John Bradshaw and Muhammad Numan presented “Fostering Authentic Communication in an Intermediate Physics Lab Course” at the national American Association of Physics Teachers winter meeting, which took place in Atlanta, Georgia, February 18–21, 2017.
Bradshaw and Numan described a redesigned junior-level lab course where assignments include writing an initial proposal, maintaining a lab notebook, oral presentations followed by question-and-answer sessions, lab reports, and a journal style paper. Students designed and performed experiments, some based on classic ideas and a few selected from recent literature, utilizing available resources. They analyzed and interpreted data, collected through computer interfacing, utilizing appropriate software. Scaffolding was provided through instructor and peer feedback and an opportunity to revise their reports initially. Bradshaw and Numan shared preliminary assessment data on the effectiveness of the instructional design.
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