Staff profiles

Project lead
Dr Peter McFawn
Position
Lecturer
School/area
Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology
Faculty/area
Science
Team members
Dr Gavin Pinniger

Project outline

The aim of this project is to improve consistency between Science laboratory classes by creating a set of standard teaching materials that will integrate across UWA's online Learning Management System (LMS). Improving the laboratory and tutorial experience by producing online videos, pre-lab tests and tutor resource materials to help students feel better prepared and informed.

Laboratory and tutorial teaching are critical for the student experience and for student learning. However this small group teaching also consumes substantial resources within Science teaching. With growth in many majors, much of this critical teaching is left to graduate students and other part time staff, leading to variation in student perceptions of quality and assessment between classes in the same unit. Growing class sizes and reduced time in the laboratory also restrict the time students spend getting personal instruction from laboratory demonstrators and tutors.

Students have reported feeling under prepared for laboratory sessions that old style lab manuals are not very helpful, and that different tutors cover different areas or focus on different topics. Students often enter laboratories having read the lab manual but never having used or seen the specific equipment to be used. With the ability to deliver high resolution video material the project aims to show the students what the equipment is and how it works before they enter the lab. Therefore this projects main goal is to harness the UWA online Learning Management System (LMS) technologies for the benefit of students and tutors. Modernise how small group teaching is delivered, minimise variability between classes in the same unit, and maximise the return on investment on the small group teaching experience.

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