Kickoff LabBuddy Pilot
In June 2016, Janine Geerling and Marjo de Graauw were awarded a LUF-grant of €10.000 to design a digital laboratory support tool for the 2nd year BFW practical course on biochemistry. Now the pilot has kicked of with all 240 BFW Bsc students!
In June 2016, Janine Geerling and Marjo de Graauw were awarded a LUF-grant of €10.000 to design a digital laboratory support tool for the 2nd year BFW practical course on biochemistry. Together with Jolinda Elenbaas, Lisse Commandeur (both BFW BSc students) and Irini Dijkhoff (BPS MSc student), Janine and Marjo managed to design a LabBuddy tool that allows students to design their experiments, gain insight in the required techniques and to improve their understanding of the research topic.
Most laboratory classes suffer from the same issues: Students start unprepared, blindly follow instructions, get mentally overloaded and present teachers and assistants with an endless stream of questions. LabBuddy is a digital platform that helps students prepare experiments and subsequently supports them executing these experiments in the lab, thereby enabling a deeper learning experience during the practical course.
The BFW LabBuddy tool allows students to design their research using ExperD, a toolbox consisting of various experimental operation building blocks. Each building block contains background information, short movies, and questions with automated feedback in relation to that specific technique. Students design their experiment by linking all building blocks in the right order.
In addition to the background information, each building block contains protocols to execute this technique that are displayed in the WebLM tool of LabBuddy. All protocols are displayed in a step-wise manner and include pictures and locations of the required materials, movies explaining a technical procedure and questions to test the student’s knowledge on the protocol.
The WebLM can be displayed in two different modes, to either help students prepare the experiments (‘prepare’ mode) or to support students during the actual execution of the experiments in the lab (‘work’ mode).
All together, LabBuddy enables students to master the research topic and experimental design before the start of the experiment, and supports them during the execution of the experiments in the lab. Janine and Marjo hypothesize that the use of LabBuddy will facilitate students to work independently, thereby decreasing their mental (over)load and ultimately generating a deeper learning experience..
BFW LabBuddy pilot
On November 14, the BFW LabBuddy pilot kicked off with all 240 BFW BSc students participating in the Biochemistry 2 course. Together with the course coordinators Daniel Lam and Merei Huigsloot and a team of student assistants, Janine and Marjo will evaluate the functionality of LabBuddy and its efficacy in generating a deeper learning experience for students. Their ultimate aim is to implement LabBuddy throughout the whole BFW bachelor program, in order to further support students in designing and executing their own research projects. March 2017, Janine and Marjo will organize a meeting to present their findings!