Exploring a Deep Learning Approach on the Teaching and Learning of Introductory Physics

Edilberto Arteaga-Narváez, Santander Nieto-Ramos, Angel Ojeda-Castro


The main goal of this paper is to explore the effectiveness of an experimental learning approach in an introductory physics course regarding to student’s academic achievement.  Research articles point out that learning difficulty about science basic concepts, impact both, the quality of the skills and knowledge learned and hinder students’ retention in science basic courses.  For this research, Bachelor’s Degree students of Natural Sciences, Chemistry, Bio Medical, Biology, Computer Sciences, Medical and Engineering Technology programs were selected.  The teaching methodology used was named Learning Two Time Strategy (LTTS).  The methodology consisted in applying active learning strategies, but at the same time lowering considerably the time for the traditional teaching process.  This strategy allowed students to dedicate more time for classroom learning by increasing in about two thirds the active learning periods.  The period assigned for instructions was turned into active learning sessions.  Active learning was based in different strategies like “Context-Rich Problems”.  The methodological concept used was causal comparative (or ex post facto).  Seven hundred and sixty-seven (767) students from two private universities in Puerto Rico participated in the study.  The students were divided in two groups.  The base group of 407 students was not exposed to didactic strategy.  Another group of 360 students was exposed to the strategy.  The statistical test shed a significant difference in students’ academic achievement (value of p = 0.007) measured by the score of their final grades in the course. As a result, the group that was submitted to the strategy showed positive results in the student’s evaluation.  


Deep Learning; Active Learning; Teaching and Learning of Physics; Puerto Rico.

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