METHODOLOGIES FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING PRACTICES IN THE CHEMISTRY LABORATORY. AN EXAMPLE: "DETERMINATION OF FERRIC OXIDE IN A SAMPLE OF CEMENT"
Chemistry in the School of Civil Engineering is a first-year subject divided into two parts: Laboratory practices and Theory and problems.
To pass the course requires to fulfil the laboratory practices and to pass an exam on them.
A significant number of students begin their university studies with poor knowledge of chemistry, i.e. without the basic skills necessary for a proper mastering of the subject.
Taking into account this reality, our group of Educational Innovation "Tutorial action for new students of engineering" (GIE: Atani) has developed a teaching material used to explain laboratory practice. This material consists of PowerPoint presentations, which include short videos with the most “remark-able” steps in practice. Practices currently involve the following steps:
1. The day before, the students must read and "understand" the practice they will do.
2. In the classroom, they may ask all the questions that have arisen. The teacher, with the help of audiovisual material, explains and solves the most important issues.
3. The students go to the lab to realize the practice, always under the supervision of the teacher.
4. At the end, they receive a questionnaire, which they should fill up and return the following day.
5. The teacher corrects and evaluates each questionnaire.
This way of working requires from the teachers a high number of hours to correct the questionnaire, because each of them is responsible for about 100 students.
As a complement to this methodology we are developing new equipment for the use of the Moodle platform, which allows the student, once the practice is done, to connect on line for a limited time (24 h) to watch the presentation again, if necessary, and fill out an evaluative questionnaire related to the practice they have just made.
To elaborate this material requires considerable time and effort from teachers, but we are confident that it will be useful for students and facilitate the "cumbersome" task of correcting the large number of questionnaires necessary to make a follow-up evaluation of students.
We take this opportunity of participating in EDULEARN09 to show an example of the work done by our GIE: Atani: “Determination of ferric oxide in a sample of cement”