Freek Pols published paper: "A Physics Lab Course in Times of COVID-19"
Freek Pols published a paper in the Electronic Journal for Research in Science & Mathematics Education. In this practitioner contribution, he elaborates on how the first-year lab course was adapted to the COVID-19 measures.
Due to the coronavirus lockdown, home experiments were devised for our first-year physics lab course. In this practitioner contribution we elaborate on the guided inquiries that were set up. Students could carry out the experiments with standard tools available at home, including sensors mobile phones are equipped with. Various design principles stemming from the literature were used that are meant to encourage the development of inquiry skills. The switch from prescribed to more open experiments allowed us to focus on the quality of the inquiry rather than judging the quality of the final report alone. Students tried to produce sound research but often did not make optimal choices. We were not able to provide adequate feedback during their investigations. How students carried out the experiments shows that the current course does not adequately develop the highly valued inquiry skills to set up an independent scientific experiment. We expect the design principles to be transferable to other science subjects and can be used by other practitioners when students have to stay at home.