Laboratory report for STEM students

Posted by Vincenzo Russo, Natasa Brouwer, Oreste Tarallo, on Feb. 3, 2022, 11:29 a.m.

Martino Di Serio, Alessio Petrone, Vincenzo Russo, Oreste Tarallo, Italo Testa

University of Naples Federico II, Italy


Challenge and goal

 Teachers are often frustrated by the poor quality of the submitted laboratory report. On the other hands also students feel frustrated because few instructions about how to write a laboratory report are provided even at the first laboratories, nor a clear definition of the ILOs of the laboratory courses.
 The consequence is a lack of motivation for the students and a mere repetition of what they are said in the pre-lab lectures, often a copy-paste activity of the lab receipt, without any critical thinking.

Topic of the user case

 Poor laboratory report quality
 lack of ILOs

Local context (specific)

 At the University of Naples Federico II students who enroll at the BSc courses in Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry provide poor quality laboratory reports. This can be due to lack of clear definition of the intended outcomes of the laboratory courses. On the other hand, also a student low attitude to the critical thinking.
 The aim of this user case is to improve the quality of the laboratory reports, teaching the laboratory instructors how to use rubrics in helping students to write a laboratory report. The teachers’ feedbacks will be collected by periodical surveys.
Local educational scope
 BSc in Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry.
Pre-knowledge / Background of the participating local teaching staff
 No specific pedagogical courses are required for the university teachers in Naples. Recently a new project aimed at improving young researchers' knowledge of pedagogical strategies was launched, the FEDERICO Project, focused on general pedagogy, thus non-STEM oriented.

Local CPD goals

 Increase the quality of the laboratory reports with the aim of:
1. Developing the critical thinking
2. Developing the scientific attitude
3. Writing technical reports for future research/job activities


Needs defined in STEM-CPD Roadmap

2 define intended learning outcomes in every course they teach
22 use research based teaching methods
12 design laboratory courses
27 organize peer-assessment / peer-feedback in their courses
20 use digital tools in lab courses
15 attend training for lecturers at the university.
6 use students evaluations and the feedback of students to improve courses.
18 giving workshops to other lecturers.

CPD activities at the local university

1. Explaining the importance of the rubric as an assessment and formative tool
2. Development of a rubric
3. Formative assessment of the students

Teaching and learning materials


 Example of rubric to be submitted to teachers
 Periodical survey of the rubric impact on the students, by online form

Sustainable implementation

 The activity should be repeated every year for the new teachers/lab assistants


Expected impact of the CPD User Case

Increasing the students/teachers motivation.
Teachers will be aware of the importance of the employment of clear ILOs.

Plans for eventual continuation of the CPD within the same topic


Constructive alignment, Problem solving (design and teaching), Engagement and motivation, facilitation discipline specific learning, Organize peer-feedback, collaborative learning, Blended learning (type P1-1, P1-3a, P1-3b, P1-3d, P1-4b)

This CPD scenario describes a User case in which lecturers develop their competence in sound course design and facilitating problem solving and how to engage and motivate students and how to facilitate discipline specific thinking and organizing peer-feedback and collaborative learning and how to use blended learning and develop attitudes in how to stay motivated and self-regulate their continuous professional development and practicing teaching and learning in an evidence informed way.

Learning environment

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