Comprehensive Assessment Tracking System

It's OK to Steal....Learn from the Professionals

FIOZM75331's picture
Fiona Lihs
Monday, January 25, 2016 to Tuesday, April 12, 2016

For several years now, I have students write lab reports in calculus I, II and differential equations. The set of directions given to students on what to include in the lab report were ones that I created. Every semester, students would ask follow up questions on what to include in their document. Students constantly missed points for missing information/data or not being detailed enough. This past semester, I decided to see if chemistry faculty had a lab report template, and they do! So, Dr. Fiona Lihs shared the template with me and it was given to students to use in my courses this semester. All three courses had a huge drop in number of questions that I would receive, and all lab reports have key information/details I have been looking for these past several years. (B average to an A average on reports). Another pro to using this template is that now students will see the lab report structure in two different subject areas, and this in return helps students make an easier transition from math to chemistry. A few students have already informed me that seeing the template in math and chemistry this semester has helped them with their writing skills in science classes.

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Microsoft Office document icon formal-lab-report-format.doc31 KB


ERI2205217's picture
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Hi Rebecca, 

This sounds great! I might do something similar with my statistics students next semester and see if it cuts down on confusion. You could quantify this by counting emails (if that it the main method that students use in asking questions for you class). I bet there would be a significant difference in number of emails I got from students if I did something like this in my stats class! It's nice to remind students that using a template is fine as long as the main ideas are generated from them.  

Thank you!

Erica Wager

HEA2156907's picture
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We all have great ideas.  I mean, this is the whole point of each other great ideas that we can steal and use in our classrooms.  Very nice to see instructors working collaboratively across disciplines. 

OLGYZ58951's picture
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Becky, How great to share across disciplines and collobarate to help our students!
Did you create a survey to get feedback? 



PETAA00009's picture
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I love this lab report format! And the fact that you got it from a colleague only makes it better! Would have liked to see some concrete data (before vs. after lab report scores, etc.), but this is a great idea!

REBZS76641's picture
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I just added the change to the CATS.  I was still calculating the average grade on reports when I submitted the CATS and forgot to put this in abstract.  Glad you said something.  

BROAA00004's picture
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The part about using the same tool between two different courses is important so they understand this is nothing new, just a different application. 

JENBP70391's picture
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I like using it across disciplines so students see the application in other areas. So many times our students only want to apply the material (or tools) they are learning in that specifc course. This is great!