June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
During the past five years, our team has developed a number of hands-on inquiry-based learning activities (IBLAs). These activities follow a predict-observe-explain cycle, where students are first presented a physical scenario that they must individually evaluate. For example, in the Cylinder IBLA, students are asked to individually predict what will reach the bottom of a ramp more quickly, a pipe or a solid cylinder. Students then discuss the scenario in teams, and subsequently observe the actual “race”. After the observation, the student teams try to explain the results using a guiding worksheet. The first scenario is then discussed with the instructor, and additional variations of the scenario are presented.
As we developed the activities, we allowed each student team to handle the different artifacts and perform the “experiments”. Our current research investigates the differences between having the students perform the hands-on experiments themselves and having the instructor perform a demonstration in front of the room. Two instructors, A and B, teaching from the same syllabus, same course notes, and with a very similar active teaching approach, used both the Pulley IBLA and the Rolling Cylinder IBLA in their class sections. Instructor A did the Pulley IBLA using a hands-on student approach, while Instructor B did the IBLA as a professor-led demonstration. For the Cylinder IBLA, they switched; Instructor A did the demo while Instructor B did the hands-on. We compared results from targeted questions on the Dynamics Concept Inventory (DCI) between the two groups, and also compared these results with other instructors who do not use the IBLAs and teach in more traditional lecture-based approach.
For the Pulley IBLA, DCI scores were: Hands-On [95.4%], Demo [93.9%], Control [70.8%]; for the Cylinder IBLA, the results were Hands-On [84.8%], Demo [86.2%], Control [61.2%]. It is noted that there was no difference between the Hands-On and Demo groups, but that both significantly outperformed the control group.
Self, B. P., & Widmann, J. M. (2017, June), Demo or Hands-on? A Crossover Study on the Most Effective Implementation Strategy for Inquir--Based Learning Activities Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28101
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