Wednesday, January 23, 2013

This bodes well...

...I hope. My first real ecology lab of the semester was today. The lab I do as the first real lab isn't a HARD lab, in terms of either technique or analysis, but it's something that you need to be able to pay attention and follow both written and oral directions well for.

I use it as a bit of a diagnostic. Some semesters most of the groups bollix it up, and I know that I have to plan to go more slowly, be more patient, and generally put up with poor direction-following. Some years only a couple groups mess up, and I know I have a core group that are solid with a few slackers.

This year only one person in the class showed evidence of having trouble following directions, and once the rest of their group steered them a little bit, they got it. All the other groups took off on their own and other than a few minor procedural questions (mainly asking about "what do we do in this case" when a situation that wasn't discussed in the lab book came up), they did it totally on their own. And got done early. And seemed to "get" what they were doing.

So I'm cautiously optimistic about this class, especially since the student I had warned would be a big problem isn't in the class any more.

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