What are Practical Experiments?
The aim of arranging practical experiments for students is to develop students' general and specific skills to carry out scientific experiments, and to enhance their practical competence in handling experimental instrumentations. Practical experiment constitutes an important part in the research cycle for scientific inquiries, which provides the empirical basis for the establishment and refinement of theories and indications for making predictions. It makes sure that students do not only learn the body of scientific knowledge, but also the methods in which it has been developed from.
The objective of an experiment usually involves testing the validity of hypotheses generated base on theories. In the usual settings, students are normally given the experimental design and procedures, and are asked to carry out the experiment by following the given instructions carefully. When carrying out experiments, teachers and demonstrators would offer help and support to the students with the equipments and give advices regarding their experimental techniques. The students have to deduce the hypotheses being tested from the given experimental design, to collect the data and take measurements accurately in the experimental tasks, to analyze and interpret the results, and also to summarize and evaluate the experiment in a written report.
Some teachers may arrange student-designed experiments in their courses. In this setting, students have to formulate testable hypotheses based on the topics covered in the course. They also have to design, present and explain their experimental methodology to the teachers. The description of the method needs to be unambiguous and concise, and provides sufficient details for someone else to replicate the experiment by merely reading the instructions. The teacher can assess students' experimental design skills at this stage, as well as giving feedback and suggesting precautions and modifications for students. The students will then conduct the experiment based on the modified design.
|Y||Take Time to Set|
|Y||Take Time to Answer|
|Y||Take Time to Correct|
|Y||Take Time to provide Feedback|
|Suitable for Large Class|
|Can substitute with Computers|
|Y||Process Oriented Method|
|Y||Product Oriented Method|
|P = Possibly Y =Yes|
|Relevance and feasibility of experimental design:||Hypothesis was stated concisely and specifically; the experimental design can efficiently test the validity of the stated hypothesis||Hypothesis was stated clearly, but was not very specific; the experimental design is valid for testing the hypothesis||Hypothesis stated was ambiguous and not specific enough; the experimental design is weakly linked to the testing of the hypothesis||No hypothesis is stated for testing; the objective of performing the experiment is unknown|
|Experimental techniques:||Experimental tasks were done in an organized and effective way; apparatus were handled competently with confidence; all given instructions were followed tightly||Most of the experimental tasks were done neatly and satisfactorily; possess knowledge of how to handle most of the necessary apparatus and procedures appropriately; instructions were well-followed||Only some of the experimental tasks were done satisfactorily; have frequent problems in handling some of the apparatus and procedures, and also in following the given instructions||Experiment was done chaotically, without knowledge of how to use and handle the apparatus appropriately; do not follow the experimental instructions|
|Scientific attitude and safety issues:||Taking the experiment with a serious attitude; data and measurements were made accurately and patiently; having thought carefully about possible improvements of the design while performing the tasks||Taking the experiment with a positive attitude; observations and measurements were made with minor errors; tried to think about limitations of the experimental design||Doing the experiment for fun; results were taken with large errors; did not try to think about the rationale behind the experiment||Fooling around with the experimental equipments; results were estimated without basing on real data|
Copy and paste the text below:
Chan C.(2009) Assessment: Practical Experiment, Assessment Resources@HKU, University of Hong Kong [http://ar.cetl.hku.hk]: Available: Accessed: DATE