Session S7 (Sunday, 2pm, Mueller 008)

P44: How a new lab design changes group dynamics

Amy Lindsay (University of New Hampshire, USA)

In summer 2011, the University of New Hampshire  renovated the General Chemistry teaching labs into very different teaching spaces.  In year one, we are pleased but also are experiencing consequences of the design.   Four General Chemistry labs radiate from a prep room at the core allowing for easy  access to lab materials.  Lab rooms have six rectangular benches around a demonstration bench and dry erase boards.  Each bench has two computers with all hoods and water in the periphery of the room.  Students work generally in pairs, but the design lends itself well to inquiry-based type labs and groups of four.  But consequences of the design are now seen:  students are too comfortable, students lack responsibility for their space, benches are too low for standing, monitors take up more space than anticipated.  There are lessons to pass on to people who are planning new space.

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