Professor and Associate Chair University of Guelph

As part of a recent endeavour of at the University of Guelph to flip the classroom, we have created a library of YouTube videos to accompany one of our first year courses: Physics for the Biological Sciences.

This course routinely has an enrolment between 600 and 1000 students depending on the semester offered, and these students come from a varied background of experience with physics. Our hope was that through a ‘pre-lecture module’ administered online, students would watch videos and answer concept questions so that we could gauge the level of their background knowledge in a certain topic, and adjust what we teach in lecture. We are currently in our third offering of these pre-lecture modules and they have proved to be very successful, with over 80% of our students watching at least 90% of each of the videos.

As of last week we have made a large portion of them public on our YouTube channel:

We thought they may be an interesting resource because of the large overlap in material with the high school curriculum. Students find the light-board videos (where our instructors step through common problems in kinematics, forces, etc.) to be particularly helpful when preparing for tests and exams, such as this one on the general approach to solving projectile motion questions:

We also have videos of some of our bigger demos that can be hard to transport around campus and a few animations.

Our talented crew in the physics department machine shop built that light-board for us, in collaboration with people in OpenEd (our teaching support services team on campus). The light-board studio is now available to anyone on campus for recording instructional videos for their classes — a group of students in my science communication course used it last semester for a project as well. It’s a great addition to campus!

This is just the beginning and we hope that other physics teachers will find the site useful as we continue to add to the library. As such, are there any videos that would be of particular interest to your students? Specific topics that you think would be helpful? We’d love to get some feedback!

Thanks, and let us know what you think!
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