Despite efforts to engage students in the traditional lecture environment, faculty in the 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. Assessment indicated students completing the Physics I and Physics II studio courses experienced greater success in achieving the desired learning outcomes for the introductory courses. We feel students in the studio courses demonstrated a better understanding of physics concepts than their peers enrolled in the traditional lecture courses based on measured results from national conceptual exams.
Active learning studio model, SoTL of introductory physics