Overview

In this activity, students will create a concept map incorporating photos they have taken. This time, students are constrained to use less photos than the number of topics exemplified.

Prior to the activity, students are given a list of 10 concepts or scenarios related to kinematics and dynamics (4 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 7 photos. Students may reuse photos from the previous activity. Students import these into a Powerpoint (or equivalent) file, writing a brief ...

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In this activity, students will create a concept map incorporating photos they have taken. This time, students are constrained to use less photos than the number of topics exemplified.

Prior to the activity, students are given a list of 10 concepts or scenarios related to kinematics and dynamics (4 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 7 photos. Students may reuse photos from the previous activity. Students import these into a Powerpoint (or equivalent) file, writing a brief explanation of each photo's connection to the topic(s).

Students create a concept map, into which they must incorporate their photos as well as a given list of words (either as nodes or links). The list includes the words from the previous part, but is expanded to include dynamics.

Students return to their groups from Part 1 and review the photos taken by each member, determining which 7 photos best exemplify the 10 topics. Each group creates a concept map incorporating the required words and their chosen photos. This is completed into a Powerpoint (or equivalent) file.

Optionally, the completed map 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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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.

Context and requirements

Level College/First year university
Discipline Physics
Course Mechanics
Activity Content Kinematics and Dynamics
Technological Requirements Computers/laptops. Students must also have a device with which they can take photos.
Best Use Review

Author’s Notes

Benefits

Students now have to take photos which contain multiple topics, forcing them to think carefully about their choices.

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 with Part 1 and Part 3, 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.

Activity Pedagogical Components

Data Collection

INDIVIDUALLY, students take photos of objects which exemplify each of the chosen physics topics. This is done OUT OF CLASS.

Data Analysis

In GROUPS, and IN CLASS, students analyze the photos taken by each group member to determine which best represents each topic.

Concept Mapping

In GROUPS, students incorporate a given set of words and photos into a concept map. This work is done IN CLASS.

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