Session S26b (Monday, 2pm, Thomas 117)

P310: Peer-Led Team Learning applied to laboratory instruction

Joseph Dinnocenzo, Terrell Samoriski (University of Rochester, USA)

There is general agreement that problem-solving (PS) and inquiry-based (IB) laboratory experiments offer numerous advantages over demonstration (i.e. cookbook) experiments.  Despite their clear advantages, PS/IB experiments place significantly greater intellectual demands on our students. As a result, many of the potential benefits of PS/IB experiments go unrealized.  This leads to frustration for both students and instructors.  At the University of Rochester, we have responded to this pedagogical challenge by applying the Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) model to laboratory instruction.  In this talk we will describe our recent efforts to design, implement, and evaluate the student-centered model for laboratory instruction.  Issues to be discussed include:  the design of appropriate discussion problems (pre-lab, in-lab, and post-lab), logistics, leader training, student feedback, and the evaluation of learning outcomes.  A newly constructed laboratory at the University of Rochester specifically designed to facilitate PLTL in the lab will be briefly described.


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