Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2011 12:37:56 -0400
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: ILPI <info**At_Symbol_Here**ILPI.COM>
Subject: Re: max enrollment in instructional labs
In-Reply-To: <68897A622AAFBD4CBA87C62C3D5122A91E84A7EE**At_Symbol_Here**>

That's really a function of the available laboratory space, nature of the experiments, hood space, bench space, layout, equipment availability, the number of TA's, the workload (lab reports, grading) on the instructors/TA's, and so many other variables it's generally not practical to set a general limit on enrollment.  It's a case-by case call.

However, from a safety standpoint *alone*, one could limit a laboratory based on x feet of bench space (or square footage) per student because crowding is obviously a safety hazard.  And if the lab requires hood space, then you could designate y linear feet of hood per student/experiment.   Presumably individual labs were *designed* to accommodate a certain number of students, in which case that number should be in the paperwork/plans, giving you an easy concrete number to start from.

Rob Toreki

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On Sep 7, 2011, at 11:23 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

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