I checked with our microbiologist to see if there were any American Society of Microbiologist guidelines. Here is her response (I have some additional commentary after that):
Dear Lab Safety Professionals,
I have been asked if there are well established guidelines (read: defensible) for limits of student: instructor ratios, or other specific data, reasoning, etc., regarding introductory microbiology laboratory (where only BSL/RG 1 organisms are used).
Currently, the micro labs are capped at 12 students. There is one instructor (no TA), and every student works with his/her own Bunsen burner.. The lab has seats for 24 students (the lab is multi-purpose). An administrator wants to double class size to 24, but the biology faculty feel doing so will compromise the learning environment, quite possible from a safety perspective.
Are there any persuasive arguments against a 24:1 student:instructor ratio in microbiology in particular? They are dealing with an administrator, so the only picture said administrator can see thus far is 12 micro students occupying a space that can hold 24 general biology students. The adage that fewer is better is non-specific. Please advise if you know of guidelines pertaining to micro or similar settings. Thanks!
"Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love." - Lao Tzu
On Sat, Sep 22, 2012 at 1:46 PM, Secretary, ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety <secretary**At_Symbol_Here**dchas.org> wrote:
Someone pointed out to me yesterday that there is a free App in the iTunes store called Green Solvents, which provides a reference card for chemical solvents, with data regarding their "greenness": safety, health and environmental effects. I thought that members of the list would be interested in knowing about this.
Division of Chemical Health and Safety
American Chemical Society
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