What course elements correlate with improvement on tests in introductory Newtonian mechanics?
Author(s)Morote, Elsa-Sofia; Pritchard, David E.
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In an MIT calculus-based introductory Newtonian mechanics course, we study the effectiveness of various instructional course elements: electronic and written homeworks, collaborative group problems, and class participation. We measure effectiveness by the slope of the regression line between a student's score (used as a proxy for participation) on a particular course element and his normalized gain on various assessment instruments. These instruments were the MIT final exam comprised mainly of multipart problems demanding analytic responses and two widely used standard physics tests that emphasize conceptual knowledge: the Force Concept Inventory and the Mechanics Baseline Test. The results show that interactive course elements are associated with higher gains on assessment instruments: doing interactive electronic homework administered by myCyberTutor correlated with large gains on the final exam producing a learning effect of 1.8±0.4 standard deviations on the final examination score. myCyberTutor and collaborative group problem solving correlated with gains on the more conceptual tests. We also report surveys that demonstrate that students have had an increasingly favorable opinion of myCyberTutor over the four terms of its use.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Physics
American Journal of Physics
American Association of Physics Teachers
Morote, Elsa-Sofia, and David E. Pritchard. “What course elements correlate with improvement on tests in introductory Newtonian mechanics?.” American Journal of Physics 77.8 (2009): 746-753.
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