Using the Book as the Sole Text

Along with using the text as a supplement to enliven and enhance a traditional "fat" book course, we have had great success basing a course solely on the book. Here is Bergstrom's syllabus from a Winter 1996 course, and here is Miller's syllabus from his current course.

Here is Miller's time schedule for his course. The course is based on a three class rhythm (see below). Before beginning the rhythm, two classes are devoted to administrative details and overview lectures, and two classes are used to discuss understanding observations (mainly how to analyze data using graphs and statistics) and creating theories (what makes a useful theory and how one might derive such a thing). These latter two classes are done after the start of the first experiment so that the students have a natural context in which to use this information.

The above course meets three days a week (50 minutes each meeting). The typical rhythm I use is:

This general format scales up nicely to large classes if you run the experiments in smaller recitation sections.

For classes that meet two days a week (1:15 minutes each meeting), I use:

Depending on your students and teaching style, you may want to have the lab report and homework due on different dates.

When creating your course, you might find these page references useful.

Copyright (c) 1996, Theodore Bergstrom and John H. Miller, All Rights Reserved
John H. Miller , miller@zia.hss.cmu .edu.