A BLENDED LEARNING EXPERIENCE IN THE TOXICOLOGY LABORATORY

E. Ramos , C. García-Cantón, A. Romero 

Universidad Complutense de Madrid (SPAIN)
During the transition from the pandemic sanitary alert caused by the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to reaching normality in teaching, some Universities opted to continue with blended teaching. Particularly in cases when the number of students, to comply with the safety distance specified by the Government, make impossible to teach all the laboratories in in-person sessions.

Therefore, we decided to develop blended laboratory practices in Toxicology. Last academic course we need to develop a complete virtual toxicology laboratory [1], therefore, we decided to design a blended version where students can develop practices in the laboratory in smaller groups to comply with safety distance and complete the rest of the practical experience in the virtual toxicology laboratory.

After the practices, to evaluate the experience from the student's point of view we design a survey [2]. This survey was divided into three blocks. The first block included questions about previous knowledge. The second part involved questions about the virtual experience, and in the last block, they write about the advantages and inconveniences of the experience and method comparison.

The obtained results were quite satisfying, most of the students refer that they improved their knowledge, with a satisfactory effort dedicated. More than half of the students admit their previous technical skills were improvable. When comparing this blended teaching method to classical lectures in the laboratory, they believe that a complete in-person laboratory with virtual tools available would result in a better experience. Conversely, more than half of the surveys revealed that students will increase their interest if the blended methodology is applied.

We conclude that blended teaching can be useful to complete classical learning methods, but students prefer traditional practices in the laboratory if they have to choose between both methods.

References:
[1] A. ROMERO; C. GARCÍA-CANTÓN; E. RAMOS. A virtual-learning toxicology experience. 15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference (INTED). Valencia (Spain), March 2-4th 2021(Carácter internacional) ISBN: 978-84-09-17939-8
[2] L. Graso, Encuestas. Elementos para su diseño y análisis. Córdoba/Argentina: Encuentro Grupo Editor, 2006.