Curriculum Development and Laboratory Investigation Assessment
Rusuri, Vanalet 1984-
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Over the span of two semesters, an assessment was done in the algebra, calculus, and inquiry-based physics laboratories to assess the effectiveness of traditional labs as compared to inquiry-based labs in the understanding of physics concepts and problem solving skills. I discuss the results of student performance in our traditional labs compared to our inquiry-based labs based on the results of pre- and post-testing. There is a noticeable difference in the post-test results in student performance in traditional labs as compared to the inquiry-based labs. Our findings show that while the pre-instruction results were the same for the traditional and inquiry based labs, the students in the inquiry-based labs outperformed the students taught traditionally on the post-test. Results indicated that the inquiry group showed significant gains in their understanding of the physics principles studied over the traditional group. I also report the results and general methods used to evaluate students understanding of electric circuits and interpretation of circuit diagrams for our traditional calculus-based and algebra-based classes. This study also provides results on the difficulties that students encountered in electricity and the most common incorrect conceptions of these problems while examining the effectiveness of traditional instruction as compared to nontraditional physics labs The Bio-Physics laboratory curriculum development discusses the development of the laboratory part of a Bio-physics course for non-science majors with biological and health science applications. This part reveals the design of an elementary Biophysics lab comprised of basic concepts in physics with applications in biology and the health sciences. It includes topics such as biological applications of motion, fluids, hearing, vision, bioelectricity, and the use of medical equipment. We discuss our methods of development including techniques and instrumentation.