Students' Perception of Active Learning in the Acoustic Physics Course

Johanna Antonia Perasso, Angeles Dominguez

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


For several years now, university education has been moving towards implementing active learning methodologies in sciences, where the application of knowledge and student agency and participation are key components. This trend has taken on different nuances and colors depending on the educational level, disciplinary content, institutional culture, and educational structure, among other factors. Among these methodologies, we highlight the proposal by Sokoloff and Thornton, known as Interactive Lecture Demonstration (ILD), which allows for the transformation of a passive class into an active one, enabling students to be the protagonists of their learning. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of a modified version of the ILD on the teaching and learning of a physics course through the students' perception. The modified ILD has the same three stages as the original ILD, with two main differences in who performs the experiment and when it is performed. Specifically, the three phases in the modified ILD are 1) predict, 2) experiment (by students working in groups, not the instructor), and 3) reflect (in groups, not individually). The first phase, prediction, begins with the analysis of a physical situation in which students have to predict the behavior of the situation based on the knowledge imparted in the session by the instructor. This occurs at the end of the instructor's exposition. The second phase occurs in the laboratory section of the course and relates to students' experience in carrying out the experiment of the situation worked on in class. Finally, students, working in groups, carry out the experimentation and reflect on it at the end. This reflection occurs in their working groups. The modified ILD combines the theoretical class (mainly exposition by the instructor) with the experimental class to offer students an integrative experience. This study involved 47 students from two groups of a first-year university course in acoustical physics. Applying the modified ILD methodology, a qualitative study was conducted analyzing the students' responses to the guides and their conclusions. This study presents the results of the analysis with a focus on determining the students' scientific skills in obtaining data and experimental analysis and evaluating their perception of the course in general. The conclusions delve into the advantages/disadvantages of applying this methodology in this course and a proposal for transferring this methodology to other physics courses.

Original languageEnglish
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2023
Event2023 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - The Harbor of Engineering: Education for 130 Years, ASEE 2023 - Baltimore, United States
Duration: 25 Jun 202328 Jun 2023


  • active learning
  • educational innovation
  • higher education
  • Interactive Lecture Demonstration
  • non-physics major students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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