Many instructors have recently been thrust into the online delivery of physics courses. When Athabasca University pioneered distance education physics in the 1990s with standard freshman mechanics and E&M content, labs could not be done remotely. Then, calculators able to control detectors, such as sonic rangers, became available. A “home lab” approach was developed, which later extended to other subjects, allowing students to perform quality physics experiments with real data, using a lab kit borrowed from the library and sent by mail. Through time our highly successful home lab approach has changed to use what are now common household items like smartphones. We discuss how to implement physics home labs now and urge retaining them when “normal” status returns. In the overall adjustment to a post-COVID world, we argue that successes with our home labs show that this approach should become part of the “new normal”.
|Date made available