Student perception of risk in the undergraduate teaching laboratory was investigated at a Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Risk assessments were given to two different populations of students. The first population of students were enrolled in a 1st year general chemistry laboratory course. These students completed weekly scenario based risk assessments (RAs) related to each experiment they performed. For each RA students evaluated the risk associated with 3 different scenarios in which a hypothetical accident had occurred. In the general chemistry study students found the majority of scenarios to pose minimal to moderate risk. Sex of participants had no measurable effect on students’ perception of risk. Students perceived risk differently based on the type of chemical contact made as well as the concentration and type of chemical. It was found that teaching assistants viewed scenarios as higher risk compared to students. The second population of students were enrolled in a quantitative analytical chemistry laboratory course. These students were required to read the procedure for each experiment to be performed and identify the specific hazards associated with each experiment. Once the hazards were identified students needed to evaluate the risk associated with each hazard. The RA data was used to look at trends in students’ perception of risk. In the analytical chemistry study males and females viewed severity of hazards the same, while females viewed hazards as more likely to produce and undesired consequence. Students most often identified hazards in the form of chemical agents. Students were ambiguous in how they defined undesired consequences. They viewed most hazards as posing a moderate level risk.
|Advisor:||Wiediger, Susan D.|
|Commitee:||Navarre, Edward C., Shaw, Michael J.|
|School:||Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||MAI 56/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Risk, Teaching, Undergraduate|
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