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Sltc Val V Rolfe June09

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Virtual Analytical Laboratory (VAL) - an online resource to teach laboratory techniques to science undergraduates. …

Virtual Analytical Laboratory (VAL) - an online resource to teach laboratory techniques to science undergraduates.
http://hlsweb.dmu.ac.uk/ahs/elearning/RITA/Index.html

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  • 1. Virtual Lab Skills Resources Supporting Student Transition to Science at University Presentation to: Science Learning and Teaching Conference 16 th June 2009 By: Dr Viv Rolfe BSc PhD
  • 2.  
  • 3. Outline
    • What is VAL?
    • Laboratory skills – DMU / National picture
    • Methods and results of evaluation
    • Summary
    • Next steps
  • 4. Faculty of Health and Life Science
    • Health sciences (600 students enrolled per year)
      • Biomedical Science BSc Hons
      • Medical Science BMedSci Hons
      • Forensics Science BSc Hons
      • Pharmacy MPharm
      • Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science BSc Hons
    • Health professions (200 students per year) - Audiology, Nursing, Midwifery, Speech and Language Therapy, Clinical Physiology.
    • Health studies (400 students per year) – Psychology, Social work, Criminology.
  • 5. Background
    • Student feedback indicated many 1st years were “not confident” in the lab, and 2 nd years were rusty after returning from the summer holidays.
    • In a survey, 25% of students (in 2007) and 35% (in 2008) claimed to enrol on bioscience programmes at De Montfort University with no prior lab experience.
        • Changes to school science curriculum?
        • International students?
        • Mature students?
  • 6. National picture?
    • Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry 2008 survey of report of 30 UK companies.
    • Concerns about core practical skills.
        • “ Some candidates lack knowledge of very basic lab activities such as use of balances and pipettes”.
        • Inability to carry out serial dilutions and making up molar solutions.
    ABPI 2008 (Skills needs for biomedical research). http://www.abpi.org.uk/Details.asp?ProductID=338
  • 7. Aim of our Project
    • Develop a lab skills resource to support student transition to science at university.
    • Some resources available on YouTube but not a comprehensive range.
    • Pilot and evaluate the resource in 2008 with Biomedical Science (BSc Hons) and Medical Science (BMedSci Hons) first years.
  • 8. What is VAL?
    • Multimedia laboratory skills resource.
    • 6 videos, 22 animations with voice over and 11 screen-capture resources, ( and growing!)
    • Free to use with Creative Commons Licence 2.0.
  • 9. Software
    • Adobe Flash CS3 Professional
    • Adobe Fireworks CS3 Professional
    • Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 Professional
    • Pinnacle Studio (video editing)
    • Sound Forge Audio Studio (audio editing)
    • Adobe Captivate CS2 (screen capture)
    • Survey Monkey
    • Google Analytics
    • Blogger
  • 10.  
  • 11.  
  • 12.  
  • 13.  
  • 14.  
  • 15. Methods of Evaluation
    • Students used VAL in 2 x three hour CAL sessions prior to entering the lab in week 5.
    • Students completed a questionnaire using a 5-point Likert Scale (1 = strongly disagree; 2 = disagree; 3 = neutral; 4 = agree; 5 = strongly agree).
        • Opinions of VAL usability.
        • Usefulness of VAL.
        • Simple skills test.
    V Rolfe 2009 HEA Bioscience Case Study http://www.bioscience.heacademy.ac.uk/ftp/casestudies/VRolfe.pdf
  • 16. Results - Usability
    • Questionnaire results (n=82 respondents out of 88)
        • 75% of first years (agreed / strongly agreed) that VAL was usable (ease of navigation, good web design, ease of use)
        • 84% (agreed / strongly agreed) they were satisfied with VAL, and found it useful before going into the laboratory for the first time.
  • 17. Results – Usefulness
    • “ VAL is very useful for someone who has not been in the lab before. ” “VAL has been very useful in easing my nerves before lab sessions. ”
  • 18. Results – Lab Skills
    • Students completed a short lab test.
    • Those with no lab experience who had only used VAL to gain knowledge (n=28) performed AS WELL in the test as those with lab experience (n=54) (p>0.05), although test scores were low in week 5.
    • Both groups claimed to be equally confident in their laboratory skills (p>0.05).
  • 19. Results – Faculty Use
    • VAL used across 3 programmes,
      • Biomedical Science
      • Medical Science
      • Forensic Science
    • Resources for Pharmaceutical Science in the pipeline.
  • 20. Results – External Use
    • 6 Survey Monkey feedback questionnaires.
    • Google Analytics:
      • 1325 unique visitors (in a 2 hr period) from 65 countries.
      • 6.62 visits per day
      • 60% via Google
      • Search terms – serial dilutions , beers law
      • Spec and serial dilutions most popular pages.
  • 21. Summary
    • VAL is usable and initially seems effective to help teach laboratory skills to support student transition to science.
    • VAL supports the wider ABPI priorities for enhancing practical skills in graduates.
  • 22. Next Steps
    • VAL is available on the web under a Creative Commons Licence Agreement.
    • Recent funding - mobile VAL.
    • Further evaluation – does it improve practice IN the lab?
  • 23. Thanks to the team and DMU! M Ioannou S Oldroyd R Furmonaviciene VC G Basten V Rolfe Funding received from DMU Research Informed Teaching Award & VR’s Teacher Fellowship.
  • 24.  
  • 25. Questions and Aftermath
    • Comment that could use the resources as a primer before going into the lab rather than in timetabled sessions. I said that this was really to ensure our students did use it.
    • Comment that some chemistry resources are available through the Royal Society of Chemistry ( http:// www.rsc.org/Education/HElecturers/Resources/index.asp )
    • Comment that the HEA Bioscience OER project aims to develop student resources and I replied that VAL was part of this project ( http://www.bioscience.heacademy.ac.uk/events/themes/elearn/oer.aspx )
    • Apparently this talk was “tweeted” about #SLTC09.

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