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The use of concept tests and peer instruction in upper-division physics Documents

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The use of concept tests and peer instruction in upper-division physics 

written by Steven J. Pollock, Stephanie V. Chasteen, Michael Dubson, and Katherine K. Perkins

Many upper-division courses at the University of Colorado now regularly use peer instruction in the form of clicker questions during lectures. Particular attention has been paid to developing and implementing clicker questions in junior-level E&M and Quantum mechanics. These transformed classes largely follow traditional local norms of syllabus and content coverage, but are designed to address broader learning goals (e.g developing math-physics connections) that our faculty expect from physics majors in these courses. Concept-tests are designed to align with these goals, and have altered the dynamic of our classes. Coupled with other course transformations, we find measurable improvement in student performance on targeted conceptual post-tests. Here, we discuss classroom logistics of upper-division clickers, purposes of clicker questions, aspects of student engagement facilitated by concept-tests, and observations of and challenges to sustainability of this activity.

Published August 24, 2010
Last Modified November 3, 2010

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