|| David M.
Senior Lecturer (Emeritus)
Department of Physics
University of Toronto
Cognitive issues in Physics education
Ph.D., Physics, University of Toronto (1972)
B.Sc., Physics, American University (1967)
Canadian Association of Physicists Gold Medal for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Physics (2012)
Dean's Excellence Award (2008)
Dean's Small Group Award (2008)
Dean's Excellence Award (2004)
Dean's Excellence Award (2002)
Dean's Excellence Award (1992)
Dean's Excellence Award (1991)
Ontario Conferederation of University Faculty Associations Award for
Outstanding Contributions to University Teaching (1976)
Teaching Summer 2017
- PHY131H1F - Introduction to Physics I
Some Recent Papers
- Threshold Concepts in Physics [Practice and Evidence of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Special Issue: Threshold Concepts and Conceptual Difficulty 12(2), 352 (2017)] pdf. 412k.
- Cognitive reflection and physics student performance (2016), pdf, 2.2M
- Perspectives on modern reformed pedagogy from the history of science, psychology, and the performing arts (2016), pdf, 285k
- Textbook Use in the Sciences and Its Relation to Course Performance [College Teaching 63(4), 171 (2016)]
- Effective Student Teams for Collaborative Learning in an Introductory University Physics Course [Physical Review Physics Education Research 12, 010138 (2016)], pdf, 1.6M.
- The axis of rotation for rolling motion. (2015), pdf, 524k.
- Factors correlated with students’ scientific reasoning ability in an introductory university physics course (2014) [K.A. MacLeod and T.G. Ryan, eds., The Physics Educator: Tacit Praxes and Untold Stories (Common Ground Publishing, Champaign IL, 2016), Chapter 11, pg. 186 - 212.], pdf, 777k.
- On Resistance to Implementing Physics Education Research Results in Physics Courses(2014), pdf, 156k.
- The Uncertainty of Grades in Physics Courses is Surprisingly Large [Physics in Canada 40(2), 2014], pdf, 263k
- Compressed-Format Compared to Regular-Format In a First-Year Physics Course (2013), [American Journal of Physics 83(2), 272 (2015)], pdf, 501k.
- Correlating student interest and high school preparation with learning and performance in an introductory university physics course [Physical Review Special Topics: Physics Education Research 10, 010112 (2014)], pdf, 940k.
- Uncertainty in Physical Measurements (2013), html
- Studying Physics: Advice to 1st Year Unversity Students (2011), pdf, 300k
Brief Introduction to the Fourier Transform (2011), pdf, 176k
to Physics Education Research (2010), html, 24k
- University of Toronto
Physics Practicals (2009), Flash
all the clicking about? A study of Classroom Response (2008) pdf, 1.5M
Team-Teaching and the Evolving Scholarship of Learning:(2007) pdf, 240k
Teaching: A survey of 50 courses in the Faculty of Arts and Science at
the University of Toronto with more than one instructor (2006) pdf, 330k
Bootstraps and Monads" (2006) pdf, 250k
Attendance and Student Performance" (2006) pdf, 24k
Emerging Structures and the Second Law of Thermodynamics" (2006) html,
PowerPoint and Tablet PCs" (2005) pdf, 390k.
Demonstration of Reading on a Computer Screen" (2004) html, 18k
Squares Fitting of Data in the Physical Sciences" (2004) html, 132k
- "Results on the Force Concept Inventory by Adult Learners" (2004): html pdf
- "An Simple Analogy to Bell's Theorem" (2003): html pdf
Flash Demonstrations" (2003) html, 12k.
Does the Delivery of Information Help Students to Learn?" (2002) pdf, 63k
About UNIX-GNU/Linux" (2002) html
Teleportation" (2001) html, 41k
Analysis in Experimental Physical Science" (2001), html
Physics Virtual Bookshelf
Many of the above papers plus some course notes for a variety of courses, written both by me and by others are collected into a Physics Virtual Bookshelf which I maintain. The main index is at:
Some "Minor" Documents
Some Other Journal Publications
- "The Physical Pendulum in an Advanced Undergraduate Course in
Mechanics", S.C. Douglas, D.M. Harrison and T.G. Shepherd, Computers in
Physics 8, 416 (1995). A pdf version is available
- ``Computerized pre-checking of laboratory data'', D. Harrison and
J.M. Pitre, The Physics Teacher 26, 156 (1988).
- ``Computers in a teaching laboratory: just another piece of
apparatus'', D. Harrison and J.M. Pitre, Computers and Education
12, 261 (1988).
- ``Computerized lab test on error analysis'', D. Harrison and J.M.
Pitre, The Physics Teacher 21, 588-589 (1983).
- ``Discovering induction'', D. Harrison, Amer. J. Physics
49, 603 (1981).
- `Entropy and the number of sentient beings in the universe'', D.
Harrison, Spec. in Sci. and Tech. 5, 43-48 (1982).
- ``Bell's inequality and quantum correlations'', D. Harrison, Amer.
J. Phys. 50, 811-816 (1982).
Last revision: $Date: 2017/05/02 12:47:41 $ (y/m/d UTC)