Journal Article Detail Page

written by Bethany R. Wilcox and H. J. Lewandowski
published by the American Physical Society
Physics laboratory courses have been generally acknowledged as an important component of the undergraduate curriculum, particularly with respect to developing students' interest in, and understanding of, experimental physics. There are a number of possible learning goals for these courses including reinforcing physics concepts, developing laboratory skills, and promoting expertlike beliefs about the nature of experimental physics. However, there is little consensus among instructors and researchers interested in the laboratory learning environment as to the relative importance of these various learning goals. Here, we contribute data to this debate through the analysis of students' responses to the laboratory-focused assessment known as the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey for Experimental Physics (E-CLASS). Using a large, national data set of students' responses, we compare students' E-CLASS performance in classes in which the instructor self-reported focusing on developing skills, reinforcing concepts, or both. As the classification of courses was based on instructor self-report, we also provide additional description of these courses with respect to how often students engage in particular activities in the lab. We find that courses that focus specifically on developing lab skills have more expertlike postinstruction E-CLASS responses than courses that focus either on reinforcing physics concepts or on both goals. Within first-year courses, this effect is larger for women. Moreover, these findings hold when controlling for the variance in postinstruction scores that is associated with preinstruction E-CLASS scores, student major, and student gender.
Physical Review Physics Education Research: Volume 13, Issue 1, Pages 010108
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Foundations
- Assessment
= Conceptual Assessment
- Student Characteristics
= Affect
Education Practices
- Curriculum Development
= Course Goals
= Laboratory
- Pedagogy
= Instructional Issues
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Research study
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License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published article's title, journal citation, and DOI.
Rights Holder:
Bethany R. Wilcox and H.J. Lewandowski
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.010108
Keywords:
Developing skills, E-CLASS, Laboratory courses, Reinforcing concepts
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created June 4, 2017 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
May 15, 2019 by Bruce Mason
Last Update
when Cataloged:
February 15, 2017
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AIP Format
B. Wilcox and H. Lewandowski, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 13 (1), 010108 (2017), WWW Document, (http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.010108).
AJP/PRST-PER
B. Wilcox and H. Lewandowski, Developing skills versus reinforcing concepts in physics labs: Insight from a survey of students’ beliefs about experimental physics, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 13 (1), 010108 (2017), <http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.010108>.
APA Format
Wilcox, B., & Lewandowski, H. (2017, February 15). Developing skills versus reinforcing concepts in physics labs: Insight from a survey of students’ beliefs about experimental physics. Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res., 13(1), 010108. Retrieved July 16, 2019, from http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.010108
Chicago Format
Wilcox, Bethany, and H. J. Lewandowski. "Developing skills versus reinforcing concepts in physics labs: Insight from a survey of students’ beliefs about experimental physics." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 13, no. 1, (February 15, 2017): 010108, http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.010108 (accessed 16 July 2019).
MLA Format
Wilcox, Bethany, and H. J. Lewandowski. "Developing skills versus reinforcing concepts in physics labs: Insight from a survey of students’ beliefs about experimental physics." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 13.1 (2017): 010108. 16 July 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.010108>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Bethany Wilcox and H. J. Lewandowski", Title = {Developing skills versus reinforcing concepts in physics labs: Insight from a survey of students’ beliefs about experimental physics}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {13}, Number = {1}, Pages = {010108}, Month = {February}, Year = {2017} }
Refer Export Format

%A Bethany Wilcox
%A H. J. Lewandowski
%T Developing skills versus reinforcing concepts in physics labs: Insight from a survey of students' beliefs about experimental physics
%J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res.
%V 13
%N 1
%D February 15, 2017
%P 010108
%I American Physical Society
%C College Park
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.010108
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article
%A Wilcox, Bethany
%A Lewandowski, H. J.
%D February 15, 2017
%T Developing skills versus reinforcing concepts in physics labs: Insight from a survey of students' beliefs about experimental physics
%J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res.
%I American Physical Society
%V 13
%N 1
%P 010108
%8 February 15, 2017
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.010108


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