Below is a list of notes and tips for new instructors in the OSU Paradigms courses.

Resources for Instructors

  • The wiki is a great resource for the content, instructional methods, and activities used in the Paradigms.
  • There is a version-controlled archive of homework questions (and solutions) in LaTeX format including most of the homework questions used during previous terms.
  • There are copies of the syllabus used by previous instructors available, formatted as spreadsheets.
  • Former Paradigms instructors often maintain 3-ring binders with additional course notes and information about specific activity implementation from previous years.
  • The OSU Department of Physics maintains the syllabus for several different Paradigms courses (see, for example, PH422).
  • If you wish to use the standard template for course webpage and schedule, the Director of the Paradigms Program can give you an example schedule and instructions for loading it to the departmental website.

Guidelines for Teaching

  • If this is your first time teaching a Paradigm, you are expected to teach it the way it was taught the previous year, before making any substantial changes.
  • If you want to make changes during your second year of teaching a Paradigm, consult the upper-division curriculum committee to help your changes fit within the overall structure of the Paradigms.
  • You should be offered the chance to “shadow” a Paradigm the year prior to teaching that Paradigm for the first time.
  • During activities, you should regularly assign different groups to the students, randomly mixing them up from day to day.

TAs and LAs

  • The Paradigms Director will appoint teaching assistants (TAs) and learning assistants (LAs) to facilitate in-class activities and grade homework assignments.
  • Instructors should meet regularly with TAs and LAs to coordinate each class period.
  • It is valuable for the TAs and LAs to be knowledgeable about the technology in the classroom, so the instructor can focus on the content if the technology misbehaves.
  • Complaints about TAs and LAs should be taken to the Paradigms Director.
  • TAs, LAs, and the instructor should hold office hours in room 304F.

Homework and Exams

  • HW assignments for the Paradigms should be due on the same days of the week throughout the term to allow students to have a consistent schedule. Currently, they are due on Wednesday and Friday.
  • HW assignments should be due at 4 PM so that the graders are able to scan student work before the office closes.
  • The first Paradigm of each term has its exam on the Monday following the end of that Paradigm. Other junior-level courses should avoid scheduling exams for the same week.

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