58403 - Laboratory Of Physics Education

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2020/2021

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student will know: - the main results obtained by Physics Education Research regarding the role of lab activities in teaching/learning Physics; - methods and practical examples of the use of laboratory in teaching physics with a variety of choices and methods; - possible roles of information and communication technologies in teaching/learning physics, with practical examples. The student will be able to: - design and implement lab activities, discuss their general and specific objectives, experimental results and implications for teaching; - apply innovative educational methods and technologies to designing teaching proposals and lab activities concerning the teaching and learning of upper secondary school physics topics (e.g.: Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Modern Physics)

Course contents

The course is given in the second semester from March to May.

The course is divided into two modules.

In the first module (Module 1 – Prof. Barbara Pecori) the following topics will be addressed:

- the role of lab activities in teaching Physics

- traditional vs. on-line Physics laboratory

- design of learning paths including lab experiments

Lab activities connected to theoretical lectures will concern:

- design and implementation of lab experiments

- discussion of experimental data

- reflection on the role and meaning of the experiments from an educational point of view.


In the second module (Module 2 - Dr. Giulia Tasquier) some specific topics will be addressed focussing on the process of model making in Physics, on the role of model making and of simulations as teaching tools, and more in general on the role of model making in teaching/learning Physics.

The third module (Module 3 - Dr. Eugenio Bertozzi) consists of a monographic course on the approach to the laboratory from the point of view of the history of physics.

The course can contribute to the 24 CFU necessary for admission to the TIF competition. 



No textbooks are required. Al teaching materials will be available at the virtuale platform.

Teaching methods

The course is made of lectures and lab sessions.

Lectures will concern the topics of the curriculum referring to national and international research on Physics education.

In lab sessions experiments will be set up, carried out and discussed both from the experimental and the educational points of view.

In the final part of the course students working in small groups will design, perform and present to the other students one experiment among those suggested by the teacher.

Experiments will be carried out both with traditional instruments and on-line acquisition systems in order to allow a comparison to be made in terms of educational potential.

In all activities large space will be devoted to discussion among peers and with the teacher.

Assessment methods

Attendance to no less than 2/3 of the experimental sessions is required.

During the course the students will be required to present the results of their group work to all course students.

Assessment of students' performance will be carried out both during the course, concerning small group presentations, and after the end of the course through individual assessment.

In the final individual oral examination, the students will be required to discuss one or more proposals presented during the course.

In the discussion of the proposals the assessment will concern the student's ability to compare and discuss the proposals in terms of:

- objectives of the learning sequence

- conceptual path developed in the proposal

- teaching strategies to be implemented

- role played by the lab experiments

- assessment and evalution tools

Teaching tools

Teaching materials: all teaching materials introduced in the course will be available online. The site is accessible with Unibo student's username and password.

Laboratory apparatuses and software: all apparatuses and SW tools necessary for performing experiments and working on experimental data will be provided.

Video and audio recording equipment: multimedia materials (e.g.: educational applets, movies, recorded materials from implementation of teaching sequences in secondary schools, etc.) will be illustrated during the course.


Office hours

See the website of Giulia Tasquier

See the website of Barbara Pecori

See the website of Eugenio Bertozzi