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ERIC Number: EJ1122463
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2469-9896
Development and Evaluation of a Tutorial to Improve Students' Understanding of a Lock-in Amplifier
DeVore, Seth; Gauthier, Alexandre; Levy, Jeremy; Singh, Chandralekha
Physical Review Physics Education Research, v12 n2 p020127-1-020127-15 Jul-Dec 2016
A lock-in amplifier is a versatile instrument frequently used in physics research. However, many students struggle with the basic operating principles of a lock-in amplifier which can lead to a variety of difficulties. To improve students' understanding, we have been developing and evaluating a research-based tutorial which makes use of a computer simulation of a lock-in amplifier. The tutorial is based on a field-tested approach in which students realize their difficulties after predicting the outcome of simulated experiments involving a lock-in amplifier and check their predictions using the simulated lock-in amplifier. Then, the tutorial provides guidance and strives to help students develop a coherent understanding of the basics of a lock-in amplifier. The tutorial development involved interviews with physics faculty members and graduate students and iteration of many versions of the tutorial with professors and graduate students. The student difficulties with lock-in amplifiers and the development and evaluation of the research-based tutorial to help students develop a functional understanding of this device are discussed.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: NSF1124131