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Type: Conference paper
Title: What makes a good laboratory learning exercise? Student feedback from the ACELL project
Author: Buntine, M.
Read, J.
Barrie, S.
Bucat, R.
Crisp, G.
George, A.
Jamie, I.
Kable, S.
Citation: Enhancing Higher Education, Theory and Scholarship, Proceedings of the 30th HERDSA Annual Conference, 8-11 July 2007
Publisher: Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia
Publisher Place: Australia
Issue Date: 2007
ISBN: 0908557728
Conference Name: Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia Conference (30th : 2007 : Adelaide, S.A.)
Statement of
Mark A. Buntine, Justin R. Read, Simon C. Barrie, Robert B. Bucat, Geoffrey T. Crisp, Adrian V. George, Ian M. Jamie, Scott H. Kable
Abstract: Over the last seven years, a group of Australian universities have been collaboratively running a chemistry education project, now called ACELL (Advancing Chemistry by Enhanced Learning in the Laboratory). One of the key aims of ACELL is to facilitate the development and evaluation of educationally-sound chemistry laboratory exercises with the goal of improving the quality of students’ learning in the laboratory environment in Australia, New Zealand, and throughout the world. As part of this project, ACELL has developed an instrument for investigating students’ perceptions of their laboratory learning experiences. To date, ACELL had collected data on 22 experiments from 1042 students across 8 universities in Australia and New Zealand using this instrument, and this data collection is ongoing. As a consequence, ACELL is in an unusually good position to identify and discuss both procedural and cognitive factors that influence students’ evaluation of their laboratory learning experiences, such as assessment, the quality of notes, interest, and the inclusion of opportunities for independent learning. Our results are both surprising and encouraging, and indicate that students can be highly cognitively engaged, even with traditionally ‘boring’ content, provided a suitable learning environment is established. This presentation will describe the research approach undertaken, discuss the range of factors which appear to significantly influence students’ learning experiences, and consider the implications for the design of educationally-sound chemistry laboratory exercises.
Keywords: Undergraduate Laboratories; Hands-On Learning; Student-Centred Learning
Rights: © 2007 HERDSA and the authors
RMID: 0020082713
Appears in Collections:Physics publications

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