Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Definition of "Laboratory Experience"

Definition of a Laboratory Experience


"Laboratory experiences provide opportunities for students to interact directly with the material world (or with data drawn from the material world), using the tools, data collection techniques, models, and theories of science."

This definition forms the critical basis for all of the goals specified in America's Lab Report according to Prof. Susan Singer, the lead author of the report. All data from science labs must originate in the material world. That definition does not provide for data that originates from a programmer's pencil: simulations.

Simulations can have pedagogical value, but this value does not include substituting for true laboratory experience no matter how well designed or well integrated the simiulation is.

I will be providing examples of online activities meeting the goals of America's Lab Report that all use data that originates in the material world. In some instances, the online activities have been augmented by hands-on experiments that provide another dimension of experience to students.

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2 comments:

Josiah Wintermute said...

its a pleasure reading all these informative things.
John Wintermute

Harry said...

Thank you, Josiah, for taking the time to comment.