Questions That Engage Students in a Socratic-dialogue Help Sequence

Interactive Examples (IE's) are quantitative homework problems whose "help" comes in the form of more questions. Eventually, enough information is given in the helps to work the problems, but we hope that as students work their way through these examples, they acquire some better understanding of how to approach these kinds of problems. In particular, we hope that these examples help students learn to develop problem-solving strategies that are based on conceptual understanding rather than equation manipulation. In fact, once the student correctly answers the initial problem, we present a recap of the solution in terms of sequential conceptual, strategic and quantitative analyses. Following the recap, we ask the student some conceptual follow-up questions to test understanding.

Complete sets of Interactive Examples were introduced into the algebra-based sequence (101, 102) in the fall semester of 2000 and into the calculus-based electricity & magnetism course (212) in the fall semester of 2001. We introduced a complete set of Interactive Examples into the calculus-based mechanics course (211) in the fall semester of 2002.

New Interactive Examples!

We have just recently introduced IE's into the calculus-based Thermal Physics (213) and Quantum & Waves Physics
(214) courses in the fall semester of 2005.

Try an Interactive Example

IE of the Day We have created a website that displays a new Interactive Example each day.
Check in daily or create a link to the website to try our IE challenge.

We welcome comments on these examples. Please send comments to Gary Gladding.

If you have questions about this page, please e-mail Tim Stelzer.
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