Overview of Students Laboratories at the Vrije Universiteit.
|In the undergraduate laboratories at the VUA physics major students are being prepared for their master research work through 8 laboratory courses during 6 semesters, see table 1.|
||5 x 20 hrs|
||5 x 24 hrs|
||2 x 60 hrs|
||1 x 160 hrs|
Table 1: Overview practical courses at the VUA.
The central teaching goal of courses
1, 6, 7 and 8 is to develop students' research skills.
Courses 1 and 6 are preceded by introductory courses aimed to develop some manipulative skills (to handle apparatus, to use the optical bench properly, etc.). In courses 7 and 8 the experiments are advanced, students should choose a sub-problem e.g. a problem raised in the previous experiment.
The guidance focuses on the 'scientific
discourse' to develop the higher intellectual skills to do research.
Each experiment has three formal moments of guidance:
In order to stimulate discussions and exchange of arguments, students have to work in pairs. In course 1 the instructions in the laboratory manual are short: one sentence on the problem to be solved, some theory about the phenomena to be investigated (to students well-known theory, e.g. copies from a secondary schoolbook in course 1), and some assignments about the apparatus.
Teaching assistants get a training course before the series of labs start. Also during the labs, assistants are coached on the need to discuss and identify key situations where a research skill is at issue.
Way of assessment. In course 1 the assessment takes place on the
basis of a specifically designed 'test-experiment'. In course
6 the formal assessment is based on the last two experiments.
In courses 7 and 8 each experiment will be assessed.
|© Student Laboratory||vrije Universiteit amsterdam|