Noah Finkelstein

Assistant Professor

Department of Physics

University of Colorado

UCB 390
Boulder, CO 80309

303 735 6082

303 492 3352

What are, to you, the key issues in creating learning resources that support your teaching style and your student's learning styles?

Understanding the affordances of the resources—how they enable (or prevent) forms of interaction that are productive. Understanding the students and the environments in which students will be using these resources.

What is your vision for the "textbook" of the future and what impediments do you see to realizing that vision?

An open source, freely downloadable, interactive suite of research- based materials that focus on what students know, how they learn, and the ultimate goals of educating students in science.
A key impediment is that this is not a commercial goal.

Describe briefly any research you have undertaken on teaching or learning.

The focus of my research in physics is physics education. I study student learning in context, which is to say I study the use of tools, forms of student interactions, and environments which support student learning.
More can be found at my website:

Have you created publicly accessible learning resources?

I am a member of the Physics Education Technology (PhET) project at Colorado. These are highly interactive, research based, computer simulations in physics, mathematics and related sciences.

I have developed a new course on teaching and learning physics which is simultaneously designed to increase undergraduate interest and acuity in teaching, and support the development of graduate students as researchers in physics education.
Accessible from:

How would you like to contribute to the workshop?

I'm interested in hearing about and possibly contributing to the direction of how textbooks will be used for teaching students in science.

What would you like to take away from the workshop?

An optimistic view that things will improve.