Evaluation of Improvements to the Student Experience in Chemical Engineering Practical Classes: from Pre-Labs to Post-Labs

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


Practical classes are an important and essential part of undergraduate programs in Chemical Engineering as each experiment provides an opportunity to reinforce the theory of discrete unit operations that are taught elsewhere in the course. While an expensive pedagogical method, when practical sessions are delivered well, they can be one of the best learning experiences for students. As with all pedagogical methods, for students to gain maximum benefit of practical classes a high level of engagement is required. Consequently, lab assignments need to be designed in such a way to guide and instruct students on the theory, procedure and risks associated with any practical and its associated assessments. This paper describes the outcomes of a qualitative investigation that evaluated student perceptions of updated pre-lab content combined with a new variation in post-lab assessments and a renewed focus on practical skills during practical classes. The overall aim was to improve the student experience during practical classes. Paradoxically, periods of remote teaching enforced by the Covid-19 pandemic created further opportunities to make innovative changes to practical class resources. Subsequent student evaluation also indicated perceptions about each newly introduced component (instructional videos, online multiple-choice pre-lab quiz, variation in post-lab assessment, introduction of grading rubrics and a practical skills assessment) and more than 75% wanted these resources retained.
Period07 Jul 202411 Jul 2024
Event title9th EuChemS Chemistry Congress (ECC-9)
Event typeConference
LocationDublin, IrelandShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational