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  Chemistry Pre-Labs Design Team

"Chemistry Pre-Labs II"


Design Team
  Team: Audrey Wilson, Ros Atkins, Beth Cavallari and Barry Harper


  Focus: Concept/Procedure Development
  Discipline: Science & Geography
  Target: Undergraduate (early)
  ICT used: Interactive multimedia on CD-ROM
  Scope: Over several learning sessions

Designer's Summary


Students use an interactive multimedia program on CD-ROM to prepare for the laboratory work in a first-year tertiary chemistry course.

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 and effective.

Rationale for Inclusion


This exemplar has been selected for inclusion for the following reasons:

  • The learning design represents an ICT-based learning implementation based on constructivist learning principles. For example, the tasks on the CD enable the student to construct their own understanding and skills before lab entry and then build on this knowledge in the real time laboratory activities.
  • It represents a learning design that is currently being implemented.
  • It represents a learning design that has been implemented for almost a decade and has been subject to a range of research.

Please Cite As:

  Wilson, A., Atkins, R., Cavallari, B. & Harper, B. (2002). Description of Chemistry Pre-Labs II. Retrieved , from Learning Designs Web site:
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