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Monday, February 27, 2017 at 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Rockefeller Hall, Schwartz Auditorium
General Physics Colloquium, Prof. Natasha Holmes, Cornell University.
Refreshments from 3:30-3:50 pm.
Title: From cookbook to authentic research: Rethinking introductory physics lab courses
Abstract: In physics education research, we are taking a scientific approach to understanding and improving how we teach physics. This starts with figuring out what it is we are trying to teach (ie measure), then how we can accurately measure it. The goals of instructional lab courses have been highly debated for decades with not much research to back up any position. In this talk, I will describe new research into the goals of lab courses, how we measure student progress towards those goals, and the efficacy of different approaches for achieving them. I will draw comparisons to student experiences in undergraduate research, question the role of authenticity in developing an understanding of science, and discuss finding the balance between structure and autonomy.