This is a very useful tutorial for guiding introductory chemistry students through the entire process of writing lab reports. It gives a detail rationale for the steps included in writing lab reports. While written for NC State students, it can be used in the offline mode by any user. It includes textual material which can be used as reference as well as an actual tutorial in actually preparing for the lab, performing the lab, and then doing analysis and getting results and write complete, correct and informative lab reports.
Type of Material:
This is a tutorial and can also be used as reference material.
Faculty could list the site as a resource, but it would be best used if specific parts were assigned reading. A class could gradually work through the creation of a lab report by completing the various components with guidance from Labwrite. The site also has repository of rich resources that are useful in a lab course, such as how to plot data.
HTML and some portions require Java.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
1. The student will be able to prepare for and understand the entire chemistry laboratory experience. 2. The student will be able to complete the pre-lab work necessary. 3. The student will be able to perform the experiment and collect data more effectively. 4. The student will be able to do analysis and reach conclusions more effectively 5. The student will be able to write complete and comprehensive lab reports that address the purpose, hypothesis and results.
Target Student Population:
A good resource for high school or college science lab courses to give students a thorough background in the art of report-writing. This would also be valuable for students needing to write a thesis paper (Sr. Project, etc.).
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Detailed explanations are provided so students can have a deep understanding of each component of writing a report. Sample lab reports are provided. The site is comprehensive with many supporting resources available. The material is very organized and presented in an easy to understand format.
In order to view material, students must select from a dozen choices (type of lab and type of presentation) and they may not know which one is appropriate.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Strategies are discussed so students are guided through the report-writing process. Detailed sections on graphing, tables, recording of quantitative data and qualitative data are provided as well as concise instruction for writing a lab report.
To be effective, some guidance needs to be given from an instructor (go to this part of the website or click on this particular link, etc.). A student would have a harder time exploring on his/her own so that can reduce the site's effectiveness.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The site visually appealing and easy to read with good color schemes. Some links are provided at the top of each page to navigate. The pdf files were very helpful as handouts.
The site's navigation could be improved. Most navigation occurs with use of the "back" arrow, rather than as links "return to home page", etc. The resources were buried and could be easily missed. The Tutor feature was prohibitively slow and students/faculty may have concerns about how/where the material is being stored and if/how those materials can be accessed in the future.
Other Issues and Comments:
This is an excellent module for learning the lab experience that can be very helpful to beginning students and lab instructors. It can also be used as reference guide by more experienced chemistry students for the entire laboratory experience.
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