Socratic Dialogs and Clicker use in an Upper-Division Mechanics Course Documents
H. Vincent Kuo,
Patrick B. Kohl , and
Lincoln D. Carr
The general problem of effectively using interactive engagement in non-introductory physics courses remains open. We present a three-year study comparing different approaches to lecturing in an intermediate mechanics course at the Colorado School of Mines. In the first year, the lectures were fairly traditional. In the second year the lectures were modified to include Socratic dialogs between the instructor and students. In the third year, the instructor used a personal response system and Peer Instruction-like pedagogy. All other course materials were nearly identical to an established traditional lecture course. We present results from a new instructor-constructed conceptual survey, exams, and course evaluations. We observe little change in student exam performance as lecture techniques varied, though students consistently stated clickers were "the best part of the course" from which they "learned the most." Indeed, when using clickers in this course, students were considerably more likely to become engaged than students in CSM introductory courses using the same methods.
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Published February 6, 2012
Last Modified April 25, 2012
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