OK, so I've started my search and thought I'd log a bit about where I've searched and the time it takes in light of Ethel's request.
First I did a search for Physics at http://freelearning.ca
Based on the results returned I decided to start with the PhET Interactive Simulations site http://phet.colorado.edu
which provides fun, interactive research-based simulations of physical phenomena for free. Searching physics on PhET returns 93 results some of which relate to my objectives. However, when I started to review some of the actual resources that seemed relevant the additional information showed that the standards these activities were targeted to were for K-12 not post secondary. So I decided to move on.
I'm very interested in the possibility of finding a free, open textbook for my physics 100 and the Free Learning search results indicated there was a book Motion Mountain The Adventures of Physics that is a free physics textbook and even has a section on "the physics of love". Well given tomorrow is Valentine's day that sounded interesting so I went to check it out. (Its hard to stay focused on my learning outcomes when there is so much interesting related material.)http://www.motionmountain.net/index.html
In looking through the Contents (http://www.motionmountain.net/contents.html
) it seemed to me that the first volume related to my outcomes but the remaining volumes seemed a bit advanced. So I downloaded the first volume which comes as a .pdf. I've taken a quick skim through it and find it really quite interesting - lots of tables, full colour images, and diagrams illustrating concepts. Also asks interesting questions like "Why do clocks go clockwise?" and puzzlers like ‘Where am I?’ is a common question; ‘When am I?’ is never asked, not even in other languages. Why?" This book extends the exploration of physics into unusual dimensions. I've set it aside for now but intend to come back with one of my specific learning objectives in mind and see how well it supports me in achieving them.
Sticking with results generated by Free Learning for a while and knowing I'm a visual learner I decided to explore the Open Video Project http://www.open-video.org
. Again I searched for physics and 32 videos were found. I've decided it might be worth focusing on my objectives to narrow down what I'm finding and have picked the one that relates to applying Newton's laws to common transportation systems (cars, bicycles etc.). One of the search results NASASciFiles - The Case of the Radical Ride (2004) is 10 video segments exploring the future of transportation involving concept cars and how new vehicles will look like in the future. That sounds interesting. I clicked through for more info. Its a hundreds of MB download but seems quite relevant - explores the history of transportation including inventions such as the wheel, steam engine and combustion engine and goes on to explore future transportation such as personal air vehicles, air taxis, and space travel by tourists. Only thing holding me back from using this is its humungous size.
One more resource before I stop. Free Learning also identified the WikiPremed MCAT course as having some great resources for physics including flashcards so over to there I go http://www.wikipremed.com
. I'm sticking with Newton's forces and this site provides a great summary of key must know basics. Includes concept illustrations, flash cards, question drills and other activities that reinforce the memorization of fundamentals.
OK, so I've spent an hour of my Sunday morning coffee time searching and so far I've found simulations, an open textbook, video, and flashcard drill resources all from using just one OER search engine Free Learning. Pretty good return for my effort. However, here's where I'm seeing some challenges. If as a learner I'm expected to construct my own learning around pre-defined learning outcomes I have a long way to go. The process of searching, finding, exploring and assessing is proving to be fascinating but also time consuming and I've still got to pick and choose what pieces of each of the resources I'm finding are relevant, organize them, and then apply them through use to achieve my desired learning outcomes. Historically this selecting, organizing and structuring process has been done for students by the teacher.
In the OER University will students construct their own learning, as I'm doing with OER they find, or will teachers/mentors still construct learning processes and activities for students?