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ERIC Number: EJ1046008
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Mar
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 3
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8555
A New Take on Student Lab Reports
Hazzard, Edmund
Science Teacher, v81 n3 p57-61 Mar 2014
The written lab report--a concise and accurate accounting of an experiment, including a summary of the procedure, presentation of the results, reasoned analysis, and thoughtful explanation--is essential to the scientific endeavor and a key expression and product of inquiry. Generally, however, students and teachers dislike these reports, the former for needing to write them and the latter for needing to read them; but suppose an alternative reporting strategy existed, in which: (1) teachers review a report in a few minutes and quickly gain insight into student thinking; (2) answers tend to be substantial rather than minimal; and (3) student teams enthusiastically tackle the task of composition spontaneously cooperate in: (a) generating the report; (b) verbalizing and discussing the content and arguing about the most accurate way to describe the experiment; (c) readily put forward explanations of the results in some depth, whether or not scientifically accurate; (d) easily refer to data in table or graphical form; and (e) comfortably produce reports even if less confident as writers. The Concord Consortium, an education research group, observed all of these virtues to various degrees when students created short, non-editable screencasts (i.e., digital video recordings of computer screen images that include audio narration) to report on their computer-based science labs. In this article, the authors share their encouraging preliminary observations and suggest that further exploration of this tool could yield exciting results for science teaching.
National Science Teachers Association. 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Tel: 800-722-6782; Fax: 703-243-3924; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Grant or Contract Numbers: #IIS-1147621