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2010 Summer Meeting

2011 AAPT Summer Meeting
July 30-August 3, 2011
Omaha, Nebraska

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PST1E03:

Socratic Dialogs and Clicker Use in Upper-Division Mechanics Courses
  Location: KFC Courts
  Date: Monday, Aug.1
  Time: 8:00 PM -8:45 PM
  Author: Lincoln Carr, Colorado School of Mines
303-273-3759, lcarr@mines.edu
  Co-Author(s): Vincent H. Kuo , Patrick B. Kohl , Noah Finkelstein
  Abstract: The general problem of effectively using interactive engagement in non-introductory physics courses remains open. We present a three-year study comparing different approaches to lecturing in an intermediate mechanics course at the Colorado School of Mines. In the first two years, the lectures were modified to include Socratic dialogs between the instructor and students. In the third year, the instructor used clickers and Peer Instruction. All other course materials were nearly identical to an established traditional lecture course. We present results from exams, course evaluations, the CLASS attitude survey, and a new conceptual survey. We observe little change in student exam performance as lecture techniques varied, though students consistently stated clickers were "the best part of the course" from which they "learned the most." Indeed, when using clickers in this course, students were considerably more likely to become engaged than students in CSM introductory courses using the same methods.
  Footnotes: None
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