Charlesworth, B., Devlin, M., McFadyen, D. and Tregloan, P. 2002, ChemCAL prelabs online, in UniServe Science 2002 : Proceedings of the Scholarly Inquiry in Flexible Science Teaching and Learning Symposium Proceedings, Uniserve Science, [Sydney, N.S.W.], pp. 25-30.
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UniServe Science 2002 : Proceedings of the Scholarly Inquiry in Flexible Science Teaching and Learning Symposium Proceedings
Place of publication
ChemCAL Online is a suite of web-deliverable interactive multimedia tutorials covering a full range of topics in first year chemistry, developed at The University of Melbourne. The resources form an integral part of our first year courses and the system typically delivers over 500,000 pages of information, interactive questions and animations to students in our large first year classes each year.
In 2001, the program was developed further with the addition of the Online Prelab resources - modules of questions and animations, which students must complete before undertaking each laboratory class. The objective was not to replace direct laboratory time or experience for our students, but to increase the effectiveness of this core but expensive aspect of our undergraduate teaching program. Examples from the now over 40 ChemCAL and 16 Prelab modules will be described and demonstrated.
Our evaluation incorporates observations of patterns of use of the product, pre-use and post-use questionnaires and focus group interviews with users. Results indicate that students find the product extremely valuable in their learning and that the inclusion of graphics and interactive features that cannot be found in other media are of particular benefit. Some guidance on possible enhancements is also provided from the analysis. The results are discussed in the context of the wider student experience, especially the now established need for campus-based, full-time students to have access to high quality learning resources that they can access and use flexibly.