It’s been a crazy couple months, but last night I finished up the flipped class videos covering the entire AP Physics C: Mechanics curriculum. My goal was to try and target all the major points of the course requirements in roughly 6 hours worth of videos, realizing, of course, that students would need some background in physics in order to handle the material at this speed. I have a bit of tweaking to do (there’s a minor math typo in the SHM video, for example, that I’ll redo at my earliest convenience), but I’m pretty excited that the entire set of videos clocks in right around 6:18:00.
When people first hear this, the typical reaction I receive is “you must not have done a good job to cover all that material in such a short period of time.” I look at it from the alternate perspective — I’m boiling down the course into the key concepts and examples that illustrate them. These videos are not meant to be a substitute for an in-the-classroom standard course — far from it, for that purpose, they would be an abysmal failure (as, I imagine, any video-based system would fail). Instead, these are meant as an additional resource, a tool, for students to review the take-away highlights from each subject, reinforcing major principles and applications. Physics is something you do, not something you know, therefore the meat of any course is taking resources such as these and applying them in a variety of situations. Practice, exploration, discovery — that’s how you learn. But having a concise review available on demand certainly can’t hurt.
So, for those interested in such a resource, I hope you find these videos useful and enjoyable. At the beginning of the year I’d never planned to undertake this project, but student requests in early September got me started, and ongoing feedback on the value of these has been tremendous. Our most recent unit, in which I completely flipped the classroom (absolutely no lecture in class, students watched videos at night and each day was hands-on exploration, lab, group problem solving, and reflection) led to the highest end-of-unit exam grades I’ve seen from a class to date. This reinforces how effective this method of instruction can be with motivated students who engage fully in the process.
In short, I hope others are also able to take some value from these videos. For the 6 hours of completed videos, I would estimate I’ve put in close to 120 hours of work (organizing, researching, presenting, taping, re-taping, re-re-taping, editing, producing, etc.) beyond what I would have done just to teach my standard lectures, but I believe I’ve created a resource I can use again and again, year after year, tweaking and updating the videos as I find improved methods and alternate explanations. Not sure I want to take on the E&M half of the course this year… I have a ton of other projects on my docket (some of which are quite extensive with looming deadlines), but would love your feedback if you find these of value, if you don’t, or if you’d like to see E&M completed as well.
Make it a great day!
Link to AP Physics C: Mechanics guide sheets (accompany videos)