If you have any questions about this survey, please follow this link.

Physics Teaching Survey, March 2000

We carried out a survey on 14th March 2000, to try to assess the effectiveness of physics teaching. Many thanks to those who participated!

The survey, consisting of 9 multiple-choice questions, was presented to students from all four years. The questions were first used during lectures in the 1B dynamics course during October-December 1999. The aims of our survey were to answer two queries:

  1. Did the use of questions in lectures have any long-lasting effect? [i.e., did people who attended the lectures get the questions right second time round?]
  2. Does attending the physics course in Cambridge improve one's ability at solving these second-year-level questions?

Here are the answers to the questions.

The detailed findings lead us to the following conclusion:

The individual results, as well as the overall results (for all questions combined), indicate that having seen and discussed the questions in lecture hardly helped (the percentage correct in IB is only slightly higher than for the other years). The results also suggest that years studying the Cambridge physics course also do not teach the ability to do these kinds of qualitative questions.

Sanjoy Mahajan and David MacKay
Last modified: Tue Apr 25 23:52:18 2000