Table 1. Student ranking of activities.


Reflective Writing (RW)

Ranking of activity (at final interview)

Groups (SGW)

Ranking of activity (at final interview)

Critique (Ctq)

Ranking of activity (at final interview)






Ranked highest of all activities

Ranked second. No change over course.

Ranked last.


Beginning of course strongly disliked   “was freaking out”

“Write what you think about the new concept, and, what you understand, and discussing it with yourself, …how you think about it, if it makes sense,

Final Interview: “you start thinking which one makes more sense and which one's logical”

1st interview: “Sometimes even questions that you asked to yourself you can find in the critique.”


RW ranked last of all activities.

Ranked highest. No change over course.

Ranked second.


Originally liked it - RW is  “to solidify your ideas about what you read.”

Later dislikes (Final Interview) “I don’t put in a real effort …I just want to get … a good mark”

Final Interview: "the group work gives you new ideas and helps you solidify your opinion about it”

“SGW bombards you with many ideas…Ctq you’re going in the opposite direction, you're trying to get rid of all the ideas and come to one right idea.”


Ranked highest of all activities.No change over course.

Ranked last. No change over course.

Ranked second. No change over course.


Final Interview: “When you’re reflective writing you’re thinking about the concepts and it makes you work through them.”

Final Interview: “I don’t think it was helpful”

Final Interview: “I don’t find it particularly helpful because I don’t feel at the end there’s a conclusion that is necessarily drawn out”


Ranked highest of all activities.

Ranked last. No change over course

Ranked highest. No change over course.


Final Interview: “At the beginning the way I thought about it, and the way I think about it now, is way different.”

1st  Interview-  “Because I have to write I have to think about it…see what I  understand or what I don’t understand”

The problems were too trivial in SGW

Final Interview “Always interesting problems. You had to examine why it was so, examine why others saw it in a different way”


Ranked last of all activities. No Change:

Ranked second.

Ranked first. 


1st Interview: “I hate writing English essays. … And the fact that I have to do it in Physics---it is just a pain. … To actually sit down and learn I have to read every single line and take notes as I am reading it.

Final Interview: “It was a good experience, critiques helped and small groups as well … It was different from the physics classes I had before …in the other ones the teacher just writes a bunch of formulas and it’s like memorize these. It was a good change.”

Final Interview: “The critique was most helpful. This is because the stuff we discussed … I never knew much about them. … It (the answers ) did not directly come from the book. I had to discuss with this and that person. It came from what I thought… from my point of view.”