Resources and community for teaching physics for life sciences

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5 Contributions

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Member of

PAER Group at UNC-CH


 

Colin Wallace

Pedagogical Methods Used

Life Sciences Focus

The courses I teach cover topics such as allometric scaling, biomechanics, fluids, electrocardiograms, the propagation of nerve signals, MRIs, microscopes, vision, DNA diffraction, structural color, and dosimetry.

Education Research and Pedagogy Expertise

development of active learning curricula and research-validated assessments, classical test theory, item response theory, qualitative analyses of interviews of students

Years teaching physics for life sciences

5

Describe the courses that you teach for life sciences students

The IPLS two-semester course sequence at UNC-CH is taught in the integrated Lecture/Studio format where students attend two 50-minute lectures and two 110-minute studios per week. Lectures and studios are interleaved such that students attend a large lecture section and associated smaller studio section twice per week. We refer to each lecture and its associated studio as a module. The courses are “department owned” in that they are not tied to a specific faculty member and cannot be changed without consensus

What is your approach to teaching physics for life science students?

We created a suite of 54 modules, each consisting of studio activities (Physics Activities for Life Sciences), an interactive lecture, and assessment questions, all of which have been developed using the findings and best practices from PER. This suite includes materials for many topics that are important for life science majors, but are not part of the traditional introductory physics curriculum, including stress and strain, diffusion, chemical energy, and life at low Reynolds numbers.

Top Contributer

CONTRIBUTIONS


PALS Mathematical Models

In-class activity, Lab, Instructor supplement, Restricted access, Pre-class assignment
Vetted

Tutorial investigating math functions to describe 2-variable relationships in a biological context.

Bacteria, Animal Cardiovascular, Scales

None

+ 5

Alice Churukian

Colin Wallace

+ 5 more

PALS Breathing Worms

In-class activity, Lab, Instructor supplement, Restricted access, Pre-class assignment
Vetted

Activity exploring the scaling of surface area and volume of worms.

Surface Area/volume

None

+ 4

Alice Churukian

Colin Wallace

+ 4 more

PALS Geometrical Optics Pertaining to Vision

Instructor supplement, Restricted access, In-class activity, Lab, Pre-class assignment
Vetted

student-centered module with experiments, tutorials and questions on vision and corrective lenses

Vision Impairments, Optometry

Thin Lens, Optical Instruments

+ 5

Alice Churukian

Colin Wallace

+ 5 more

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