The Hands On Physics Evaluation and Dissemination project will result in the summative evaluation and widespread dissemination of Hands on Physics (HOP), an innovative, inquiry based approach to physics designed for high school and college students. HOP is a completely new, project-based approach to physics that is adapted to dissemination and delivery over the Web. This project is creating a complete implementation package of seven HOP units and supporting materials that can be widely disseminated and take full advantage of the Web. The project is supporting summative evaluation in ten sites, a dissemination effort, and a set of final revisions.
Summative evaluation. Because HOP represents a radically different way to teach physics, educators are demanding more evidence that it is effective and can achieve its goals. The limited studies undertaken so far have been formative, intended to help guide the materials development process. The project features a definitive summative study.
Implementation support. Teachers need assistance in implementing such a novel approach. By creating a Web-based HOP interest group, the project is providing assistance on meeting teaching standards, selecting companion materials, performing student evaluation, and solving technical problems. These topics will covered in a NetCourse for teachers and in informal online discussions.
Final editing. This project is providing better artwork, greater consistency, more emphasis on student problem-solving, and increased use of probeware. HOP has the potential to make a major contribution to physics education, defining a new paradigm for teaching firmly rooted in both science and technology education. HOP also has important implications beyond its target community of science and technology educators. Its educational style, gender-neutrality, and its ability to offer valuable experience-based material over the Web, set it apart from anything else currently being developed and make it an important experiment of interest to all science and technology educators.