Our Advanced Lab course (PHYS 4430) includes a variety of guided modern physics labs, including a magneto-optic trap for atoms, a muon lifetime experiment, various optics labs, and others. Additionally, the course includes a five-week student designed project. The course learning goals were developed through a faculty consensus process. The original detailed goals, as defined in 2011, can be found below under "Related Files."
Over several years, we engaged in a systematic overhaul of Physics 3330, Electronics for the Physical Sciences (aka J-lab), which is an upper-division required course for all physics and engineering physics majors. The ideas used to guide the changes arose from structured discussions with a large number of faculty members (22) in the context of creating learning goals for the Advanced Lab (PHYS4430), the subsequent transformation work conducted in the Advanced Lab course, our own personal experience teaching the J-lab many times, and our experience with electronics in a research-lab settin
During the Fall 2020 term, when faced with the challenge of instructing a large (400+ student), introductory physics lab virtually, we redesigned the entire course to create a unique experience for the students --a CURE. Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) involve students in authentic research by engaging students in inquiries where neither the students nor the instructor know the answer.
We transformed our introductory physics lab course to better prepare students for future courses and careers. We began by soliciting input from a variety of university stakeholders including faculty and staff from both physics and the College of Engineering and Applied Science. The consensus learning goals are listed below.