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Abstract Title: Students' use of modeling in the upper-division physics laboratory
Abstract: Modeling, the practice of developing, testing, and refining models of physical systems, has gained support as a key scientific practice in the K-12 Next Generation Science Standards, and in curricula such as Modeling Instruction, RealTime Physics, ISLE, and Matter & Interaction. However, modeling has gained less traction at the upper-division undergraduate level. As part of a larger effort to transform upper-division physics labs to incorporate scientific practices, including modeling, we conducted a series of think-aloud experimental activities using simple electronic and optical components in order to investigate how students use modeling with minimal explicit prompting in a laboratory setting. We review general patterns in students' use of models, describe our coding scheme, and conclude with a discussion of implications for the design of modeling-focused lab activities and lab-appropriate assessments.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Benjamin Zwickl
Department of Physics, University of Colorado Boulder
390 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309
Phone: (203) 815-0185
and Co-Presenter(s)
Noah Finkelstein
Department of Physics, University of Colorado Boulder
H. J. Lewandowksi
Department of Physics, University of Colorado Boulder