Evaluating the effectiveness of presenting introductory chemistry prelaboratory information and assessment on-line with WebCT™
George Michael McKelvy, Georgia State University, United States
Georgia State University . Awarded
This study evaluated the use of web-based videos and quizzes in conjunction with a printed general Chemistry laboratory manual on achievement as well as students' perceptions regarding the use of the web in aiding their success in Chemistry laboratory work. Differences in the effects of the treatment based on gender were also examined.
Previous research involving video information for laboratory work has been with regard to video cassette players and televisions and not to on-line presentations. The research involving on-line quizzes and manuals did not utilize a single package for presentation of both. This research incorporated videos, quizzes, and instructor-generated information along with other material in one commercially available web based program known as WebCT™ (Web Course Tools).
Data focused on the first half of a one semester Introductory Chemistry course involving a generally freshman population in a state technological institution in the southeastern United States which required students to purchase and use a personal computer.
Statistical analysis comparing the two groups showed no significant difference in achievement at the mid-term point of the semester with regard to gender. In addition, there was no significant interaction between genders and methods of preparation in achievement at the mid-term. However, there was significant difference between the use of WebCT™ and traditional means for preparation.
The primary indicator for the significant difference in preparation revolved around the large standard deviation of those grades involving WebCT™ with respect to those using traditional means. This would seem to indicate a wide range of achievement levels and possibly a wide degree of acceptance of the computer for prelaboratory work.
Female students tended to score higher than their male counterparts on their prelaboratory assessment and laboratory report grades, but lower on the mid-term examination. Due in part to the weighting of portions of the mid-term grade, females outperformed males.
Survey analysis, however, seemed to show that males and females did have different attitudes regarding the on-line work with females having a more favorable outlook on the function of the videos as well as the need for the quizzes. This difference in attitude may have contributed, in part, to the overall achievement in mid-term grades for females by increasing the laboratory report scores and midterm grades.
McKelvy, G.M. Evaluating the effectiveness of presenting introductory chemistry prelaboratory information and assessment on-line with WebCT™. Ph.D. thesis, Georgia State University.
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