Online Preparation for Laboratory Work

A. V. George

Abstract


Approximately 1800 students study Chemistry in the first year of their degree at The University of Sydney. The course consists of lectures, tutorials and a laboratory component, all of which contribute to the assessment of the student. Chemistry is taught as a practical based discipline and students spend three hours each week in the laboratory. This is half the face-to-face teaching time they spend in First Year Chemistry.

When all of the pre-laboratory work was print based, the laboratory tutors checked the work of each student at the start of the laboratory class. This took considerable time and detracted from the time available to conduct experimental work. We set out to design a means of hosting the pre-laboratory work online. This would be coupled with a formative quiz, which could give feedback to the students at the time they were thinking about the material and alert tutors to individuals that might be having difficulties with a particular area. All of the time in the laboratory would then be available for practical work with the tutors able to focus on teaching practical skills.

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