Enhancing student learning by modifying first-year university physics laboratory experiments through peer review.
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The role of laboratory experiences in science classes has long been recognised as an important component in student learning. However, to provide meaningful learning experiences, laboratory activities must be interesting, stimulating and motivating, engaging, and promote inquiry based and higher order thinking. In order to achieve this aim, colleagues from various Australian universities have developed a methodology known as “ASELL” (Advancing Science by Enhancing Learning in the Laboratory  with a focus on laboratory activities in chemistry, physics and biology. One of the principal aims of ASELL, is to: “make available, via a database, materials relating to undergraduate science experiments which are educationally sound and have been evaluated by both students and academic staff. These materials consist of everything needed to introduce the experiment into another institution, as well as evaluation data relating to both the discipline and the educational aspects of the experiment”  An interdisciplinary team at Curtin University has adopted the ASELL methodology to improve chemistry and physics laboratory experiments. This presentation will focus on improvements to student learning in physics laboratories, and how they were achieved, using the ASELL framework.The process of improvement (an “Action Research Cycle”) consisted of the following steps: 1. Survey students to collect their feedback about the existing laboratory experiments and thus establish a baseline.2. Based on the students’ feedback, identify and improve those experiments which fell below the ASELL acceptance criteria. 3. Take these experiments to an ASELL national Workshop , where the experiments are evaluated by a group of academics and students from other universities. 4. Based on feedback from the participants of ASELL Workshop, further modify these experiments. 5. Survey students once again. Analyse the data to see if ASELL acceptance criteria has been achieved. Improve the experiment if needed.
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The Advancing Science by Enhancing Learning in the Laboratory (ASELL) Project: The first Australian multidisciplinary workshopYeung, A.; Pyke, S.; Sharma, M.; Barrie, S.; Buntine, Mark; Burke Da Silva, K.; Kable, S.; Lim, K. (2011)Most science educators and researchers will agree that the laboratory experience ranks as a major factor that influences students' attitudes to their science courses. Consequently, good laboratory programs should play a ...
Pyke, S.; Yeung, A.; Kable, S.; Sharma, M.; Barrie, S.; Buntine, Mark; Burke Da Silva, K.; Lim, K. (2011)Most researchers agree that the laboratory experience ranks as a significant factor that influences students’ attitudes to their science courses. Consequently, good laboratory programs should play a major role in influencing ...
Siddiqui, Salim; Southam, Daniel; Ward, Josephine; Zadnik, Marjan (2011)ASELL* is a well accepted framework widely used to evaluate student learning in science laboratories. It consists of two survey instruments, namely ASLE* which is designed to evaluate an individual experiment and ALPE*, ...