AUDIOVISUAL LEARNING OBJECTS AS SUPPORT FOR AN INTRODUCTORY ORGANIC CHEMISTRY COURSE

J.A. Llorens-Molina, M. Verdeguer Sancho

Universitat Politècnica de València (SPAIN)
There is currently a noteworthy rise of learning proposals based on online resources including audiovisual learning objects (ALO) as videos, screencasts, etc. At the same time, these resources may be very useful in attending learning environments with different applications such as introductory, support or extension materials.

This communication describes the application of two types of ALO:
(1) Polimedia, an online resource developed by the Polytechnic University of Valencia (Spain), which consists of short videotape presentations included in an attending introductory organic chemistry course. Some types of polimedia can be distinguished according to their objectives: to give extended information, to go more deeply in descriptive issues of subject-matter content, to emphasize key curricular topics, etc.,
(2), screencasts as a part of compulsory pre-laboratory activities in the same subject-matter. These activities consist of an online quiz linked to a screencast. Their content comprises the historical, social and cultural context, everyday connections, goals, theoretical foundations, experimental processes and safety and environmental remarks.

The implementation of these resources has been assessed in two different ways: firstly, by means of a survey addressed to students, secondly, from data related to web use.

All this information allows us to make significant reflections concerning the use of this sort of learning objects:
(1) the high degree in which the students appreciate the usefulness of prelab activities to promote a better contextualization and comprehension of laboratory work goals and theoretical foundations,
(2) the extended use of polimedia among the student to revise and strengthen the subject-matter topics. It is also noticeable the high rate in which those are completely viewed, taking into account that they can last up to fifteen minutes in some cases.

Both polimedia and prelab screencasts are not considered by the students as suitable material to substitute attending activities. ALO are appreciated mainly in a complementary way because their usefulness in order to review and consolidate the subject-matter content. Likewise, the prelab screencasts are considered as a tool for understanding fundamentals and context of laboratory tasks.