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Confirming what we know: Understanding questionable research practices in intro physics labs
written by Martin M. Stein, Emily M. Smith, and Natasha G. Holmes
Many institutions are changing the focus of their introductory physics labs from verifying physics content towards teaching students about the skills and nature of science. As instruction shifts, so too will the ways students approach and behave in the labs. In this study, we evaluated students' lab notes from an early activity in an experimentation-focused lab course. We found that about 30% of student groups (out of 107 groups at three institutions) recorded questionable research practices in their lab notes, such as subjective interpretations of results or manipulating equipment and data. The large majority of these practices were associated with confirmatory goals, which we suspect stem from students' prior exposure to verification labs. We propose ways for experimentation-focused labs to better engage students in the responsible conduct of research and authentic scientific practice.
Physics Education Research Conference 2018
Part of the PER Conference series
Washington, DC: August 1-2, 2018
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Applied Research
- Active Learning
= Inquiry Learning
- Curriculum Development
= Laboratory
Education - Basic Research
- Behavior
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Research study
PER-Central Type Intended Users Ratings
- PER Literature
- Researchers
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Format:
application/pdf
Mirror:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/perc.20…
Access Rights:
Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the published article's author(s), title, proceedings citation, and DOI.
Rights Holder:
American Association of Physics Teachers
DOI:
10.1119/perc.2018.pr.Stein
Keyword:
PERC 2018
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created December 31, 2018 by Lyle Barbato
Record Updated:
January 1, 2019 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
December 31, 2018
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Record Link
AIP Format
M. Stein, E. Smith, and N. Holmes, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2018, Washington, DC, 2018, WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14856&DocID=5003).
AJP/PRST-PER
M. Stein, E. Smith, and N. Holmes, Confirming what we know: Understanding questionable research practices in intro physics labs, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2018, Washington, DC, 2018, <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14856&DocID=5003>.
APA Format
Stein, M., Smith, E., & Holmes, N. (2018, August 1-2). Confirming what we know: Understanding questionable research practices in intro physics labs. Paper presented at Physics Education Research Conference 2018, Washington, DC. Retrieved February 23, 2019, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14856&DocID=5003
Chicago Format
Stein, M, E. Smith, and N. Holmes. "Confirming what we know: Understanding questionable research practices in intro physics labs." Paper presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2018, Washington, DC, August 1-2, 2018. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14856&DocID=5003 (accessed 23 February 2019).
MLA Format
Stein, Martin M., Emily M. Smith, and Natasha Holmes. "Confirming what we know: Understanding questionable research practices in intro physics labs." Physics Education Research Conference 2018. Washington, DC: 2018. of PER Conference. 23 Feb. 2019 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14856&DocID=5003>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Martin M. Stein and Emily M. Smith and Natasha Holmes", Title = {Confirming what we know: Understanding questionable research practices in intro physics labs}, BookTitle = {Physics Education Research Conference 2018}, Address = {Washington, DC}, Series = {PER Conference}, Month = {August 1-2}, Year = {2018} }
Refer Export Format

%A Martin M. Stein
%A Emily M. Smith
%A Natasha Holmes
%T Confirming what we know: Understanding questionable research practices in intro physics labs
%S PER Conference
%D August 1-2 2018
%C Washington, DC
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14856&DocID=5003
%O Physics Education Research Conference 2018
%O August 1-2
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings
%A Stein, Martin M.
%A Smith, Emily M.
%A Holmes, Natasha
%D August 1-2 2018
%T Confirming what we know: Understanding questionable research practices in intro physics labs
%B Physics Education Research Conference 2018
%C Washington, DC
%S PER Conference
%8 August 1-2
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14856&DocID=5003


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The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

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