Document Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 2012


Even after instruction, introductory physics students maintain incorrect Aristotelian ideas. This can become a repetitive or more severe problem in large classes where students cannot get the individual attention needed to fully understand the subject. An experiment on student comprehension in Newtonian mechanics was performed through supplemental instruction (SI) on a set of students enrolled in introductory physics. Two test groups were taught utilizing demonstration supplemental instruction (DSI) and recitation supplemental instruction (RSI) respectively. Improvement was tested quantitatively using the pre- and post-test scores for the Force Concept Inventory (FCI). The results from these groups were compared with a control group of students who did not participate in any of the extra lectures. Preliminary results indicate a statistically significant persistence to the 97% confidence level in maintaining the incorrect Aristotelian answer choice within the DSI group. The results also show a benefit in the RSI group over the DSI and the control groups, indicating a potential area to incorporate into the normal class to improve student understanding.

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