K. Anne Miller, N. Lasry, K. Chu, and E. Mazur. 2013. “Role of physics lecture demonstrations in conceptual learning.” PRST, 9(2), Pp. –. Publisher's VersionAbstract
    Previous research suggests that students’ prior knowledge can interfere with how they observe and remember lecture demonstrations. We measured students’ prior knowledge in introductory mechanics and electricity and magnetism at two large universities. Students were then asked to predict the outcome of lecture demonstrations. We compare students’ predictions before having seen the demonstration to what they report having seen both right after the demonstration and several weeks later. We report four main findings. First, roughly one out of every five observations of a demonstration is inconsistent with the actual outcome. Second, students who understand the underlying concepts before observing the demonstration are more likely to observe it and remember it correctly. Third, students are roughly 20% (23%) more likely to observe a demonstration correctly if they predict the outcome first, regardless of whether the prediction is correct or not. Last, conceptual learning is contingent on the student making a correct observation. This study represents an initial step towards understanding the disconnect reported between demonstrations and student learning.
    C. H. Crouch, A. P. Fagen, J. Paul Callan, and E. Mazur. 2004. “Classroom Demonstrations: Learning Tools or Entertainment?” Am. J. Phys., 72, Pp. 835–838. Publisher's VersionAbstract
    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.