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Physical Review Physics Education Research
written by Jessica R. Hoehn and Heather J. Lewandowski
Students sometimes learn about a model of the "scientific method" that is linear and clear cut. While this approach may have pedagogical advantages, it does not reflect how science is often done in practice. The Experimental Modeling Framework (EMF) describes the complex and iterative process of experimentation in the domain of physics, including comparing predictions with experimental data and enacting revisions to models and apparatus. We conducted interviews with 10 undergraduate students who had just completed an advanced physics lab course in order to investigate their views about the EMF as a depiction of the process experimental physics. We report the results of a thematic analysis that investigates students' views about the EMF and explores the extent to which students identified iteration as an important aspect of experimental physics. Generally, the students in this study found the EMF to be reflective of the process of experimental physics. They identified several distinct differences between the EMF and a traditional depiction of a linear scientific method (SM), including the lack of iteration in the SM, as well as the importance of asking questions and reporting results, which is absent from the EMF. Additionally, student discussions of the fundamentally iterative nature of science were most likely to occur during direct comparisons of the EMF and SM. We discuss implications of this study for both research and instruction. We suggest that, in a lab course where iteration is a goal, explicit in-class discussions and comparisons of models of the process of experimentation could be beneficial for students' epistemological development.
Physical Review Physics Education Research: Volume 18, Issue 2, Pages 020146
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education - Applied Research
- Pedagogy
Education - Basic Research
- Problem Solving
= Frameworks
- Student Characteristics
= Affect
General Physics
- Physics Education Research
- Scientific Reasoning
- Upper Undergraduate
- Lower Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Research study
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Free access
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.
Rights Holder:
American Physical Society
DOI:
10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.18.020146
NSF Numbers:
DUE-1726045
PHY-1734006
Keywords:
attitudes, lab course attitudes, lab pedagogy, scientific method
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created December 21, 2022 by Sam McKagan
Record Updated:
February 15, 2023 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
December 13, 2022
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AIP Format
J. Hoehn and H. Lewandowski, , Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 18 (2), 020146 (2022), WWW Document, (https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.18.020146).
AJP/PRST-PER
J. Hoehn and H. Lewandowski, Investigating undergraduate students’ views about the process of experimental physics, Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 18 (2), 020146 (2022), <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.18.020146>.
APA Format
Hoehn, J., & Lewandowski, H. (2022, December 13). Investigating undergraduate students’ views about the process of experimental physics. Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res., 18(2), 020146. Retrieved June 20, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.18.020146
Chicago Format
Hoehn, Jessica R., and Heather J. Lewandowski. "Investigating undergraduate students’ views about the process of experimental physics." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 18, no. 2, (December 13, 2022): 020146, https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.18.020146 (accessed 20 June 2024).
MLA Format
Hoehn, Jessica R., and Heather J. Lewandowski. "Investigating undergraduate students’ views about the process of experimental physics." Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. 18.2 (2022): 020146. 20 June 2024 <https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.18.020146>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Jessica R. Hoehn and Heather J. Lewandowski", Title = {Investigating undergraduate students’ views about the process of experimental physics}, Journal = {Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res.}, Volume = {18}, Number = {2}, Pages = {020146}, Month = {December}, Year = {2022} }
Refer Export Format

%A Jessica R. Hoehn %A Heather J. Lewandowski %T Investigating undergraduate students' views about the process of experimental physics %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 18 %N 2 %D December 13, 2022 %P 020146 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.18.020146 %O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article %A Hoehn, Jessica R. %A Lewandowski, Heather J. %D December 13, 2022 %T Investigating undergraduate students' views about the process of experimental physics %J Phys. Rev. Phys. Educ. Res. %V 18 %N 2 %P 020146 %8 December 13, 2022 %U https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.18.020146


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