Hope College Physics Department
Research Experiences for Undergraduates
Summer 2007
Project Summary

 

Project Title:

College Physics Taught Through the Use of an E-Textbook

Student Name: William Statema
Student's Home Institution: Hope College
Research Advisor: Dr. Catherine Mader
Source of Support: This material is based upon work supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Education Scholars Program.

The College Physics course has long been known among students as a difficult course to understand. The ideas presented vary in complexity, but many topics are difficult to understand because a traditional textbook is often read as if it is a casual piece of literature. Because active reading is not employed, students learn very little content directly from the textbook, and depend on classroom time to learn the basics rather than dig deeper into the material. Thus, the College Physics textbook was converted into an electronic textbook with multiple goals in mind. The first goal is to model active reading strategies for the students, the second goal is to provide students with (nearly) instant feedback as they interact with the textbook, and the third goal is provide students with online experiences that clarify the concepts that are difficult to convey purely with written language.