Moving away from content towards to process in second year physics teaching


  • Mike Ford UTS
  • Kendal McGuffie UTS


Physics teaching is traditionally content focused at the expense of providing experience in the way in which physics is conducted both within research environments and professionally. In our approach we have tried to address this imbalance by providing a more flexible assessment process. We have used the so-called power test method where assessment is a single exam question formally administered at the end of the subject but provided to students at the very beginning. The duration of the subject then becomes a guided process where student develop their own answer to this question. This approach provides a means of implementing continuous assessment and feedback, gives students the freedom to develop an answer in a way that best suits them and emphasises the process by which physical understanding is developed.