Student-Student Interaction during tutorials

Each week, students attend a 50-minute tutorial session where students work in groups of three or four and answer questions on a worksheet that emphasizes both qualitative and quantitative reasoning and requires explanations. Facilitators interact with the groups by asking guiding questions to help students work through difficulties in their own thinking. In this way, students are responsible for actively constructing their own understanding. This is in contrast to the more traditional model where students listen passively while instructors attempt to transmit knowledge by telling students what to think.

In this clip, students discuss how to find the average acceleration of a fan cart which has moved with a constant force. They predicted that the force was constant, therefore the acceleration was constant, so the velocity would increase in a linear fashion. Their prediction was validated by the data gathered with a motion sensor. Now, they are asked to find the average acceleration of the cart during its motion. One student suggests a method that will use the instantaneous acceleration at a point for the average acceleration, but another student suggests a different method.

We see an example of students learning from each other through interaction by correcting and helping each other, and guiding each other to use correct methods.

Use following key to figure out who is who:
R = right
L = left
F = front
B = back


LF: Find the average acceleration?

LB: The average acceleration... This is velocity...

RF: Do somewhere, like, in the middle, I guess. Does it tell you where it is?

LF: I don't even know where...

LB: Wouldn't it be easier to go to the ends and find... find the time interval and find the velocity interval and then just do delta v over delta t?

RF: Probably.

LB: Let's do that.

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