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Abstract Title: Examining the implementation of a new IPLS course at UNC-CH
Abstract: At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, we have completed the implementation of our redesigned introductory physics course for life science (IPLS) majors. The new course aligns introductory physics concepts with authentic biological applications. We were influenced by cognitive theories of learning to reform the pedagogy to confront or build upon students' prior knowledge and intuitions in order to develop more expert-like understandings. This reformed pedagogy, implemented in the lecture/studio format [1,2], fosters student participation and enculturation into the practices of the discipline, as advocated by situated models of learning. We will present data on the effectiveness of this course, including results from well-known concept inventories such as the FCI and CSEM, and student performance on exam questions. We will make comparisons to data collected prior to the course transformation and present a review of student survey data, C-LASS results, and comments from faculty teaching the course.

1. C.M. Sorensen, A.D. Churukian, S. Maleki, and D.A. Zollman, "The New Studio format for instruction of introductory physics," Am. J. Phys. 74, 1077-1082 (2006).
2. T. Furtak and T. Ohno, "Installing studio physics," Phys. Teach. 39, 11-15 (2001).

This work has been supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DUE-1323008.
Abstract Type: Symposium Talk
Parallel Session: Conceptual Issues and Content Revisions in the Introductory Physics Course for Life Science Students

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Alice D. Churukian
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
and Co-Presenter(s)
Duane L. Deardorff, David P. Smith, Colin S. Wallace, Laurie E. McNeil
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill