9-13 July 2012
Africa/Johannesburg timezone
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Active Learning in Thermal and Statistical Physics at the University of the Witwatersrand

Presented by Dr. Jonathan KEARTLAND on 11 Jul 2012 from 11:15 to 11:35
Type: Oral Presentation
Session: Education
Track: Track E - Physics Education

Abstract

Active learning techniques have been employed in the 2nd and 3rd year Thermal and Statistical Physics modules since 2009. The introduction of these methods has resulted in increased student participation during lectures, and improved student performance in both modules. This paper reports on an ongoing evaluation of active learning initiatives in these two modules, and compares and contrasts student performance in, and attitudes to, modules at 2nd and 3rd year level that are not presented using active learning. The study suggests that active learning has the potential to improve student performance and understanding in higher level courses, and that this approach may benefit experienced physics instructors in teaching concepts that are traditionally regarded as difficult by students.

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