About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5703-5711
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.1358

Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain


We report on the impact of performing simple experiments on the learning process of first year students enrolled in the Physics degree, Electronic Engineering degree, Mathematics degree and Double degree in Physics and Electronic Engineering, in the General Physics course at the Science and Technology Faculty at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU).

In previous studies [1,2] the authors of this communication investigated the role of a formative evaluation via mandatory or optional Moodle quizzes at the end of every unit of the course. They concluded that those students passing the quizzes increased their probability of passing the course and, on average, obtained better final marks, regardless of whether the quizzes were mandatory or optional. The latter case showed that even if they were not enforced to solve the quizzes, they were aware that a self-evaluation was for their own benefit, which gave an idea of the students’ willingness to study Physics regularly instead of leaving it to the last minute, that is, as exams got closer.

However, an assessment of our student’s preconceptions on some basic topics of the General Physics course has never been carried out, and, as we will show, this is an extremely important point to take into account in order to improve their understanding and performance in a subject like Physics. Indeed, lecturers may take for granted that their students’ physical intuition on the outcome of very simple experiments related to a daily-life event is correct. In order to investigate this fact we have designed simple experiments for some topics of the General Physics course, which are performed during the lectures before starting a new topic. We check the prior knowledge and preconceived ideas the students may have on the topic by an anonymous survey via kahoot [3] with questions related to the outcome of the experiment before starting it up. Surprisingly (for them and for the lecturers) most of the times their intuition fails. The students start asking themselves what is the physics behind the experiment only after seeing its result, so it triggers their motivation towards the topic they are about to study. Eventually, after studying this topic, the students should be able to explain correctly the outcome of the experiment. We check this point by adding a question related to it in the midterm exam. This allows us to present a quantitative evaluation of the impact of this strategy, comparing the percentage of correct answers before the experiment (via kahoot) and in the exam. Most of the students find these non intuitive experiments very useful as they trigger the necessity of understanding the correct answer. Results confirm this statement showing a higher percentage of students that answer correctly at the end of the process.

[1] G.A. López, J. Sáenz, A. Leonardo, I.G. Gurtubay (2016) “Use of the Moodle platform to promote an ongoing learning when lecturing General Physics in the Physics, Mathematics and Electronic Engineering programmes at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU),” Journal of Science Education and Technology, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 575-589.
[2] J. Sáenz, G.A. López, J. Martinez-Perdiguero, I. Alonso, A. Leonardo, I.G. Gurtubay (2017) “The use of Moodle quizzes by students of first year physics in the university: mandatory versus optional quizzes”, ICERI2017 proceedings, pp. 5469-5472.
[3] https://kahoot.com/
author = {Gurtubay, I.G. and S{\'{a}}enz, J. and L{\'{o}}pez, G.A. and Gonz{\'{a}}lez-Roj{\'{i}}, S.J. and Unzueta, I. and Garcia-Goiricelaya, P. and Alonso, I. and Leonardo, A. and Martinez-Perdiguero, J.},
series = {12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-9480-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2018.1358},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2018.1358},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {5703-5711}}
AU - I.G. Gurtubay AU - J. Sáenz AU - G.A. López AU - S.J. González-Rojí AU - I. Unzueta AU - P. Garcia-Goiricelaya AU - I. Alonso AU - A. Leonardo AU - J. Martinez-Perdiguero
SN - 978-84-697-9480-7/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2018.1358
PY - 2018
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2018
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2018 Proceedings
SP - 5703
EP - 5711
ER -
I.G. Gurtubay, J. Sáenz, G.A. López, S.J. González-Rojí, I. Unzueta, P. Garcia-Goiricelaya, I. Alonso, A. Leonardo, J. Martinez-Perdiguero (2018) LEARNING PHYSICS FROM WRONG PRECONCEPTIONS THROUGH DAILY-LIFE RELATED EXPERIMENTS, INTED2018 Proceedings, pp. 5703-5711.