# 02 April 2009: Bristol ChemLabS Dissemination Conference

photo of one of the talks

Bristol ChemLabS held a one-day Dissemination Conference in the School of Chemistry on 02 April. The 42 delegates present came from chemistry and other academic disciplines in other UK HEIs as well as from within the University of Bristol.

The Bristol ChemLabS Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) has come a long way since its beginnings in 2005. The School of Chemistry's Teaching Laboratories were refurbished and are now amongst the very best teaching laboratories anywhere in the world. Through the Dynamic Laboratory Manual, e-Learning is used to allow students to take on more challenging experiments, and online pre-laboratory work and changes in assessment practice have led to an enhancement of the real hands-on practical experience, as well as to better understanding and engagement. Bristol ChemLabS also hosts a uniquely extensive and highly successful national and international Outreach programme.

The Dissemination Conference was held to showcase these developments. It opened with a welcome by Professor Guy Orpen (Dean of the Faculty of Science), who was Head of the School of Chemistry at the time the CETL bid was made. In the morning Paul Wyatt presented on the Bristol ChemLabS vision, Russell Cox on the physical infrastructure, John Eastman from Learning Science Ltd on the DLM and Steve Croker and Tom Podesta on the laboratory operation. Following lunch and tours of the laboratories for some of the delegates, Jonathan Charmant & Colin Western talked about ChemLabS’ information technology infrastructure, Dudley Shallcross and Tim Harrison about outreach, and Jemma Vickery about the student perspective. After a tea break, David Smith gave a presentation on evaluation and Nick Norman talked about sustainability. Many of the delegates took the opportunity to tour the laboratories after the talks had finished and had informal discussions with the Bristol ChemLabS team.

photo of delegates at lunch

Visitors came from Cardiff University, Glasgow Caledonian University, Harper Adams University College, Imperial College London, Loughborough University, Manchester Metropolitan University, Nottingham University, the Physical Sciences Centre at the University of Hull, The Open University, University College Dublin, University College London, and the Universities of Aberdeen, Bath, Birmingham, Cambridge, Leeds, Leicester, Oxford, Plymouth, Reading, Warwick and York as well as various departments of the University of Bristol.

photo of delegates in the labs

There was a great deal of enthusiasm from delegates about what had been achieved. The level of interest and engagement could be judged by the high volume of questions. Many had heard something about ChemLabS from colleagues and had attended to find out more. Asked if he had got what he had expected or hoped for from the day one delegate said “Oh yes, and much more!"


The speakers’ presentations will be made available online shortly.