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Abstract

Despite efforts to engage students in the traditional lecture environment, faculty in Georgia Southern University’s Physics Department became dissatisfied with lecture as the primary means of instruction. During the fall semester of 2006, our department began adapting the studio model to suit the needs of introductory calculus-based physics students at our institution. A studio course seamlessly integrates the lecture and laboratory courses into a single course, devoting much of the class time to active, collaborative, student-centered learning. An emphasis was placed on replacing traditional lectures with interactive, technology enriched class periods designed around the various learning styles. New teaching materials were created so that old laboratory assignments, very “cook-book” in nature, could be replaced with new inquiry-based laboratories. Assessment indicated students enrolled in the studio courses experience greater success in achieving the desired learning outcomes than those students enrolled in the traditional lecture courses. As of the fall semester of 2008, all sections of the introductory calculus-based physics courses at Georgia Southern University are taught utilizing the newly adapted studio model.

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