Questions to ask yourself when preparing for a lab

As you prepare to conduct a lab, consider the following questions:

  • Am I familiar with the experimental materials and equipment? If not, will I be able to practice the lab myself before I conduct the class?
  • What safety considerations must I highlight for the students?
  • What kind of advanced preparation can I expect from my students before they arrive at the lab?
  • How can I link this lab to the lecture material or the students’ real-life experiences?
  • What new techniques should I demonstrate for the students?
  • What tips can I give my students, so that they can complete the lab successfully within the time allotted?
  • What common difficulties will the students encounter while completing the experiment?
  • How will I monitor student progress in the lab?
  • What kinds of questions should I ask my students to stimulate their thinking and to encourage deeper understanding of the experiment?
  • How can I help the lab pairs/groups to work together well?
  • How can I clearly communicate the criteria used in grading the lab reports?