Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy
Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Interactive Learning in the Lecture-Class Setting

Al Slavin
Trent University

Wednesday, January 30, 2008
3:30 PM @ Stirling A

Abstract:

Extensive research in physics teaching shows that the traditional lecture approach is inferior to a student-interaction approach in developing conceptual understanding of the course material. This presentation will provide a brief summary of some of this research, and then discuss the combination of two approaches -- Peer Instruction (including the use of "clickers") and Just-in-Time Teaching -- that have been shown to be successful pedagogically, cost effective, and more enjoyable for both the students and the instructor than the conventional lecture. These methods have been used with success at both the introductory and upper-year levels. Data will also be presented on the drop-out rate from Trent's introductory physics class that, coupled with the declining ability of students attending universities, raises further the question of what teaching methods are appropriate at the first-year level.