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Iowa State University

Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

1999-2000 Miller Faculty Fellowships

Fellows: David Meltzer, Thomas Greenbowe
Proposal Title: "Development of Active Learning Curricular Materials in Thermodynamics for Physics and Chemistry"
Description: This is a project to create new curricular materials for the study of thermodynamics, which would have a direct impact on instruction both in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and the Department of Chemistry. We will utilize educational resources that are uniquely available at Iowa State University, combining the capabilities of the Education Research Groups in both Physics and Chemistry. By targeting the subject of thermodynamics - a field that lies precisely on the borderline between Physics and Chemistry - we will be able to bring to bear the extensive experience of both our groups. We will create new instructional materials of immediate use in Physics courses and in Chemistry courses. These materials center on "active-learning" worksheets, consisting of carefully structured and sequenced sets of questions and exercises. They are designed to elicit common conceptual difficulties, and then to guide students to confront and resolve these difficulties.