Literature seminar

  • Date: –13:00
  • Location: Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1 13167 Södra Fakultetsrummet (
  • Website
  • Organiser: TUR, the Council for Educational Development at the Faculty of Science and Technology
  • Contact person: Stefan Pålsson
  • Seminarium

Open-ended, inquiry-based labs or content-reinforcement labs, which is best?

We read and discuss the article  "Direct Measurement of the Impact of Teaching Experimentation in Physics Labs” by Emily M. Smith, Martin M. Stein, Cole Walsh, and N. G. Holmes, Physical review 2020,

The paper discusses a controlled study that compares the impact of traditional, highly structured labs that aim to reinforce physics concepts from lectures (“content-reinforcement labs”) with more open-ended, inquiry-based labs that aim to teach experimentation skills (“experimentation labs”). One finding is that content-reinforcement labs may be causing measurable harm by deteriorating students’ attitudes and not engaging students with high-level scientific thinking. 

The study is highly relevant for everybody that work with labs as a part of their teaching (even though the study took place in a physics class). 

If you wish to have a sandwich, please send an e-mail to Pia Westerlund, at the latest on Wednesday, October 12. Don´t forget to  include any dietary requirements.