Do students learn more from some demonstrations than others?

Presentation Date: 

Monday, June 24, 2002


2002 National Summer Conference: "Integrating Science and Mathematics Education Research into Teaching", University of Maine (Orono, ME)

Presentation Slides: 

We previously compared the effectiveness of different modes of performing classroom demonstrations and found that students who passively observe demonstrations understand the underlying concepts no better than students who do not see the demonstration at all.* Furthermore, students who simply predict the demonstration outcome before seeing it display significantly greater understanding. Here, we extend this study to examine the role of pedagogy with demonstrations developed as part of a research-based curriculum designed to address student misconceptions. We selected individual demonstrations from the Interactive Lecture Demonstrations curriculum of Sokoloff and Thornton (1997) and presented them in different modes with different degrees of engagement to different sections of students. We then assessed students ability to correctly predict and explain the outcome of identical physical situations and compared performance with the mode of presentation for each student. * Fagen et al., 2002 AAPT Meeting; manuscript in preparation David R. Sokoloff and Ronald K. Thornton, "Using Interactive Lecture Demonstrations to Create an Active Learning Environment," The Physics Teacher 35, 340-346 (1997).