Active Learning in First Year Physics at the University of Queensland


Speaker: A/Prof. Matthew Davis (University of Queensland)
Date: 28th October 2011

In 2008 a significant change was made to how the first semester introductory physics course PHYS1001 was taught at the University of Queensland.  Traditional lectures were dispensed with, and the new focus was on making sure students were prepared for class, and actively involved in doing physics during lecture hours.  By a range of measures the changes have been very successful, both in terms of student opinion and in terms of learning gains as compared to international benchmarks. This approach is now being used in PHYS1002, and to some extent in other physics courses.

This talk will outline the motivation behind the changes, describe the teaching methods that are used, and present evidence of the effects it has had on student learning and engagement.