From the Editor:

Welcome all new Lab Teachers to these pages. You are not alone! Others have been here before you, and we want to put this experience to good use by passing on what they know. Some of this experience was learned the hard way, and our aim is to use it to help you through the challenges of being new to the teaching staff. So what’s in this issue?

Demonstrators Reveal the Truth

Lab Teachers from Biology, Physiology, Physics, and Electrical & Computer Engineering talk about their experience and offer advice and anecdotes. Senior Tutors explain where they’re coming from and why they know what they’re talking about. The most shocking revelations of all, however, are classic examples of bad lab conduct graphically depicted in full black and white (for those of a sensitive nature) by “The DEMONStrators”.

Major Topics

What's on this Site

  1. Video clips of University of Auckland demonstrators, TAs and students talking about their experiences in labs.

  2. Senior tutors speaking about the important role that demonstrators play in the laboratory context.

  3. Downloadable notes (pdf) on demonstrating: "Hot Tips for Lab Teaching"

  4. A new cartoon series developed in conjunction with Anuj Bhargava (Senior Tutor, Physiology) and his team, illustrating what NOT to do in the lab.
Lab teaching is mostly done by postgraduate students who are designated tutors, lab demonstrators or teaching assistants (TAs). Their roles vary according to subject discipline. Working singly or in groups, their responsibilities include overseeing students’ practical work in the laboratory and marking their lab reports.

What Makes a Good Lab Teacher?

Viewpoints from senior teaching staff

Mandy HarperPlay video
Knowledgeable in the field:
Mandy Harper (Senior Tutor, Biology)
Chris SmaillPlay video
Number 1 is enthusiasm
Chris Smaill (Senior Tutor, Engineering)
Ian BrailsfordPlay video
A key attribute to bring to the lab
Ian Brailsford (Lecturer, Academic Practice)

The DEMONStrators
By asarra

Sickening stories of rotten role models, lousy lab teachers and terrible TAs!

The characters and scenarios depicted in this cartoon strip are wholly fictitious, and are NOT based on real persons or actual events either at or in the vicinity of The University of Auckland.

the DEMONstrators

One for every day of the week: pages 2-8