A flowchart as a tool to support student learning in a laboratory exercise
Practical laboratory exercises are an essential part of university education in natural sciences. The multitude of positive aspects of this active and lively teaching approach is, however, accompanied by some challenges, which have to be observed by the teacher(s) of practical exercises. In this project, a strategy was designed, employed and evaluated to support teaching and student learning in laboratory exercises spread over several days by implementing a flowchart as a central component. Initial co-construction of the flowchart with the students gives ownership of the exercise to the students and forms a common basis for communication and interaction as well as a point of reference throughout the exercise. This approach supported student learning as evidenced by increased understanding of the content and the ability to connect individual parts of the exercise. In addition, it allows the teacher to easily track student progress.
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