Outline:Project Members and Abstract
Changes and Improvements
Method for Evaluation of the Project
Results and Feedback
Theoretical Perspectives and Discussions
Problem StatementsThere are several problems with the previous textbooks, traditional lab instructions, and the curriculum setting. The following problems are based upon my observation and feedback from TAs and students last four years:
- The provided equipment and procedures in the textbook are different. Besides students' confusion, the TA has to spend more time to teach the proper procedure. Some of activities even have different equipment from the current setting. It is also hard to revise the manual when it is published as a book.
- The procedure does not guide students to have proper and accurate results due to the lack of knowledge with the experimental setup and students' possible mistakes. Especially for PHY111 and PHY112 students, physics is an atypical discipline and most of them have hard time in understanding what to be careful when conducting measurement. Some of procedures are tricky even for TAs.
- Some of activities are too involved for the students' background; thus, they have hard time in grasping the main concept. The ballistic pendulum lab is one of the examples. Although this is a good lab, it is hard to grasp unless students have a good comprehension of both conservation of linear momentum and conservation of energy. Also, some of electronics lab requires students to implement a circuit, but no lab is provided for students to learn how to make a circuit. Most students feel intimidated when it comes to reproducing a correct circuit.
- More pieces of equipment at one time cause problems with the interface. Quite a few data-acquisition interfaces have been broken last four years. This is hypothetical, but it may have been caused by electric surge with multiple connections into one interface. Furthermore, these students do not have a good knowledge with electronic devices. Too many different sensors also confuse students' understanding of the physics concepts.
- Some of the theoretical explanations are redundant; namely, they are not used in the lab activity. These often confuse students' understanding.
- Students do not know the mechanism of devices and sensors in order to obtain the results. This keeps students from obtaining more accurate results. Students are even frustrated to complete the activity.
- The procedure and questions do not facilitate how students confirm whether the results are reasonable within the error.
- Error analyses are not appropriately included for their interpretation of the results. Some of experimental procedure gives only one measurement to conclude the experiment.
- Students are often confused with how to manipulate the data acquisition software.
- Students do not learn the importance of units, conversion of units, and significant figures. Most of the students do not master how to deal with experimental values even going through two semesters. There is a lab to teach data analyses, but it seems ineffective.
- Students are confused with unclear data tables.
- Some of the sensor devices are not proper to measure the experimental values. For example, a motion sensor utilizes sound to detect the motion; namely, it is a qualitative sensor to capture the overall motion. To obtain an accepted value, such as gravitational acceleration, the motion sensor does not give accurate results.
- Most of the students do not comprehend what they did in the lab.
- Most of students have a hard time in reading the textbook as preview. They tend to cram the basic information only for solving the pre-lab quiz.
|Previous page||Next page|