ERIC Number: EJ1167047
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Oct
Abstractor: As Provided
Virtual Laboratory "vs." Traditional Laboratory: Which Is More Effective for Teaching Electrochemistry?
Hawkins, Ian; Phelps, Amy J.
Chemistry Education Research and Practice, v14 n4 p516-523 Oct 2013
The use of virtual laboratories has become an increasing issue regarding science laboratories due to the increasing cost of hands-on laboratories, and the increase in distance education. Recent studies have looked at the use of virtual tools for laboratory to be used as supplements to the regular hands-on laboratories but many virtual tools have not been used as replacements. In order to understand the effects of virtual laboratory methods as well as ascertain the effectiveness of our normal lab procedures, we used a virtual "versus" hands-on scenario for an electrochemistry laboratory. We separated our General Chemistry II Lab students into two groups. Each group completed an electrochemistry lab either through our normal hands-on format or with the use of a virtual lab animation created by the Iowa State Education Group. Pre- and post-test data for conceptual and factual understanding were collected as well as a post-test hands-on setup of an electrochemical cell. There were no significant differences in scores on either the pre-test, post-test, or the hands-on setup test. However, individual item analysis on the tests revealed a significant difference in the use of the salt bridge during the posttest and the hands-on setup activity.
Descriptors: Science Laboratories, Simulated Environment, Computer Simulation, Educational Technology, Technology Uses in Education, Science Instruction, Hands on Science, Chemistry, Comparative Analysis, Conventional Instruction, Pretests Posttests, College Science, College Students, Teaching Methods
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Tennessee
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A