Report of IBAP Physics Workshop

Tue 20 to Thu 22 November 2001
Mumbai, India

Leader: Steve Udy
Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong

This workshop was the 2nd of two run consecutively, the other being held in Osaka, Japan. The agendas for both
workshops were identical with reference to the content of the 10 sessions. Many discussions in Osaka developed the
group’s understanding of certain issues, such as IA Planning exercises. These discussions were continued in Mumbai.
Additionally participants at both workshops contributed valuable materials, ideas and references. These have all been
incorporated in both this and the Osaka reports to maximise their availability to teachers. The presence of a Group 4
Subject Area Manager (David Jones at Osaka and Paul Fairbrother at Mumbai) was highly appreciated as valuable
resources for clarifying various issues. They also presented a session on the Grade Award process.

16 teachers attended this workshop with IB physics experience ranging from 12 to 0 years. A record of participant
details is appended to this report. While more than half of the group of the group had no previous IB physics
experience, a few had taught physics previously. There was clearly a wealth of physics teaching experience within the

Opportunities to share ideas, models and resources were created repeatedly through the workshop, facilitated through a
flexible interpretation of the agenda. Planned activities were often adapted or abbreviated where this seemed useful. I
am particularly grateful for the high level of contribution by participants.

A CDrom (both Mac and PC formats) containing all of my computer-generated physics teaching materials was provided
to each participant. Nearly all files were produced in AppleWorks version 5.0, a cross-platform (Mac and Windows)
application. Many files would be inaccessible without this application.

The following headings cover the main components, not necessarily in the chronological order of the workshop.

The 1st session began by listing issues that participants wanted to discuss. They were addressed in one way or another
during the course of the workshop.
 IA grading
 IA criteria
 practical programmes and choice of experiments
 Planning (a)
 group 4 Projects
 combined SL/HL
 syllabus changes
 EE criteria
 use of technology in IB physics programme
 teaching progress with syllabus
 teaching the options
 use of graphing calculators
 explanation of hypothesis for Planning (a)

Report on IBAP Physics Workshop, Osaka 15 - 17 Nov 2001 page 1 of 6 Steve Udy

. etc. leaving students to decide how they would interpret and measure strength. many of the Pl(a) examples that I provided at the workshop are already obsolete as far as our LPC practical programme is concerned.g. Planning (a) ideas Brainstorming Planning (a) ideas produced the following:  strength of X (hair. breaking force and hair diameter). avoiding specific measurable variables. I intend to modify my Pl (a) exercises to fit the model described above .. Group 4 IA requirements were discussed: 60 h HL. 8 criteria worth maximum 3 each.)  terminal velocity of X  wobbliness of jelly  stickiness of Blutack  strength of paper  refractive index of jelly  evaporation from X (a cup of water.. whether or not is valid. . .. Osaka 15 . time was devoted to describing and discussing Group 4 practical and IA requirements.e. Practical work and Internal Assessment Given that such a large proportion of the participants were new to IB and that effective administration of the practical programme is crucial to students’ success. 2 hands clapping. moderation samples. . IA Planning criteria The 1st session began by discussing Internal Assessment Planning criteria.)  loudness of X (ball dropped onto ground. Much of the information is found in current IB Group 4 IA documents (the latest Physics Subject Guide includes a section on IA) and in the Vade Mecum. Also recommended to read Report on IBAP Physics Workshop. e.g. 40 h SL. Using a bending spaghetti exercise to focus attention on this issue the ensuing discussions revealed many of the concerns and frustrations relating to IA experienced by the participants – main ones listed at the end of this report. PSOWs. aspects.. and how to meet them in designing and running an IB physics programme. One must be careful to avoid guiding students towards 2 particular variables (e.. Hence ‘strength’ rather than ‘breaking force’ of hair.. LPC documents for IA record keeping. “Investigate one factor affecting the strength of hair”. matrices. PSOWs. These discussions were as much a voyage of discovery for me as they seemed to be for everyone else.)  bounciness of a squash ball  bounciness of a basketball ball  size of craters in sand due to a dropped object  (paper) parachutes  rate of cooling of X (cup of coffee. etc were discussed (copies in Workshop Guide) and copies of LPC practical programme were available for viewing. ..)  cooling ability of ice cubes  damping in SHM  range of a projectile  coupled pendulums  factors affecting friction  intensity of light from a lamp There were concerns that a Planning exercise about something readily found in textbooks (on the web. A useful format for a Pl(a) exercise was proposed as “Investigate one factor affecting X”. one sign that that this has been successfully avoided is a range of different responses from students.)  factors affecting lift  stretchiness of X (wire. it may be better to use everyday terms. IA worth 24% of final mark. To address the 2nd concern above about reference to specific variables. Given the extensive choice above I would not use the last few italicised ideas in order to address this 1st concern... electric fan.17 Nov 2001 page 2 of 6 Steve Udy . and also that references to specific dependent or independent variables would devalue the exercise. IBNET grade submission and sample selection. in either case leading to moderation down by IA moderators. a sheet of paper..i. Group 4 Project. rubber band. It was strongly recommended that all teachers read 2 sections in the Vade Mecum (the Group 4 section and the Internal Assessment section) at the beginning of the year and again before submitting IA samples. etc) would not be accepted as valid by IA moderators.

allow student development and give the teacher confidence of assessment  reasons why students fail to reach maximum (level 3) grade . for example. a score sheet will be available following the exam session (probably in September for the May session) that shows the raw and moderated IA scores for each student. which then affect the style of project the school can run. Osaka 15 . addressing the following issues:  effective use of teacher time  reasons for grading practical work (assessment and student feedback)  optimising (minimising?) grading time . A possible approach to constructing a practical programme was presented. listing the separate totals for General criteria out of 24 and Physics-specific criteria out of 12. updates and amendments). aim to complete data collection before summer break)  setting a schedule of internal school deadlines  allowing only practical-based EEs (this is generally the most successful of the 4 kinds of Physics EE permitted)  requiring all students keep a logbook and back-up copies for security of word-processed EEs The LPCUWC approach with internal deadlines was described and the relevant LPC documents presented. published few times each year .i. IA grading practice of sample lab records was undertaken in small groups for discussion. result in each school having unique circumstances. whether school is residential or not.17 Nov 2001 page 3 of 6 Steve Udy . flexibility of school programme. In Osaka David Jones referred teachers to the IA document Teacher Support Material Experimental Sciences April 99 (with a red cover) as a resource of exemplary IA assessments (this is a thick document with exemplary materials for each of the sciences).e. It was recommended that supervisors of physics EEs consider:  timing .recommend starting no later than 4 months before end of 1st year as most science practical EEs are carried out in the school labs and/or using school equipment (i.only need to grade sufficient labs to provide feedback.the IB Diploma Coordinator Notes (important for late-breaking news. therefore want to get students past No 1 as quickly as possible  constructing dedicated labs designed to teach specific IA criteria skills  use of specific exercises to assess particular criteria .hard copy sent to IB Coordinator and soft copy available on IB OCC.late enough so that sufficient theory and IA skills (especially Pl(a) and Pl(b)) already covered) and early enough so that students can complete EE before end of 1st semester of 2nd year . Assessment of students during the Project is not required. availability of technical support.e.note that it is acceptable to IB to use. Variables such as number of students. Group 4 Project This was briefly discussed in terms of IB requirements and the LPC approach as one example. It was emphasised that the focus is on process rather than results with the interdisciplinary collaborative nature of the Project being one of its features. Report on IBAP Physics Workshop. max 12 for subject specific criteria)  max word count of 4. Several LPC EEs were available for viewing and one (Strength of fishing line) distributed to all participants.000  teacher supervisor  IB submission deadlines Participants were encouraged to read the IB publication on Extended Essays. Extended Essays IB requirements for the Extended Essay were presented including:  EE must be in a single IB subject (no combined subjects)  must be student’s original work with acknowledgement of material from others  grading criteria (max 24 for general criteria. [1] students ignorant of level ‘3’ requirements OR [2] lack of effort OR [3] lack of ability. Can be ordered from IB. Planning exercises that are not subsequently carried out as practical investigations Note that if your school uses IBNET. Note that the EE scores for each of your students is available (before September for the May session). May 2000 and May 2001 Physics EE Reports were posted on display.

revision. The OCC allows teachers to access. assessment contributions.some listed below and another list appended to this report. temporary passwords valid for 2 weeks were provided to all participants. Web sites This session was spent in one of the OIS computer rooms with 2 main aims: The 1st was to ensure all participants left the workshop familiar with the IB Online Curriculum Centre (OCC). 2 and 3. and the student’s psychological state (importance of confidence and expectation of success)  transfer responsibility for learning (and therefore completion of the syllabus) to the students. Materials available for ordering are listed in the IB World magazine. a student’s success depends on mastery of material. The option topics and curriculum requirements were summarised (time requirements. need to avoid the last minute dash which often ‘completes’ the syllabus at the expense of the final topic(s) such as atomic/nuclear or one of the options  using the last month before the exams (i. April for May exams. Participants new to IB were recommended to order from IB (through the IB Coordinator) past papers and subject reports going back to the May 1998 exam session. Report on IBAP Physics Workshop. Osaka 15 . copies provided or available to all students) Small groups were formed for discussion and sharing of teaching schemes and teaching ideas.useful for student reference (during absences. This was followed by small group discussions in the 3 most popular HL options: Astrophysics. effective exam strategies. etc).g.e. etc) and teacher planning The following suggestions were offered as possible approaches to teaching IB physics:  strict adherence to a teaching scheme which completes the syllabus before the exams. etc). Teaching the programme .:  discussions . AHL.17 Nov 2001 page 4 of 6 Steve Udy . component weighting of final mark. for example. then heat. etc). Copies of May 2001 HL paper 2 and paper 3 scripts and mark schemes were distributed for grading practice in small groups. and options The structure and content of the HL and SL syllabuses were summarised (core. October for November exams) for mock exam practice (under ‘live’ conditions). The importance of an effective teaching scheme was emphasised with examples from LPC discussed. options. It was recommended that the following be given consideration in designing a teaching scheme:  aim to cover all topics (rather than second guessing the examiner by omitting some topics)  leave time for exam preparation at end of 2nd year  decide teaching order for major topics (e. initiate or contribute to  the full Physics Subject Guide . The groups were asked to consider the following in their discussions:  resources  option length  difficulty in terms of both physics and math  whether the option emphasises memory work or conceptual understanding  practicals Exams This began with an overview of HL and SL exams (papers 1. along with suggested time allocations and assessment. hence students need access to the syllabus and teacher’s teaching scheme (e. and design practical programme  providing copies of (or access to) the scheme and syllabus to students  include reading references and homework exercises within the scheme . etc). mechanics 1st. Relativity. Optics.g.this may be read online and also copied and pasted into text or table documents  the latest Physics Subject Report  an Overview of general Group 4 changes as well as an Overview of Physics changes with the latest curriculum review (these also included on the CDrom distributed to participants)  the Vade Mecum  the Diploma Programme Coordinator Notes (under News and Information) The 2nd aim was to allow participants to explore and share favourite web sites . Some additional resources as teaching aid and extra reference to students http://www.html#StarMenu Multimedia simulations of different topics in Physics http://hypertextbook. Halliday + Resnick.html Lot of different sites-EXCELLENT Soundry-Multimedia is needed.amasci.web-based assignments using exercises from 31 different physics textbooks ( Hyperphysics Concepts (US$40 for CDrom version) www.html Newtonian Physics http://www. etc Report on IBAP Physics Workshop.17 Nov 2001 page 5 of 6 Steve Udy .html How light is made from the ordered motion of electrons in atoms and molecules http://www. Osaka 15 .us/gbssci/phys/mmedia/kinema/rocket.k12.wfu.html#refle QuickTime Movies of Electromagnetic Waves Everything in Physics with good examples & demos (under construction Lot of extra resources Web Assign .edu/physics/demolabs/demos/avimov/ WFU Physics demo videos http://www.pbs.htm Jason Dicker’s Physics site http://hyperphysics.html Excellent animations on wave behaviour (sound & light) Other recommended web sites http://www.phy-astr. http://www.EVERYTHING in Physics Physics Demos & Science Exhibit Designs The Physics Classroom.infn.physics.html Physics Demo room still good) Young.Physics teaching web sites used at Mahindra UWC of India (Magan Savant) http://zebu.lightandmatter.html The Physics Classroom

many believed much more could be done by IB to support teachers in their IA programmes. compare current exams and subject reports with those from the late 1980s). Only US$20 .  More exemplar assessed IA material available to teachers to help clarify cpn distinctions. Fl 34242.800. however it was felt that IB could go further towards minimising these.try ordering from online suppliers like Barnes and Noble. 9 Graphs and Tracks (http://pcep.a device that attaches to a whiteboard to allow a digital capture of whiteboard writing.USA. Tel US +1 877 846 3721 email support@virtual-ink. Report on IBAP Physics Workshop. Specific recommendations:  Place exemplar Pl(a) and Pl(b) exercises on the OCC.simple graphing software.html).com UK +44 171 309 0017 support. practical exams or compulsory IA labs). suggestions for appropriate Pl(a) exercises  difficulty interpreting IA criteria aspects .edu/pas/gandt. Foxton Cambridge. Walker. 8 CD Physics . saved as 3 Vernier Graphical Analysis . not within one year group)  identifying specific areas for improvement when IA moderation is large  appropriate practical exercises for various IA criteria .europe@virtual-ink.g. Around US$500 . GCSE text. Other resources The following are various resources recommended at some time or other during the workshops.ncsu. 1-941-349-1000.Paul Hewitt Jearl Walker (author of flying Circus of Physics) 7 Physics for You .  In cases of changes in IA scores due to moderation. info@ed-usa. at present IA scores for a school may be moderated down by several marks at the top end and the teacher might have no idea what has led to this – if it is due to leniency.17 Nov 2001 page 6 of 6 Steve Udy .com 2 Datadisc Explore 32 for Philip Harris probes is much better than Datadisc Pro. great for SL.g. Sarasota. Software package intended to improve students’ interpretation of motion graphs. it is unlikely that this leniency occurs across all criteria). p and n for particular aspects Most participants agreed that the freedom provided to teachers in the IB model for practical work and its assessment was valuable. Osaka 15 . www. interfaces with TI 4 Salters-Horners Advanced Physics course books and worksheets with teachers and technicians notes (Heinemann) 5 Trump Project for Astrophysics (University of York Science Educ. 5136 Calle Minorga. Recommendations to IBO While the experienced teachers seemed satisfied overall with the new syllabus and especially with the progress made in the last 10 to 15 years (e. Resnick.ed-usa. ISBN 853428116 6 Videos: Conceptual Physics series . Christman (Publ. Kerry sent me the following: Outside of the US and Canada Vernier is sold through a company called Ed.e.USA. Burlington Press. 1 Mimio .physics. There were concerns about:  apparently inconsistent moderation of IA scores (from year to year. They also accepted that IA moderation would inevitably have irregularities and inconsistencies.Keith Johnson. fax 1-941-349-2766. provide specific feedback to schools describing where and what kind of improvements should be made (the new moderator feedback form provides useful feedback in some cases but not for cases of lenient marking.Halliday. Group). and most preferred this model rather than that used in other systems (e. Siesta Key.distinguishing c. Publ. Their international branch can be reached through the information below: Ed. Wiley and Sons) Text (but maybe not the full text) of Fundamentals of Physics textbook + study guide + exercises & solutions + simulations.g.