Emerging and Persistent Issues in the Delivery of Asynchronous Non-Traditional Undergraduate Physics Experiments
Keywords:computer-simulations, distance physics education, home-based physics labs, online learning, remotely-controlled laboratories, asynchronous, virtual labs
Remote physics laboratory activities are common tools of use in physics in traditional, online, and distance education to enhance student learning. Although these offerings necessitated by technological advances, spur innovation and improvement in undergraduate physics education, their use as stand-alone substitutes for instructor-guided physical laboratory experiments remain the center of debate and research. This paper discusses the effectiveness of the current pedagogic issues in the delivery and learning of four different types of remote introductory undergraduate physics laboratory activities, the breakthroughs, and the areas that require further investigations. The instructional issues include experiment preparation and design, student engagement, guidance, and safety. This review noted the positive impacts of stand-alone remote physics lab activities on mostly undergraduate non-physics majors, partly due to the limited number of institutions currently conferring complete online/distance physics degrees worldwide. We recommend further studies on the effect on physics students who end up in experimental physics-related careers.
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