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Studio Style Of Teaching At Rose Hulman Institute Of Technology

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.567.1 - 5.567.7



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Paper Authors

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Maarij M. Syed

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Sudipa Mitra-Kirtley

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2380

Studio style of teaching at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Sudipa Mitra-Kirtley and Maarij Syed

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Terre Haute, IN 47803


The studio mode of teaching has been tried in the three introductory physics classes at Rose- Hulman Institute of Technology. In this mode, students go through both lectures and mini- laboratories almost in every class session. As soon as a theoretical idea is taught, the students perform a related experiment, which verifies the concept. In this method, the traditional laboratories are often broken down into smaller parts, and the students perform these as well as many other mini-experiments, which are normally not taught in the traditional mode. The students are also encouraged to devise ways of improving the experiment to enhance its usefulness in exhibiting the physical principles. In addition, students are often offered extra credit projects where their task is to design an experiment, identify the proper tools, and describe how the proposed experiment will help in the understanding of the related principles. The classes meet for two “periods” at a time, to allow students to finish the class activities for the day. Needless to say, the majority of the students have found this method very effective in understanding some of the difficult concepts in these courses, have shown more than usual enthusiasm in taking part in class activities, and, in general, have retained a positive feeling about the subject matter.

1. Introduction

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology has incorporated the new studio style of teaching in the introductory physics courses involving Mechanics, Electricity, Magnetism, and Optics1. Jack Wilson of Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) developed the original idea. At RPI, this method reduced class sizes, increased teacher-student interaction, and enhanced students’ interest in the topic. At Rose-Hulman, the class size is always small, usually not exceeding 30 per section; and the new method received very good feedback from the students as they took a decidedly active part in the classroom. The principle behind this particular style of teaching is that the laboratory is brought into the classroom, and the student tries on hands-on activities regularly to reinforce the concept that has just been introduced by the teacher. The traditional three four-hour laboratory sessions are not present in this format, as the students perform all the experiments during class time. The teacher spends little time at the black board, only just enough to introduce the theory behind the concept. The students work in groups of two or

Syed, M. M., & Mitra-Kirtley, S. (2000, June), Studio Style Of Teaching At Rose Hulman Institute Of Technology Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8725

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