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Effectiveness of a GUM-compliant course for teaching measurement in the introductory physics laboratory

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Publication details

JournalEuropean Journal of Physics
DatePublished - 2008
Number of pages1
Pages (from-to)647
Original languageEnglish


An evaluation of a course aimed at developing university students’
understanding of the nature of scientific measurement and uncertainty is
described. The course materials follow the framework for metrology as
recommended in the Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement
(GUM). The evaluation of the course is based on responses to written
questionnaires administered to a cohort of 76 first year physics students both
pre- and post-instruction, which were interpreted in terms of ‘point’ or ‘set’
reasoning. These findings are compared with responses from a control group
of 70 students who completed a similar laboratory course apart from the
use of traditional approaches to measurement and data analysis. The results
suggest that the GUM framework, together with the specific teaching strategies
described, provides opportunities for more effective learning of measurement
and uncertainty in the introductory laboratory.

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