AN INNOVATIVE INQUIRY-ORIENTED ACTIVITY FOR PHYSICS LEARNING: THE CASE OF MOMENTUM CONSERVATION AND COLLISIONS

J.A. Molina Bolívar

University of Málaga (SPAIN)
Recent teaching approaches of emphasize the role of technology-enhanced environments in science learning: such environments allow learners to explore scientific phenomena interactively. Multimedia and computer-based tools enable learners to perform complex learning activities. One such approach is Inquiry-Based Science Education (IBSE) where students work together in small groups and the instructor serves as a facilitator or “coach” instead of a lecturer. IBSE is a student-centered active learning strategy focused on questioning to discover natural laws, linking information into a meaningful context, developing critical thinking and promoting positive attitudes towards science. In this pedagogical method the students are guided through investigations to “discover” concepts. In line with these current trends about developing learning sequences in science education we have designed innovative inquiry oriented lessons aiming at providing university students a comprehensive understanding of Physics principles. The developed units make an extensive use of ICT-based tools such as video analysis, capture of movement with high-speed digital camera and Moodle platform. In the present academic year we have implemented these units based on the Inquiry-Based Physics philosophy in the programme of Physics I for the grade of Mechanical Engineering in the University of Málaga. We present in this communication the followed process and results obtained for the lesson of Momentum, Impulse and Collisions. Preliminary studies showed a relevant evolvement in student´s understanding of concepts in momentum conservation and its application to collisions between two bodies.

Acknowledgement: This work has been financially supported by the Project PIE13-005 University of Málaga.