Zdeslav Hrepic

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The effectiveness of lecture format of physics instruction has been demonstrated to be inferior to that of more recently developed, research based methods (R. R. Hake, 1997; L. C. McDermott, 1993; E. F. Redish, 2003b). The information retained from traditional lecture frequently has a short lifetime and is unreliable. Our earlier study identified various types of misunderstandings that may occur in a lecture type setting. They include recording facts incorrectly, concentrating on particularities and details in the instructor’s statements at the expense of the more general concept, hearing “what makes sense” while overlooking what was actually stated, using the same terminology that experts use but with very different meaning attached to it and so on (Hrepic et al., 2007). This occurs even when learning conditions are in many aspects better than those during typical lecture. Nonetheless, the lecture is still by far the most widely used format of instruction due to its primary advantage of reaching large numbers of students simultaneously. In this chapter we analyze the shortcomings of a lecture identified in previous studies and explore opportunities that wireless pen-based computing technology accompanied by DyKnow software offer in addressing these shortcomings. We finally present data on the effectiveness of DyKnow obtained in our and other studies. Metrics include test score comparisons, students’ end-of-semester teacher/course evaluations and students’ input and feedback related to the instructional value of the software and hardware (Hrepic, 2007).

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