By the same authors

From the same journal

From the same journal

First-year physics students' perceptions of the quality of experimental measurements

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • S Allie
  • A Buffler
  • L Kaunda
  • B Campbell
  • F Lubben


Publication details

JournalInternational Journal of Science Education
DatePublished - 1998
Issue number4
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)447-459
Original languageEnglish


This paper reports an investigation into the procedural understanding of first-year university science students at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Written probes were used to explore ideas regarding the reliability of experimental data, in particular the need for repeating measurements and the implications of the spread associated with data. The types of reasoning underlying the responses are discussed. The findings suggest an extension of a recently proposed model of progression of understanding of empirical evidence. Equally, they show that the use of procedural understanding is context dependent, and that students' intuitive ideas about improving precision and accuracy of measurements are not distinct.

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