Conceptualization, Development and Validation of an Instrument for Investigating Elements of Undergraduate Physics Laboratory Learning Environments: The UPLLES (Undergraduate Physics Laboratory Learning Environment Survey)

  • Gregory P Thomas
  • Al Meldrum
  • John Beamish

Abstract

First-year undergraduate physics laboratories are important physics learning environments. However, there is a lack of empirically informed literature regarding how students perceive their overall laboratory learning experiences. Recipe formats persist as the dominant form of instructional design in these sites, and these formats do not adequately support the development of students’ inquiry processes. There may be valid reasons for the lack of research into students’ views of their undergraduate physics laboratory learning environments, but work should be done to address these issues so that such research can occur. This paper describes the development and validation of a 23-item instrument, the UPLLES (Undergraduate Physics Laboratory Learning Environment Survey) that was undertaken as part of a multi-year project aimed to develop guided-inquiry oriented Physics laboratories for first-year students at the University of Alberta. The UPLLES was developed and validated through factor analysis using 476 student responses. The five sub-scales of the UPLLES are, Inquiry Orientation, Integration, Material Environment, Student Community, and Instructor Support. The value of the UPLLES within a battery of measures for evaluating reform efforts in undergraduate physics laboratories is discussed.

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Published
2017-02-28
How to Cite
THOMAS, Gregory P; MELDRUM, Al; BEAMISH, John. Conceptualization, Development and Validation of an Instrument for Investigating Elements of Undergraduate Physics Laboratory Learning Environments: The UPLLES (Undergraduate Physics Laboratory Learning Environment Survey). European Journal of Physics Education, [S.l.], v. 4, n. 4, p. 46-60, feb. 2017. ISSN 1309-7202. Available at: <http://eu-journal.org/index.php/EJPE/article/view/100>. Date accessed: 27 jan. 2021.
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