IOLab

Featured project: IOLab

PER has developed the IOLab system, built around a low-cost, easy-to-use, all-purpose handheld device that performs a myriad of functions for both introductory and advanced physics courses.

Mastery Inspired Activities

These online activities are designed to provide each student with as much (or little) practice, formative assessment and support as they need to become proficient in fundamental competencies necessary to succeed in introductory physics.  Each activity is focused on a specific competency and includes the cycle of Attempt-Assess-Assist.

The student is given a set of 4-6 questions related to that competency (e.g. superposition of electric fields).

Flowchart of student attempts during the mastery workflow.
Flowchart of student attempts during the mastery workflow.
After answering the set of questions, the student presses the “check for mastery” button, which assesses which questions they got correct, and which were incorrect. They also have access to video solutions for all of the questions they answered to assist them in understanding the material. If they got all of the questions correct, they have “mastered” that competency, and can move on to the next one. If not, they are given another set of questions on the same competency. 

 

The image shown is a screen shot showing the first of a set of five questions on superposition.
The image shown is a screen shot showing the first of a set of five questions on superposition.

Clinical studies have shown students using this format of homework learned significantly more than students using a more traditional online format that provides multiple attempts at solving the same problem.

a) Median time spent completing problems by Homework (control) and Mastery (intervention) groups. b) Performance on Posttest (by question and total score) by Homework (control) and Mastery (intervention) groups.
a) Median time spent completing problems by Homework (control) and Mastery (intervention) groups. b) Performance on Posttest (by question and total score) by Homework (control) and Mastery (intervention) groups.

Our goal is to develop a complete set of these activities for introductory physics.