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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.
http://hlsweb.dmu.ac.uk/ahs/elearning/RITA/Index.html

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Sltc Val V Rolfe June09

  1. 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 <ul><li>What is VAL? </li></ul><ul><li>Laboratory skills – DMU / National picture </li></ul><ul><li>Methods and results of evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Summary </li></ul><ul><li>Next steps </li></ul>
  3. 4. Faculty of Health and Life Science <ul><li>Health sciences (600 students enrolled per year) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Biomedical Science BSc Hons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Medical Science BMedSci Hons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forensics Science BSc Hons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pharmacy MPharm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science BSc Hons </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Health professions (200 students per year) - Audiology, Nursing, Midwifery, Speech and Language Therapy, Clinical Physiology. </li></ul><ul><li>Health studies (400 students per year) – Psychology, Social work, Criminology. </li></ul>
  4. 5. Background <ul><li>Student feedback indicated many 1st years were “not confident” in the lab, and 2 nd years were rusty after returning from the summer holidays. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Changes to school science curriculum? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>International students? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mature students? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 6. National picture? <ul><li>Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry 2008 survey of report of 30 UK companies. </li></ul><ul><li>Concerns about core practical skills. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Some candidates lack knowledge of very basic lab activities such as use of balances and pipettes”. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Inability to carry out serial dilutions and making up molar solutions. </li></ul></ul></ul>ABPI 2008 (Skills needs for biomedical research). http://www.abpi.org.uk/Details.asp?ProductID=338
  6. 7. Aim of our Project <ul><li>Develop a lab skills resource to support student transition to science at university. </li></ul><ul><li>Some resources available on YouTube but not a comprehensive range. </li></ul><ul><li>Pilot and evaluate the resource in 2008 with Biomedical Science (BSc Hons) and Medical Science (BMedSci Hons) first years. </li></ul>
  7. 8. What is VAL? <ul><li>Multimedia laboratory skills resource. </li></ul><ul><li>6 videos, 22 animations with voice over and 11 screen-capture resources, ( and growing!) </li></ul><ul><li>Free to use with Creative Commons Licence 2.0. </li></ul>
  8. 9. Software <ul><li>Adobe Flash CS3 Professional </li></ul><ul><li>Adobe Fireworks CS3 Professional </li></ul><ul><li>Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 Professional </li></ul><ul><li>Pinnacle Studio (video editing) </li></ul><ul><li>Sound Forge Audio Studio (audio editing) </li></ul><ul><li>Adobe Captivate CS2 (screen capture) </li></ul><ul><li>Survey Monkey </li></ul><ul><li>Google Analytics </li></ul><ul><li>Blogger </li></ul>
  9. 15. Methods of Evaluation <ul><li>Students used VAL in 2 x three hour CAL sessions prior to entering the lab in week 5. </li></ul><ul><li>Students completed a questionnaire using a 5-point Likert Scale (1 = strongly disagree; 2 = disagree; 3 = neutral; 4 = agree; 5 = strongly agree). </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Opinions of VAL usability. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Usefulness of VAL. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Simple skills test. </li></ul></ul></ul>V Rolfe 2009 HEA Bioscience Case Study http://www.bioscience.heacademy.ac.uk/ftp/casestudies/VRolfe.pdf
  10. 16. Results - Usability <ul><li>Questionnaire results (n=82 respondents out of 88) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>75% of first years (agreed / strongly agreed) that VAL was usable (ease of navigation, good web design, ease of use) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>84% (agreed / strongly agreed) they were satisfied with VAL, and found it useful before going into the laboratory for the first time. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 17. Results – Usefulness <ul><li>“ 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. ” </li></ul>
  12. 18. Results – Lab Skills <ul><li>Students completed a short lab test. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Both groups claimed to be equally confident in their laboratory skills (p>0.05). </li></ul>
  13. 19. Results – Faculty Use <ul><li>VAL used across 3 programmes, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Biomedical Science </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Medical Science </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forensic Science </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Resources for Pharmaceutical Science in the pipeline. </li></ul>
  14. 20. Results – External Use <ul><li>6 Survey Monkey feedback questionnaires. </li></ul><ul><li>Google Analytics: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1325 unique visitors (in a 2 hr period) from 65 countries. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>6.62 visits per day </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>60% via Google </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search terms – serial dilutions , beers law </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spec and serial dilutions most popular pages. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 21. Summary <ul><li>VAL is usable and initially seems effective to help teach laboratory skills to support student transition to science. </li></ul><ul><li>VAL supports the wider ABPI priorities for enhancing practical skills in graduates. </li></ul>
  16. 22. Next Steps <ul><li>VAL is available on the web under a Creative Commons Licence Agreement. </li></ul><ul><li>Recent funding - mobile VAL. </li></ul><ul><li>Further evaluation – does it improve practice IN the lab? </li></ul>
  17. 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.
  18. 25. Questions and Aftermath <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Comment that some chemistry resources are available through the Royal Society of Chemistry ( http:// www.rsc.org/Education/HElecturers/Resources/index.asp ) </li></ul><ul><li>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 ) </li></ul><ul><li>Apparently this talk was “tweeted” about #SLTC09. </li></ul>

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