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Microcomputer-Based Laboratory Role in Developing Students’ Conceptual Understanding in Chemistry: Case of Acid–Base Titration

  • Sofia Margoum*
    Sofia Margoum
    Trans ERIE − Faculty of Science Semlalia, Cadi Ayyad University,40000, Marrakech, Morocco
    *E-mail: [email protected]
  • Khalid Berrada
    Khalid Berrada
    Faculty of Science, Mohammed V University, 10500, Rabat, Morocco
  • Daniel Burgos
    Daniel Burgos
    Research Institute for Innovation & Technology in Education (UNIR iTED), International University of La Rioja (UNIR), 26006, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain
  • , and 
  • Said El Hasri
    Said El Hasri
    Trans ERIE - Faculty of Science and Technology, Cadi Ayyad University, 40000, Marrakech, Morocco
Cite this: J. Chem. Educ. 2022, XXXX, XXX, XXX-XXX
Publication Date (Web):June 17, 2022
https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jchemed.1c01254
© 2022 American Chemical Society and Division of Chemical Education, Inc.
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Abstract

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For the past five years, all Moroccan universities suspended practical work activities in the subject of chemistry for the first year due to a decision made by the Ministry of Higher Education. This study explores the effect of using a Microcomputer-Based Laboratory (MBL) on students’ performance and investigates the desirability to convert first-year university-level practicals in chemistry from experimental demonstrations in lectures to the MBL. The study sample comprised 100 students attending the first year at the faculty of sciences of the Cadi Ayyad University (UCA) in Morocco. Students in the experimental group (N = 50) received a 1 h active engagement tutorial on acid–base titration using a microcomputer-based laboratory, in contrast to the control group (N = 50) who received the same instruction with a demonstration of the experiment. The experimental and control groups got randomly selected, and the same instructor trained both groups. The two groups of responders were compared based on their performance in a written exam that assesses the skills of processing, analyzing, and interpreting qualitative and quantitative experimental results of acid–base titration. As a result, the analysis of the obtained results showed that the experimental group performed significantly better in using appropriate mathematical skills for quantitative data analysis; and they were actively engaged in the acid–base titration experiment. The obtained results, together with similar findings from other studies, indicate the positive impact of using MBL on learning outcomes and support the adoption of the proposed learning environment in laboratory educational procedures as an alternative to traditional laboratories.

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