Two decades of inquiry-oriented learning in first year undergraduate physics laboratories: an Australian Experience

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Inquiry-Based Learning for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Programs A Conceptual and Practical Resource for Educators, 2015, pp. 41 - 58
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A review of the first year physics laboratory program in 1991 at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) revealed that student laboratory experiences did not: resemble the practice of physicists; give a realistic picture of the contribution of physics to everyday life, or; enhance students’ capabilities of broad value, such as their communication skills. Physics academics at UTS committed themselves to reforming students’ laboratory experiences with inquiry-oriented learning as a centre-piece of the reform. This chapter explores the drivers that led to the reconceptualization of the role of the laboratory in the undergraduate curriculum and the strategies and processes we adopted over more than 20 years to embed inquiry-oriented activities into first year physics laboratory programs.
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