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16 APRIL 2013

SCALE-UP: solving the shortcomings in traditional physics instruction

"Studio/workshop classes such as SCALE–UP (Student–Centered Activities for Large Enrollment Undergraduate Programs) give instructors another choice by replacing the lecture/laboratory format with 4–6 hours of activity–based instruction per week, typically in 2–hour blocks. This format has several advantages over the traditional lecture/laboratory format. Because the entire class is taught in the same room with the same students and instructors in each class, all activities, including laboratory experiments, can be arranged to build on one another in sequence for greater learning impact (14) than when some activities are taught in small sections running parallel to the lecture course. When a lab section is taught as a separate course, it is often weeks or at best a few days ahead of or behind the lecture, and for some students, the lab course is not even taken in the same term as the lecture. Additionally, even in an interactive lecture, students can avoid instructors by hiding in the middle of the row, away from the aisles. In the studio format, instructors can freely circulate and interact with any group at any time."

(Robert Beichner and Jeffery Saul)

TAGS

active learningactivity-based instructionactivity-based learning designs • American Association for the Advancement of Science • biologychemistryclassesclassroom • conceptual understanding • curriculum development • faculty interactions • faculty membershands-on activities • hands-on experiments • instructional materials • interactive lecture activities • interactive lecture demonstrations • interactive lectures • introductory curricula • laboratory • laboratory experiments • large classes • learning and teaching • lecture course • lecture/laboratory formatpedagogic approachespedagogic practices • pedagogic support • peer instruction • PER • physics • Physics Education Research • physics instruction • physics tutor • recitation • SCALE-UP • SCALE-UP project • small classes • STEM subjects • Student-Centred Activities for Large Enrollment Undergraduate Programmes • studio approach • studio/workshop classes • teaching methodstraditional practices

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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