The Development of Online-Writing Intensive Physics Laboratories

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Summer 2007

Project Description/Abstract

In recent years, traditional “cookbook” style physics labs with standard lab reports have given way to conceptual learning activities designed to stress specific learning blocks identified in Physics Education Research (PER). While this new approach addresses identified problems in learning, it is very repetitive and loses much of the writing and experimental design components present in traditional labs. I will develop a new approach to introductory lab instruction utilizing writing to learn (WTL) and online, interactive feedback during the lab period. Specifically, I will design four pilot laboratories to be used in the second, fifth, eighth, and twelfth weeks in introductory algebra and calculus-based physics (Physics 181 and 243). This approach is novel and new to the physics education community, and it promises to utilize BSC’s strengths in physics education, WTL, and online pedagogy as springboards to a new national model.

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