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written by Charles Baily, Sam B. McKagan, Katherine Perkins, and Carl E. Wieman
This website contains lectures, homework, exams, and other materials for a PER-based large lecture modern physics course for engineering majors.  This course has been transformed by radically changing both the content and the learning techniques implemented in lecture and homework. Traditionally this course has been taught in a manner similar to the equivalent course for physics majors, focusing on mathematical solutions of abstract problems. Based on interviews with physics and engineering professors, we developed a syllabus and learning goals focused on content that was more useful to our actual student population: engineering majors. The content of this course emphasized reasoning development, model building, and connections to real world applications. In addition we implemented a variety of PER-based learning techniques, including peer instruction, collaborative homework sessions, and interactive simulations. We have assessed the effectiveness of reforms in this course using pre/post surveys on both content and beliefs. We have found significant improvements in both content knowledge and beliefs compared with the same course before implementing these reforms and a corresponding course for physics majors.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Modern Physics
- General
- Upper Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Curriculum
PER-Central Types Intended Users Ratings
- Curriculum
- Curriculum / Course Package
- Educators
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Access Rights:
Limited free access
Homework and exam solutions are available to instructors by request only.
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 license. Instructors and education researchers are free to use and adapt these materials for non-commercial purposes.
Rights Holder:
Regents of the University of Colorado
NSF Number:
Modern Physics, PER-based Learning Techniques, Reformed Curriculum, Research-based Curriculum
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created March 15, 2007 by Sam McKagan
Record Updated:
January 8, 2020 by Bruce Mason
Last Update
when Cataloged:
May 1, 2011
Other Collections:

ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
C. Baily, S. McKagan, K. Perkins, and C. Wieman, (2009), WWW Document, (https://physicscourses.colorado.edu/EducationIssues/ModernPhysics/).
C. Baily, S. McKagan, K. Perkins, and C. Wieman, SEI: Modern Physics Course Materials (2009), <https://physicscourses.colorado.edu/EducationIssues/ModernPhysics/>.
APA Format
Baily, C., McKagan, S., Perkins, K., & Wieman, C. (2011, May 1). SEI: Modern Physics Course Materials. Retrieved July 19, 2024, from https://physicscourses.colorado.edu/EducationIssues/ModernPhysics/
Chicago Format
Baily, C, S. McKagan, K. Perkins, and C. Wieman. SEI: Modern Physics Course Materials. May 1, 2011. https://physicscourses.colorado.edu/EducationIssues/ModernPhysics/ (accessed 19 July 2024).
MLA Format
Baily, Charles, Sam McKagan, Katherine Perkins, and Carl Wieman. SEI: Modern Physics Course Materials. 2009. 1 May 2011. 19 July 2024 <https://physicscourses.colorado.edu/EducationIssues/ModernPhysics/>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Charles Baily and Sam McKagan and Katherine Perkins and Carl Wieman", Title = {SEI: Modern Physics Course Materials}, Volume = {2024}, Number = {19 July 2024}, Month = {May 1, 2011}, Year = {2009} }
Refer Export Format

%A Charles Baily %A Sam McKagan %A Katherine Perkins %A Carl Wieman %T SEI: Modern Physics Course Materials %D May 1, 2011 %U https://physicscourses.colorado.edu/EducationIssues/ModernPhysics/ %O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source %A Baily, Charles %A McKagan, Sam %A Perkins, Katherine %A Wieman, Carl %D May 1, 2011 %T SEI: Modern Physics Course Materials %V 2024 %N 19 July 2024 %8 May 1, 2011 %9 text/html %U https://physicscourses.colorado.edu/EducationIssues/ModernPhysics/

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Citation Source Information

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.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

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