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This paper, presented at the 2001 Physics Education Research Conference, asks if reading fifteen textbook chapters, listening to one lecturer, doing prescribed labs, answering someone else's questions, and solving well-defined problems resemble in any way a five-month schedule of activities for a person in a science related field in the 21st century workplace? Several recent studies concerning the knowledge and skills needed in the workplace indicate that there is a serious mismatch between traditional physics instruction and the needs of the workplace. Therefore, in this study, the authors describe briefly an Investigative Science Learning Environment (ISLE) introductory physics learning system that attempts to replicate more closely the processes used in the real world of science and engineering. The authors hope that ISLE students' learning better meets the needs of the workplace. The paper describes the method, including goals of the instruction, techniques used to assess the achievement of these goals and preliminary results of this assessment from courses taught by different instructors.
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