In this activity, students complete a reflective writing on torque, communicating and responding to each other both during the reading and after the writing is completed.
To begin, the instructor assigns a reading to be completed before class. Prior to the first class of the week, students complete the reading, commenting on it and asking for clarification on points of confusion, and responding to others. Perusall can be used to easily track and grade student comments and responses, though any online forum would be an adequate substitute. Students should write about 6 comments or responses, and are given a nominal grade based on the quality. This portion is completed as a class, with all students able to see each others comments and able to respond.
Once they have completed the reading assignment, students complete their reflective writing, responding to three prompts. The first should require an explanation of a physics-related concept (for example identifying torques in their day to day life), the second has them reflect about what they have learned (for example by describing what they found most interesting in the lecture), and the third has students describe what points they are still confused about. The reflective writings are uploaded to an online collaborative platform and are visible only within pre-assigned groups of 8-10 students. This submission should be made the day before lectures for the week begin.
Prior to the class, the instructor reads through a sample of the reflective writings to determine what points should be emphasized during class. The class typically begins with a brief mini-lecture, followed by solving problems in a worksheet (in groups of 4).
Before the end of the week, students must respond to at least two other reflective writings from their group of 8-10 in the online collaborative platform. These responses should be insightful and ask questions, clarify, or explain points.
Students can be graded both on the readings (receiving a grade if they make at least 6 comments or responses, which can be automatically graded if using Perusall) and on their reflective writings (graded out of 4: 2 marks for the reflective writing and 1 for each response).
Students will familiarize themselves with the concept of torque.
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