Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2011 12:13:22 -0500
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: "Koster, Sandra" <skoster**At_Symbol_Here**UWLAX.EDU>
Subject: Re: max enrollment in instructional labs
In-Reply-To: <68897A622AAFBD4CBA87C62C3D5122A91E84A7EE**At_Symbol_Here**>

The booklet from the American Chemical Society: Safety in Academic Chemistry
Laboratories (Accident Prevention for Faculty and Administrators, 7th
Edition) states:"Laboratory instructors are responsible for the safety of
their laboratory students; no more than 25 students should be assigned at
the same time to work in a laboratory under the supervision of an
instructor."  We set the max at 24 for the first freshmen course although we
might let one more in assuming the enrollment will go down.  An odd number
is inconvenient if they are working in pairs.  The second freshman course as
well as the quantitative analysis course have limits of 22 this semester.
We try to keep the Organic courses at 18 or lower.    The students can just
get themselves into a lot more trouble in these courses so "prudent
practice" calls for fewer students for the instructor to try to keep safe.
Higher level courses are certainly smaller and part of this has to do with
limits in space and equipment.

Sandra Koster, Senior Lecturer
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

On Wed, Sep 7, 2011 at 10:23 AM, Steehler, Gail wrote:

> What policies or guidelines do universities use to set enrollment caps on
> instructional labs?  Our Chemistry Department caps lab sections at 24 in
> lower level courses.  I believe we have used safety as the justification,
> but could not find the source of that specific number.  Some of our lab
> courses have lower caps due to specifics of equipment, techniques, or space.
>  I have a program that wants to justify lower caps for instructional labs.
>  I need some sense of what is standard or what criteria we might use.
> Gail Steehler
> Roanoke College
> gsteehle**At_Symbol_Here**

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