Pre-practical Videos and Quizzes

Pre-practical Videos and Quizzes

A field of education practice that has significantly gathered pace in recent years is that of pre-practical preparations, i.e. what is carried out before attending the practical session.  Traditionally, students are required to read introductory information in a practical manual before they arrive to commence the session.  However, in many circumstances, this does not occur.  Sometimes, this can be due to the fact that the introductory text is dated, or doesn’t contextualise the practical for the student, i.e. material may not be relevant, or the purpose of the practical may not be clearly outlined.  Hence, embedding pre-practical resources, and taking a technology based approach to achieve this, can be a very beneficial aspect to consider.  Students then arrive prepared and engaged in the practical before it even commences.

There are many approaches to assist in pre-practical preparation, one of which centres on video.  Creating and providing access to concise and focused short video clips that students can view before a practical session can highlight relevant skills, provide background information and ultimately allow them to realise their existing knowledge base can allow them to develop new linkages and learning – while reducing cognitive load.

Pre-practical resources such as videos, are often complemented with formative assessment quizzes.  The benefit here is that students can self-assess their understanding of the key concepts while educators can review any particular concepts that need further attention prior to commencement of the practical session.

Video technology can also be used for assessment of practical sessions.  For example, the video lab report can allow students to engage with, and develop, other skills in the design, production and editing of video content.

Further Reading

  • Brouwer, N. & McDonnell, C. (2009) Online support and online assessment for teaching and learning chemistry. Innovative methods of teaching and learning chemistry in higher education, pp.123–152.
  • Hazzard, E. (2014). A New Take on Student Lab Reports. The Science Teacher, 57–61.
  • Johnstone, A.H. (2001) Can problem-solving be taught? (Nyholm Symposium: Are we teaching our students the skills they need?). University Chemistry Education, 5 (2), pp.69–73.
  • Olivas, A. D. (2013). Scientific inquiry meets storytelling and filmmaking: creating video lab reports using a project-based learning approach. Science Scope, 36(5), 14.
  • Seery, M.K. & Donnelly, R. (2012) The implementation of pre-lecture resources to reduce in-class cognitive load: A case study for higher education chemistry. In: British Journal of Educational Technology.
  • Sirhan, G., Gray, C., Johnstone, A.H. & Reid, N. (1999) Preparing the mind of the learner. University Chemistry Education, 3 (2), pp.43–46.
  • Sirhan, G. & Reid, N. (2001) Preparing the mind of the learner - Part 2. University Chemistry Education, 5 (2), pp.52–58.