PLTL is an optional program offered to all Introductory Physics students. PLTL students are placed into a study group that meets for two hours on Saturday, Sunday or Monday throughout the semester. Group members work through a problem set designed to require a collaborative effort, to help develop critical thinking skills and to hone advanced problem-solving abilities. These groups are facilitated by a trained undergraduate peer leader, who guides and encourages the group through the learning process.
It is our goal to develop independent, creative, analytical, and critical thinkers. With these goals in mind, our sequence is designed in such as a way as to place emphasis on critical-thinking skills and problem-solving methods. This program will assist you not only in mastering the course material, but in learning the value of group discussion, team work, and peer review in furthering one’s own knowledge. You will learn different methods of group work, critical-thinking skills, and study strategies. No answer keys are provided; you must decide as a group whether answers are reasonable and correct. However, your group will never leave thinking a wrong answer is correct. This strategy enables you to be confident when applying your knowledge and understanding to new problems and concepts but allows for necessary error correction. This confidence and error correction is essential for performing well on quizzes and exams, as well as in any career you might choose to pursue. The PLTL program provides a supportive community of scholars and emphasizes taking responsibility for your own learning.
Even if you are not a part of a PLTL study group, the problem sets will still be made available to all students on their course Canvas page at the start of the last PLTL session of every week. You’re encouraged to form your own independent study groups and work through the problems for extra practice.
If you have questions about the PLTL program, please contact the Physics PLTL coordinator via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).