This general physics course is presented in the form of weekly 4 hours of lectures and 2 hours of exercise sessions. The teacher has innovated in these two types of activities.
The live demonstration of physical phenomena is particularly stimulating for the students. It has been kept in the new course format with an average of 1 to 3 experiments per session. The necessary equipment is made available by a technician upon the teacher's request. The teacher can, for example, demonstrate to the students how to measure the gravitational force or have them observe the uniform rectilinear motion with the help of a train launched on a rail.
The ex-cathedra format of the course has been changed so that it is divided into chapters that the teacher makes available to students at the beginning of the semester. Each chapter usually corresponds to the material studied for one week (4 hours in class and 2 hours of exercises). Students must read the chapters before coming to class. The teacher presents the most important notions in the form of slides (a graph or a key notion) that she completes directly in front of the students using an iPad. This format is very much appreciated by the students who receive the slides before the class and can complete them during the class, but also receive those completed by the teacher which she makes available on Moodle after the class.
The course is also punctuated by quizzes in class at an average of 3 per class. The votes are taken by a show of hands, a format that the teacher considers more active and simpler than using an application. They allow students to check that they have correctly understood the concepts covered and to go back directly to those that require it.
The teacher also uses videos as support for the course. She offers long videos on Moodle, such as Ted-Ed Talks, to deepen the notions of the course, but also other, shorter videos, used to make the course more dynamic. For example, instead of listing Newton's 3 laws by themselves, they are presented through a 4-minute video in the form of cartoons. These videos not only make the course more dynamic, but also take less time to explain concepts in a more concise way. This leaves more time for questions.
In addition to the 4 hours of classes given every week, students are offered 2 hours of exercises. In view of the decreasing number of students attending these sessions, the teacher has chosen to innovate the format. They are now given by 5 different assistants in groups of 25 students on average. Previously, the students completed the exercises offered each week (8 on average) during the exercise session while being supervised by the assistants. Now, students are responsible for solving some of the exercises (3 or 4) at home prior to the session. The assistants consult these exercises at the beginning of the session before quickly presenting the most important notions for solving the exercises. Students then have about 20 minutes, in groups of 5, to prepare an exercise. Then, one student from each group presents the exercise solved by his/her group to the class. The whole process of preparation and presentation, carried out by different students each week, allows students to receive a bonus of 0.5 points for the exam. This method motivates students to participate in the exercises and generates an increased success rate on the exams.