Lecture slides and online tools
I am a firm believer of using technology if it promotes learning. I create electronic slides for each of my lectures and I post them on Humber's Blackboard site. These slides become the bedrock for my classes, guiding my students through the course material inside and outside of the classroom. Please see a sample lecture slide below from my 1st year mathematics course, and click here for the entire set of lecture slides.
As you can see from the slides, I leverage websites that can make mathematical concepts visual and interactive. A couple of the most effective online tools I have used are the PhET interactive simulations from University of Colorado, and the wealth of math exercises from Khan Academy.
In my 2011 physics course for 2nd year game programmers, I focused not only on the theoretical side of Newtonian physics, but also on professional tools used in the video game industry. The hugely popular game "Angry Birds" is a fantastic example of a video game that uses physics at its core. For the final year project I asked my students to create a simple game that uses the 2D physics engine behind Angry Birds. A student created a fantastic physics game called Ballin. He has polished it further since then and you can see the video below. More details can be found at http://www.dreamsake.org.
After the success of introducing professional game programming libraries to my students, I decided to focus heavily on the 3D physics engine Bullet and the 3D graphics engine Ogre. There is a fabulous amount of mathemematics needed to represent objects in 3D and to coax them around the screen realistically. For my final year project, I asked my students to create a tech demo using these tools. Here is a great example from a student in my 2011 class.
Since arriving at Humber College I have strived to make math and physics relevant and exiting. I have found that hands on examples and interactive tools help students realise the connection between math, physics and their lives outside the classroom.
I enjoy a good amount of autonomy at Humber College to teach and evaluate student performance. I use this flexibility to create hands-on, practical exams for my math and physics courses. Instead of traditional questions on paper, I ask my final year students to use lab computers and professional tools to build sophisticated simulations that demonstrate key concepts. I have found that some students use their exam answers as a springboard to more interesting simulations outside the classroom.