* Dynamic Laboratory Techniques Manuals


 

In 2010 Professor Dudley Shallcross and Bristol ChemLabS were awarded a three year grant from the Higher Education Academy National Teaching Fellowship Scheme to develop Dynamic Laboratory Techniques Manuals (DLTM) for Physics and for Biological Sciences.

Building on the success of the Bristol ChemLabS Dynamic Laboratory Manual (DLM) and A-Level LabSkills, this project has put together a panel of science experts from across the UK to produce a list of core practical techniques that are needed in each of these disciplines in the first year of an undergraduate degree programme. The DLTMs will be constructed using the DLM format developed by Bristol ChemLabS and will be freely available to all UK institutes to support practical teaching in these subjects.

The laboratory based skills of incoming first year undergraduates in the sciences in the UK is highly variable; some have had extensive practice in a wide range of practical skills and techniques whilst others have had none at all. Bristol ChemLabS has addressed this issue through the construction of its on-line e-learning tool, the DLM, which contains fully interactive virtual experiments, video clips of practical techniques, health and safety information, and formative and summative assessment. This virtual environment has allowed undergraduate students to rehearse the practical techniques before entering the laboratories (pre-laboratory work) and has been shown to have a marked impact on confidence in the laboratory and in practical skills development. A similar experience is now available for A-Level Chemistry students with the introduction in 2008 of the A-Level Chemistry LabSkills software developed by Bristol ChemLabS and Learning Science Ltd. The DLTMs will extent this concept to both Physics and Biological Sciences by specifically addressing the transition period from school or college to university.

News and updates about the Dynamic Laboratory Techniques Manuals can be found here

Information about the Biological Sciences Dynamic Laboratory Techniques Manual can be found here

Information about the Physics Dynamic Laboratory Techniques Manual can be found here

Project Final Report: Dudley E. Shallcross and Tim G. Harrison (2013). Dynamic Laboratory Manuals for Biological Sciences and Physics, The Higher Education Academy, York.

For more details on the NTFS scheme, see www.heacademy.ac.uk/ntfsprojects

Related Papers

Australian Journal of Education in Chemistry, 71, (2011).Chemistry LabSkills: Software to Support Laboratory Skills from Schools' Pre-University to University Foundation Courses, by T.G.Harrison, W.J. Heslop, J.R. Eastman, A. Baldwin and D.E. Shallcross

Chemical Education Newsletter, American Chemical Society. CHED Committee on Computers (November 2011), 'The Dynamic Laboratory Manual: E-Learning Software to Support Practical Chemistry Skills Development', by Tim Harrison, Nick Norman and Paul Wyatt.

Acta Didactica Napocensia (journal of the Didactics of Exact Sciences Chair of the Babes-Bolyai University) Volume 2, Number 1, 2009, Transferring Best Practice From Undergraduate Practical Teaching To Secondary Schools: The Dynamic Laboratory Manual by T G Harrison, D E Shallcross, W J Heslop, J R Eastman & A J Baldwin.

Chemistry in Action, Winter 2008, 86. 'A Chemistry Dynamic Laboratory Manual for Schools' by T G Harrison and D E Shallcross.