PALS 2023 Workshop


In our complete redesign of the Introductory Physics for Life Science sequence at UNC-CH, students spend nearly all their class time in small groups working on activities designed according to PER findings. We also eliminated topics with little or no connection to biology (e.g rotational dynamics) in favor of topics highly relevant to the life sciences (e.g. nonlinear stress-strain).  Wherever possible the class activities make use of authentic biological data. The Physics Activities for Life Sciences (PALS) are carefully structured to take students from basic ideas and guide them towards mastery using thought experiments, simulations, and hands-on experiences using equipment that is common in physics instructional labs. In total 54 PALS have been developed, spanning a two-semester course sequence, and are freely available for use at other institutions and can be adapted to suit different course structures.

In this workshop, we describe the evidence-based design of these activities, allow you to try out a few PALS, and show how PALS improved student learning gains on concept inventories.

This workshop is virtual and free of charge.

Facilitator: Duane Deardorff (UNC - Chapel Hill)

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