Performance-based Learning and Multidimensional Assessment Methods

The defining characteristics of studio physics classes are integrated lecture/laboratory form, a reduction in lecture time, a technology-enhanced learning environment, collaborative group work, and a high level of faculty-student interaction. SCALE-UP (Student-Centered Activities for Large Enrollment Undergraduate Programs) developed
at North Carolina State University expands the Studio Physics model to classrooms of 100 or more students. The Ithaca College Performance-based Physics room contains eleven 6.5-foot-diameter tables with each table seating nine students working in groups of three for a total of 99 students in the room. Each table has an associated 10.5- foot-wide storage cabinet along the walls of the room containing PASCO data-collection equipment and whiteboard doors for solving problems. We are developing curriculum materials for general education astronomy that take advantage of this format, and studying their effectiveness at enhancing student learning. We are particularly focused on enhancing student understanding of the nature of science.