Instructional Materials in Physics and Astronomy


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Presentations at the Summer AAPT Meeting, 2005


The Personalized System of Instruction (PSI), or Keller Plan – Thirty Years Later

In the early 1970s a mastery-oriented, self-paced style of instruction, called the Personalized System of Instruction, or Keller Plan, came into physics courses. For a few years the Keller Plan flourished and reached an apex in physics with the publication of a complete set of Keller Plan materials for the calculus-based physics course in 1975. By 1980 it had all but disappeared from physics courses. This presentation will discuss the features of the Keller Plan, the explanations of why it disappeared and what are some attributes of the Keller Plan that can improve present instruction in physics.

Calculus-based Physics Modules - Then and Now

In the summer of 1975, fifteen physics educators met for three weeks to create a complete course of Keller Plan modules for the calculus-based physics course. These materials consisted 45 modules and each module included a practice test, three equivalent mastery tests and grading keys. This presentation will describe a CBP module and explain how they got produced and distributed and used. Subsequently the CBP modules got transformed into an extension course for calculus-based physics. The extension course materials lived on for several more years as self-study materials for AP courses in high schools. This transformation and after-life will be discussed.

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