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The Classroom Experience

LMC students in physics classLake Michigan College physics instructor and program coordinator Mike Durren believes that you can't learn physics by observation alone. Attendance is taken regularly, but is not calculated into the final grade. Attendance is necessary for successful completion of the course.

Expectations and Skills Taught
You must be self-motivated in these courses. "I don't assign homework problems, but I do expect students to be able to understand all the problems in the book. If students are struggling with a problem, I encourage them to ask me, and we'll work it out in class. I don't want students to nod along, I want them to understand physics," says Durren.

Grades will be based on exams, quizzes, and lab reports. Expect to apply learned ideas.

Technology in the Classroom and Laboratories
New technology was added to the physics labs in 2004. Interface equipment, in combination with computer programs, allows students to see, test, and plot data on the following elements:

  • Motion
  • Light
  • Sounds
  • Temperature
  • Electric charge

Labs hold 12 stations, which allow for optimum hands-on opportunities.

A variety of technologies are used in conjunction with traditional lecture and hands-on activities. PowerPoint presentations, videos, DVDs, the Internet and materials available on Canvas (the College's instructional Intranet) play an important role in class.

Getting the Most From the Program
"I hold regular office hours for students. I welcome students to come in and get additional explanations on physics topics," says Durren.

Physics resources are also available in the Library for your use. Solutions manuals for text questions and a test bank of multiple-choice questions are available for you to review outside of class.

You should also keep in touch with your advisor to make sure you are on track. If necessary, your plan can be revised to adjust for any circumstances that may change your available time to complete the program.

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