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Teaching in University Science Laboratories (Developing Best Practice)

University of Amsterdam via Coursera


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This course is developed to improve the effectiveness of laboratory classes in higher education. It aims to support teachers to improve their teaching skills for active learning in university science laboratory courses. It will show you how laboratory sessions can differ with respect to their aim and expected learning outcomes, how to engage students for learning and how to cope with their different levels of pre-knowledge and experience and probe their understanding. Last but not least it will show how you could assess students in laboratory courses. This course is developed by ECTN (European Chemistry Thematic Network), Working group Lecturing Qualifications and Innovative Teaching Methods.


  • Module 1: Welcome and introduction
    • In this module you will learn about different types of laboratory sessions and get acquainted with strategies that can improve student’s engagement in lab sessions. You will get an introduction about this course as a whole and set your personal goals for it.
  • Module 2: The Good Laboratory Teacher - Tips and Strategies
    • This module is about qualities needed to be a good laboratory teacher.
  • Module 3: Learning Theories in Practice
    • This module is about the learning theories that can be applied to ensure effective teaching of laboratory work.
  • Module 4: Giving Instructions and Questioning Skills
    • This module is about giving instruction in a lab session. We present different strategies how to support learning by questioning and how to prevent information overload.
  • Module 5: Assessment and Feedback
    • In this module we present the rubric, a tool which can be used for assessing and giving feedback to students on their learning goals. We also consider the concept of constructive alignment of learning outcomes, teaching and learning activities and assessment.
  • Module 6: Reflection
    • In this module we ask you to look back on what you have learned in this online course and to make your own plan about the improvements of the laboratory course in which you teach.
  • Optional additional week to complete the course
    • This is an additional week for the ones who need it to finish all the assignments and get the cetificate of the course. Good luck!

Taught by

Iwona Maciejowska, Claire McDonnell, Mauro Mocerino, Gunther Fleerackers and Natasa Brouwer


4.6 rating at Coursera based on 116 ratings

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