P928: Using the Chemcollective Virtual Lab to improve general chemistry lab courses: Two substantial and informative lab make-up assignments
Surely every lab instructor struggles to provide a reasonable simulated lab experiment to offer to students to replace an absence from a genuine hand on experiment. I present two examples of simulated laboratory experiments using the Virtual Lab Workbench that have been designed and fully tested for use in our General Chemistry Laboratory Program in conjunction with the faculty and staff at Carnegie Mellon. Part A for both labs involves students analyzing an unknown solution, and the students must design an appropriate method to use with the Virtual Lab Workbench. Part B for both labs is designed to provide clues as to how to solve Part A, and students are provided much more explicit directions as to how to collect good data with the Virtual Lab Workbench and present the data usefully in a graph. Both labs wrap up with calculation sections and analysis questions similar to what students regularly do with wet chemistry lab experiments. For me, providing an alternative Virtual Lab experience is an ideal solution for students who miss wet chemistry laboratory work, and use of the Virtual Lab Workbench from the ChemCollective can be an effective way to design a virtual experiment that meets the needs of your specific program.