Assessing first-year undergraduate physics students' laboratory practices: seeking to encourage research behaviours

Kirsty Dunnett, Maire Gorman, Paul Bartlett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (SciVal)
170 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Encouraging positive inquiry-focused behaviours within the constraints of a physics teaching laboratory environment can be challenging. Here, we report on an implementation, the 'working grade' (w-grade), designed to directly assess aspects of students' laboratory practice with the aim of encouraging first-year undergraduate students to look beyond the concept of a 'correct outcome' to a physics experiment. The w-grade is composed of the five aspects of group work, querying, exploration, attitude and progress which are each marked on a 0, 1, 2, 3 scale. The initial implementation is presented in full as well as a second, simpler variant. The w-grade emphasises and directly rewards inquiry behaviours and students were much more willing to explore the experiments than in previous years
Original languageEnglish
Article number015702
JournalEuropean Journal of Physics
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 07 Dec 2018

Keywords

  • education
  • first-year undergraduate
  • laboratory training
  • practical physics
  • soft skills

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