Experimental rationale is integral to the scientific process. Every step in a scientific protocol is specific and intentional (Hofstein & Lunetta, 1982). In many undergraduate labs there is a “cookie-cutter” approach, where a rigid and simple protocol is given to the students. Often these protocols are lacking rationale, and it can lead students to memorize the steps rather than understand them. Not understanding the rationale behind the protocol can lead to problems when it is time to troubleshoot or alter the experimental parameters. The student’s ability to employ critical thinking decreases if they cannot understand the meaning of what they are doing. This workshop aims to communicate the importance of rationale and equip a group of motivated instructors with the resources necessary to emphasize rationale in their laboratory curriculum (Brownell & Tanner, 2012). By the end of the workshop, participants will better understand the need for rationale in scientific protocols. Participants will learn strategies for implementing and assessing the impact of incorporating rationale.
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"Preventing Lab Mistakes: The Importance of Including Rationale in Laboratory Protocols,"
Teaching Innovation Projects: Vol. 7
, Article 3.
Available at: http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/tips/vol7/iss1/3