This is an old revision of the document!

Design, Analysis, Tools & Apprenticeship (DATA) Laboratory

DATA Lab is the transformed version of the traditional, algebra-based physics lab that focuses on developing students’ laboratory practices. As most of the students enrolled in the course are non-physical science majors, the goal of is for the students to develop research skills unique to a physics laboratory that can be utilized throughout the rest of their studies.

Throughout the semester, students will be explore classic physical systems as a tool to increase their overall laboratory skills (i.e., experimental design, data analysis, collaboration, and scientific communication). In this course, students will be guided and supported through their development of these practices by emphasizing

  1. How to carry out experiments effectively by collecting data while attempting to minimize uncertainty.
  2. How to connect the results obtained experimentally with theoretical models in lecture while recognizing the limitations of each.
  3. How to thoroughly document the experimental design, data collection and analysis, the results, and the discussion/conclusions.
  4. How to report and communicate findings obtained in the laboratory.

Instructional materials have been developed by members of MSU's Physics Education Research Lab as well as faculty in MSU's Department of Physics and Astronomy. Materials are refined based on instructors' experiences, student feedback, and educational research conducted at MSU and elsewhere. Please send comments, feedback, and typos to Danny Caballero.

PHY 252 Course Calendar
Communication Projects
Grading Rubrics

The development of course materials and instructional strategies is on-going. Research studies conducted at MSU and elsewhere inform changes to course material and instructional strategies. Access to planning materials is limited to course and research staff.


This course transformation was generously supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Michigan State University's College of Natural Science, as well as the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

  • start.1565730028.txt.gz
  • Last modified: 2019/08/13 17:00
  • by rachel