Blended Course Map: Physics 415: Thermal Physics

Blended Learning

This blended course map was created by a participant of the Blend@UW Course Design Series. It represents an example of how activities could be designed for one unit of a course to achieve the course and unit outcomes.

Example of a blended course map from Physics 415: Thermal Physics

Name: Mark Eriksson
SCID: College of Letters & Science
Department: Physics
Course Name: Physics 415: Thermal Physics
Course Objectives:

• CO 1 Understand physical principles of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics.
• CO 2 Apply thermodynamics to solve problems with a high-level consideration of energy and entropy.
• CO 3 Apply statistical mechanics to make predictions based on a microscopic understanding of a physical system.
• CO 4 Appreciate the breadth of applicability of thermodynamic and statistical approaches to the physical world.
• CO 5 Develop an improved understanding of students' internal metrics for confidence in physical and mathematical predictions of the physical world.

Course Units:

• CU 1 Statistical distributions: describing outcomes probabilistically
• CU 2 Ensembles, differentials, and foundations of thermodynamics
• CU 3 A statistical approach: defining and using temperature
• CU 4 Work and heat: flow, storage, and use of energy
• CU 5 Thermodynamic calculus: Maxwell’s relations
• CU 6 Boltzmann factor: a statistical tool for physics
• CU 7 Partition function: normalization and more
• CU 8 Kinetic theory: learning a lot from particle motion you cannot track
• CU 9 Transport processes
• CU 10 Phase equilibrium and phase transformations
• CU 11 Quantum statistics
• CU 12 Bose and Fermi gases
• CU 13 Solids and lattice vibrations
• CU 14 Magnetism in matter: ferromagnetism, paramagnetism, diamagnetism

Unit Objectives:

• UO 1 Calculate a partition function given a Hamiltonian.
• UO 2 Calculate expected values, like energy, using the partition function as a normalization constant.
• UO 3 Calculate expected values directly by differentiating a partition function.
• UO 4 Demonstrate utility by explaining when to use a partition function.
• UO 5 Use generalized forces to predict physical parameters.

Activity One

Activity: Description: Key definitions
Modality: Online+book
Activity Sequence: Pre-class
Objectives Supported: U7: 1,2,3
Horton Type: Absorb
Bloom's Level: Knowledge
Required Knowledge:
Pedagogical Role: Good quiz design

Activity Two

Activity: Description: Calculate Z for a 2-state system
Modality: Board
Activity Sequence: In-class
Objectives Supported: U7: 1
Horton Type: Absorb
Bloom's Level: Understand
Evidence: Interaction
Required Knowledge: Definitions
Pedagogical Role: Ensure clarity on core concepts

Activity Three

Activity: Description: Calculate Z for SHO
Modality: Group work
Activity Sequence: In-class
Objectives Supported: U7: 1
Horton Type: Do
Bloom's Level: Apply
Evidence: Worksheet results
Required Knowledge: Z = sum over states
Pedagogical Role: Ensure engagement
Social Role: Ensure discussion occurs.

Activity Four

Activity: Description: Calculate expected value using normalization
Modality: Board
Activity Sequence: In-class
Objectives Supported: U7: 2 Horton Type: Absorb
Bloom's Level: Understand
Evidence: Interaction
Required Knowledge: P = BF / Z
Pedagogical Role: Ensure clarity on core concepts

Activity Five

Activity: Description: Students decide how many terms they need
Modality: Group work + board
Activity Sequence: In-class
Objectives Supported: U7: 2
Horton Type: Connect
Bloom's Level: Analyze
Evidence: Discussion