Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Engineering Physics and Physics
The physics lab has long been a distinctive part of physics education. Physics labs play a central role in teaching and learning physics at the high school and undergraduate levels. There is, however, little research done on the educational influence of physics labs on students. Based on our experience and the published reports, we know that many students believe that traditional physics labs are uninteresting and tiresome. In traditional physics labs, students spend 2 to 3 hours collecting data, carrying out calculations, plotting graphs to present their results, and verifying a relationship. Unfortunately, much of the traditional lab experience of students focuses on recipe experiments, which include limited challenges and often choke their creativity. Traditional physics labs can be important in the development of many experimental skills and in demonstrating physics concepts, but they generally do not foster creativity in methodology or experimental design. Labatorials (combination of “lab” and “tutorial”) developed at the University of Calgary were inspired by the introductory physics tutorial system entitled ‘Tutorials in Introductory Physics’ at the University of Washington. The Tutorials are worksheets that require students to work through concepts that have been identified by research to be particularly difficult. Some tutorials require students to perform experiments and answer questions based on their observations. However, there is still a traditional lab system for the first year physics courses at the University of Washington. Labatorials have been described by Ahrensmeier et al (2012) and Ahrensmeier (2013), but there has not been any research to examine students’ perspectives on labatorials including their positive and negative aspects, in particular in direct comparison to traditional labs. In this paper, a mixed methods study is presented that examines and compares the advantages and disadvantages of labatorials and traditional labs in terms of the student experience and conceptual change.
Kalman, C. S., & La Braca, F., & Sobhanzadeh, M. (2020, June), Comparison of Labatorials and Traditional Physics Labs Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34314
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