Creating digital learning objects to teach abstract ideas in modern physics and astronomy
Austen, David J.
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Teaching modern physics and astronomy poses a daunting array of challenges. Many science curricula contain detailed outcomes and emphases which add to the complexity of this task, and increasingly we are becoming aware of the need to attend overtly to conceptual understanding in students. In this paper we present a discussion of digital resources developed at The King’s Centre for Visualization in Science and CRYSTAL-Alberta to enable teachers to meet this challenge. We also argue that effective use of such resources entails a shift in pedagogical emphasis from skill development to teaching that focuses more overtly on evidence based reasoning. Exemplars are provided which demonstrate how teaching to encourage evidence based reasoning can be realized and how the major goals of the curriculum can be met.