Motivating Students in Introductory Physics

    Presented by: Debora Katz, United States Naval Academy 

    Imagine you are an instructor of lion tamers. At the end of the 16-week semester your students will take a final exam -- during which, each will place his or her head into the mouth of a live lion.

    A lion-taming instructor would probably have greater compliance and a higher rate of success than a physics professor. But in both instances, each instructor would assign daily readings on the lions’ anatomy, physiology, and psychology. Both would assign homework problems and essays. However, knowing the contents of the final, it is highly unlikely that the students of the lion-tamer instructor would get a friend to write their essays, or turn to the Internet for ready-made homework solutions. Students in a lion-taming class would do their assigned reading, pay attention in class, and keep up with all the homework to ensure they don't "lose their head" while tackling the exam.

    This webinar discusses the characteristics of highly motivated students, and what we can do to motivate our introductory physics students. Students in a lion-taming course are highly motivated to learn due to the course’s immediate relevance. The course is no longer just a hoop the student (or the lion) must jump through to earn a degree or meet a prerequisite, but a relevant and applicable lesson to ensure success.

    Access the recording now and see how Debora Katz, Physics Professor at the United States Naval Academy, creates immediate relevance in her course to motivate and engage students to succeed in her course and throughout their education.