Design, Implementation, and Evaluation of an Interactive Online Lab Environment to Support Undergraduate Chemistry Labs

Watts, C. and Soler, L. (2019) Design, Implementation, and Evaluation of an Interactive Online Lab Environment to Support Undergraduate Chemistry Labs. European Variety in Chemistry Education 2019, Tuscany, Italy, 17-19 July 2019.

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236110.pdf - Presentation



The School of Chemistry, University of Glasgow, in collaboration with Learning Science Ltd., have initiated a project to design and develop a blended learning experience. This virtual learning environment allows students to explore interactive technical simulations online, before in-lab practical work begins. It also introduces post-lab auto-graded reports using students’ own lab data. These dynamic virtual lab resources promote learning through practice, and provide instant and personalised feedback for each student. One project aim is to encourage students to engage in deeper learning with respect to each experiment, and to promote student confidence and participation in hands-on learning. Hence, these resources are designed to provide a highly interactive and accessible virtual learning experience. The second aim addresses student feedback regarding traditional word-processed lab reports and marking. Assessment was considered by students to be inconsistent, lacking detail, and was too slow. Through our dynamic online reports we aim to improve the consistency and timeliness of feedback delivered to students, and hence improve the learning experience. The online reports provide rapid and effective feedback without the possibility of inconsistency, and can incorporate targeted, valuable feedback for specific and common errors. Finally, we aim to make more efficient use of staff and student lab time, by removing repetitive marking, and allowing staff to focus on teaching techniques, which develop essential work-related skills for students. We have noted that the introduction of these new resources has led to a dramatic increase in student confidence and proficiency within the lab, and crucially student satisfaction, attainment, and engagement with practical work have also improved. Our post-lab online reports developed with Learning Science Ltd., are novel within a Scottish University setting. Therefore, the presentation will give an overview of the process involved, from acquiring funding through design and implementation stages, to results and student evaluations so far.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Watts, Dr Ciorsdaidh and Soler, Dr Linnea
Authors: Watts, C., and Soler, L.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Chemistry
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Infection & Immunity
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the authors
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