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ERIC Number: EJ862740
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0143-0807
Educational Analysis of a First Year Engineering Physics Experiment on Standing Waves: Based on the ACELL Approach
Bhathal, Ragbir; Sharma, Manjula D.; Mendez, Alberto
European Journal of Physics, v31 n1 p23-35 Jan 2010
This paper describes an educational analysis of a first year physics experiment on standing waves for engineering students. The educational analysis is based on the ACELL (Advancing Chemistry by Enhancing Learning in the Laboratory) approach which includes a statement of educational objectives and an analysis of student learning experiences. The experiment is likely to be found in many physics departments, hence is appropriate to illustrate the ACELL approach in physics. The concepts associated with standing waves are difficult; however, they are underpinned by mathematical formulation which lend themselves to be visualized in experiments. The challenge is to strike a balance between these two for the particular student cohort. In this study, this balance is achieved by using simple equipment and providing appropriate scaffolds for students to associate abstract concepts with concrete visuals. In essence the experiment is designed to adequately manage cognitive resources. Students work in pairs and are questioned and assisted by demonstrators and academic staff during a 2 h practical class. Students were surveyed using the ACELL instrument. Analysis of the data showed that by completing the practical students felt that their understanding of physics had increased. Furthermore, students could see the relevance of this experiment to their engineering studies and that it provided them with an opportunity to take responsibility for their own learning. Overall they had a positive learning experience. In short there is a lot of dividend from a small outlay of resources. (Contains 2 tables and 3 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A