Welcome back to our MOOC, Teaching Science in Universities. In this next module, I want to talk about the design of lab classes and field trips. Lab classes are a very integral and important part of becoming a scientist. In some universities, even in the undergraduate studies, 50% of our learning time is spent in a lab. Generally spoken, the task of the lab is to teach students how to do things. In this next lessons, we want to show you how you can align the objectives of your lab class to what you are actually doing in a lab class. How to get your students working in the lab class, how to prepare it, and how to accompany your students in the lab class. Think of typical objectives for a lab class, what should a lab class do? Often, a lab class is designed to make a connection between the lecture and some practical experience. So here our students should do something like measuring and understanding the concept of free energy, or angular momentum. All the lab classes are designed to practice and master technical scientific skills. For example, handling a microscope, or measuring mass changes in a chemical reaction, or determining the voltage changes in an electric circuit. A third type of learning objective for lab class can be, really, think through and understand the process of scientific endeavor. So here the students should learn how to observe, how to hypothesize, or how to choose appropriate methods for research. When you think of a lab class, then it's always good to have your students really do hands-on activities in the lab class. Lab classes are very expensive times for universities, because often the labs are very frequently used. And universities have a lot of students that have to go through a lab class. So what you should do here is, you should have your students really actively working, and not just passively listening to you or to others. And to learn about the results of an experiment. What they should do is, they really should get the results on their own. And when you prepare this lab class, when you prepare yourself for a lab class, it's important that you really anticipate the questions and the challenges your students might experience. And here it's good that you not only think through the experiment, but that you really conduct the experiment. That you really experience the challenges and the variation in outcomes of these experiments on your own. And when you do this, what you should do, and make this transparent to your students, is that you should make the connections between the theory, the lectures, and the experiments for yourself. So you should, when you prepare for the lab class, and prepare your students for the lab class, you should outline the experimental design. You should outline what is happening during a lab class and embed it in the relevant theory. You should not have a whole lecture at the beginning of a lab class, but some kind of three-minute, short lecture, to point to the most important theoretical concepts in this lab. And to make connections to why this is important for your students as future scientists. And why this is important especially for the students that are not science majors, but they are minors. And they will go somewhere else, but not into the natural science after they've finished their studies. You should really make connections to everyday life, to global change, to sustainability. To show why this procedure, why this experiment is so important for them. This motivates them and makes them really learn, and wont to learn. When you think of the concrete learning experience in a lab class, you can think about different stages of this lab class. And here the lab learning cycle might be a very good guide for you. What does the lab learning cycle say? It says that learning in a lab connects different things. It connects doing to reviewing what you have done, to concluding things from what you have done, and to plan things. What you can see from this learning cycle is that you can jump in at any stage. You don't have to start with planning an experiment. Often, doing an experiment is a very integral part of a lab. Think of all these lab classes where you have some kind of cookbook-recipe strategies. Give a to b, wait until the color changes, and explain why the color changes. So you can start with the concrete experience too, but reflecting about it, and draw some conclusions from this, is very important. Because there is no direct link, and this is something you can see in this learning cycle. There is no direct link between doing and learning. And this is something you have to get your students to do, connect the doing to the learning. Because learning in a lab should not be hands on and minds off, but it should be hands on and minds on. How can we get our students to really think through what they learn in a lab? There are different options to design a lab. You can have very closed situations, exercising something, or to have a demonstration. There, everything from the aims, over the materials, the methods, to the results, are given. Everything is planned well through. This is, perhaps, this is good when you really exercise the method, or when you want to make a connection between theories students have already learned, and to operationalize this experience in our concrete experience. But whenever it comes to, really, learning how the scientific process is going on, then you should get your students to really do inquiry. And here you can start with some kind of structured inquiry. So here your students should plan an experiment design or choose variables. So you give them the problem, and you give them ideas of the material, ideas of the methods, so that they can choose here. This really encourages your students to think the problem through and to take personal initiative. Here open problems, everyday-life problems, are very good. Because this motivates the students to take the additional efforts to think this process through. When it comes to the point were students are more experienced, then you can even have open inquiry. You give a problem to the students, and they have to choose the materials, the methods, on their own. Here you have very open results, and you should discuss these open results with your students. And at the end of a lab, you even can think about having students having an own project, so bringing own ideas, and to solve these own ideas. In my studies, for example, I had the situation where we were cooking recipes over and over. And at the end of the lab class, my teaching assistants came to me with a glass with a white substance, and we got two weeks to find out what these substances are. This was very challenging for us as students, because we had to change our whole thinking strategy for the lab. But this was the most fruitful learning experience during the lab class. Let's hear and see how a very experienced colleague combines the different strategies when designing chemistry studies. >> The instructor has to show exactly every step, how it is done, how to assemble big glassware, and all these things. Because otherwise it would be very expensive when things break. In term, the other two, is that are more important for later on, during the education. And so when students can work on their own on a project and try something in the lab, this is their daily research, kind of.