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Lab Assessment

A lab assessment refers to any type of assessment which is used to assess the ‘learning through doing’ that takes places in a teaching laboratory. A lab assessment may involve a variety of assessment types including writing a lab report, completing a test/quiz, designing a protocol or entry for a lab manual, developing an individual/group wiki, blog or eportfolio, participating in discussion fora and oral presentations 

Typically used to…. 

  • assess technical skills (such as using laboratory equipment, tools, materials and software) 
  • Evaluate knowledge and understanding of laboratory procedures, including relevant health and safety guidelines 
  • assess problem-solving skills such as  
    • recognising and defining a problem 
    • formulating ideas 
    • designing experiments 
    • collecting and interpreting data  
    • testing concepts 
    • drawing conclusions 
    • communicating processes and outcomes 
  • assess knowledge and understanding of abstract concepts and theories  
  • evaluate ability to work as part of a team in laboratory settings 

Key considerations when preparing for a lab assessment

When preparing for a lab assessment, always refer to the guidelines and requirements provided by your lecturer and  keep the following points in mind:  

  • Be clear on what format the assessment will take. For example, it may involve: 
    • preparing a lab report 
    • handling data sets 
    • performing calculations 
    • designing a laboratory protocol or entry for a laboratory manual 
    • completing a test/quiz  
    • completing an individual or group research project  
    • designing a portfolio 
    • participating in discussion forums 
    • preparing an oral presentation on a relevant topic 
  • When you are likely to be assessed? You may be expected to complete an assessment for every practical you complete, and/or a final assessment at the end of the semester. 
  • Is the assessment being used for formative or summative assessment purposes (or both?) 
  • If your assessment contributes to your final grade (i.e. is being used for summative assessment), how much is it worth? 
  • Be clear on what you are being assessed on and what criteria is being used to evaluate your assessment performance. Has a rubric been provided? 
  • What guidelines you need to follow for the assessment. Is there a specific template or format you need to follow? Are you required to complete the assessment individually or as part of a group?  

Tools/technologies 

Trinity-supported tools:  

Office 365, Google Suite Tools and My Trinity Apps all available through MyZone

A student perspective on lab assessments

Lab reportsIfe Uzor Ife Uzor, 3rd year Pharmacy student, talks about her reflection on Lab reports.



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