The main reason I chose SciNote was to have a dedicated site for all my students that I could easily go in and find their lab reports for grading as well as my graduate teaching assistants.
My name is Dr. Lisa Watkins, and I am a Lecturer in Chemistry at Bryn Mawr College. I teach General Chemistry I and II labs to ~ 90 students each year. One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is to see the growth of students in the chemistry lab over the semester. I develop new labs each semester and it is always exciting to see student results and their analysis of their results in their lab report.
The main reason I chose SciNote was to have a dedicated site for all my students that I could easily go in and find their lab reports for grading as well as my graduate teaching assistants. In addition, paper copies of data sheets would sometimes be misplaced by students, and it allowed for me to see everything recorded in the electronic lab notebook platform. It also allows me to see when something is missing from a student’s notebook so I can follow up with the student. The other benefit of SciNote is that my graduate students can see my grading and use it as examples when they grade the reports of their students.
The amount of time it took for me to learn the SciNote platform was not long, perhaps four hours. To create an individual electronic lab notebook for each student and add the graduate teaching assistants as administrators was another two to three hours. Compared to the amount of time collecting, sorting paper copies and following up with students missing work, SciNote saved me a huge amount of time during the semester. In addition, I can grade all parts of their lab report (prelab, data, post lab write up) in one place instead of fumbling around between paper copies and electronic documents.
Compared to the amount of time collecting, sorting paper copies and following up with students missing work, SciNote saved me a huge amount of time during the semester.
My students simply created three tasks for each lab report (prelab, data and report). After the initial learning curve of the first couple weeks the students really did a great job using the electronic lab notebook. Several times during the semester we had a lab report that was two weeks of experiments, and it was very convenient for students to create one entry and label the sections week 1 or week 2 for prelab and their data. I really liked this feature of SciNote as it made grading the final lab report much easier. Everything was in one place! See screenshot below for an example of a two-week lab entry.
My workday is significantly more streamlined after implementing the use of SciNote in my lab course. Grading is much faster because all the components (prelab, data and report) are clearly organized in each student’s individual electronic lab notebook. In addition, it is a great help to train my graduate student teaching assistants as I can easily have them look at my grading during our meetings to explain to them how to grade their student entries in SciNote. Eliminating paper copies has saved time as well as students money as they do not have to buy a physical lab notebook anymore thus creating a more inclusive chemistry course.
The SciNote team has been very helpful in helping me with questions I had about the electronic lab notebook when transitioning from paper notebooks to the SciNote system. Tea Pavlek has been amazing responding to my emails very fast with any questions. I would highly recommend the SciNote platform to other academic lab instructors.
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