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Abstract Title: Can laboratory reform survive the economic downturn?
Abstract: Economic challenges over the past few years have had adverse effects on reforming introductory physics laboratory instruction at Appalachian State.  An administrative decision for the Fall, 2011 semester to "save money" by switching from weekly, two-hour lab meetings to three-hour meetings every other week resulted in declines in student performance (via an FCI1-based diagnostic) and attitudes (via CLASS1).  Pressure to increase student enrollment to offset the decline in state support has prompted other science programs to consider similar changes to laboratory instruction.  In this paper, we will discuss our student performance and attitude results.  We will also highlight our attempts to leverage assessment data to safeguard reform efforts in the sciences, especially in terms of program reviews and accreditation processes.
Footnote: 1.  FCI is the Force Concept Inventory and CLASS is the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Patricia E. Allen
Appalachian State University
525 Rivers St
Department of Physics & Astronomy
Boone, NC 28608
Phone: 828-262-2989
and Co-Presenter(s)
John E. Cockman, Appalachian State University