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Research and Teaching

Introducing a sequence of (almost) unlimited, zero-penalty, interview-like assessments into an introductory physics course: student responses and considerations.

Journal of College Science Teaching—May/June 2024 (Volume 53, Issue 3)

By Minjoon Kouh

An introductory physics course may be run like a video game, where students have an almost unlimited number of attempts to demonstrate their competencies through a sequence of zero-penalty assessments until the end of a semester. Each checkpoint is conducted as a 10-minute, one-on-one oral interview with the instructor, and students are not allowed to move on to the next topic before passing the checkpoint on the current topic. This is an individualized approach to teaching physics, because students take the checkpoints at their own pace throughout the semester. Students strive to clear all checkpoints in sequence without a penalty for each attempt. This course was implemented as an online class with 32 undergraduate students in spring, 2021. It had mixed reviews: some students, who identified themselves as independent learners, found the format effective, and other students reported that it was difficult to stay on track.

Assessment Physics Research Postsecondary

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