Developing students’ laboratory equipment familiarity

Phillips, Brent (2013) Developing students’ laboratory equipment familiarity. In: National Tertiary Learning & Teaching Conference 2013, 2-4 October, 2013, Invercargill, New Zealand. (Submitted)

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Abstract or Summary

For students to maximise their learning during practical work, they need to be competent in using the necessary equipment. However, many first-year Electrical Engineering students have struggled with the efficient use of laboratory equipment, resulting in their focus being on how to use the equipment rather than on investigating the principles. This lead to the tutor’s time also being spent more on helping students with the equipment, rather than on the deeper engineering principles. To accelerate students’ training in the correct use of the laboratory equipment, a set of instructional videos was created. The videos were available to students to watch via the LMS and on portable devices in the laboratory. When an item of equipment was first introduced to the students, their attention was drawn to the relevant video demonstration. To further assist students’ familiarity with the lab equipment, additional online resources were developed in the LMS; a formative quiz and a wiki with a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ). Many students independently viewed the videos during practical sessions or watched outside of class time. Some students still preferred to wait for the tutor for help, although a noticeable reduction has occurred in such questions since the introduction of the videos. This suggests that students are becoming more effective as independent learners and can focus their in-class efforts more on the principles than on the equipment.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Keywords that describe the item:practical learning, laboratory, video, independent learning, engineering
Subjects:L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Divisions:Schools > Centre for Science and Primary Industries
ID Code:2968
Deposited By:
Deposited On:05 Mar 2014 01:54
Last Modified:05 Mar 2014 01:54

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