טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentApanasenko Svetlana
SubjectInstructional Videos as a Pre-lab Activity in Bio-Chemistry
for Undergraduate Students
DepartmentDepartment of Education in Science and Technology
Supervisors Professor Tali Tal
Dr. Avigail Barzilai
Full Thesis text - in Hebrew Full thesis text - Hebrew Version


Abstract

Students, learning in the labs, are faced with the challenge of simultaneously learning technical skills for operating equipment, developing research skills, and comprehending high level of scientific content. This situation leads to a cognitive overload; the result is that many students view lab experiments as "recipes" that are to be followed word for word. It is expected that preparation will reduce the cognitive load imposed on the student in the lab, due to the familiarity with the theoretical background, lab equipment, and experiment principles. Studies indicate that the integration of instructional videos as a pre-lab activity improves student preparedness and increases confidence.

In this study, 4 instructional videos were created and incorporated as part of the pre-lab activities in the "Biochemistry Lab" at the Faculty of Biology.

The study examined the attitudes of students and instructors towards the integration of instructional videos and the nature of the interaction in the lab.

The participants consisted of 165 undergraduate students participating in the "Biochemistry Lab" and 22 lab instructors.

This study is a mixed-method study that utilizes both a quantitative and qualitative approach.

The study's quantitative facet was based on statistical analysis collected from the course website and the attitude questionnaires. The qualitative facet included analysis of the interviews conducted with the instructors and students, and observation during the labs.

The findings indicate that, over 85% of the questionnaire student respondents opined that the films increased their readiness, helped become familiar with lab equipment, aided them in carrying out the lab, and improved the work quality.

From lab observations and post-classification of the questions asked by students was found, that 75% of the student questions related to the different experiment stages, double-checked correct execution of the experiment, or were about the materials and equipment that the students were using. With this, about 79% of the questions asked indicate satisfactory student lab preparedness, demonstrated by student use of scientific concepts and ideas related to execution of the experiment and familiarity with lab equipment and experiment stages.

Since interaction in the lab is also affected by factors other than student preparedness, in order to increase the level of the cognitive interaction, we suggest recommending the instructor to refrain from lecturing at the start of the lab, to communicate with group members individually, and to focus not only on lab work methods, but also on the scientific concepts behind the experiments.