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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 16 (2011) pp 152-154

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,, ‡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

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