Skip to main content

News about Scitation

In December 2016 Scitation will launch with a new design, enhanced navigation and a much improved user experience.

To ensure a smooth transition, from today, we are temporarily stopping new account registration and single article purchases. If you already have an account you can continue to use the site as normal.

For help or more information please visit our FAQs.

banner image
No data available.
Please log in to see this content.
You have no subscription access to this content.
No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.
1.Committee on High School Science Laboratories, Role and Vision and National Research Council, America's Lab Report: Investigations in High School Science, edited by S. R. Singer, M. L. Hilton, and H. A. Schweingruber ( The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2005), p. 254.
2. A. Hofstein and V. N. Lunetta, “ The role of the laboratory in science teaching: Neglected aspects of research,” Rev. Educ. Res. 52(2), 201217 (1982).
3. A. Hofstein and V. N. Lunetta, “ The laboratory in science education: Foundations for the twenty-first century,” Sci. Educ. 88(1), 2854 (2004).
4. R. Lazarowitz and P. Tamir, “ Research on using laboratory instruction in science,” in Handbook of Research on Science Teaching and Learning, edited by D. L. Gabel ( Macmillan Publishing Company, New York, NY, 1994), pp. 94130.
5. R. T. White, “ The link between the laboratory and learning,” Int. J. Sci. Educ. 18(7), 761774 (1996).
6. R. J. Beichner, J. M. Saul, R. J. Allain, D. L. Deardorff, and D. S. Abbott, “ Introduction to SCALE-UP: Student-centered activities for large enrollment university physics,” Contributed paper, presented as part of the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Engineering Education ( Seattle, WA, July 19, 2000).
7. R. J. Beichner, J. M. Saul, D. S. Abbott, J. Morse, D. L. Deardorff, R. J. Allain, S. W. Bonham, M. H. Dancy, and J. S. Risley, “ The student-centered activities for large enrollment undergraduate programs (SCALE-UP) project,” Res. Based Reform Univ. Phys. 1(1), 239 (2007); available at
8. P. W. Laws, “ Calculus-based physics without lectures,” Phys. Today 44(12), 2431 (1991).
9. P. W. Laws, “ Workshop physics: Learning introductory physics by doing it,” Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning 23(4), 2027 (1991).
10. J. M. Wilson, “ The CUPLE physics studio,” Phys. Teach. 32(9), 518523 (1994).
11. D. R. Sokoloff and R. K. Thornton, “ Using interactive lecture demonstrations to create an active learning environment,” AIP Conf. Proc. 399, 10611074 (1997).
12. C. Crouch, A. P. Fagen, J. P. Callan, and E. Mazur, “ Classroom demonstrations: Learning tools or entertainment?,” Am. J. Phys. 72(6), 835838 (2004).
13. K. Miller, N. Lasry, K. Chu, and E. Mazur, “ Role of physics lecture demonstrations in conceptual learning,” Phys. Rev. Spec. Top. PER. 9(2), 020113 (2013).
14.American Association of Physics Teachers, “ Goals of the introductory physics laboratory,” Am. J. Phys. 66(6), 483485 (1998).
15. S. E. Brownell, M. J. Kloser, T. Fukami, and R. Shavelson, “ Undergraduate biology lab courses: Comparing the impact of traditionally based ‘cookbook’ and authentic research-based courses on student lab experiences,” J. Coll. Sci. Teach. 41(4), 3645 (2011).
16. D. Butler, C. Pollock, K. Nomme, and J. Nakonechny, Promoting Authentic Inquiry in the Sciences: Challenges Faced in Redefining University Students' Scientific Epistemology, edited by B. Shore, M. Aulls, and M. Decourt, Inq. Educ., Vol. 2, p. 301324 ( Routledge, New York, 2008).
17. N. G. Holmes, J. Ives, and D. A. Bonn, “ The impact of lab course learning goals on student attitudes about experimental physics,” in 2014 PERC Proceedings, edited by P. V. Engelhardt, A. D. Churukian, and D. L. Jones, Minneapolis, MS, July 30–31, 2014.
18. B. M. Zwickl, N. Finkelstein, and H. J. Lewandowski, “ Development and validation of the Colorado learning attitudes about science survey for experimental physics,” AIP Conf. Proc. 1513, 442445 (2013).
19. B. M. Zwickl, T. Hirokawa, N. Finkelstein, and H. J. Lewandowski, “ Development and results from a survey on students views of experiments in lab classes and research,” in 2013 PERC Proceedings, edited by P. V. Engelhardt, A. D. Churukian, and D. L. Jones, Portland, OR, 2013.
20. A. Buffler, S. Allie, F. Lubben, and B. Campbell, “ Evaluation of a research-based curriculum for teaching measurement in the first year physics laboratory,” SAARMSTE, 2003.
21. J. Day and D. A. Bonn, “ Development of the concise data processing assessment,” Phys. Rev. Spec. Top. PER. 7(1), 010114 (2011).
22. R. L. Kung, “ Teaching the concepts of measurement: An example of a concept-based laboratory course,” Am. J. Phys. 73(8), 771777 (2005).
23. M.-G. Séré, R. Journeaux, and C. Larcher,“ Learning the statistical analysis of measurement errors,” Int. J. Sci. Educ. 15(4), 427438 (1993).
24. T. S. Volkwyn, S. Allie, A. Buffler, and F. Lubben, “ Impact of a conventional introductory laboratory course on the understanding of measurement,” Phys. Rev. Spec. Top. PER. 4(1), 010108 (2008).
25. E. Etkina, A. Karelina, M. Ruibal-Villasenor, D. Rosengrant, R. Jordan, and C. E. Hmelo-Silver, “ Design and reflection help students develop scientific abilities: Learning in introductory physics laboratories,” J. Learn. Sci. 19(1), 5498 (2010).
26. E. Etkina, A. Van Heuvelen, S. White-Brahmia, D. T. Brookes, M. Gentile, S. Murthy, D. Rosengrant, and A. Warren, “ Scientific abilities and their assessment,” Phys. Rev. Spec. Top. PER. 2(2), 020103 (2006).
27. N. G. Holmes and D. A. Bonn, “ Doing science or doing a lab? Engaging students with scientific reasoning during physics lab experiments,” in 2013 PERC Proceedings, edited by P. V. Engelhardt, A. D. Churukian, and D. L. Jones, Portland, OR, 2013.
28. A. Karelina, E. Etkina, M. Ruibal-Villasenor, D. Rosengrant, A. Van Heuvelen, and C. Hmelo-Silver, “ Design and non-design labs: Does transfer occur?,” AIP Conf. Proc. 951(1), 9295 (2007).
29. N. G. Holmes, C. E. Wieman, and D. A. Bonn, “ Teaching critical thinking,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 112, 1119911204 (2015)
30. L. McDermott, P. Shaffer, and the Physics Education Group at the University of Washington, Tutorials in Introductory Physics ( Pearson Publishing, New York, NY, 2002), p. 240.
31.University of Illinois Physics 212 Lab Manual, Stipes Publishing, Champaign, IL.
32. S. R. Singer, N. R. Nielsen, and H. A. Schweingruber, Discipline-Based Education Research: Understanding and Improving Learning in Undergraduate Science and Engineering ( National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2012).
33.AAPT Recommendations for the Undergraduate Physics Laboratory Curriculum ( American Association of Physics Teachers, College Park, MD, 2014), p. 29. Available online at <>.

Data & Media loading...


Article metrics loading...



We have analyzed the impact of taking an associated lab course on the final exam scores in two large introductory physics courses. Performance between students who did and did not take the lab course was compared using final exam questions from the associated courses that related to concepts from the lab courses. The population of students who took the lab in each case was somewhat different from those who did not enroll in the lab course in terms of background and major. Those differences were taken into account by normalizing their performance on the lab-related questions with scores on the exam questions that did not involve material covered in the lab. The average benefit on lab-related questions for students who took the lab, in both courses, was within 0.6% of the score of students who did not, with an uncertainty of less than 2%. This result raises questions as to the effectiveness of labs at supporting mastery of physics content.


Full text loading...


Access Key

  • FFree Content
  • OAOpen Access Content
  • SSubscribed Content
  • TFree Trial Content
752b84549af89a08dbdd7fdb8b9568b5 journal.articlezxybnytfddd