Motivating students by giving responsibility during lab classes

Short Description

Laboratory classes are an expensive learning activity. A careful design is needed to get the most out of the time spend in the laboratory. We also learned that students who are responsible for their own planning and their own choices, are more motivated. Giving students more responsibilities makes them more aware of what they are doing and why. During this session I will show you how we organize our lab classes in such a way that students become more responsible. With this I will also show you the IT tools that we use to organize our lab classes.

Objective

Motivate students by giving them responsibility during lab classes.

Strong Points

Prepared students:

  • know why they are doing certain experiments;
  • are more efficient in their planning of the labwork;
  • need less guiding during the lab classes.

Recommendations

Start laboratory classes always with a pre-laboratory assignment. In this assignment students need to prepare themselves for the lab classes. A very productive assignments is to let students "design" their experiments. Based on a number of given research questions you ask students to decide which experiments they need to perform to be able to answer these questions. We use labbuddy to let students make a design. (www.labbuddy.net)

For more information or recommendations, please contact julia.diederen@wur.nl.

Products

Please have a look at my ppt slide at the 'downloads' on the right.