Journal Article Detail Page

written by Bethany R. Wilcox and H. J. Lewandowski
The physics community explores and explains the physical world through a blend of theoretical and experimental studies. The future of physics as a discipline depends on training of students in both the theoretical and experimental aspects of the field. However, while student learning within lecture courses has been the subject of extensive research, lab courses remain relatively under-studied. In particular, there is little, if any, data available that address the effectiveness of physics lab courses at encouraging students to recognize the nature and importance of experimental physics within the discipline as a whole. To address this gap, we present the first large-scale, national study (N institutions = 75 and N students = 7167) of undergraduate physics lab courses through analysis of students' responses to a research-validated assessment designed to investigate students' beliefs about the nature of experimental physics. We find that students often enter and leave physics lab courses with ideas about experimental physics as practiced in their courses that are inconsistent with the views of practicing experimental physicists, and this trend holds at both the introductory and upper-division levels. Despite this inconsistency, we find that both introductory and upper-division students are able to accurately predict the expertlike response even in cases where their views about experimentation in their lab courses disagree. These finding have implications for the recruitment, retention, and adequate preparation of students in physics.
Physical Review Physics Education Research: Volume 13, Issue 2, Pages 020110
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- Assessment
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- Problem Solving
= Expert-Novice Comparisons
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Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license.
Rights Holder:
American Physical Society
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.020110
Keyword:
experimental physics
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created September 9, 2017 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
May 15, 2019 by Bruce Mason
Last Update
when Cataloged:
August 23, 2017
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Record Link
AIP Format
B. Wilcox and H. Lewandowski, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 13 (2), 020110 (2017), WWW Document, (http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.020110).
AJP/PRST-PER
B. Wilcox and H. Lewandowski, Students’ views about the nature of experimental physics, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 13 (2), 020110 (2017), <http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.020110>.
APA Format
Wilcox, B., & Lewandowski, H. (2017, August 23). Students’ views about the nature of experimental physics. Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res., 13(2), 020110. Retrieved July 18, 2019, from http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.020110
Chicago Format
Wilcox, Bethany, and H. J. Lewandowski. "Students’ views about the nature of experimental physics." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 13, no. 2, (August 23, 2017): 020110, http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.020110 (accessed 18 July 2019).
MLA Format
Wilcox, Bethany, and H. J. Lewandowski. "Students’ views about the nature of experimental physics." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 13.2 (2017): 020110. 18 July 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.020110>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Bethany Wilcox and H. J. Lewandowski", Title = {Students’ views about the nature of experimental physics}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {13}, Number = {2}, Pages = {020110}, Month = {August}, Year = {2017} }
Refer Export Format

%A Bethany Wilcox
%A H. J. Lewandowski
%T Students' views about the nature of experimental physics
%J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res.
%V 13
%N 2
%D August 23, 2017
%P 020110
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.020110
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article
%A Wilcox, Bethany
%A Lewandowski, H. J.
%D August 23, 2017
%T Students' views about the nature of experimental physics
%J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res.
%V 13
%N 2
%P 020110
%8 August 23, 2017
%U http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.13.020110


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