O. M. Fuller, R. Clift, R. W. K. Allen, D. Bhaga, R. Farber, D. T.-F. Fung, R. J. Munz, A. S. Oberoi


What should be the primary function of a laboratory course? Because of the high cost of laboratory instruction in space, equipment, personnel, and maintenance, the teacher has an obvious responsibility to define the objectives of a laboratory course clearly and to use his resources efficiently. It is undesirable to assign to the laboratory functions which can be performed equally well or better at lower cost by classroom or audio-visual teaching. In spite of their common acceptance, such features as report writing and data analysis1 or familiarization with physical principles should thus be eliminated as primary functions of laboratory courses. The teacher has a number of other possibilities: one of these is teaching the proeess of experimentation. This is the primary function that we have assigned to our course, Chemical Engineering Laboratory.

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