Physics concepts: Engineering PBL at USQ

Sabburg, J. and Fahey, P. and Brodie, L. (2006) Physics concepts: Engineering PBL at USQ. In: Australian Institute of Physics (AIP) 17th National Congress 2006, 3-8 Dec 2006, Brisbane, Australia.

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Problem based learning (PBL) has been incorporated into the curriculum of programs offered by the Faculty of
Engineering and Surveying at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) since 2001. This paper examines student
learning in a team-based PBL course offered in 2006. The study checks students’ understanding of 10 fundamental
physics concepts using computer administered quizzes conducted at the beginning and end of the semester. Pre-course results indicate that there is no difference in students’ general understanding of physics concepts between those entering PBL and those entering the more traditional physics course. Neither was there a difference based on the type of physics curriculum they had undertaken at secondary level. It was found that this PBL course is ‘pitched’ at the
physics concepts in which students have the greatest prior knowledge. At the completion of the course only one
question resulted in greater than 50% incorrect answers by those who had not previously studied physics, with the
same question also being the least correctly answered by those that had previously studied physics. Further, students
with less than 1 year of physics in year 11 and 12 are benefiting most from the physics content of this PBL course.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Authors retain copyright.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Biological and Physical Sciences
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2007 11:55
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2015 02:39
Uncontrolled Keywords: physics education; higher education research
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9303 Curriculum > 930302 Syllabus and Curriculum Development

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