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College level students consistently provided incorrect responses to questions about image formation with various optics instruments. The purpose of this study is to compare the changes in students' pinhole and plane mirror knowledge before and after a guided inquiry instruction. Teaching methods including structured hands-on activities under instructor guidance were implemented in the class. Twenty-four undergraduates participated in the study and changes in their responses to the three pinhole and five plane-mirror questions were investigated with multivariate and univariate analyses of variance with repeated measures. The results revealed that student responses to pinhole questions has changed significantly and the changes occurred in students' responses to plane mirror items were noticeable. Guided inquiry instruction appears to be effective in helping students in organizing and structuring their knowledge on the nature and formation of pinhole images as well as in advancing students into plane mirror systems.