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|Title:||The ACELL project: Student participation, professional development, and improving laboratory learning|
|Citation:||Proceedings of the Uniserve Assessment in Science Teaching and Learning conference, 28th September, 2006, pp 113–119|
|Conference Name:||Research & Development into University Science Teaching & Learning Workshop (2006 : Sydney, Australia)|
|Justin R. Read, Mark A. Buntine and Geoffrey T. Crisp, The University of Adelaide, Simon C. Barrie, Adrian V. George, Scott H. Kable, The University of Sydney, Robert B. Bucat, The University of Western Australia and Ian M. Jamie, Macquarie University|
|Abstract:||The Australian Chemistry Enhanced Laboratory Learning (ACELL) project is designed to help improve the quality of learning in undergraduate laboratory exercises. This is achieved through two interlocking mechanisms. The first aims to build a database of experiments that are both chemically and educationally sound. These experiments are tested in a third party laboratory (usually through an ACELL workshop) to ensure that they work, and all materials necessary to run the experiment are peer-reviewed by both academic staff and by students. 33 experiments were submitted for evaluation at the most recent workshop (February 2006), from 27 different universities from Australia and New Zealand. Workshop testing of the experiments was completed by a team of 33 academic staff and 31 students from those universities. Student participation is integral to the ACELL process, ensuring that the students' perspectives are heard. The second mechanism aims to provide professional development for both staff and students, and is also run through the workshop process. Testing of experiments is undertaken by all delegates acting as students and actually doing the experiment. Evidence shows that this provides staff with a valuable reminder of laboratory work from a student's perspective, whilst also allowing students to better understand laboratory work from a staff perspective. In addition, the workshop process includes discussion of educational issues, both in abstract (through discussing laboratory learning in general) and concrete terms (through evening debrief sessions of each experiment tested). Involving students in the peer review process for final acceptance to the ACELL database not only ensures that experiments cater to the students' needs, but also provides those students with experience in reviewing others' work - a rare experience at undergraduate level.|
|Appears in Collections:||Centre for Learning and Professional Development publications|
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