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About the Physics Curriculum

Innovative Teaching

The Physics Department is very closely linked with the Departments of Mathematics and Computer Science, which allows both the faculty and students opportunities for cross-disciplinary work. These are some of the innovative teaching methods that members of our three departments are currently developing or using, and sharing with their colleagues at Hartford and other colleges and universities.

Online Homework

Online homework has been used in both Mathematics (Webworks) and Physics (ClassWk Homework System) for a number of years.

Student Response Systems

Student response systems (or handheld "clickers") allow an instructor to quickly poll the class and incorporate the responses into the class material in real time. Members of our Department of Mathematics are engaged in extensive development of courses involving SRS.


The algebra-based introductory physics lectures have been podcasted for several semesters. These audio MP3 files are available to students, as are special podcasts discussing special topics in physics.


Some of the introductory physics classes use a class wiki as a way for students to share and record their learning.  Working together, students create and maintain a guide to problem-solving techniques used in class.

Open-source Textbooks

Certain introductory physics courses have begun using "open source" texts that are available free in PDF format or at near-cost for printed and bound copies. In addition, Creative Commons licensing allows instructors to modify the texts to suit their specific needs.