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Classroom Demonstrations: Learning Tools or Entertainment?

Catherine H. Crouch, Adam P. Fagen, John Paul Callan and Eric Mazur

Am. J. Phys., 72, 835-838 (2004).  export citation

DOI: 10.1119/1.1707018

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We compared student learning from different modes of presenting classroom demonstrations, in order to determine how much students learn from traditionally presented demonstrations, and whether this learning can be enhanced by simply changing the mode of presentation and thereby increasing student engagement. Students who passively observe demonstrations understand the underlying concepts no better than students who do not see the demonstration at all. Students who predict the demonstration outcome before seeing it, however, display significantly greater understanding.

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