Using a VLE to enhance a Foundation Chemistry laboratory module

June D. Mercer-Chalmers, Clare L. Goodfellow, Gareth J. Price


As a department, we were fortunate recently to move into new, purpose built teaching laboratories comprising a laboratory for ‘synthetic’ chemistry to accommodate our yearly intake of around 80 students, a 40 person ‘physical’ chemistry laboratory and a computational suite with 40+ computers connected to the University network. The reorganization necessitated by the move gave us the opportunity to reexamine our practical work, in particular that done by students in the early stages of their undergraduate Chemistry programme.

This paper will describe our approach and experiences as well as an initial evaluation of our first year running this new unit. The module comprises a balanced programme of inorganic, organic and physical (including computational) chemistry although in view of the space limitations here, we will concentrate on the physical chemistry aspects.