Open ended laboratory or open lab as it is known to the Radiological Technology students is an invaluable tool that the Radiological Technology Department provides to help the students become better radiographers. During the 2nd and 3rd semester, open labs become a total hour commitment which means the students have more flexibility to complete their open lab requirement. However, in the fourth semester, there is no requirement for an open lab for the second year students.
Through surveys and final grade assessments, we can study how utilizing this department resource impacts both the first and second year students. In surveying the Radiological students, we will investigate whether outside factors impact how both first and second year students use this resource. As the semester progressed during Spring 2020, two of the rooms became inoperable, did this impact attendance and utilization of the open lab. Do radiological students continue use if there is no open lab requirement.
In addition, we can compare data from other years and see what trends and commitments impact the use of open lab. In other universities that use open lab, they have demonstrated that using this resource pushes students to self-think and to formulate their own strategies while applying their understanding of concepts. In the end, students are self-directed, reflective, who can think critically, all the while building on the skills that are highly desirable in the field of medical imaging. In the end, is the student a better technologist with the additional open lab hours or does open lab not reflect the reality of the healthcare field.