Using electronic notebooks to enhance laboratory practical sessions, enquiry-based learning and project supervision in the School of Science.

The Initative Team

Initiative Lead
Institute of Technology Sligo

Primary Contact
Akinlolu Akande
akande.akinlolu@itsligo.ie

Initiative Budget

€29000

Initiative Type

Overview

Scientific reporting and notebook keeping are essential skills for students’ laboratory practices and their future professional careers. The use of electronic notebooks (eNBs) is becoming increasingly popular across science, pharmaceutical and food science sectors and is now a desirable attribute for science graduates.

Anecdotally, industry contacts are increasingly requesting that students be skilled in the use of eNBs - in a recent survey of job advertisements, 10% of 120 relevant positions required eNB experience (Loughran, unpublished data).

This T&L initiative envisages the roll out of electronic notebooks as digital aids in the assessment of laboratory practical sessions and for the supervision of projects and EBL (enquiry-based learning).

Staff will be trained to use and develop eNBs tailored specifically to their needs. These will allow them to clearly communicate their expectations for the practical/project in question and students can easily upload the required material for assessment. eNBs also facilitate collaboration between students for group work such as Enquiry Based Learning (EBL).

Feedback and assessment can be delivered by a variety of means; annotated documents/reports, audio file, video file, or synchronously with online students if necessary.

Initially the project will be aimed at staff supervising:

• Laboratory work
• EBL
• Final year projects
• MSc dissertations
• Online projects/practical work

The flexibility of eNB platforms would lend themselves to assessment and collaboration projects in many disciplines both within the college and further afield.