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Integration of Video-Based Demonstrations to Prepare Students for the Organic Chemistry Laboratory


Consistent, high-quality introductions to organic chemistry laboratory techniques effectively and efficiently support student learning in the organic chemistry laboratory. In this work, we developed and deployed a series of instructional videos to communicate core laboratory techniques and concepts. Using a quasi-experimental design, we tested the videos in five traditional laboratory experiments by integrating them with the standard pre-laboratory student preparation presentations and instructor demonstrations. We assessed the influence of the videos on student laboratory knowledge and performance, using sections of students who did not view the videos as the control. Our analysis of pre-quizzes revealed the control group had equivalent scores to the treatment group, while the post-quiz results show consistently greater learning gains for the treatment group. Additionally, the students who watched the videos as part of their pre-laboratory instruction completed their experiments in less time.

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We thank Andrea Haskett, Lynette McDougal, Aubrey Johnston, Reece Knipple, Chris Mallory, and Karen Hammond for contributing content that made this publication possible. The work presented was supported by Boise State University Designing for Learning Success program and the Idaho State Board of Education Technology Incentive Grant program.

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Correspondence to Owen M. McDougal.

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Supplementary material 1 (MP4 97705 kb)



The pre-laboratory instructional presentation for the Distillation of Acetone laboratory experiment has been provided with submission of this manuscript. The presentation consists of a pre-laboratory quiz, instructional content, and post-instruction quiz. Accompanying the presentation is a video describing the proper assembly of a fractional distillation apparatus. The video may also be viewed through YouTube at the following URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bK5G6NOJPYY.

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Nadelson, L.S., Scaggs, J., Sheffield, C. et al. Integration of Video-Based Demonstrations to Prepare Students for the Organic Chemistry Laboratory. J Sci Educ Technol 24, 476–483 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10956-014-9535-3

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  • Second-year undergraduate
  • Organic chemistry
  • Learning theories