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The PIs have been involved in an NSF-funded project to develop materials for the introductory mechanics laboratory. The materials are based on the instructional approach taken in Tutorials in Introductory Physics (curriculum developed in the context of the calculus-based course at the University of Washington). While the materials being developed are intended for the algebra-based course, at many universities the labs are common to the two courses. As a result, we have been looking at differences in performance between these two student populations. In this poster, we describe the differences we have observed, especially as related to graphs, proportional reasoning, and algebra. It turns out that you cannot just change the d’s to Deltas—who knew? We will discuss implications for instructors and for curriculum developers.
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