Computerized Labs: No Thanks!

Computerized Laboratories where the student is given direction by a series of notes and then is required to answer questions from a question bank is not effective. Nothing beats having an instructor present to guide the student through the steps. Well written procedures will describe the mechanical process but do little to demonstrate a "better" way that a lifetime of experience can show.

Many students have gone through a computerized lab, passed the computerized test and felt that they were performing the operations properly. Only to find that on a supervised lab, that there were many basic and rudimentary principles that are not taught just by doing the lab. These basic skills are transferred by having a lab instructor present to monitor, demonstrate and provide valuable real-time feedback while the lab is in progress, not after the fact.

Okay, thanks for reading my beef. Naturally, there are and will be many examples of computerized labs that will dispute the above statements and I agree. I strongly feel that it takes considerable time and effort to make a computerized lab effective - much more than most instructors realize.......

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