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Physics
Completed Project

Active Learning Inside the Introductory Physics Lab and Classroom

Adam Warner, Vassar College ’17 and Prof. David Rishell 

Our project ranges from testing new lab equipment to integrating introductory physics labs onto iPads. Using Vernier software on iPads we are able to reduce the need for computers in the lab. The iPads have the ability to collect and share data in small groups, which allows students to all look at the same screen without being huddled around one computer or device. Most of our time this summer was allocated to placing introductory physics labs on iBooks using iBooks Author. iBooks is an app for iPads which enables the transfer of hard copy lab texts into an electronic format. Students will also be able to read a text that is supplemented with animations and narrations. The animations and narrations were created using a program called Hype. The iBooks app also facilitates administering quizzes. Students will be able to take quizzes either at the end of the lab to test their comprehension of the assignment or at the beginning of class to assure the professor that students completed the assigned reading. We used a third-party database called Bookry that allows for real time answers to be viewed by the professor during class.  This can help professors see what topics students are struggling with. For the future, we plan to analyze the effectiveness of our current prototypes, make appropriate improvements and develop additional tools and functionalities.