Somehow ... somehow, I managed through last night's class, despite my voice still not returning to me. So I walked in, holding a paper cutter and a box full of 20 x 20 cm polyester-backed TLC plates, went straight to the whiteboard, and declared that I had laryngitis and therefore won't be giving a lecture that evening, and asking the students to get started on their experiments straight away.
There were several students who approached me and said they didn't have any of the protocol sheets and such, and where can they get them. I told them everything they needed was uploaded to Blackboard last week, and that I had sent an announcement declaring that fact. (Honestly - it's a Blended Course! By Blackboard's definition, that means at least 50% of the course material is delivered on-line. Sigh.)
Roy's hypothesis of people whispering back to those whispering at them held true at least 60% of the time - I found that my students were whispering back at me for a good portion of the evening.
It is frustrating though - I felt like I left the students adrift, left to their own devices to carry out the experiment. These are not science majors, and so would have probably needed more guidance as to what to do and how to do it. But they managed, and the last person left the lab at ca. 8.30 pm. So, not bad overall.
My next go at teaching this course will come in two weeks. Let's see if I can also come up with a lab practical by then as well ...