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ERIC Number: EJ1085707
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Jan
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Active Learning Strategies for Introductory Light and Optics
Sokoloff, David R.
Physics Teacher, v54 n1 p18-23 Jan 2016
There is considerable evidence that traditional approaches are ineffective in teaching physics concepts, including light and optics concepts. A major focus of the work of the Activity Based Physics Group has been on the development of active learning curricula like RealTime Physics (RTP) labs and Interactive Lecture Demonstrations (ILDs). Among the characteristics of these curricula are: (1) use of a learning cycle in which students are challenged to compare predictions--discussed with their peers in small groups--to observations of the physical world; (2) use of guided hands-on work to construct basic concepts from observations; and (3) use of computer-based tools. It has been possible to change the lecture and laboratory learning environments at a large number of universities, colleges, and high schools without changing the structure of the introductory course. For example, in the United States, nearly 200 physics departments have adopted RTP, and many others use pre-publication, open-source versions or have adopted the RTP approach to develop their own labs. Examples from RTP and ILDs (including optics magic tricks) are described in this paper.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF); Office of Postsecondary Education (ED)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A