For US students, need help on this assignment upload it through our website www.mytutorstore.com or send through email at email@example.com
PHYS 1010 Laboratory: Learning Outcomes, Lab Reports, and Grading Rubric
Learning Outcomes for PHYS 1010 Labs
1) Hands-On Activity
The student will develop good experimental technique, including proper setup and care of equipment, conducting experiments and
analyzing results in order to observe physical phenomena, assess experimental uncertainty, and make meaningful comparisons
between experiment and theory.
2) Critical Thinking
The student will practice making good decisions in unscripted situations, such as how to portray data, or how to identify and correct
procedural errors during lab. The student will gain experience with how to interpret data and use it to draw conclusions.
3) Technical Writing
The successful student will write about technical information in a manner that is clear, concise, and correct. The goal is to model
professional writing that may be found in a research laboratory, a hospital or clinic, or another workplace where technical
information is used or communicated. The entirety of your writing in the lab report should consist of complete sentences, proper
paragraphs, smooth transitions, and proper spelling – good writing practices that you have learned in your composition classes.
What should your Lab Report look like?
Like the lab reports you may have done in other science classes, a PHYS 1010 lab report will consist of several sections:
Introduction, Data, Data Analysis, Error Analysis, and Conclusions. Most lab reports should contain no more than one page of
written text, primarily the Introduction and Conclusion. This text should be well written, and it should be your writing – distinctly
different from that of your lab partner or anyone else performing the lab. Details of the expectations for the different sections follow.
The Introduction should be a short paragraph, 3-5 sentences long, that captures the reason for doing the lab: What do you
expect to learn? On what concepts will you focus? How will you test or use these concepts? Much of the information needed to
write this can be found in the Goals and Introduction section of the Experiment in question. This is an opportunity to practice
identifying the most relevant information and writing a concise synthesis of it (it thus aligns with the Technical Writing outcome).
We expect original writing, not cut-and-paste, or cut-and-paste with selected word changes that maintain the original sentence
structure. One approach is to read the stated goals at the end of the Goals and Introduction section and rephrase them in your own
voice in a short paragraph.
Your lab experience is an important opportunity to do hands-on work; to “get a feel” for how things move, pull, and react; and
to learn how to use physical and electronic lab equipment (see the Hands-On Activity outcome). One must be an active participant
in this process; it is not sufficient to watch a knowledgeable lab partner perform the experiment. Each lab partner must do each
part of each step to get the full experience: demand it of yourself, and of your lab partner. The TA will assess your level of
participation. Professional lab work requires gathering high-quality data and presenting it in a way that communicates its meaning
to others. You will practice this by gathering data, recognizing and correcting any mistakes you make during lab, then presenting
the final data in the form of tables of numbers that are clearly labeled. This part makes up the Data section. (It is the outcome of
performing the Procedure in the lab document.) During lab, feel free to jot down your data in a notebook or scratch paper (though
be careful to label the numbers). Later, as you write up the lab, organize your data for presentation in your report and label it so
that a reader can clearly see what has been measured. Your data tables may be written by hand, but must be legible. You should
never change values that you have recorded in this transcription process. It is here that you would also share any graphs that you
capture as part of acquiring data. Always be sure to label your graphs and give each a figure number so that they may be referred to
easily in any written responses in the lab report.
The calculations you perform in the Data Analysis section tie the lab experience to the problem solving you do in class and
homework, providing practical applications to those more abstract problems. They demonstrate real-life situations in which
calculations are repeated with one or more variables changed (often in a spreadsheet or computer program) to analyze the behavior
of a system subject to different conditions. You should always show your work for each calculation. When a particular calculation is
repeated several times, you should show at least one example of the calculation, and may simply display the results for the others.
For example, you might be asked to calculate the velocity for three different trials. You should show one full calculation, and then
just show the results of the other two calculations, as seen below. Remember that while you may handwrite your lab report, your
presentation must be legible and clear.
( )( ) 2
9.8 m/s 0.95 s 9.3 m/s
Graphs (a.k.a. plots or charts in Excel) are used to
visually express the behavior of a physical phenomenon.
The Data Analysis section is the place where you develop
the facts from which you will draw conclusions. Any graphs
you create to show the results of your analysis should have
a title and labeled axes with units noted in the axis labels.
For example, in the graph shown, the student has labeled
both axes with units and noted in the title that this data represents the first of several trials. Remember that you are communicating
your analysis to a reader, and clear labels along with any written explanation that you feel aids your presentation are warranted.
Always be sure to label your graphs and give each a figure number so that they may be referred to easily in any written responses in
the lab report.
In some of the labs, you will gather data to test and confirm well-understood physical relationships, such as the conservation
of energy. Because the answer can be predicted accurately through well-established relationships, you can compare your
experimental results with this “theoretical” answer and discuss the amount and cause of the differences. This reflection leads one to
envision how to do the experiment better next time. The Error Analysis section also employs the mathematical field of statistics to
help you understand the uncertainty in your measurements and to decide the statistical significance of your results. Again, your
calculations should be detailed, clear, and legible.
The Conclusions section should connect with the Introduction section in the way they would in a written paper, while the
Data, Data Analysis and Error Analysis section are the “meat of the sandwich” where the facts are established and relationships
developed that support the conclusions. In particular, the written sections should employ all of the good writing practices you
learned in your composition courses – complete sentences, proper paragraphs, smooth transitions, correct spelling; after all, we are
practicing professional technical writing. In the Conclusions, you must answer the specific questions that appeared in bold
throughout the instructions. You should also address other, less specific questions. For example, what were the sources of error
that may have affected the results of your lab? How could those errors be eliminated in a future experiment? Are there errors that
we always will encounter, like the reaction time of a student using a stopwatch? Did the lab help you to solidify your understanding
of physics concepts, and if so, which ones? Are there other questions or ideas the lab has prompted you to investigate? These are
the kinds of questions you should consider as you write the final, concluding statements in your lab report. Thus, the Conclusions
section should consist of several short paragraphs, each responding to a specific question asked in lab, plus a longer paragraph that
summarizes your thoughts on the broader questions listed above, which apply to all experiments.
Rubric for PHYS 1010 Labs
Criteria: Ratings: Points:
Concepts and calculations on central
ideas of the lab.
Typically one point per question, partial points available on some questions,
submitted and graded in Canvas. 5
A short paragraph describing, in your
own words, the purpose and goals of the
Complete, concise, unique
Weak representation of
Introduction absent or
The TA will assess your level of
participation during the data-gathering
phase of the Experiment.
Passive or part-time
Disengaged or absent.
B) Data/Graph Presentation:
Data/graphs are organized and
presented clearly, legibly, labels clearly
identify each item.
Organized, legible, labeled.
Data/Graphs are present
disorganized or not
Calculations are correct; a sample
calculation, including equation, is shown
for each major calculation.
are correct and
One or two mistakes
in calculations. An
B) Graph Presentation:
Graphs portray the data correctly, in a
way that helps to convey information;
labels clearly identify each item.
Correct, helpful, labeled.
Missing axes or title
labels. Data plotted
No graphs presented.
Criteria: Ratings: Points:
Calculations are correct and clearly
presented, including equations.
Correct, clearly presented.
Some analytical mistakes
or presentation issues
Not presented (when
A) Answer Questions:
Answer each of the questions posed in
the previous sections using information
and facts developed in the previous
correct or poorly
No answers or
Discuss what worked well in your
Experiment and what did not. How
would you improve your Experiment in
the future? Describe how the lab
experience relates to the lecture part of
the course, and to life and careers.
No insights; plagiarized.
The lab report employs all of the good
writing practices you learned in your
Complete sentences, proper
transitions, correct spelling.
Imperfect or weak use
of these practices.