Conversion to Guided Inquiry Laboratories in Introductory Physics Courses
Presentation given my Georgia Southern faculty member Delena Bell Gatch, 2011 Winter Meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers, January 2011.
Georgia Southern recently converted its introductory physics courses into a new format-- integrating lecture and laboratory courses into a single course in which most of the class time is devoted to inquiry-based learning. During the conversion period, the effects of traditional and inquiry-based laboratories on student learning were assessed, primarily focusing on problem-solving skills. Traditional laboratory students continued to use the departmental laboratory manual, which was very "cook-book" in nature, while inquiry-based students completed guided inquiry laboratories. Assessment included identical post-laboratory quizzes completed by students in both courses immediately following select laboratory exercises over a two-semester period. Post-laboratory quizzes were evaluated using a problem-solving rubric that focused on the following categories: useful description, physics approach, specific application of physics, mathematical procedures, and logical progression. Results indicated inquiry-based students performed much better on the post-laboratory quizzes than students in traditional laboratories.
011 Winter Meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers
Gatch, Delena Bell.
"Conversion to Guided Inquiry Laboratories in Introductory Physics Courses."
Physics and Astronomy Faculty Presentations.