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Physical Review Physics Education Research
written by Elon Langbeheim, Ariel Abrashkin, Ariel Steiner, Haim Edri, Samuel A. Safran, and Edit Yerushalmi
Available Languages: English, Hebrew
This article describes the redesign of a project-based course on soft and biological materials to include computational modeling. Including the construction of computational models in the course is described as a shift from constructivism--a theory that characterizes the development of formal reasoning, to constructionism--a theory that focuses on learning while constructing artifacts. This shift ameliorated two drawbacks in the original course: the limited conceptualization of entropy resulting from an unproductive use of the disorder metaphor, and the dependence of most students on the teacher for writing theoretical explanations for their final papers. In the redesigned curriculum, computer simulations provide concrete dynamic representations that students can draw upon for developing nuanced, formal reasoning on entropy and the 2nd law of thermodynamics. In addition, core computational models act as a flexible web that can be extended and modified, and allow a significant proportion of the students to build theoretical models on their own. We conclude that while the new design reflects a shift towards constructionism, we did not adopt a fully constructionist approach, rather a blend of constructivist and constructionist approaches.

Editor's Note: This paper is part of the special APS collection "Curriculum Development: Theory into Design". See Related Materials for a link to the full collection.
Physical Review Physics Education Research: Volume 16, Issue 2, Pages 020147
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Applied Research
- Active Learning
= Modeling
- Curriculum Development
= Course
- Informal Education
- Instructional Material Design
= Project
- Pedagogy
= Multidisciplinary
Education - Basic Research
- Learning Theory
= Cognitive Modeling
Other Sciences
- Life Sciences
Thermo & Stat Mech
- Models
- Second and Third Law
= Applications
= Entropy
- High School
- Reference Material
= Research study
PER-Central Types Intended Users Ratings
- Curriculum
- Curriculum / Pedagogy Guide
- Researchers
- Professional/Practitioners
- Administrators
- Educators
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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.16.020147
Keywords:
Project-Based Learning, Soft Matter course, authentic learning, constructionism, constructivism
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created May 12, 2021 by Bruce Mason
Record Updated:
October 19, 2022 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
December 4, 2020
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Record Link
AIP Format
E. Langbeheim, A. Abrashkin, A. Steiner, H. Edri, S. Safran, and E. Yerushalmi, , Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 16 (2), 020147 (2020), WWW Document, (https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.16.020147).
AJP/PRST-PER
E. Langbeheim, A. Abrashkin, A. Steiner, H. Edri, S. Safran, and E. Yerushalmi, Shifting the learning gears: Redesigning a project-based course on soft matter through the perspective of constructionism, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 16 (2), 020147 (2020), <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.16.020147>.
APA Format
Langbeheim, E., Abrashkin, A., Steiner, A., Edri, H., Safran, S., & Yerushalmi, E. (2020, December 4). Shifting the learning gears: Redesigning a project-based course on soft matter through the perspective of constructionism. Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res., 16(2), 020147. Retrieved February 25, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.16.020147
Chicago Format
Langbeheim, E, A. Abrashkin, A. Steiner, H. Edri, S. Safran, and E. Yerushalmi. "Shifting the learning gears: Redesigning a project-based course on soft matter through the perspective of constructionism." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 16, no. 2, (December 4, 2020): 020147, https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.16.020147 (accessed 25 February 2024).
MLA Format
Langbeheim, Elon, Ariel Abrashkin, Ariel Steiner, Haim Edri, Samuel Safran, and Edit Yerushalmi. "Shifting the learning gears: Redesigning a project-based course on soft matter through the perspective of constructionism." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 16.2 (2020): 020147. 25 Feb. 2024 <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.16.020147>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Elon Langbeheim and Ariel Abrashkin and Ariel Steiner and Haim Edri and Samuel Safran and Edit Yerushalmi", Title = {Shifting the learning gears: Redesigning a project-based course on soft matter through the perspective of constructionism}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {16}, Number = {2}, Pages = {020147}, Month = {December}, Year = {2020} }
Refer Export Format

%A Elon Langbeheim %A Ariel Abrashkin %A Ariel Steiner %A Haim Edri %A Samuel Safran %A Edit Yerushalmi %T Shifting the learning gears: Redesigning a project-based course on soft matter through the perspective of constructionism %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 16 %N 2 %D December 4, 2020 %P 020147 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.16.020147 %O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article %A Langbeheim, Elon %A Abrashkin, Ariel %A Steiner, Ariel %A Edri, Haim %A Safran, Samuel %A Yerushalmi, Edit %D December 4, 2020 %T Shifting the learning gears: Redesigning a project-based course on soft matter through the perspective of constructionism %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 16 %N 2 %P 020147 %8 December 4, 2020 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.16.020147


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The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The AJP/PRST-PER presented is based on the AIP Style with the addition of journal article titles and conference proceeding article titles.

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Shifting the learning gears: Redesigning a project-based course on soft matter through the perspective of constructionism:

Is Part Of Curriculum Development: Theory into Design

A link to the full APS special collection on curriculum development, published 2020.

relation by Caroline Hall

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