* Physics Dynamic Laboratory Techniques Manual (DLTM)


This ‘pre-lab’ resource, funded by the Higher Education Academy, (HEA) has been created with the help of academics and school teachers as an aid to students transferring from Post 16 education to first year undergraduate courses. The laboratory based skills of incoming first year undergraduates in the sciences in the UK HEIs is highly variable; some have had extensive practice in a wide range of practical skills and techniques whilst others have barely none. This software is designed to sit within an HEI’s virtual learning environment (VLE) and to be accessed by students prior to laboratory work. Students who have engaged with these activities should make better use of their laboratory time and reduce their demand on the lab demonstrators to teach the basics, thus allowing demonstrators to demonstrate at a higher level or to assess in ’more effectively.

The DLTM Resource

This resource is due to be released in June 2013. Each section gives a brief general introduction to the technique with images of equipment commonly used, sectioned video clips with notes giving hints tips and explanations, safety notes and finally a short multiple choice quiz. The quiz gives feedback to students’ answers so can be used formatively or summatively.
It should be noted that for some items of equipment, there are many variations. Not all equipment variations can be shown. The students having worked through the resource item should be able to apply their knowledge to equipment variations as well as to new situations.

Skills Covered

Circuits, components and circuit testing Using a Multimeter
Graphing and Tabulating Data Using an Oscilloscope
Heating and cooling Using a Signal generator
Measuring distance Errors
Measuring time Glossary of common laboratory equipment
Measuring volume Weighing
Reading scales Using Significant figures  
Units of measurement


Previous and next buttons allow each section of the resource to be navigated in order. A drop down menu allows the components of the resource to be investigated out of order. When a video sequence is being shown the controls at the bottom of the screen allow pause, forward and backward winding.

The authors and advisory board members

Tim Harrison, University of Bristol
Professor Dudley E. Shallcross, University of Bristol
Dr John Eastman, Learning Science Ltd.

Academic International Board Members:

Professors and Ann and Carl Schmiedekamp, Penn State University, USA
Professor Mike Davies Coleman, University of the Western Cape, South Africa
Joyce Sewry, Rhodes University, South Africa
Dr Magda Wajrak, Edith Cowan University, Australia

Further information

A booklet for Physics DLTM launch day can be found here and a schedule for the day can be found here.

Contact Tim Harrison at t.g.harrison@bristol.ac.uk.