Pedagogy in Action > Library > Using Direct Measurement Videos to Teach Physics

Using Direct Measurement Videos to Teach Physics

Peter Bohacek, Henry Sibley High School, peter.bohacek@isd197.org
Matthew Vonk, University of Wisconsin - River Falls
Ellen Iverson, Science Education Resource Center (SERC), Carleton College
Karin Kirk, Science Education Resource Center (SERC), Carleton College

What are Direct Measurement Videos?

Video: What are direct measurement videos? (Quicktime Video 111.7MB Nov1 13)
Direct Measurement videos show situations that students can use to learn and apply physics concepts. Grids, rulers, and frame-counters are added as overlays on the video. These allow students to make precise measurements of quantities such as position and time, without needing additional video analysis software. Students use these quantities along with physics concepts to solve problems and answer questions about the motion of the objects in the video. These problems can be used as a replacement of or supplement to traditional word problems. They can also be used as open-ended questions for students to explore to help them develop problem solving skills.


The video at right shows some examples of Direct Measurement videos.



find more information about using Direct Measurement Videos to teach physics


Why Teach with Direct Measurement videos?

As physicists, we analyze events using mathematical relationships, and as educators we would like our students to do the same. Traditionally, three methods are used to present events for students to analyze. First, we use labs, in which students make measurements themselves using an apparatus in a classroom. Second, we use text descriptions, often supplemented with drawings, or sometimes photos. Third, we use demonstrations, sometimes accompanied with measurements. Each of these methods has inherent limitations. Video has the potential to help students visualize situations more clearly and show how physics concepts can apply to a variety of real-world situations. Videos can be exciting and engaging, which can increase student interest. find more information about advantages of Direct Measurement Videos to teach physics


How to Teach with Direct Measurement videos

Direct Measurement Videos here are intended to be used to teach introductory physics mechanics at the high school or college level. There are several ways to integrate Direct Measurement Videos into your curriculum: as a replacement for word problems, as a way to verify physics concepts (such as conservation laws), or as open-ended or "goal-less" problems. find more information about how to use Direct Measurement Videos to teach physics


Library of Direct Measurement Videos for Teaching Introductory Mechanics

Examples of Activities that Incorporate Direct Measurement videos

Student Video Library - to bring students into the index of videos without sharing this entire module.