Dynamic e-learning modules for student lecture preparation

Timothy McIntyre, Margaret Wegener, Dominic McGrath


We have developed and demonstrated the effectiveness of a set of online interactive learning modules to accompany physics courses at first- and second-year university levels. Students access the modules prior to attending lectures to familiarize themselves with content which is then discussed and reaffirmed in class. Student surveys and access data show that students were much more likely to use material presented in this form, rather than a textbook, when preparing for lectures given in an active learning format. The students found that interactive simulations, videos of problem-solving approaches prepared by course staff, and quick-check immediate feedback questions were all useful tools for lecture preparation–none of which are available when using a traditional textbook for lecture preparation.

Full Text:



Bransford, J.D., Brown, A.L., & Cocking R.R. (1999) How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Christian, W. (2015) Physlets, Retrieved September 16, 2015 from http://webphysics.davidson.edu/applets/applets.html.

Clark, R., & Harrelson, G. (2002) Designing Instruction That Supports Cognitive Learning Processes. Journal Athletics Training 37 (4 suppl): S-152S-159.

deNoyelles, A., Seilhamer, R. (2013) eTextbook access, usage, and beliefs: implications for adoption in higher education. Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education 5 (2), 189–201.

“Educause” (2012) Things You Should Know about Flipped Classrooms, Retrieved December 13, 2013 from https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7081.pdf.

“Five Minute Physics” (2015), Retrieved September 7, 2015 from http://teaching.smp.uq.edu.au/fiveminutephysics/

Francis, P. (2013) Examplecasts: The unreasonable effectiveness of webcast worked examples in introductory university physics. Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education, Australian National University, pp 136–141, ISBN No. 978-0-9871834-2-2.

Friedman, T. L. (2013) Revolution Hits the Universities, The New York Times, Retrieved December 13, 2013 from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/27/opinion/sunday/friedman-revolution-hits-the-universities.html?_r=0.

“Google” (2014) How Visits are calculated in Analytics. Retrieved February 20, 2014 from https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/2731565.

Hake, R. (1998) Interactive-engagement vs. traditional methods: A six-thousand-student survey of mechanics test data for introductory physics courses. American Journal of Physics, 66, 65–74.

Head, K. (2013) Lessons Learned From a Freshman-Composition MOOC, The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved December 13, 2013 from http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/lessons-learned-from-a-freshman-composition-mooc/46337.

Herrington, J., & Oliver, R. (2000) An instructional design framework for authentic learning environments. Educational Technology Research and Development 48(3), 23-48.

Kennedy, G., Dalgarno, B., Bennett, S. J., Judd, T., Gray, K.,

& Waycott, J. (2008) Immigrants and natives: Investigating differences between staff and students’ use of technology. In

R. Atkinson and C. McBeath (Eds.), Annual Conference of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education, (pp. 484-492). Melbourne, Australia: Deakin University.

“KhanAcademy” (2015) Retrieved September 7, 2015 from https://www.khanacademy.org/.

Lage, M., Platt, G., & Treglia M. (2000) Inverting the Classroom: A gateway to Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment. Journal of Economic Education 31 (1), 30–43.

Lodge, J. (2013) The failure of Udacity: lessons on quality for future MOOCs, The Conversation. Retrieved December 13, 2013 from http://theconversation.com/the-failure-of-udacity-lessons-on-quality-for-future-moocs-20416.

McGrath, D., Wegener, M.J., McIntyre, T. J., Savage, C., & Williamson M. (2010) Student experiences of virtual reality: A case study in learning special relativity. American Journal of Physics 78 (8), 862–868.

McIntyre, T.J. (2015) Physics Applets, Retrieved September 16, 2015 from http://www.physics.uq.edu.au/people/mcintyre/php/laboratories/index.php?c=4.

McMullen, V. B. (2013) An Investigation of Course Requirements and Student Motivation to Complete Required Readings. The International Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 8(1).

Mangan, K. (2012), MOOC Mania, The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved December 13, 2013 from http://chronicle.com/article/Massive-Excitement-About/134678/.

Marden, N. Y., Ulman, L. G., Wilson, F. S., & Velan, G. M. (2013) Online feedback assessments in physiology: effects on students’ learning experiences and outcomes. Advances in Physiology Education 37(2) 192-200.

Mazur, E. (2004) Peer Instruction: A User’s Manual. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.

Nicol, D. J., & Macfarlane-Dick, D. (2006) Formative assessment and self-regulated learning: a model and seven principles of good feedback practice. Studies in Higher Education, 31(2), 199-218.

Phillips, B. J., & Phillips, F. (2007) Sink or skim: Textbook reading behaviors of introductory accounting students. Issues in Accounting Education 22, 21–44.

“PhoneGap” (2014) Retrieved February 3, 2014 from http://phonegap.com/.

Rayner, A. (2013) The University of Queensland, Personal Communication.

Scott, T. (2013) University of Otago, Personal Communication.

Wieman, C. E., Adams, W. K., & Perkins, K. K. (2008) PhET: Simulations That Enhance Learning. Science 322 (5902), 682–683.

Wolfe, J. (2015) PhysClips, Retrieved September 16, 2015 from http://www.animations.physics.unsw.edu.au/.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.20343/teachlearninqu.6.1.11

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Teaching & Learning Inquiry is the official journal of the
International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL)