Lab summary method and the impact on student learning in high school physics labs

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Letters & Science


A large portion of high school physics classes revolve around inquiry-based investigations. These investigations involve creativity, a fluid structure, and problem-solving skills. A classic lab report does not give students the freedom to authentically represent their learning from these investigations. This study investigated three different lab summary methods, a video lab report, claim, evidence, reasoning paragraph, and email home lab report for their effectiveness in student learning, perception of learning, and enjoyment. Student learning was assessed through pre-tests and post-tests and unit exams. Student enjoyment and perception of learning were judged through student opinion surveys and interviews. The results indicated that students learned the most from email home lab reports. Students enjoyed the methods that involved creative elements, the video lab report and the email home lab report. This action research showed the importance of ensuring that the summarization after a lab matches the higher-level thinking skills required of students during the lab process. The importance of giving students an outlet for their voice and creativity was also shown.




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