Learning is fundamental, and instructors and lecturers alike have learning objectives and outcomes that they would like for their students to achieve. The issue is that these learning outcomes sometimes may not be met and not always at the hands of the instructor but by the materials and methods that the instructor is utilizing. Within the physics lab community confirmatory lab curricula have been used historically but many instructors have not been too pleased with the outcome of using this type of curriculum. Some instructors looked to employ curriculum with higher levels of inquiry. The department of Physics and Astronomy at California State University, Long Beach was looking to do just that in the introductory astronomy lab course. With the change in the lab curriculum, the department wanted to see whether there was a difference between students’ achievement for students who were in a confirmation level inquiry lab and those who are in a higher level inquiry lab, as measured by the Astronomy Diagnostic Test (ADT) and final exam scores. The ADT was administered in the beginning of the semester and again at the end and the students were given common final exam questions. The two groups in question were then compared using the results from the ADT and final exam scores. Instructors were interviewed to better understand their experiences with the lab curriculum and the students. Findings suggest that students performed better with the higher level inquiry curriculum and the role of the instructor is also an important factor.
|Commitee:||Henriques, Laura, Kwon, Chuhee|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|Department:||Physics and Astronomy|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 81/4(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Astronomy, Lab, Physics Education|
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