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    • #25123
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      Time table for refreshing SPT

      It’s my intention to review and revise all the SPT topics this year. Timely comments are welcome: those that can be acted on more so. Here’s the timetable:

      set 1 July-August

      SPT: Earth in space topic

      SPT: Light topic

      SPT: Sound topic

      SPT: Radiations and radiating topic

      set 2 September-October

      SPT: Electric circuits topic

      SPT: Magnetism topic

      SPT: Electric circuits topic

      SPT: Energy topic

      set 3 November-December

      SPT: Forces topic

      SPT: Force and motion topic

      SPT: Machines topic

      SPT: Motion topic

      What’s up for review, and what’s not

      We’ve just spent a good deal of time and effort in creating a system that’ll let us publish to web and to PDF, simply. So effecting a wholesale change of structure is off the menu. That’s not to say you cannot make suggestions (reasoned suggestions are usually much more illuminating): just don’t expect immediate enactment.


      Please do be aware that with a comnination of HTML5, and two different PDFs I do think it’s possible to access SPT on most platforms. Tools to make specific ‘e-books’ for particular patforms are in their infancy, and just behind the blood-soaked edge is close enough.

      Attentions directors, Searching and Navigation

      As regards directing colleague to particular locations in the materials, there are a wealth of options and examples, here on TalkPhysics. Of course these can be improved, but it would be good if your comments were in the light of what existed.

      The existing review has made searching much more simple, and clarified the extent of, and navigation through, each episode. As we’re now on more open platforms, we’re hoping to be able to assume a degree of fluency with searching PDFs and web pages.

      Fundamental structure

      Available feedback has been essentially positive, so the fundamental structure of:

      • Physics Narrative
      • Teaching and Learning Issues
      • Teaching Approaches

      is likley to remain an anchoring structure, since it represents professional expertise rather well, and providing tools to develop that expertise is its central reason for existence. (SPT is not out to compete with published schemes of work, providing rafts of activities for children, or with practicalphysics.org, providing know-how on getting your experiments to work.)

      However you might have reflections on the kinds of nuggets offered ( Teaching tip, Exposition, Challenge, Expansion-lead me deeper, Summary, etc).

      On making suggestions

      Traditionally, the post-exam period has been a good time to make a few moments for reflection – I’m hoping you’ll make a bit and let me know what you think.

      Suggestions such as ‘it should be shorter’ and ‘there ought to be multiple versions of Physics Narrative’ are not immediately actionable: the devil is in the detail, so some fleshing out will be necessary to understand what you intend. (And even whether it is either sensible or possible – or whether that task is not already fulfilled by some other publication (from Physics Education through to teacher’s guides for particular specifications.)


      You can make suggestions through the existing TalkPhysics groups, or PM me through the site, or email me.

    • #25124
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      Hi Ian – I know that revision of these resources is, itself, an extensive piece of work! 

      To help out, I would like more guidance about your title “What’s up for review, and what’s not”, as it is followed by what looks like a list of what is not up for review. You give the example of the “kinds of nuggets offered”. 

      Please could you give me one or two other brief, concrete examples on what is up for review, and the most helpful form of comment you’d like about them? 

      Thanks – Jon 

    • #25125
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand



      Good specific suggestions:


      Suppose there is a specific right lines / wrong track pair that you think is missing – maybe something about falling and atmospheres, for example. It’d be good to know that, better to have a suggestion as to what the words might be. Same for teacher tips.



      Suppose there is a teaching activity that you think is core to tackling an issue. Sketch what and why (in general we’ve avoided  experiments that rely on particular whizzy bits of kit, or particular software, to promote access).


      Suppose you think the Purpose Header bit of the teaching activities could do with more explicit sharing of reasons for doing an experiment. Try to sketch what kind of things you think ought to be there, and exemplify (1 or 2).


      You might like / dislike the style in which the Teaching Approaches Activity X is laid out, and wonder why not all have extensive exemplar dialogue (is this helpful or not)?


      Suppose you think there’s an index term missing from a topic. Suggest it, and a nugget or two to which you might expect it to apply.


      Suppose you don’t see the rationale for a particular approach in  a topic, say SPT: Radiations and radiating topic, all that stuff about trip times. Locate it, and try and say what or why.


      More general:


      You really miss the timelines and event maps of old, and think we should try and resurrect them….


      You like the graphical summaries that appear at the end of some episodes, but not others, and wonder why one is missing.


      You dislike the graphical summaries, and would much rather have a simple list (make concrete with a suggestion for a thread, e.g. Physics Narrative of SPT: Magnetism topic).


      There ought / ought not to be 3 minutes U-tube video for each episode, plus why…


      I’d really like to see feature ‘X’, so that I could ‘Y’ (use case please, plus sketch of why the current sets of resources prevent you doing ‘Y’).


      A reading list for where to find out more on the evidence base for a topic.


      Bad suggestions:


      ‘We’ rather think that SPT should not be like this at all, and should instead be simply a three-side list of top tips and ‘evil’ things that you should never do (besides tax avoidance schemes).


      Everyone knows there’s a better way to teach XXX (without indicating out what that is, and why).


      Lesson plans (we don’t do lesson plans).


      There should be an app for my particular mobile gizmo…


      Every teaching approach should be referenced against the research base.




      For supporters (for TLCs I’ve made specific suggestions elsewhere), I’d open to less topic specific, longer term commentary (but then the office is always open for that…)


      How do you use it and what tools would you like (use cases) for improving access (e.g. attention directors – aka URLs).


      How could supporters effectively share their use of it (or indeed other structured / principled resources).


    • #25126
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      The refresh has made a soft landing…

    • #25127
      Profile photo of Andrew Normand

      And now the PDFs are updated ot match the web. Use the links on the home page of this forum…please use these, as the old ones will cease to find their interactives after a short while…

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