Dry labs in biochemistry departments

Robert Learmonth


A number of issues in the use of computer-based ‘dry’ labs were raised and discussed in the plenary session. In this session the focus was moved to discussion of examples and how they have been integrated into laboratory courses. Examples of applications of ‘dry’ labs were outlined in the areas of pre-practical preparation, data handling and calculations, and combined ‘wet’ practical and computer simulation. Categorising examples proved to be difficult, given that many examples cover more than one of these areas, or may be applied in different ways either before, during or after practical sessions.. A simulation of protein purification (Booth 1987) was demonstrated, and its use in classes and assessment of outcomes and educational value were discussed. The session concluded with general discussion about appropriateness of various activities and issues involved in implementation.

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