University of Hertfordshire

By the same authors

Storyboard Physics

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventHEA STEM Annual Conference 2012 - Imperial College, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 12 Apr 201213 Apr 2012


ConferenceHEA STEM Annual Conference 2012
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityImperial College, London


Storyboard Physics is a narrative approach to helping students understand core concepts within the physics curriculum. Each concept is introduced in a set of short episodes that is serialised on a module webpage. At the moment, the episodes are presented in the form of a traditional dramatic script, but we believe the ideal format would be as an interactive graphic novel. The fictional characters who tell our story have different backgrounds and different approaches to tackling problems. Students, as they read the storyline, may accordingly find they are in sympathy with one approach over another but, by following the dialogue, start to appreciate concepts holistically. Our characters discuss physics in a way that springs naturally out of their working lives; their personal relationships are however a crucial part of the format, further encouraging students to follow the narrative. Although the narrative is instructor-led, it is important to have student members of the writing team. We discuss our pilot study done as part of the HESTEM Conceptual Understanding in Physics project. This approach is easily generalised to other sciences.

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