News Teaching

Implementing an Honors Physics Add-On Course: The SMU Experience

Prof. Jodi Cooley, Dr. Eric Godat, and I were very pleased to see the publication of our article on how we implemented an add-on honors course experience at the introductory physics level here at SMU.

In this article, we outline how we implemented an honors-level add-on course to complement standard university-level introductory physics courses. We explain why it was necessary to do this. We then explain the strategies we have adopted for attracting students, engaging them, and assessing their performance. Our goal in creating this course was to provide a flexible format that would not discriminate based on experience and preparation, because such factors can be tied to sex, gender, social-economic status, and race. We also sought to empower students that are traditionally marginalized or underrepresented in large course settings by giving them a venue where they could work in a small, dynamic, and creative environment.

The Physics Teacher 58, 509 (2020);

By Stephen Sekula

Professor of Physics. Department Chair. Higgs Hunter. Computational Physicist. Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin-Madison. B.S. from Yale University.