First in the World

In 2016, San José State University was awarded a grant via the First in the World program from the Department of Education. Our project is "Promoting Active Learning Strategies through the Flipped Classroom Model in STEM Gateway Courses at San José State University, California State University-Los Angeles, and Cal Poly Pomona." Our Project Director is Andy Feinstein, Provost of SJSU.

My role in this project is to implement the flipped classroom model into the calculus-based mechanics course at SJSU (Physics 50). Physics 50 is one of several gateway courses to STEM degrees. The physics team consists of myself and three other physics professors:

  • Dr. Homeyra Sadaghiani from Cal Poly Pomona (mechanics and electricity/magnetism)
  • Dr. Bijan Berenji from Cal State Los Angeles (mechanics and electricity/magnetism)
  • Dr. Ranko Heindl from San Jose State (electricity/magnetism)

To support the goals of this grant, I will

  • test-drive the flipped version of calculus-based mechanics in a small-classroom setting (40 students) in Summer 2016
  • maintain publicly-available webpages where I compile materials for the flipped classroom
  • maintain publicly-available webpages where I compile the FITW physics team's grant-related activities
  • create short videos on specific topics for class, with emphasis on problem-solving
  • create content to use in the flipped classroom (quizzes, etc)
  • Modify the lab and workshop activities to promote more active learning
  • provide structure to the time that students spend practicing and preparing outside the classroom
  • prepare for Fall '17 roll-out of the flipped classroom in the 200-student lecture
  • visit with physics departments at local community colleges that feed into SJSU's STEM degree programs
  • provide assistance to instructors of calculus-based mechanics at local community colleges and public high schools and to instructors of other STEM support courses at SJSU
  • teach my section of Physics 50 in the flipped format in Fall 2017 and compare pass rates and FCI scores with those of previous semesters.