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PER Seminar

Title: A Model for Design-based Labs Supported by Whiteboards
Benjamin Spike, Redesigning for Active Learning in High-Enrollment Courses (REACH) Director, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Abstract: As part of an ongoing course transformation effort at UW-Madison, we have introduced a suite of introductory physics laboratories to promote experimental design and scientific thinking. Inspired by ISLE Physics and Scientific Community Labs, each two-hour lab features a set of conceptual scaffolding activities, an open-ended design challenge, and a miniature “symposium” to emphasize collaboration and communication. In lieu of a formal lab report, each group uses a whiteboard to document their experimental approach and submits a digital snapshot when they have finished. In this presentation, I will describe our experience developing the full two-semester suite of introductory labs, present student survey data, and discuss what we have learned about the scalability and sustainability of the overall lab model.