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2011 AAPT Summer Meeting
July 30-August 3, 2011
Omaha, Nebraska

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FC02:

Introductory E&M Labs Based on Challenge Projects
  Location: HC 3028
  Date: Wednesday, Aug.3
  Time: 8:40 AM -8:50 AM
  Author: Michael Burns-Kaurin, Spelman College
404-270-5849, mburns-k@spelman.edu
  Co-Author(s): Paul Camp , Derrick Hylton , Marta McNeese , Natarajan Ravi
  Abstract: We changed the structure of the laboratory portion of the second semester of the calculus-based introductory course to center on two challenge projects, the design of the wiring for a house and the construction of a simple radio. Each challenge is broken down into sub-challenges that each include rounds of planning, performing, analyzing, and interpreting experiments. Moreover, each group typically performs a different experiment and shares the outcome with other groups (distributed expertise). Although the experiments end up similar to the experiments students performed before this change, the experiments are now in the context of complex, ill-formed problems, with the goal of improving the students' skills in the actual process of scientific investigation. This presentation will focus on the implementation of this approach, including some discussion of instructors' impressions and assessment of content knowledge; another presentation will focus on the rationale for this structure. Supported by NSF-CCLI DUE-0837216.
  Footnotes: None
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