From lecture to studio: why and how the Physics Department is changing stage one

Teaching spaces are fast changing to accommodate new approaches to curriculum and pedagogical advances. Separate lab, lecture, and tutorial spaces are increasingly being combined to promote active and collaborative learning in a streamlined approach.

In this month’s ILT seminar, I introduced SCALE-UP (Student-Centered Active Learning Environment with Upside-down Pedagogies), a resourceful way to introduce active learning to large introductory courses. In an effort to modernise its curriculum and pedagogical approach, the Physics Department decided to adopt a studio approach in its stage one advancing physics course.

During this session, I  described how and why the Physics Department made the switch, explained the essential features, and provided examples of activities that embrace the modernised space. I also presented preliminary results and reflections from the first semester of implementation.

Watch the video here


Dr Kathleen (Katie) Foote received her PhD from North Carolina State University in Physics Education Research with Dr Robert Beichner, the developer of SCALE-UP as her advisor. Her research focuses on how instructional innovations are disseminated, implemented, and sustained in university departments. When the Physics Department was looking for someone to modernise their first-year courses, she jumped at the opportunity to lead the radical change effort. She developed the curriculum, serves as a course coordinator, and teaches Physics 120 and 121, Advancing Physics I and II, respectively.


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