The IOLab is a versatile and inexpensive data acquisition device in a cart that can roll on its three wheels. It has numerous sensors for a variety of physical quantities. We adapted RealTime Physics, Module 1: Mechanics active learning labs for use with the IOLab. We tested these labs both on campus and with distance learners at Portland State University and Chemeketa Community College for three years, consistently obtaining significant conceptual learning gains on the Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation (FMCE). Student attitudes towards the labs, the device, and distance learning—as measured by post-course evaluations—were generally very positive.

1.
Julia E.
Seaman
,
I. Elaine
Allen
, and
Jeff
Seaman
, “
Tracking distance education in the United States
,” https://onlinelearningsurvey.com/reports/gradeincrease.pdf, p. 11.
2.
Ibid., p. 7.
3.
See, for example “
Panel votes against accreditor of for-profit colleges
,” https://usnews.com/news/business/articles/2016-06-23/big-accreditor-of-for-profit-colleges-could-lose-authority.
4.
A. M.
Reagan
, “
Online introductory physics labs: Status and methods
,”
J. Washington Acad. Sci.
31
46
(Spring
2012
).
5.
AAPT Recommendations for the Undergraduate Physics Laboratory Curriculum
,” https://aapt.org/Resources/upload/LabGuidlinesDocument_EBendorsed_nov10.pdf.
6.
Carl
Wieman
and
N. G.
Holmes
, “
Measuring the impact of an instructional laboratory on the learning of introductory physics
,”
Am. J. Phys.
83
,
972
(
Nov.
2015
).
7.
Natasha G.
Holmes
and
Carl E.
Wieman
, “
Introductory physics labs: We can do better
,”
Phys. Today
71
(
1
),
38
(
Jan.
2018
).
8.
David R.
Sokoloff
,
Ronald K.
Thornton
, and
Priscilla W.
Laws
, “
RealTime Physics: Active Learning Labs Transforming the Introductory Laboratory
,”
Eur. J. Physx.
28
,
S83
S94
(
2007
).
9.
IOLab Wireless Lab System
, https://iolab.science. For more information and the current price, see https://www.macmillanlearning.com/catalog/preview/iolab.
10.
See, for example,
the PASCO Wireless Smart Cart
, https://www.pasco.com/prodCompare/smart-cart/index.cfm and the Vernier Go Direct Sensor Cart, https://www.vernier.com/products/sensors/motion-encoders/gdx-cart-g/.
12.
David R.
Sokoloff
,
Ronald K.
Thornton
, and
Priscilla W.
Laws
,
RealTime Physics: Active Learning Laboratories, Module 1: Mechanics, Module 2: Heat and Thermodynamics, Module 3: Electricity and Magnetism, and Module 4: Light and Optics
, 3rd ed. (
Wiley
,
Hoboken, NJ
,
2011
).
13.
Funded under U.S. National Science Foundation grant DUE – 1505086
, July 1, 2015-June 30,
2018
.
14.
Stephen
Kanim
and
Ximena C.
Cid
, “
The demographics of physics education research
,” https://arxiv.org/abs/1710.02598.
15.
Best Colleges, U.S. News, Portland State University
,” https://usnews.com/best-colleges/portland-state-3216.
16.
Cheryl P.
Rose
, “
Student diversity a notable asset for Chemeketa Community College
,” https://blog.oregonlive.com/education_plus/2016/05/student_diversity_a_notable_as.html.
17.
Influences include E. Mazur (Peer Instruction), L. McDermott (Tutorials in Introductory Physics), R. Knight (Five Easy Lessons), and D. Pritchard (Mastering Physics).
18.
Erik
Jensen
, “
Welcome to PH201-203 Online
,” https://sites.google.com/chemeketa.edu/erikjensen/ph201-203.
19.
Tracker, a free video analysis and modeling tool
, https://physlets.org/tracker/.
20.
Erik
Jensen
, “
PH201-203 Lab Kits
,” http://faculty.chemeketa.edu/ejensen6/labkits.html.
21.
Fall 2015 at PSU, winter 2016 at Chemeketa, summer and fall 2016 at PSU and Chemeketa, and summer and fall 2017 at PSU and Chemeketa.
22.
See collision video example, https://youtube.com/watch?v=Z-7wRSi52a0.
23.
Ronald K.
Thornton
and
David R.
Sokoloff
, “
Assessing student learning of Newton’s laws: The Force and Motion Conceptual Evaluation and the evaluation of active learning laboratory and lecture curricula
,”
Am. J. Phys.
66
,
338
352
(
April
1998
).
24.
We shortened the FMCE in order to enlist the cooperation of those who were teaching the control groups. The version we used included questions 1-21, 30-38, and 40-43.
25.
Normalized gain <g> is defined by <g> = 100% [(Post.score-Pre.score)]/[(Max. possible score-Pre.score)].
26.
Students could opt out of either version of the lab as control groups were taught at the same times as the IOLab groups, but none chose to do so.
27.
H.
Lewandowski
, “
E-CLASS: Colorado Learning Attitudes About Science Survey for Experimental Physics
,” https://jila.colorado.edu/lewandowski/research/e-class-colorado-learning-attitudes-about-science-survey-experimental-physics.
28.
Bethany R.
Wilcox
and
H. J.
Lewandowski
, “
Open-ended labs can be designed with gains on the E-CLASS as an explicit goal
,”
Phys. Rev. ST Phys. Educ. Res.
12
,
020132
(
2016
).
AAPT members receive access to The Physics Teacher and the American Journal of Physics as a member benefit. To learn more about this member benefit and becoming an AAPT member, visit the Joining AAPT page.