In this study an alternative method based on interactive instructions was included in Introductory Physics lectures to facilitate student learning in the topic of circular motion. In a preliminary study, we found that the concept of circular motion was challenging for many students although they had already learnt this topic in high school. They could not achieve the final step of problem-solving strategy which could possibly lead them to the correct answers. This motivated us to create a specialized problem-solving strategy for enhancing students’ problem-solving abilities. The specialized strategy was developed and provided in the lecture worksheet to guide students when they thought about solving circular motion problems. The worksheet included not only the specialized strategy but also problems for students to practice in class. This helped engage students to work on problems with their peers which is the main aim of interactive instruction. The effectiveness of the specialized strategy was evaluated by comparing the results of an examination between two participant groups; one learning with non-specialized strategy and the other one with the specialized strategy. We found that number of students in the latter group who could solve the problem until achieving the correct answer is greater than the other one. More interestingly, we also noted that the lower performance group was given the guided questions in the exam problem but the higher performance group was given the open-ended question. This asserts that the specialized strategy could help improve student abilities in solving circular motion problems.
Keywords: Circular motion, Problem-solving strategy, Lecture worksheet