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ERIC Number: EJ816472
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 31
ISSN: ISSN-1554-9178
Impact of a Conventional Introductory Laboratory Course on the Understanding of Measurement
Volkwyn, Trevor S.; Allie, Saalih; Buffler, Andy; Lubben, Fred
Physical Review Special Topics - Physics Education Research, v4 n1 p010108-1--010108-10 Jan-Jun 2008
Conventional physics laboratory courses generally include an emphasis on increasing students' ability to carry out data analysis according to scientific practice, in particular, those aspects that relate to measurement uncertainty. This study evaluates the efficacy of the conventional approach by analyzing the understanding of measurement of freshmen following the physics major sequence, i.e., top achievers, with regard to data collection, data processing, and data comparison, through pre- and postinstruction tests by using an established instrument. The findings show that the laboratory course improved the performance of the majority of students insofar as the more mechanical aspects of data collection and data processing were concerned. However, only about 20% of the cohort of physics majors exhibited a deeper understanding of measurement uncertainty required for data comparison. (Contains 5 tables, 2 figures, and 31 notes.)
American Physical Society. One Physics Ellipse 4th Floor, College Park, MD 20740-3844. Tel: 301-209-3200; Fax: 301-209-0865; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa