A Lab Survey

The fall quarter is drawing to a close. In one class I taught two lab sections, and during the lab final exam I put a couple of survey questions into the test. Since I spent time putting together the activities and presentations I was curious how students perceived the labs. So I asked them two things:

1). What was the most interesting or valuable thing you learned this quarter?
2). Which lab did you enjoy the most?

Here are the lab topics:

1: Soils and soilless substrates
2: Seeds; Light levels; Structures
3: Field planting; Irrigation
4: Walnut harvesting
5: Cuttings; Substrate chemical properties
6: Integrated pest management
7: Horticultural education and interpretation; Seedling transplanting
8: Kiwi harvest
9: Landscape design and installation
10: Not a Lab: Answer incoherent or noncommittal

Now to the charts. Here is a breakdown of the labs the students voted for, with pooled data from both lab sections (Figure 1). 

Figure 1. Student votes for most interesting or valuable lab activity and most fun lab activity.

Figure 1. Student votes for which lab contained the most interesting or valuable thing learned and which lab was the most fun.

It is evident that harvesting is fun. I was very happy to see the strong support for the interest and value of Lab 5. Lab 5 covers material closely related to my area of specialty. Ironically, I felt that my worst lab during the quarter from a teaching perspective occurred in Lab 5, but I guess something still got through.

Next is a comparison between the two sections with regard to votes for which lab provided the most interesting or valuable thing learned (Figure 2).

Figure 2. A comparison between sections with regard to which lab contained the most interesting or valuable thing learned.

Figure 2. A comparison between sections with regard to which lab contained the most interesting or valuable thing learned.

Lab 5 gets support from both sections.

Today I managed to plow through a mountain of grading. If I can pull off a similar feat tomorrow I might get my grading wrapped up for the quarter. . .

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