Topics Map > Active Learning > Campus Examples
Campus example: Duncan Carlsmith | College of Letters and Science | Physics educational lab activities
These examples were provided by participants of the Blended Learning Fellowship to show how active learning supports teaching and learning challenges in their school, college, institute, or division. The examples reference the work of Michelene T. H. Chi from the article "Active-Constructive-Interactive: A Conceptual Framework for Differentiating Learning Activities," which provides a taxonomy of activities that facilitate different kinds of student engagement with content in ways that support different cognitive outcomes (Chi 77).
COURSE: Physics 247
SCID: College of Letters and Science
Hands-on laboratory experiments in a science such as physics can combine passive, active, constructive, and interactive activities. Lab preparation may entail the processing of scaffolding in general physics principles, in instrument principles, operation, design, and limitations, and in analysis and modeling techniques including statistical principles and simulation code examples. Each of these subactivities may have passive, active, and constructive steps, as assessment. The hands-on lab activity itself entails a structured phase including calibration steps and possibly guided initial investigations in which students collaboratively decide how to implement suggested procedures and then undertake to complete these. Along the way, they will gain insights and discover unexpected phenomena to investigate. The structured inquiry phase can be followed by learner-driven investigations and a period of reflection and careful documentation of invented procedures, analysis results, conclusions, and suggested future steps.
|Doing something physically||Producing outputs that contain ideas that go beyond the presented information||Dialoguing substantively on the same topic|
|Setting up and operating equipment.||Assembling the experimental setup. Modifying instrument settings and configurations. Recording data by hand or acquired electronically. Creating graphical displays of data and fitting and interpreting models.||Deciding on roles in the investigative group. Questioning and interpreting intermediate results. Evaluating team member performance using CATME.|