For many physics instructors, maintaining motivation and building engagement to better support students with various learning challenges can be difficult. Students often view physics as a series of unrelated facts, concepts, and equations that have little or no bearing on their everyday lives. This disconnect can often lead to disengagement and lack of motivation. Additional common student learning challenges include: difficulty connecting mathematical formalism and physics
concepts, assembling diverse concepts, and overcoming common preconceptions (or misconceptions).
Physics education research (PER) suggests that by addressing student preconceptions and focusing on conceptual learning, students will achieve a much deeper understanding. Students who connect physics to the real world and confront preconceptions will be better engaged and more equipped to build the necessary conceptual framework to achieve better learning outcomes.