A Formal Model Simulation of Group Learning Behaviors: Group Size and Collaborative Performance

By  Florin Bocaneala, Lei Bao
Received: 2011-3-12 / Accepted: 2011-5-15 / Published: 2011-6-30
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Abstract Recently, group study has become a common educational strategy employed by educators throughout the country. In this paper, we attempt to construct theoretical models to support and help us understand the reputed efficiency of the group learning over traditional instruction. Specifically, we concentrate on one aspect of the group dynamics: the dynamics of the group emergent semantic agreement. [More...]

Effectiveness of Two Interactive Learning Techniques in Introductory Astronomy

By  Jessica C. Lair, Jing Wamg
Received: 2011-4-16 / Accepted: 2011-6-27 / Published: 2011-6-30
PDF Main Manuscript (156.95 KB)
Abstract As a part of the shift to active learning environments in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Eastern Kentucky University, we implemented the use of a clicker system in all the introductory astronomy courses. The clickers were used in class on a daily basis to allow students to actively participate in lectures. Several of the astronomy courses at Eastern Kentucky University also include interactive laboratory sessions. Here we present pre- and post-test data from the solar system astronomy class utilizing the Astronomy Diagnostic Test (ADT) from the first semester of clicker use compared to previous semesters. We also compared the differences between the laboratory and non-laboratory sections of the introductory astronomy course by comparing their ADT results. In both cases the students’ normalized gain on the ADT is higher when taught the concepts using the interactive techniques [More...]

Experimental Designs for Inquiry with Problem-Based Strategy

By  Shaona Zhou, Yau-Yuen Yeung, Hua Xiao, Xiaojun Wang
Received: 2011-1-16 / Accepted: 2011-5-7 / Published: 2011-6-30
PDF Main Manuscript (216.7 KB)
Abstract Taking into account that current teaching methods fail to lead students to feel the connections between science and society, and that some drawbacks exist in experimental courses, we have designed a series of experiments with Integrated Circuit (IC) cards which lead the reader to follow a problem-based strategy. The experiments are developed to help students get a better experience through inquiry. Several questions are provided for each experiment as a guide to start the investigation. These questions are without standard answers, so students are suggested to explore by themselves. With the experimental results, we could also ask students to think over the restrictions of how to utilize the IC card in daily life. [More...]