Postprint version. Published in American Journal of Physics, Volume 73, Issue 5, May 1, 2005, pages 459-462.
Copyright © 2005 American Association of Physics Teachers. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Association of Physics Teachers. The following article appeared in American Journal of Physics and may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.1862633.
We present data on student performance on conceptual understanding and on quantitative problem-solving ability in introductory mechanics in both studio and traditional classroom modes. The conceptual measures used were the Force Concept Inventory and the Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation. Quantitative problem-solving ability was measured with standard questions on the final exam. Our data compare three different quarters over the course of 2 years. In all three quarters, the normalized learning gain in conceptual understanding was significantly larger for students in the studio sections. At the same time, students in the studio sections performed the same or slightly worse on quantitative final exam problems.