Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Incorporating Active Learning Methods into Physics Courses
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- UPED-skrift 
This paper details the results of a small study researching the effectiveness of interactive teaching methods in a high level university physics course. The test subjects consisted of a group of 11 students, who were enrolled on a course at the PhD / Masters level. The course lasted over the period of 1 semester and included both non-interactive and interactive based teaching methods. The study introduced a new element to the course in the form of a 1 week interactive workshop whereby the students worked in small groups analyzing computer based datasets. In previous years this had been taught using non-interactive based methods through a series of lectures and reading assignments. The aim of the seminars was to enable students to bridge the gap between knowing the mathematical equations and concepts taught in the course to applying that knowledge to explain trends in actual data. The findings of the study indicate that the students felt the new interactive methods improved their understanding of how to utilize their knowledge of physics when interpreting and understanding data. They felt they also gained an insight into the methodology utilized by scientists when interpreting data. The study also indicated a higher level of enthusiasm and interest in the students.The result of this study shows the benefits of utilizing interactive teaching methods when introducing students to working with data even at this higher level of study (PhD and Masters).