Master of Natural Sciences (MNS)


Natural Sciences (Interdepartmental Program)

Document Type



Because students are often taught physics in a traditional, lecture-based classroom, the present study was undertaken to test whether the use of peer instruction, specifically concept questions embedded within a PowerPoint that allows for students to interact throughout the lecture, affects learner outcomes in a classroom setting. The outcomes from classes taught using peer instruction were compared to classes taught with traditional, lecture-based teaching strategies. Students in five different sections of a 9th grade Physical Science class were given pre-tests and post-tests to determine their learning gains on the topics of motion and forces. In the first unit of instruction, three of the five classes were given peer instruction throughout each class lecture while the other two classes received a traditional, lecture based approach to each class. In the second unit, classes that had not used peer instruction previously received the peer instruction treatment, while the other classes received traditional lecture. Overall, the peer instruction technique showed a significant positive effect on learning gains compared to traditional teaching methods when used in a ninth grade Physical Science classroom. In each of the sections of students examined individually, peer instruction was as or more effective than traditional lecturing in improving student learning.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Siebenaller, Joseph F.