Students use an interactive multimedia program on CD-ROM
to prepare for the laboratory work in a first-year tertiary
There are 12 pre-lab exercises that students are required
to complete. Preparation for each experiment involves reading
about the theory behind the experiment; investigating the
experimental techniques using a techniques video library;
consulting the chemical safety data for the chemicals to be
used; clarifying unknown terms from a glossary of terms; carrying
out a simulated experiment with randomised data provided;
recording observations and numerical data; working out results
and drawing conclusions.
Experience has shown that students often come to laboratory
classes insufficiently prepared which results in much of the
laboratory time being devoted to matters which do not need
the resources of the lab. Thus much of the potential "learning"
attributed to the use of laboratory equipment remains unrealised.
The implementation of an interactive multimedia program was
seen as a viable solution to this problem.
The same tasks could be completed through reading and written
work without the use of the CD-ROM, however this does not
allow the individualised tasks and simulated activities nor
the ease of access to the support and resources. The use of
a mutlimedia interactive intervention is thus more efficient