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Using worksheets and the Internet to improve student learning outcomes

Bussemaker, MJ, Maisey, S, and Wild, D, (2011) Using worksheets and the Internet to improve student learning outcomes In: Teaching and Learning Forum, 2011-02-01 - 2011-02-02, Perth, Australia.

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Undergraduate laboratory classes are being reviewed and in some cases scaled back because they are expensive to run compared to the learning outcomes for students. We believe that practical experience is essential and should remain an important part of undergraduate chemistry courses. However significant adaptations should be made to broaden the skills that students can take from these classes. We proposed to make changes which increased the value of laboratories as a tool for educating new scientists without increasing the workload for staff or students. The assessment tasks were altered to focus on learning outcomes and resources were improved and made available online and in hardcopy for students and teachers. Worksheets were introduced for each laboratory experiment and the number of full laboratory report assessments halved. The provision of worksheets placed an emphasis on the key chemical concepts and aided students in their understanding of scientific writing conventions. Students were provided with an explicit guide to writing laboratory reports and given feedback on their writing technique. The submission system was moved to the online student platform WebCT to increase flexibility and improve the quality and speed of feedback. These changes were met favorably by students, and the subsequent improvement in quality of student work was noted by the assessors. The study highlighted the importance of demonstrators as teaching staff and the need to provide them with adequate training and resources. While we acknowledge that further development is required we believe that by broadening the focus of assessment beyond chemical theory the needs of cross discipline students were met while still providing chemistry majors with a solid laboratory background.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Conference Paper)
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Chemical and Process Engineering
Authors :
Maisey, S,
Wild, D,
Date : 1 February 2011
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 13:32
Last Modified : 12 Dec 2018 12:54

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