Invited Speakers
Spring Meeting of the Illinois Section of the AAPT
March 28-29, 2014 - Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, Illinois


"Support for Updating Instructional Labs (and Demonstrations)"

Gabe Spalding
Physics Department
Illinois Wesleyan University

There has been significant growth of powerful ways in which the community of physics instructional staff and faculty members can help you to introduce new instructional lab modules (and demonstrations), as well as some of the reasons that new physics curricula strive to co-value practical knowledge with theoretical formalism, in ways that can be strongly synergistic. This talk celebrates the wonderful amount of assistance that is available to you within the extended community, and invites you to join the conversation.

"Beginnings and Endings: Using labs for introduction and assessment"

Diane Riendeau
Deerfield High School, Deerfield, Illinois

Laboratories aren't just for deriving equations and testing relationships anymore.  Explorations can help students access prior learning and establish a common set of experiences that instructors can draw upon during discussion.  Ending a unit with a lab assessment tests both content knowledge and laboratory skills.

"Interactive Online Laboratories in Intro Physics Classes"

Mats Selen
Physics Department, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

We have built an inexpensive battery-powered wireless laboratory system that allows students to do hands-on physics activities outside the classroom, guided by their own computer. The system, called IOLab, combines flexible software with a wireless data acquisition platform containing an array of sensors to sample and display real-time measurements of position, velocity, acceleration, force, rotation rate, orientation, magnetic fields, voltages, light intensity, sound intensity, pressure, and temperature.

In this talk I will demonstrate the IOLab system and will show results from two clinical studies done at the University of Illinois to assess the learning outcomes of students performing Interactive Online Laboratories in an independent setting.

"Lab Physics Instruction in Two Year Colleges"

Anthony Escuadro
Physical Sciences Department, Harold Washington College, Chicago

Physics labs at two year colleges can take advantage of their inherent strengths, such as small class sizes and flexible class scheduling, while at the same time make use of open-source and freely available computer simulations and tools for video analysis to combat the lack of resources or personnel that is common at many two-year colleges.  New models in peer instruction, such as the use of learning assistants during lecture and lab, are also becoming more widespread at two-year colleges in the effort to increase student engagement and retention

My talk will describe my experience at Harold Washington College in adapting many of these resources to our lab-based physics courses with the support of faculty, administration, and through partnerships with four-year universities.