AAS 200th meeting, Albuquerque, NM, June 2002
Session 26. Quo Vadis Astronomy Education
Special Session Oral, Monday, June 3, 2002, 2:00-3:30pm, Ballroom B

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[26.03] How Effective Is Our Teaching?

S. Wyckoff (Arizona State University)

More than 90% of U.S. university introductory physics courses are taught using lecture methods in spite of the large amount of research indicating that interactive teaching is considerably more effective. A brief overview of physics education research will be given, together with relevant connections with astronomy education research.

Large enrollment classrooms have in the past presented obstacles to converting from lecture to interactive teaching. However, classroom communication systems (CCS) now provide a cost-effective way to convert any science classroom into an interactive learning environment. A pretest-posttest study using control groups of ten large enrollment introductory physics courses will be described. A new instrument, the Physics Concept Survey (PCS), developed to measure student understanding of basic concepts will be described, together with a classroom observation instrument, the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP), for measuring the extent that interactive teaching is used in a science classroom. We find that student conceptual understanding was enhanced by a factor of three in the interactive classrooms compared with the traditional lecture (control) courses. Moreover, a correlation between the PCS normalized gains and the RTOP scores is indicative that the interaction in the classrooms is the cause of the students' improved learning of basic physics concepts.

This research was funded by the NSF (DUE 9453610).

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://acept.asu.edu. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: wyckoff@asu.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.