At a Glance

Discipline

  • Physics

Instructional Level

  • College & CEGEP
  • University

Course

  • Mechanics

Tasks in Workflow

Social Plane(s)

  • Individual
  • Group

Type of Tasks

  • Collecting & seeking information
  • Discussing
  • Solving problems
  • Writing

Technical Details

Useful Technologies

  • Computers/laptops
  • Students must also have a device with which they can take photos

Class size

  • Small (20-49)

Time

Single class period (< 90 mins)

Overview

In this three-part activity, students will create a concept map for each part incorporating the photos they have taken.

Part 1: Prior to the activity, students are given a list of 4 concepts or scenarios related to kinematics and are instructed to take photos which clearly demonstrate each of those topics.

Part 2: Prior to the activity, students are given a list of 10 concepts or scenarios related to kinematics and dynamics (4 from the previous part and 6 new ones) and are instructed to take photos which clearly demonstrate each of those topics. The twist this time is that students must ...

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In this three-part activity, students will create a concept map for each part incorporating the photos they have taken.

Part 1: Prior to the activity, students are given a list of 4 concepts or scenarios related to kinematics and are instructed to take photos which clearly demonstrate each of those topics.

Part 2: Prior to the activity, students are given a list of 10 concepts or scenarios related to kinematics and dynamics (4 from the previous part and 6 new ones) and are instructed to take photos which clearly demonstrate each of those topics. The twist this time is that students must accomplish this using only 7 photos. Students may reuse photos from the previous part.

Part 3: Prior to the activity, students are given a list of 16 concepts or scenarios related to kinematics and dynamics (10 from the previous activity and 6 new ones) and are instructed to take photos which clearly demonstrate each of those topics. The twist this time is that students must accomplish this using only 10 photos. Students may reuse photos from the previous parts.

For each part, students import the photos into a PowerPoint (or equivalent) file, writing a brief explanation of each photo's connection to the topic(s).

Students are told they will be creating concept maps, into which they must incorporate their photos as well as a given list of words (either as nodes or links). The instructor gives a brief description of concept maps, showing examples. For Part 2, the list includes the words from the previous part, but is expanded to include dynamics. For Part 3, the list is expanded to include energy and work.

Students are assigned to pairs or groups of 3-4 (which stay the same for completing all parts). For each part, students review the photos taken by each member, determining which photos best exemplify the specific topics. Each group creates a concept map for each part incorporating the required words and their chosen photos. This is completed into PowerPoint (or equivalent) files.

Optionally, the completed maps and files with individual work can be sent to the instructor for grading or uploaded into an online collaborative platform to be discussed or peer reviewed by other groups.

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Instructional Objectives

  • Students find real-world examples of the concepts they have learned, applying their physics knowledge.
  • Students make connections between learned concepts and learn how they relate to each other.

Workflow & Materials

Activity Workflow

Photo Concept Maps: Parts 1, 2 & 3

Download

Activity Workflow

Photo Concept Map: Parts 1, 2 & 3

Download

Photo Concept Maps CourseFlow

Link to CourseFlow Tool

Link

Contributor's Notes

Michael Dugdale
Michael Dugdale

John Abbott College, Montreal, QC

Benefits

This activity addresses the issue of students treating physics as something that just happens in physics classrooms. Students don’t normally incorporate their physics knowledge to everyday life, and this gets them finding examples of that. Working with day to day experiences has an impact in their epistemic frame. by choosing the topic carefully you can also address specific misconceptions (for example, normal forces don’t always point up).

This activity gets students conversing about the concepts they have learned and making connections between them.

Challenges

It is hard work managing and assessing this activity; this is a big project. It’s a lot of time for the students as well. It may be possible to reduce your workload through peer assessment, but then the students have to do even more.

Tips

This activity is best used by combining all 3 Photo Concept Maps, which expand it to different topics. The three combined can form the main project for a course.

The intent is that the photos are exemplars, not just a photo that happens to contain the topic.

This is particularly good for mechanics, as opposed to electricity and magnetism which tends to be more abstract.

Applied Strategies

  1. 1
    Concept Mapping

Feedback

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