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Science. 2011 May 13;332(6031):862-4. doi: 10.1126/science.1201783.

Improved learning in a large-enrollment physics class.

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Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


We compared the amounts of learning achieved using two different instructional approaches under controlled conditions. We measured the learning of a specific set of topics and objectives when taught by 3 hours of traditional lecture given by an experienced highly rated instructor and 3 hours of instruction given by a trained but inexperienced instructor using instruction based on research in cognitive psychology and physics education. The comparison was made between two large sections (N = 267 and N = 271) of an introductory undergraduate physics course. We found increased student attendance, higher engagement, and more than twice the learning in the section taught using research-based instruction.

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