Effect of virtual analytical chemistry laboratory on enhancing student research skills and practices

Boris Bortnik, Natalia Stozhko, Irina Pervukhina, Albina Tchernysheva, Galina Belysheva

Abstract

This article aims to determine the effect of a virtual chemistry laboratory on university student achievement. The article describes a model of a laboratory course that includes a virtual component. This virtual component is viewed as a tool of student pre-lab autonomous learning. It presents electronic resources designed for a virtual laboratory and outlines the methodology of e-resource application. To find out how virtual chemistry laboratory affects student scientific literacy, research skills and practices, a pedagogical experiment has been conducted. Student achievement was compared in two learning environments: traditional – in-class hands-on – learning (control group) and blended learning – online learning combined with in-person learning (experimental group). The effectiveness of integrating an e-lab in the laboratory study was measured by comparing student lab reports of the two groups. For that purpose, a set of 10 criteria was developed. The experimental and control student groups were also compared in terms of test results and student portfolios. The study showed that the adopted approach blending both virtual and hands-on learning environments has the potential to enhance student research skills and practices in analytical chemistry studies.

Published: 4 December 2017

Citation: Research in Learning Technology 2017, 25: 1968 - http://dx.doi.org/10.25304/rlt.v25.1968

Keywords

tertiary education; blended learning; e-resources; student achievement; computer simulation

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