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Lab & Safety

Lab Group Accountability

Started 10 months ago by Matt Perekupka.


In effort to increase collaboration and student accountability when students are working in groups for lab I came up an idea for assigning very specific roles for each group member. To reduce the amount of chemicals used and waste, I have been allowing students to work in larger groups (4 students). Naturally, I am running into more issues with, "this person isn't doing anything", than I did when I had the students work in pairs. I created this idea that each lab group of 4 is a company, and every team member is assigned very specific roles (Writer, Editor, Data Analyst, and Project Manager) for each lab assignment. The roles rotate every week to ensure each student has the opportunity to complete every role. The students are even required to come up with a company logo and "work schedule" (the role rotation schedule). The method requires students to peer review each others work, lead, and evaluate each other. I posted the document which outlines the roles of each team member. I was just hoping to get some feedback before I try it out with my students before the end of the school year.

Chemistry Lab.docx

1 Comment

  • Jeremy Wolf

    Posted 9 months ago

    I've done this too, Matt. I even have mostly the same titles that I would imagine, we borrowed from a similar source. I attached the handout that I give to the kids. But here is the important part:
    Write the name of each person who is filling the following roles. If you are working in a group of three, one person will need to fill more than one role.
    • ___________ The manager actively participates, keeps the team focused on the task, distributes work and responsibilities, resolves disputes, and assures that all members participate and understand. The manager is also responsible for maintaining a safe environment for all students, making sure that all established safety procedures are followed by all members of the group.
    • ___________ The spokesperson/equipment set-up actively participates and communicates with the Instructor regarding needs and questions of the group. This person also is responsible for setting up all of the equipment for the lab experiment including lab burners, tripods, and such that are required for the procedure. When the lab procedure is complete, this person makes sure that everything is cleaned up and put away.
    • ___________ The recorder actively participates, keeps a record of the assignment and what the team has done, and shares all of the data and observations with the other team members after the procedure is completed.
    • ___________ The runner/strategy analyst actively participates, retrieves all chemicals for the experiment, acquires all lab equipment for the experiment as well as identifies strategies and methods for problem solving, identifies what the team is doing well and what needs improvement in consultation with the others, and prepares a report (Last Page) in consultation with the others.