Re-thinking laboratory education: a roadmap for change.

Thursday, May 3, 2018 - 10:00 to 12:30
Phoenix Boardroom, North Campus, Maynooth University

The laboratory as a complex learning environment

The Faculty of Science and Engineering would like to invite you to participate in the half-day workshop delivered by Dr Michael Seery (School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh). Colleagues from other third-level institutions are welcome to attend.

Laboratory work is an integral component of any science curriculum, and requires substantial resources. In chemistry, there is significant interest in reforming the laboratory curriculum, although the discussions tend to focus on the binary choice of ‘expository or not’. Typically, innovations and new approaches tend to favour approaches that dismiss recipe-style laboratories. By framing the laboratory as a complex learning environment, this discussion can become more nuanced, as it becomes possible to consider the student experience in laboratory classes. This discussion incorporates what role the laboratory resources and demonstrators play in supporting students, and what kinds of resources are pedagogically appropriate. In this presentation I aim to use the concept of a complex learning environment to advocate a more structured approach to designing a laboratory curriculum, consistent with theories of learning. Especial focus will be on our research into preparing for laboratory work, and the role such preparation plays in supporting student learning in their laboratory work.1, 2

1.           H. Y. Agustian and M. K. Seery, Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 2017, 18, 518-532.
2.           M. K. Seery, H. Y. Agustian, E. D. Doidge, M. M. Kucharski, H. M. O'Connor and A. Price, Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 2017, 18, 403-419.

Please register for this event.

Information and contact: Dr Ann O’Shea, Dr Trinidad Velasco-Torrijos.