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request for help

By way of a colleague, Kate Patrick, at RMIT in Australia, I received the
following request for help concerning teaching and learning in laboratory.
If you would like to respond, please reply to the email address given
below. This person is not a member of Phys-L. General and specific advice
seems in order. If you happen to know how to put him in touch with the
engineering education association, this could be especially helpful.

Thanks in advance.


My name is Toufic Khattab. I am a Laboratory tutor at the department
of Electrical Engineering at RMIT, Melbourne. I am very much
interested in Laboratory teaching.

Most students in my Lab are not deep learners because their intention:
is only to complete the experiment and to be awarded a pass mark.
They have also learned bad habits through the previous years such as
allowing one of the group members to do all the work instead of a team
effort and then scoring the credit. There are some students who go to
the trouble of finding previous year students reports and copying down
word for word. They also prefer the lab tutor to do the whole
practical work for them rather than preparing themselves. Team work
and time management is misunderstood by their practice.

Due to these problems, I am investigating the ways of promoting
students motivation by recognising the matters which limit their
active participation and interest in the Laboratory when they work in
a group as a team.

I am also investigating different teaching strategies and methods
which would improve students learning in the Laboratory and help
finding solutions for the above problems.

Could you suggest some strategies and methods you think I could
practise in my teaching and solve my problems? In your suggestions,
consider that I would like my students to practice the following
1. relating theory to practice
2. implementing team work effectively
3. implementing independent learning
4. interpreting and presenting their experimental data properly
5. being interested
6. adding professional values to their learning

Thanks very much for your corporation. I am looking forward to hearing
from you.


Electrical Engineering Department
124 La Trobe Street, GPO Box 2476V, Melbourne Vic 3001
Tel: (03) 9660 2179
Fax: (03) 9660 2007

Dewey I. Dykstra, Jr. Phone: (208)385-3105
Professor of Physics Dept: (208)385-3775
Department of Physics/SN318 Fax: (208)385-4330
Boise State University
1910 University Drive Boise Highlanders
Boise, ID 83725-1570 novice piper