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Laboratory Instruction

Laboratory, or lab, instruction is an integral part of the introductory science curriculum in higher education. The use of lab exercises is helpful in illustrating the importance of inquiry and observation in the scientific process. In the biological, chemical, and physical sciences, laboratory courses offer experiential learning that supports the concepts that are illustrated within the corresponding lecture. In laboratory classrooms, students are able to work collaboratively toward pursuing a common goal through scientific investigation of a problem or phenomenon. This entry provides an overview of laboratory instruction and then explores the two types of labs, the role of instructors, a variety of teaching methods, and standard assessment practices.

Overview

In a lab setting, students will interact with each other in order to investigate the concept in ...

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