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ERIC Number: EJ901525
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 18
ISSN: ISSN-0143-0807
Realizing a Framework for Enhancing the Laboratory Experiences of Non-Physics Majors: From Pilot to Large-Scale Implementation
Kirkup, Les; Pizzica, Jenny; Waite, Katrina; Srinivasan, Lakshmi
European Journal of Physics, v31 n5 p1061-1070 Sep 2010
Physics experiments for students not majoring in physics may have little meaning for those students and appear to them unconnected in any way to their majors. This affects student engagement and influences the extent to which they regard their experiences in the physics laboratory as positive. We apply a framework for the development and evaluation of experiments for non-physics majors, which draws on the perspectives of a range of stakeholders and is designed to bring relevance and context to the fore. We report the application of the framework to a particular experiment over four semesters. The framework assisted in identifying features of laboratory work that often go unrecognized. These include the discord that can exist between the ambitions of the laboratory demonstrators and the expectations of the students; the change in the response of the students to an experiment once it moves from the trial phases to being implemented in classes that comprise several hundred students; and the impact of contextual factors, such as the quality of the laboratory environment. (Contains 5 figures.)
Institute of Physics Publishing. The Public Ledger Building Suite 929, 150 South Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 215-627-0880; Fax: 215-627-0879; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia