A series of flash animations and videos with very clear narration is presented to function as a tutorial for distillation. Boiling point, vapor pressure, fractional versus simple distillation, apparatus setup, apparatus disassembling are all topics covered in the tutorial.
Type of Material:
Animations and short videos are presented as small learning objects with very clear conclusions and information for each segment.
It is designed for an undergraduate audience and is suited for organic chemistry lab students. It is a self directed study and is probaly best used as a lab preparation video for students to view prior to coming to lab.
Adobe video player which may require a software installation/download.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Objective is to teach organic chemistry students the basics of distillation technique.
Target Student Population:
Undergraduate students that are enrolled in organic chemistry laboratory.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
A basic knowledge of the definitions of boiling point and vapor pressure would be helpful.
The content is very thorough. This is an ideal video for a "classroom flip" where students would, ideally, view the material and then come to class and carry it out. The author does an excellent job of leading the student into the material. The author sets up points to be made later in the tutorial by mentioning them without details in prior slides; key points like vapor pressure, mole fraction and boiling point are repeated to reinforce their importance. The tutorial was also very efficient in that the total time was 25 minutes.
The use of a flame as a heating source in the animations goes against generally accepted practice. While this is discussed in the videos, it sets a dangerous possibility into play. The animations should be fixed to include a heating plate.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The teaching and learning goals are explicitly stated as each slide or video is preceded by a title that tells the viewer what to expect. It also promotes conceptual understanding through using animations to illustrate concepts like kinetic energy and how it relates to a solvent being heated and changing states from liquid to vapor. The videos were excellent and the person in the videos showed excellent technique and she made a point to explain why everything was done the particular way that it was done.
Placement of water hoses onto the glassware should be covered.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The module is short and well made. There are no instructions for use. The link goes directly to the tutorial- the downloadable notes are not readily recognizable although there is an notes tab on the video sidebar. The link for the notes is a small paperclip located at the bottom of the Adobe player- an unsuspecting student would not know that and the only way that I knew it was because I was curious and clicked on it. Everything on the site was in working order- the videos were loud and clear- and clearly filmed.
The narration on the slides was a bit muffled and It might be helpful if the index was changed slightly to permit bullet points.
Other Issues and Comments:
The fact that the tutorial included a "common mistakes" video makes this a complete and efficient tutorial. The "common mistakes" video addresses many of errors that most lab students make. Very well illustrated and the theory behind it was very well explained. Overall, this is a superb piece of material and scholarship.
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