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Abstract Title: A Successful secondary implementation of SQILabs: Observed developments in attitudes and experimental process skills in a reformed first-year course
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Abstract: Our large, Canadian, research-intensive university is undergoing an ambitious revision of our entire undergraduate laboratory sequence which spans nine courses and all four years. This paper, and the associated presentations, are the first scholarly reports on the project and discuss work we have completed in the first term of our first-year instructional labs. Approximately two hundred first-year students enter one of our four undergraduate physics tracks each year. All these physics majors take the instructional labs associated with our Physics I and Physics II courses for first-year majors.   Beginning in Fall of 2020, we implemented a new lab curriculum based on Structured Quantitative Inquiry Labs (SQILabs) developed by Holmes, Wieman and Bonn at the University of British Columbia. (See for example, N. G. Holmes and Wieman, C. E., Introductory physics labs: We can do better. Physics Today, 71(1), 38–45. https://doi.org/10.1063/PT.3.3816 (2018)). We have now revised our first-year labs associated with the introductory courses for our majors based on modified versions of the SQILabs currently used by Holmes et. al. at Cornell University. Next, we will be revising the upper-level lab courses to incorporate the same experimental design and modeling-based approach. Students who went through the SQILabs at our institution had statistically significant improvements in critical thinking (at the 99% confidence level) and with a respectable Cohen's effect size d > 0.6. Student attitudes about experimental physics did not decline, as is typical in introductory courses.  In one of two terms (2020), we saw a statistically significant improvement in attitudes (p=3.14 x 10-5, d=.25).
Session Time: Poster Session 2
Poster Number: II-44

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Karen Cummings
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario Canada, Non U.S. N0B 2V0
Phone: 15184617198
and Co-Presenter(s)
Urja Nandivada, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Waterloo

Meaghan E. Ward (she,her), Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Waterloo