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Tutorials in Introductory Physics

Tutorials in Introductory Physics
 Lillian C. McDermott, Peter S. Shaffer and
the Physics Education Group at the University of Washington

(Pearson Publishing, Inc.)

Tutorials in Introductory Physics is designed to supplement the lectures and textbooks through which physics is traditionally taught.  The tutorials are suitable for both calculus-based and algebra-based courses in which there is an opportunity for students to work together in small groups.  Carefully sequenced exercises and questions engage students in the type of active intellectual involvement that is necessary for developing a functional understanding of physics.  

The tutorials are based on more than 20 years of research and curriculum development by the Physics Education Group.  The research that underlies the development of the materials has been documented in many articles.  All of the articles by the group are listed under in the Publications menu under the Research tab above.  For articles that provide an overview of the research, the approach of the PEG, and the impact of the tutorials on student learning, see, for example, 

McDermott LC.  2001.  Oersted Medal Lecture 2001: "Physics Education Research–-The Key to Student Learning". American Journal of Physics. 69:1127-1137.

McDermott LC.  1991.  Millikan Lecture 1990: What we teach and what is learned–-Closing the gap. American Journal of Physics. 59:301-315.

Prentice Hall, Inc. published a Preliminary Edition (1998), a First Edition (2002), and an Instructor’s Guide in (2003).  A Second Edition, to be published in 2014 through Pearson, Inc., is in preparation.  The Tutorials have also been translated into Spanish, German, Greek, and Korean.

Resources for instructors

This website contains resources for instructors, including sample pretests, post-tests (examination questions), suggestions for preparing Teaching Assistants (and Learning Assistants), as well as details about the individual tutorials.  Click on the links at right to view the Preface and Table of Contents for the second edition of Tutorials in Introductory Physics. 

A password is required to access some sections of this website. To request a password, please send an email to peg@uw.edu from your institutional email address that provides the following information: your name, your institution, a phone number where you can be reached, and the course code for your class (e.g., "Physics 121"). 

Impact of Tutorials in Introductory Physics

Tutorials in Introductory Physics has directly and indirectly impacted research and curriculum development by researchers outside of the University of Washington.  

Table of contents documenting Tutorials in Introductory Physics's impact.