Lab-like Learning in Lecture – Video Snips and Tutorials for Active Learning Exercises

Wednesday 2:45pm Northrop Hall: 116


Scott Brande, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Lecture and laboratory classes are commonly understood as serving different purposes and delivering different student experiences. For example, lectures in introductory science courses typically focus on student engagement, the presentation of information that organizes, simplifies, and explains complex issues, and the offering of challenging questions to foster student critical thinking. In contrast, in a typical laboratory course a student encounters materials that require physical manipulation and the collecting and analysis of data while the student works in a collaborative group. Although these laboratory experiences are not normally associated with lecture-format courses, it does not follow that the lecture environment cannot incorporate at least some elements of a laboratory learning experience.
I will present examples from geoscience, chemistry, and physics, of how some laboratory-like active learning experiences may be deployed in a lecture-format classroom environment, or adapted for an online environment. Critical components for these lab-like student experiences are generated by the instructor from appropriately chosen video snips and coordinated guided viewing questions. I will present a generalized workflow and template that will be useful to instructors interested in creating their own laboratory-like learning activities for their lecture-based course. A framework for these activities may also be useful for professional development by graduate students, postdoctoral students, and by instructors of lecture courses without an laboratory component.
The integration of some elements of a simulated laboratory experience during lecture is an additional strategy that may be useful for enhancing student engagement and creating additional opportunities for active learning during lecture or other format classes.