Robin Stoodley: Thoughts on Laboratory Teaching and Learning

Papers I consider influential

This is a quick list of some of the papers that have had the most impact on my thoughts about laboratory teaching. At a later date, I will provide an annotation to each, describing why I feel each is influential.

On the role of the laboratory

  • Elliott, M.; Stewart, K.; Lagowski, J. The role of the laboratory in chemistry instruction. J. Chem. Educ. 2008, 85, 145.
  • Holmes, N.; Olsen, J.; Thomas, J. L.; Wieman, C. E. Value added or misattributed? A multi-institution study on the educational benefit of labs for reinforcing physics content. Physical Review Physics Education Research 2017, 13, 010129.
  • Kirschner, P.; Meester, M. The laboratory in higher science education: Problems, premises and objectives. Higher education 1988, 17, 81-98.
  • Reid, N.; Shah, I. The role of laboratory work in university chemistry. Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. 2007, 8, 172-185.

On assessments:

  • Dicks, A. P.; Lautens, M.; Koroluk, K. J.; Skonieczny, S. Undergraduate Oral Examinations in a University Organic Chemistry Curriculum. J. Chem. Educ. 2012, 89, 1506-1510.

On perceptions of laboratories:

  • Bretz, S. L.; Fay, M.; Bruck, L. B.; Towns, M. H. What Faculty Interviews Reveal about Meaningful Learning in the Undergraduate Chemistry Laboratory. J. Chem. Educ. 2013, 90, 281-288.
  • Bruck, A. D.; Towns, M. Development, implementation, and analysis of a national survey of faculty goals for undergraduate chemistry laboratory. J. Chem. Educ. 2013, 90, 685-693.
  • Bruck, L. B.; Towns, M.; Bretz, S. L. Faculty perspectives of undergraduate chemistry laboratory: Goals and obstacles to success. J. Chem. Educ. 2010, 87, 1416-1424.
  • DeKorver, B. K.; Towns, M. H. Upper level undergraduate chemistry students' goals for their laboratory coursework. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 2016, 53, 1198-1215.
  • DeKorver, B. K.; Towns, M. H. General Chemistry Students' Goals for Chemistry Laboratory Coursework. J. Chem. Educ. 2015, 92, 2031-2037.
  • Galloway, K. R.; Lowery Bretz, S. Video episodes and action cameras in the undergraduate chemistry laboratory: eliciting student perceptions of meaningful learning. Chemistry Education Research and Practice 2016, 17, 139.
  • Herrington, D.; Nakhleh, M. What defines effective chemistry laboratory instruction? Teaching assistant and student perspectives. J. Chem. Educ. 2003, 80, 1197-1205.

On measuring what goes on in a laboratory:

  • Buck, L. B.; Bretz, S. L.; Towns, M. H. Characterizing the level of inquiry in the undergraduate laboratory. Journal of College Science Teaching 2008, 38, 52-58.
  • Domin, D. A review of laboratory instruction styles. J. Chem. Educ. 1999, 76, 543-547.
  • Fay, M. E.; Grove, N. P.; Towns, M. H.; Bretz, S. L. A rubric to characterize inquiry in the undergraduate chemistry laboratory. Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. 2007, 8, 212-219.
  • Galloway, K. R.; Bretz, S. L. Development of an Assessment Tool To Measure Students' Meaningful Learning in the Undergraduate Chemistry Laboratory. J. Chem. Educ. 2015, 92, 1149-1158.
  • Holmes, N.; Wieman, C. E. Examining and contrasting the cognitive activities engaged in undergraduate research experiences and lab courses. Physical Review Physics Education Research 2016, 12, 020103
  • Wieman, C. Comparative Cognitive Task Analyses of Experimental Science and Instructional Laboratory Courses. Phys. Teach. 2015, 53, 349-351.


  • Southam, D. C.; Shand, B.; Buntine, M. A.; Kable, S. H.; Read, J. R.; Morris, J. C. The timing of an experiment in the laboratory program is crucial for the student laboratory experience: acylation of ferrocene as a case study. Chem. Educ. Res. Pract. 2013, 14, 476-484.
  • Uttl, B.; White, C. A.; Wong Gonzalez, D. Meta-analysis of faculty's teaching effectiveness: Student evaluation of teaching ratings and student learning are not related - ScienceDirect Studies in Educational Evaluation 2017, 54, 22.