V01: Lab plus active class, 3rd yr science.

Description and purpose of these two short video clips

How can a large lecture-based class that does not have any official labs add an opportunity for hands-on experiential learning? The goal of these two short video clips is to illustrate some keys to successfully running such an experience, including the group-based follow-up work, for a class with 150 students. Instructional strategies and the learning settings are illustrated for both the 50-minute hands on laboratory experience and the follow-up 50 minute worksheet-based group activity done in a subsequent class. Each video clips is roughly 6 minutes long.

Teaching goals for this type of activity

The reasons for including this experience in the course are:

  • to enable the benefits of handling and analyzing real fossils and gathering corresponding data;
  • to have students use concepts and data to address real-world questions;
  • enable peer instruction; and
  • facilitate tutoring modes of instruction in which experts (instructor and TAs) interact with individuals and groups, in classes of 150 students.

How is this paired lab / class exercise run?

  • Students have pre-readings prior to hands on component. No assessment of these readings.
  • Part 1: Hands on component represents data acquisition. This is facilitated with a worksheet that every student completes during their 50 minute time slot. TAs and instructor provide ad-hoc “tutoring”. This is component is illustrated in Video 1a.
  • Part 1 homework: An online question set (homework assignment) provides initial followup to the lab experience.
  • Part 2: Homework and worksheet results are used in the follow up session a week after the hands on experience. This work is done in class, in ad hoc groups of four. This component is illustrated in Video 1b.
  • Group worksheets are assessed and completed versions are provided online. Grading for the Lab exercise is constructed from all parts.

Use links in the MENU to open videos with accompanying text describing what to watch for.

See Instructor’s Tips for comments and recommendations about how to set up and run such exercises.

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