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Physical Review Physics Education Research
written by Remy Dou, Raluca E. Teodorescu, Adrian M. Madsen, Edward F. Redish, and Mark Reeves
Course syllabi are a required component of college and university courses. Syllabi present both broader course structuring practices, are a valuable "first impression" of what instructors want to offer their students, and are used as tools in course design. While best teaching practices suggest specific recommendations for syllabi development, there is little research evidence regarding their structure and use, especially in the context of introductory physics for life sciences (IPLS) courses. IPLS courses typically host students pursuing careers in the biological or health-related sciences, which are rapidly growing majors compared to other STEM degrees. Since few of these students have significant previous experience with physics, the course syllabus provides a first framing and establishment of expectations for them. In this paper, we analyzed how IPLS instructors write syllabi, how they use them in the course design process, and what experienced instructors recommend to be included in the syllabi. Furthermore, based on these analyses we compiled a set of 31 key components (organized in seven categories) for IPLS course syllabi supported by both widespread use and recommendations from experienced practitioners. We present these components and discuss implications for IPLS syllabus design. Specifically, we bring attention to the value of explicitly incorporating interdisciplinary language in syllabi narratives and learning objectives. This work provides guidance for IPLS course and syllabus design, and can also be relevant for modern interdisciplinary courses with features similar to IPLS courses.
Physical Review Physics Education Research: Volume 15, Issue 2, Pages 020143
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- General
Education - Applied Research
- Instructional Material Design
Education - Basic Research
- Sample Population
= Instructor: Faculty
General Physics
- Physics Education Research
Other Sciences
- Life Sciences
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Research study
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
- PER Literature
- Educators
- Professional/Practitioners
- Administrators
- Researchers
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Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.
Rights Holder:
American Physical Society
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.020143
NSF Numbers:
DUE
#1624158
Keywords:
IPLS syllabus development, Physics for Life Science majors, interdisciplinary course
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created June 15, 2020 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
January 31, 2023 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
November 26, 2019
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AIP Format
R. Dou, R. Teodorescu, A. Madsen, E. Redish, and M. Reeves, , Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 15 (2), 020143 (2019), WWW Document, (https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.020143).
AJP/PRST-PER
R. Dou, R. Teodorescu, A. Madsen, E. Redish, and M. Reeves, Examining course syllabi: Introductory physics for life sciences, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 15 (2), 020143 (2019), <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.020143>.
APA Format
Dou, R., Teodorescu, R., Madsen, A., Redish, E., & Reeves, M. (2019, November 26). Examining course syllabi: Introductory physics for life sciences. Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res., 15(2), 020143. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.020143
Chicago Format
Dou, R, R. Teodorescu, A. Madsen, E. Redish, and M. Reeves. "Examining course syllabi: Introductory physics for life sciences." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 15, no. 2, (November 26, 2019): 020143, https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.020143 (accessed 23 June 2024).
MLA Format
Dou, Remy, Raluca Teodorescu, Adrian Madsen, Edward F. Redish, and Mark Reeves. "Examining course syllabi: Introductory physics for life sciences." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 15.2 (2019): 020143. 23 June 2024 <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.020143>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Remy Dou and Raluca Teodorescu and Adrian Madsen and Edward F. Redish and Mark Reeves", Title = {Examining course syllabi: Introductory physics for life sciences}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {15}, Number = {2}, Pages = {020143}, Month = {November}, Year = {2019} }
Refer Export Format

%A Remy Dou %A Raluca Teodorescu %A Adrian Madsen %A Edward F. Redish %A Mark Reeves %T Examining course syllabi: Introductory physics for life sciences %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 15 %N 2 %D November 26, 2019 %P 020143 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.020143 %O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article %A Dou, Remy %A Teodorescu, Raluca %A Madsen, Adrian %A Redish, Edward F. %A Reeves, Mark %D November 26, 2019 %T Examining course syllabi: Introductory physics for life sciences %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 15 %N 2 %P 020143 %8 November 26, 2019 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.15.020143


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