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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 16 (2011) pp 152-154
DOI 10.1007/s00897112364a

Podcasts for Pre-laboratory Student Preparation for Organic Chemistry: A Receipe for Collaboration with University Media Specialists

Thomas G. Hallaq*,†, Robert W. Holman‡, and Samuel Lohse§

†Department of Mass Communication, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID 83209, halltom@isu.edu, ‡Department of Chemistry, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID 83209, §Department of Chemistry, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
Received January 12, 2011. Accepted February 27, 2011.

Published: 2 June 2011

Abstract. The Idaho State University Chemistry Department has historically used a classic approach in delivering academic laboratory courses. Specifically, a three-hour time frame was allotted for the laboratory consisting of a) a pre-laboratory lecture addressing safety issues, theory, and waste disposal procedures; b) the formal experiment; and c) a post-laboratory lecture summary. The inherent problems with this classic approach, in a state university setting where teaching assistants are the instructors, are manifold. At ISU, the departments of Chemistry and Mass Communication have teamed together to produce a series of video podcasts to replace student pre-laboratory lecture. These podcasts, viewed by students prior to assigned lab time, include a treatment on theory, step-by-step procedures, and are coupled with an online quiz. By employing a student video production crew and resources available at the university, costs were manageable; yet a high production value was maintained. This paper describes the details of the inter-departmental collaboration including the responsibilities of each department, costs, and student advantages in the production of video podcasts.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; organic chemistry; podcasting; video; technology; television; experiments

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail: halltom@isu.edu)

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