Structured Quantitative Inquiry Labs: Developing Critical Thinking in First Year Physics Labs

Title Structured Quantitative Inquiry Labs: Developing Critical Thinking in First Year Physics Labs
Faculty/College/Unit Science
Status Active
Duration 3 Years
Initiation 04/01/2015
Project Summary

A new technique for developing students’ scientific reasoning has achieved remarkable learning gains in the PHYS 107/109 laboratory, including striking evidence of transfer to later courses. This project aims to deliver this learning environment to the much larger group of students taking other first year physics courses. The pedagogy involves a relatively straightforward framework in which students make quantitative comparisons of various kinds; reflect on those comparisons; plan to improve their experiments; then execute those plans. While the structure of these iterative cycles is simple, implementing this approach requires a deep understanding of how the technique works and evolves over a term, which makes it a challenge for transferring it to new Instructors and novice Teaching Assistants. The project will build a sustainable delivery of this new method, anchored in detailed documentation and training programs.

Funding Details
Year 1: Project Year Year 1
Year 1: Funding Year 2015/2016
Year 1: Project Type Small TLEF
Year 1: Principal Investigator Doug Bonn
Year 1: Funded Amount 25,700
Year 1: Team Members

Joss Ives, Physics & Astronomy

Year 1: TLEF Showcase Year 1: TLEF Showcase
Year 2: Project Year Year 2
Year 2: Funding Year 2016/2017
Year 2: Project Type Small TLEF
Year 2: Principal Investigator Doug Bonn
Year 2: Funded Amount 16,500
Year 2: Team Members

Joss Ives, Physics & Astronomy

Year 3: Principal Investigator Doug Bonn
Year 3: Funded Amount 7,750
Year 3: Project Year Year 3
Year 3: Project Type Small TLEF
Year 3: Funding Year 2017/2018
Year 3: Team Members

Joss Ives, Physics & Astronomy