Never underestimate the power of giving students autonomy.
As regular readers (both of you :-)) will know, I have no time for practical work where students already know the expected result.
The obvious and easiest improvement is to “flip” the practical, so that the students are puzzled/intrigued/surprised by the result and have to interpret the results for themselves, or at the very least are forced to ask the question “why?” so that the theory you then teach is in response to their curiosity.
But far better still is giving students the opportunity to ask their own questions, so that…
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