This paper investigates the efficacy of an open-inquiry approach to achieve a long term stability of physics instruction. This study represents the natural continuation of a research project started four years ago when a sample of thirty engineering undergraduates, having already attended traditional university physics instruction, were involved in a six-week long learning experience of open-inquiry research activities within the highly motivating context of developing a thermodynamically efficient space base on Mars. Four years later, we explore the effectiveness of that learning experience by analyzing the outcomes that the students achieved by answering again the same questionnaire that was administered them both prior to and immediately after those activities. As we did in the first work, students' answers were classified within three epistemological profiles. Now, a comparison among students' outcomes during the three phases, namely, preinstruction, postinstruction, and after four years has been carried out. Immediately after the open-inquiry experience, the students obtained significant benefits in terms of the strengthening of their practical and reasoning abilities, by proficiently applying the learned concepts to face and solve real-world problem situations. In this study, the students' answers do not highlight any significant regress towards their preinstruction profiles. The global robustness of the teaching strategy adopted four years ago is confirmed by a statistically significant comparison with a control group of students who experienced the same curricular instruction except for the open inquiry-based workshop. Nevertheless, some changes have been observed and discussed in the light of the answers the students provided to a short interview regarding their studying or working experiences across the four-year temporal window.
|Numero di pagine||11|
|Rivista||PHYSICAL REVIEW. PHYSICS EDUCATION RESEARCH|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2018|
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