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Clemson/Shodor Building SMET Laptop Courses. Steve Stevenson Dan Warner Introduction. Opening Remarks Powerpointlessness Simple, effective, web-accessible tools for teaching lower division Developing modules/classes Play time.

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clemson shodor building smet laptop courses

Clemson/ShodorBuilding SMET Laptop Courses

Steve Stevenson

Dan Warner

  • Opening Remarks
  • Powerpointlessness
  • Simple, effective, web-accessible tools for teaching lower division
  • Developing modules/classes
  • Play time
shodor connection
Shodor Connection
  • This class is the outgrowth of fourteen years of teaching workshops to college faculty.
  • The subject is computational science and engineering.
  • Our mottois “Simple problems, well done.”
  • Shodor has a huge online repository.

Interactivate available from anywhere and we’ll make it available for CU laptops.



our approach to development
Our Approach to Development
  • Inquiry-based / problem-based learning.
  • Evidence-based reasoning
  • Performance-based assessment.
inquiry problem based
Inquiry/Problem – Based
  • Keep it simple, s-----.
  • Make it a seminal problem, historically interesting but still an attention grabber.
  • Pose problem with some rough edges so the students must first pose the question.
  • Hold off on software until problem posed.
simple effective exercises
Simple, Effective Exercises
  • Use Rabbits and Wolves to generate data
    • Experimental design
    • Observations
    • Plop and Histogram
  • Function Flyer as a qualitative exploration of quantitative model.
simple effective exercises1
Simple, Effective Exercises
  • Birthday Exploration
    • Birthday month distribution from class.
    • Plop
    • Keep asking questions by changing data:

E.g: What happens if we add data higher than mean?

evidence based reasoning
Evidence-Based Reasoning
  • The answer is not done until the paperwork is done. It’s not enough to say the answer is 43.
  • Exploration!
  • Observation!
performance based assessment
Performance Based Assessment
  • Students can work at a high level with partners.
  • But detail work must be done individually.
  • They’re smarter than we give them credit for, but they’re more unsophisticated in science than we realize.
  • Guided exploration but there will be a few bloody noses along the way.
some interactivate tools
Some Interactivate Tools
  • Function Flyer Function Flyer
  • Data Flyer Data Flyer
  • Histogram histogram
  • Plop Plop
  • Rabbits and WolvesRabbits and Wolves
  • Fire Fire!
  • Many tutorials, our java applets and GUI tutorials.
resources activities colors of stars
Resources - Activities - Colors of Stars
  • The model is fairly simple for this, but it illustrates a key misconception about what is meant by "red hot", "white hot", etc.
resources activities space ship pilot
Resources - Activities - Space Ship Pilot

A game-like immersive environment in which the user can pilot one of two crafts, a space shuttle in a dock in space, or a boat on water. The idea is to look at Newton's laws with and without dispersive forces.

resources activities pendulum motion
Resources - Activities - Pendulum Motion
  • Comparison of small angle approximation solution of simple pendulum to real solution. The results for a pendulum starting nearly vertical are very counterintuitive, and nothing like the small angle approximation.
resources models newton rhapson calculator
Resources - Models - Newton-Rhapson calculator

Solve coupled nonlinear equations using Newton-Rhapson method.

resources models superposition of waves
Resources - Models - Superposition of Waves
  • New model, being developed for Capital University. Untested, but if people are willing to look at something new and give feedback, that would be nice.