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From V of two point charges to B of a spinning ring of charge: A sequence of five E&M activities

Links to the five activities, including instrcutor guides and solutions
How this sequence works: The rationale and organization

Students who are just begining upper-division courses are being asked to simultaneously learn physics concepts, use mathematical processes in new ways, apply geometric reasoning, and use extended multi-step problem solving. Having students successfully deal with a problem such as finding the magnetic field in all space due to a spinning ring of charge is a significant challenge. If we are to avoid doing the thinking for them and creating a template they can use, then we must create a sequence of learning opportunities that allow them to genuinely develop for themselves the ability to solve a problem like this.

We created a sequence of five group activities that help students do deeper thinking while making each of the steps manageable. These five activities take roughly 30 to 60 minutes each and are designed to be used over the course of one or two months in conjunction with other forms of instruction such as lecture, individual homework, computer visualizations, and kinesthetic activities.

A more in-depth discussion of the rationale, student thinking, and the way these activities fit together can be found in a discussion of how these activities break the learning into manageable pieces

PDF Version pieces.

An additional E&M activity for electric potential
A Master's Project Paper describing the sequence of five E&M activities

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