Features of a well-run lab

Lab teachers influence how fulfilling the lab experience is for students.

Effective labs have a positive and pleasant atmosphere. They tend to have the following things in common:

  • The demonstrator shows interest in the topic and in the group as a whole.

  • The lab is well set up; the demonstrator is familiar with the equipment as well as the purposes and outcomes for the session.

  • The aims of the lab are clearly explained.

  • There are ample opportunities to ask questions and get clarification.

  • The demonstrator circulates around the lab checking on progress.

  • The demonstrator is friendly and respectful towards students.

  • The work is challenging and interesting.

  • Feedback (written or oral) is constructive.

  • Students leave the lab feeling that they have learned/achieved something
Lab scene

A scene from the Stage 1 Physics lab

Time management

Ramin Prioritising tasks
Ramin (TA, Engineering)
PeterPlay video
Working smart
Peter (Demonstrator, Physiology)

You know you’re a great Lab Teacher when you’re:

Ljljana Helping make those key connections
Ljljana (TA, Engineering)
Ian Ensuring a good experience
Ian (Demonstrator, Physics)
Nicole More approachable, easier to relate to
Nicole (Demonstrator, Biology)
IanPlay video
Imparting knowledge and passion
Ian (Demonstrator, Physics)

Making an impact on learning

Ian BrailsfordPlay video
Good and bad lab teaching
Ian Brailsford (Lecturer, Academic Practice)
Chris SmailPlay video
A positive learning environment
Chris Smail, (Senior Tutor, Engineering)