Date: Thu, 13 Oct 2011 10:24:01

Author: R. W. Tarara

Subject: Re: Combination lab/recitation rooms

Post:

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I've been teaching our Intro Physics for chemistry majors and engineers =
as an integrated lab/lecture class for the past 6 years in a single =
room. Originally the class met 4 times a week in 75 minute sessions. =
With class sizes of 6-12 students that seemed to work, but when we got a =
rush of engineering intents and the class went to 24, what I found was =
that I couldn't get labs done in the 75 minute period anymore. This was =
complicated by the fact that the 'lab' room being used also became =
popular for some of the chemistry lecture classes, so it became =
impossible to leave equipment up so that a lab could be continued over =
two days. Consequently, I have gone to 3 2-hour sessions a week (yes =
with a 5 minute break after the first hour). This permits doing two =
hour labs and gives me a 2 hour slot for the mid-term exam (just given). =
I really like the integrated lab idea in that labs come EXACTLY when =
needed. I can also do short labs--1 hour--and not lose the other hour =
of class time. We do an extended spreadsheet numerical methods exercise =
that I spread out over three classes--but only an hour each time. It is =
OK not to do a lab in a given week but then maybe 2 or 1-1/2 during =
another week.

The physical setup (and why the chemists like the rooms) are that we =
have 8 large wooden topped lab tables--approximately 6x3.5 feet, that =
seat 4 students comfortably, in a 18x36 foot room . There is a problem =
with testing or quizzes if there are more than 16 students since =
opposite sides and diagonally spaced is the only seating that works for =
that. Luckily (I have another 25 person class in this room), the second =
nearly identical lab is usually open at the times I teach and I can =
spread students out for quizzes and tests. One thing we did have to do =
was replace the low lab stools, with padded chairs to accommodate the =
longer sitting times. The chemists do a lot of workbook based =
instruction, so they like the tables. As I say, the tables sit 4 just =
fine and have multiple electrical sockets (which then are activated by a =
single plug and wire from the table to the wall--thus preventing much in =
the way of moving them around --too heavy anyway). The other utilities =
are based in slim units that are mounted to the walls---tables are =
arranged 4 on each wall each with a station at the end of the table. =
There is a small sink, water, gas outlets (now disconnected--removed and =
capped in one room where I do move the tables and the nozzles were =
'dangerous'), steam (also no longer used but impossible to disconnect =
from the supply lines although they could just be capped) and high =
volume-low pressure air for air tracks although we have switched to the =
Pasco cart system and seldom use the air anymore. There are white =
boards on both of the ends of the room (18 foot walls) and a screen, but =
we have to wheel in a portable projector for computer or AV =
presentations (this could, of course, be built in, but there is no real =
spare space to mount the equipment). We only have two such =
rooms--originally designated solely as the physics labs (with supply =
room in between with doors from each lab directly into that room) but =
now both rooms used for a number of chemistry classes (but we have money =
in hand to build some new classrooms, so maybe the labs will return to =
being labs!). =20

Bottom line, using the same room for lab, recitation, and even =
lecture/demos works pretty well with smaller classes. 24 in this size =
room does not work well, but this year I have 12 in the integrated class =
and that is fine. The key is that the table space needs to be capable =
of being cleared (no permanent lab equipment or intrusive utilities). I =
would think that smaller tables that could be easily moved would NOT be =
good if labs are to be done in the room. The other consideration here =
is that although you are looking at just recitation/lab, you should =
really think forward to integrated lab/lecture/recitation, at least for =
smaller classed.

Rick

Richard W. Tarara
Professor of Physics
Saint Mary's College
Notre Dame, Indiana

*******************************************
Free Physics Instructional Software
www.saintmarys.edu/~rtarara/software.html
Updates and new multi-resolutions versions now available.
********************************************=20


From: Adam Beehler=20
Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2011 9:41 AM
To: tap-l@lists.ncsu.edu=20
Subject: Re: [tap-l] Combination lab/recitation rooms


Kenn,
I am thinking that Kansas State University's Physics Department made a =
similar switch years ago now. I was not there when it happened so I =
cannot give you details. Is anyone out there from K-State? Peter =
Nelson?
Adam Beehler


On 10/12/2011 3:32 PM, Kenn L wrote:=20
Hey Tappers-=20


We here at CSU are looking at trying to acquire some more space in our =
current building in the next year or two, and may end up trying to =
combine our currently separate recitation and lab sections into a single =
3ish hour class to make for a more effective and educational student =
experience. To make the case, we would like to get a little more =
information no how such a section might work out.


I would love to know if any colleges out there have combined =
lab/recitation sections, and how much more (or less?) effective the =
combo seems to be. If you had details on what those spaces look like, =
pictures even would be spectacular we want to know! Our first order plan =
would be to have lab benches set up around the edges of the room, and =
some tables in the center for group work, but our plans are pretty hazy =
at the moment.


Do any of you have experience with this type of setup?




Kenn



--=20
Kenneth Lonnquist
Assistant Coordinator, Introductory Physics Labs
KennLonnquist@gmail.com
970.491.2540
Physics Department
Colorado State University


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I've been teaching our Intro Physics for =
chemistry=20
majors and engineers as an integrated lab/lecture class for the past 6 =
years in=20
a single room. Originally the class met 4 times a week in 75 =
minute=20
sessions. With class sizes of 6-12 students that seemed to work, =
but when=20
we got a rush of engineering intents and the class went to 24, what I =
found was=20
that I couldn't get labs done in the 75 minute period anymore. =
This was=20
complicated by the fact that the 'lab' room being used also became =
popular for=20
some of the chemistry lecture classes, so it became impossible to leave=20
equipment up so that a lab could be continued over two days. =
Consequently,=20
I have gone to 3 2-hour sessions a week (yes with a 5 minute break =
after=20
the first hour). This permits doing two hour labs and gives me a 2 =
hour=20
slot for the mid-term exam (just given). I really like the =
integrated lab=20
idea in that labs come EXACTLY when needed. I can also do short =
labs--1=20
hour--and not lose the other hour of class time. We do an extended =

spreadsheet numerical methods exercise that I spread out over three =
classes--but=20
only an hour each time. It is OK not to do a lab in a given week =
but then=20
maybe 2 or 1-1/2 during another week.

The physical setup (and why the chemists like =
the rooms)=20
are that we have 8 large wooden topped lab =
tables--approximately 6x3.5=20
feet, that seat 4 students comfortably, in a 18x36 foot =
room . There=20
is a problem with testing or quizzes if there are more than 16 students =
since=20
opposite sides and diagonally spaced is the only seating that works for=20
that. Luckily (I have another 25 person class in this room), the =
second=20
nearly identical lab is usually open at the times I teach and I can =
spread=20
students out for quizzes and tests. One thing we did have to do =
was=20
replace the low lab stools, with padded chairs to accommodate the longer =
sitting=20
times. The chemists do a lot of workbook based instruction, so =
they like=20
the tables. As I say, the tables sit 4 just fine and =
have=20
multiple electrical sockets (which then are activated by a single plug =
and wire=20
from the table to the wall--thus preventing much in the way of moving =
them=20
around --too heavy anyway). The other utilities are =
based=20
in slim units that are mounted to the walls---tables are =
arranged 4 on=20
each wall each with a station at the end of the table. There is a =
small=20
sink, water, gas outlets (now disconnected--removed and capped in one =
room where=20
I do move the tables and the nozzles were 'dangerous'), steam (also no =
longer=20
used but impossible to disconnect from the supply lines although they =
could just=20
be capped) and high volume-low pressure air for air tracks although we =
have=20
switched to the Pasco cart system and seldom use the air=20
anymore. There are white boards on both of the ends of the =
room (18=20
foot walls) and a screen, but we have to wheel in a portable=20
projector for computer or AV presentations (this could, of course, =
be built=20
in, but there is no real spare space to mount the equipment). =
We only=20
have two such rooms--originally designated solely as the physics labs =
(with=20
supply room in between with doors from each lab directly into that room) =
but now=20
both rooms used for a number of chemistry classes (but we =
have money=20
in hand to build some new classrooms, so maybe the labs will return to =
being=20
labs!).

Bottom line, using the same room for lab, =

recitation, and even lecture/demos works pretty well with smaller =
classes. =20
24 in this size room does not work well, but this year I have 12 in the=20
integrated class and that is fine. The key is that the table space =
needs=20
to be capable of being cleared (no permanent lab equipment =
or intrusive=20
utilities). I would think that smaller tables that could =
be=20
easily moved would NOT be good if labs are to be done in the =
room. =20
The other consideration here is that although you are looking at just=20
recitation/lab, you should really think forward to integrated=20
lab/lecture/recitation, at least for smaller classed.

Rick

Richard W. TararaProfessor of =
PhysicsSaint=20
Mary's CollegeNotre Dame, Indiana

*******************************************Free=20
Physics Instructional Softwarewww.saintmarys.=
edu/~rtarara/software.htmlUpdates=20
and new multi-resolutions versions now=20
available.********************************************



From: Adam Beehler
Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2011 9:41 AM
To: tap-l@lists.ncsu.edu
Subject: Re: [tap-l] Combination lab/recitation=20
rooms
Kenn,I am thinking that Kansas State University's =
Physics=20
Department made a similar switch years ago now. I was not there =
when it=20
happened so I cannot give you details. Is anyone out there from=20
K-State? Peter Nelson?Adam BeehlerOn 10/12/2011 =
3:32 PM,=20
Kenn L wrote:=20
Hey Tappers-=20

We here at CSU are looking at trying to acquire some more space =
in our=20
current building in the next year or two, and may end up trying to =
combine our=20
currently separate recitation and lab sections into a single 3ish hour =
class=20
to make for a more effective and educational student experience. =
To make=20
the case, we would like to get a little more information no how such a =
section=20
might work out.

I would love to know if any colleges out there have combined=20
lab/recitation sections, and how much more (or less?) effective the =
combo=20
seems to be. If you had details on what those spaces look like, =
pictures even=20
would be spectacular we want to know! Our first order plan would be to =
have=20
lab benches set up around the edges of the room, and some tables in =
the center=20
for group work, but our plans are pretty hazy at the moment.

Do any of you have experience with this type of setup?


Kenn
-- Kenneth LonnquistAssistant Coordinator, =
Introductory=20
Physics LabsKennLonnquist@gmail.com970.491.2540P=
hysics=20
DepartmentColorado State =
University

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