Life Science Mini Projects: Taking the Lab Outside the Laboratory

Logan, G. , Bowers, M., Davidson, P., Price, K. and Rowe, I. (2021) Life Science Mini Projects: Taking the Lab Outside the Laboratory. Enhancing Student Learning Through Innovative Scholarship Conference, 10 Sep 2021.

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Abstract

The development of core skills in practical investigation are important for Life Science graduates, however, due to COVID-19 restrictions during this year, Level 3 Human Biology and Physiology students from the University of Glasgow were unable to conduct laboratory-based work. In previous years, students created and undertook small-scale lab-based practical projects at the end of semester 2 to attain course ILOs and graduate attributes. This pandemic year, academic and technical staff proposed that students work in small groups of 5-6 to develop an experimental hypotheses and study design, then collected data in home-based projects over the course of a scheduled experimental week. Whilst students were steered away from projects relying on immobile laboratory equipment in controlled lab environments, they were provided with examples of measurements that could be feasibly performed in isolated ‘real-world’ experiments. Technicians were then able to send wearable measurement devices (e.g. heart rate monitors, continuous glucose monitors) directly to students’ homes to be used during the experimental phase. All data was collected by students at home using laboratory techniques approved by the safety committee. This poster will present the opportunities to staff and students in undertaking ‘real-world’ mini projects and highlight learnings that could be transferred to future academic years. In addition, we will promote the often-overlooked role of laboratory technical staff in teaching provision ; as well as being key to risk assessments and facilitating home-delivery of equipment, laboratory technicians were available for troubleshooting during the data collection phase. Take home messages: 1. Some investigative projects are possible in remote delivery with appropriate planning and safety considerations 2. Remote delivery presented opportunity for creation of experiments with real-world application 3. Technical staff are key members of the teaching team and have valuable expertise to facilitate the learning experience.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Logan, Dr Greig and Rowe, Dr Iain and Price, Dr Katherine and Davidson, Mrs Patricia
Authors: Logan, G., Bowers, M., Davidson, P., Price, K., and Rowe, I.
Subjects:Q Science > QP Physiology
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the Author
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