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A Preliminary Study to Define Limits of Active Learning Strategy Effectiveness in Physics Courses

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


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Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Engineering Physics and Physics Division Technical Session 2

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Engineering Physics and Physics

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Paper Authors


C. Bauer-Reich University of Jamestown Orcid 16x16

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Cherish Bauer-Reich is the Chair of the Engineering Department at University of Jamestown in Jamestown, ND, and is a senior member of IEEE. She earned a B.S. in physics and M.S. in electrical engineering, both from North Dakota State University. She also earned an M.S. in earth science from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

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Katrina Christiansen University of Jamestown

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Katrina Christiansen worked in industry as the Director of Malting Technology at Intelligent Malt for 4 years. She worked in malting research and development at Cargill Malt for 4 years. She completed her PhD in Agricultural Engineering at Iowa State University in 2011. She worked as a plant engineer for a bioenergy company after completing her Master's and Bachelors in Biosystems Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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While active learning has been shown in several studies to be more effective approach to developing student learning than the traditional lecture format, ambiguities exist about the effectiveness of flipped classes. In this preliminary study, we show that there are conditions when flipped classrooms are effective and others where they are not. The study uses data collected from two sets of courses: the first set is algebra-based physics courses for upper-level biology and exercise science majors, while the second is a calculus-based physics courses for freshman engineering majors and upper-level pre-professional students. Students were evaluated using the Force Concept Inventory, and the Conceptual Survey of Electricity and Magnetism. The results indicate that flipped classes are generally more useful for freshman, while upper-level students appear to find lecture courses more effective. Specific practices used in both the flipped and lecture-based courses will be discussed in detail.

Bauer-Reich, C., & Christiansen, K. (2020, June), A Preliminary Study to Define Limits of Active Learning Strategy Effectiveness in Physics Courses Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34034

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