A few of the highlights from PER...


Assessment tools


Normalized Gain (G)

One way to gauge students' improvement over the course of a semester.


  • A student with a prescore of 20%, and a postscore of 60% would have a G of 0.50.
  • A student with a prescore of 50% and a postscore of 75% would also have a G of 0.50.



Dick Hake published one of the first analysis of FCI results from colleges & high schools. One of his findings was that "interactive" courses, no matter what techniques were used, yielded higher gains than "traditional" courses.1


Classroom Materials

Many hands-on, and heads-on, research-based materials have been developed and tested.



Even the physical environment has been questioned, and redesigned. Workshop physics is a prime example of this as students work in small clusters, and the room often has no "front."


We have even reconfigured our primary physics classroom to accommodate a variety of instruction methods. If you're interested, you should stop by Seaver 101 some time to see a different way of configuring a classroom.



  1. R. Hake, "Interactive-engagement vs traditional methods: A six-thousand-student survey of mechanics test data for introductory physics courses" American Journal of Physics 66, 64-74 (1998)