In proceedings 2006 Frontiers in Education Conference, San Diego, October 2006.
Mini-Labs: A Hands-On Substitute for Lectures
Richard Layton

This interactive hands-on workshop demonstrates the use of 50-minute mini-labs to replace lectures in courses where such substitutions are appropriate. To illustrate the approach, mini-labs for a mechanical measurements course are used, but the purpose of the workshop is to give participants an experience they can adapt to courses in their own disciplines. Workshop attendees perform all activities required of students. They learn the operating principles of a specific measurement device via a pre-lab exercise and connect the device using information provided by the manufacturer, modeling the situation encountered by every experimentalist on first taking an instrument out of its box. Attendees are provided with student handouts for the pre-labs and mini-labs. At the end of the workshop, participants should be able to list the goals, advantages, and disadvantages of replacing lectures with mini-labs and be able to apply the mini-lab concept to one of their own courses by selecting a particular lecture to be replaced and developing the appropriate mini-lab lesson plan.

Richard A. Layton
Last modified: 08 Sep 06