Published Online: May 24, 2011
Published in Print: May 25, 2011, as Instructional Style

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Instructional Style

"Improved Learning in a Large-Enrollment Physics Class"

A study in the May issue of Science suggests that, even in classes exceeding 250 students, interactive learning can be more effective than lecturing.

Researchers in the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver compared two undergraduate physics classes, each with about 270 students. One was taught by an experienced instructor in a lecture style, the other by a teaching assistant using small-group tasks. Students in the interactive class had an average score of 74 percent on the unit test, compared to 41 percent for the control group.

Vol. 30, Issue 32, Page 5

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