A “Quickguide" to Inquiry-Based Physics Laboratory Reform

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
John Cockman (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site: https://library.appstate.edu/
Phillip Russell

Abstract: In order to enact inquiry-based reform in the undergraduate physics laboratory at Appalachian State University, action research was carried out by the Director of Laboratories. “QuickGuides” were created which presented laboratory activities in an open-ended, non-cookbook fashion. In addition, students were engaged in Socratic dialogue rather than given direct answers to questions. Two out of six algebra-based physics laboratory sections were conducted using this experimental methodology. In order to gauge the impact of this experiment, six methods of assessment were implemented. These were the Departmental Diagnostic (an in-house, pre/post test based on the Force Concept Inventory), the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey (CLASS), lecture grades, student laboratory evaluation forms, an end-of-course survey, and video analysis of laboratory interactions. Although students of the two experimental laboratory sections did not score measurably higher the Departmental Diagnostic, their CLASS scores were significantly higher than those of the four traditional sections. In addition, video analysis indicated that the experimental sections exhibited much higher levels of interaction and collaboration.

Additional Information

Cockman, J. (2010). A “Quickguide" to Inquiry-Based Physics Laboratory Reform. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2010
Inquiry-based physics laboratory, Reformed physics laboratory, Physics Education Research, Action Research in the Physics Laboratory, Post-Secondary Physics Laboratory Reform

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