Friday, March 9, 2012

Re: Resources for active learning in labs

Some blog followers might be interested in a recent post “Re: Resources for active learning in labs” [Hake (2012)]. The abstract reads:

ABSTRACT: Torsten Bernhardt in his STLHE-L post “Resources for active learning in labs,” wrote (paraphrasing): “I'm having difficulties finding: (a) resources for undergraduate biology labs that would be not only hands-on but also promote student engagement; (b) information on how such labs can be set up.”

I suggest that Torsten might consider possibility of “Socratic Dialogue Inducing” (SDI) Labs for biology. My own SDI labs are for physics (Newtonian mechanics), but the idea of using Socratic Dialogue in labs could be applied to almost any STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) subject. SDI labs are an example of “interactive engagement” methods, operationally defined as “those designed at least in part to promote conceptual understanding through active engagement of students in heads-on (always) and hands-on (usually) activities which yield immediate feedback through discussion with peers and/or instructors.”

To access the complete 10 kB post please click on

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
Honorary Member, Curmudgeon Lodge of Deventer, The Netherlands
President, PEdants for Definitive Academic References
which Recognize the Invention of the Internet (PEDARRII)
Links to Articles:
Links to SDI Labs:

“… I point to the following unwelcome truth: much as we might dislike the
implications, research is showing that didactic exposition of abstract ideas
and lines of reasoning (however engaging and lucid we might try to make
them) to passive listeners yields pathetically thin results in learning and
understanding–except in the very small percentage of students who are
specially gifted in the field.”
Arnold Arons (1997)

REFERENCES [URL’s shortened by and accessed on 09 March 2012.]
Arons, A.B. 1997. Teaching Introductory Physics, p. 362. Wiley, publisher’s information at information at, note the searchable “Look Inside” feature.

Hake, R.R. 2012. “Re: Resources for active learning in labs” on the OPEN! AERA-L archives at . Post of 9 Mar 2012 09:30:25-0800 to AERA-L and Net-Gold. The abstract and link to the complete post are being transmitted to several discussion lists.

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