Active Learning Recommendations
28 Recommendations are tagged with "Active Learning"
Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite is a book written by Joe Redish, one of the early leaders of physics education research. It was published in 2003 and still provides one of the best introductions to research-based teaching in physics. You can download the entire book in pdf format for free here on PhysPort, or buy it from Wiley.
SCALE-UP is an integrated learning environment where the physical space is designed to discourage lecture and facilitate interactions between small groups working on short, interesting tasks. SCALE-UP classrooms often look more like a restaurant than a lecture hall. Because these classrooms are so different from traditional classroom settings, designing a SCALE-UP classroom can be a challenge.
If you teach using active learning strategies, you may find that students don't automatically engage. Students may just sit back and listen, waiting for their peers to term. Luckily, open resistance is rare. You have the power to impact how students engage with the curriculum and the content.
Students may approach coursework from a mechanistic stance: If the instructor gives me information, I will memorize it, and get a good grade. This approach to learning doesn't lend itself well to an active classroom, which requires students to wrestle with difficult ideas in order to lead to deeper conceptual learning.
It is challenging for instructors to create and maintain a classroom environment where students are comfortable engaging with each other and sharing their results with the class. This article focuses on creating a supportive and respectful classroom community that welcomes engagement, especially in a classroom using active learning.
Instructors who are attempting active learning are often concerned that students won't like it, or will resist. It can be hard, even in the middle of a course, to gauge how well-engaged students are. This article focuses on ways to assess student engagement, both formally and informally.
The first day is important for setting the class tone. It is especially important if you are using active engagement strategies, since students may not be expecting the energy and risk that an active classroom demands. This article focuses on activities that can be done in an active learning classroom in the first week of class, to increase student engagement throughout the semester.
Groups do not always work productively, and not all tasks are suited to group work. Poor group dynamics, or ill-suited tasks, can reduce student engagement. This article focuses on helping students engage productively in active learning classrooms through the type of tasks that are used, and support of productive group dynamics.
Many active learning techniques require students to discuss their ideas either in small groups or in a large class discussion, but, as you know, students don't always erupt into productive conversation. This article focuses on helping students engage productively in discussions in active learning classrooms.
I want to give my students something to work on in groups, but what should they work on? I know that researchers have created many physics activities, but I don't know what I'm looking for. What does a good activity look like? OR, I'm really excited about inventing my own labs or worksheets to give students, but I don't know how to design an activity.
Nearly all research-based teaching methods in physics involve some kind of small group discussions of challenging conceptual activities. Finding good activities is an important component of making small group discussions work in your class. This recommendation includes links to collections where you can find activities to use in your class.
PhET provides fun, free, interactive, research-based science and mathematics simulations. This post describes why you might want to use PhET, and how other faculty have integrated PhET into undergraduate physics courses -- in lecture, homework, labs, and with inquiry-based activities.
PhET simulations are free, online interactive simulations for teaching and learning science. The impact of lecture demonstrations using PhET is greatly increased when students are given the opportunity to interact with the simulations. This article discusses facilitating student discussions, peer instruction, and interactive lecture demonstrations, with PhET.
PhET simulations are free, online interactive simulations for teaching and learning science. In this document, we will discuss using PhET in a guided worksheet; a strategy which has been found to support student learning. But how do we help students use the questions and the simulation to think about the physics, or to practice new skills – not just focus on getting to the end of the worksheet?
PhET simulations are free, online interactive simulations for teaching and learning science. Some teachers use the simulations in-class with guided worksheets or labs. This document describes some suggestions for facilitating activities using PhET -- in a class, lab, or recitation -- in order to get your students to engage with PhET activities.
PhET simulations are free, online interactive simulations for teaching and learning science. The simulations emphasize visual models, cause-and-effect relationships, and multiple representations. Using PhET in a lab setting has many benefits, such as allowing new possibilities for experiments (such as quantum mechanics), quick repeatability, and making visible the underlying mechanisms.
PhET simulations are free, online interactive simulations for teaching and learning science. PhET is ideal for use in homework because the simulations are designed to cue students to explore cause-and-effect relationships, even without an instructor present.
Many research-based teaching methods in physics include activities in which graduate teaching assistants (TAs) and/or undergraduate learning assistants (LAs) facilitate students working in small groups. The success of these methods thus depends heavily on how well TAs and LAs are trained in effective facilitation. Ideally, TAs and LAs should take a course in which they learn about the…
PhysPort es un recurso de internet para apoyar a los profesores de física a utilizar estrategias de enseñanza y evaluación basadas en investigación en sus clases. El sitio es en ingles, pero muchos de los recursos a que se refiere han sido traducido a español. Esta página tiene una lista de recursos para enseñanza y evaluación…
Clicker questions are increasingly being used to stimulate student discussion and provide faculty and students with timely feedback. Research suggests that discussing clicker questions can lead to increased student learning, and that students exchanging constructive criticism can generate conceptual change.
What can you do as an instructor to encourage all students to have…
Tutorials in Introductory Physics are a research-based student activity, developed by the Physics Education Group at the University of Washington (UW). Students work in small groups to complete worksheets based on common student difficulties. Extensive research has demonstrated that Tutorials can improve student learning when implemented properly. Tutorials have been implemented…
Here is a list of resources where you can learn more about research-based teaching in physics.
Do your skeptical colleagues question you or ask you to justify your use of research-based teaching methods in physics? This recommendation provides answers to the most frequently asked questions about research-based teaching in physics from your skeptical colleagues.
-What is PER and why should I care?
-What are research-based teaching methods in physics and why should I care?
This is a draft outline for an article describing the results of physics education research that are most important for practicing physics instructors to know and apply in their classrooms. We will be publishing the results in installments on PhysPort. The goals of this article are to explain the research behind each result in enough detail that readers can easily understand why…
Several research-based teaching methods, including Peer Instruction, CAE Think/Pair/Share, and Technology-Enhanced Formative Assessment, involve asking students to discuss and answer multiple-choice conceptual questions in class. There are at least three methods of collecting students’ answers to these questions: clickers, flashcards, and show of hands. Lasry…
PhysPort contains guides to over 50 "PER-based teaching methods," also known as "interactive engagement" or "active learning" methods. We use "teaching method" in the broadest possible sense, to include curricula, techniques, resources, tools, and reform strategies. To implement these methods effectively, it is helpful to understand the essential features that make them work.
Periscope connects authentic video episodes from best-practices physics classrooms to big questions of teaching and learning. Periscope lessons are useful if you:
-supervise learning assistants (LAs) or teaching assistants (TAs)
-lead faculty development
-seek to improve physics teaching in your department
-want to improve your own physics teaching
We're getting the physics education research out of those stuffy journals and into your hands (or, rather, ears) with this little audio podcast. Co-hosted by veteran high school physics teacher Michael Fuchs and physicist and education researcher Stephanie Chasteen, each episode investigates a piece of the research literature and how it can relate to your classroom.