Podcast Effectiveness as Scaffolding Support for Students Enrolled in First-Semester General Chemistry Laboratories
Description: Podcasts covering essential first-semester general chemistry laboratory techniques and central concepts that aid in experimental design or data processing were prepared and made available for students to access on an as-needed basis on iPhones- or iPod touches-. Research focused in three areas: the extent of podcast usage, the numbers and types of interactions between instructors and research teams, and student performance on graded assignments. Data analysis indicates that the podcast treatment research teams accessed a podcast 2.86 times on average during each week that podcasts were available. Comparison of interaction data for the lecture treatment research teams and podcast treatment research teams reveals that interactions with instructors were statistically significantly fewer for teams that had podcast access rather than a pre‐laboratory lecture. The implication of the results is that student research teams were able to gather laboratory information more effectively when it was presented in an on-demand podcast format. Finally, statistical analysis of data on student performance on graded assignments indicates no significant differences between outcome measures for the treatment groups when compared as cohorts. The only statistically significant difference is between students judged to be highly motivated; for this sub‐group the students in the podcast treatment group earned a course average that was statistically significantly higher than those in the lecture treatment group. This research study provides some of the first data collected on the effectiveness of podcasts delivered as needed in a first-semester general chemistry laboratory setting.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Powell, Mary Cynthia Barton