Examining Pre-Service Teachers’ Views About Online Chemistry Laboratory Learning Experiences Amid the Covid-19 Pandemic
With the continued spread of the COVID-19 crisis, the universities were closed temporarily in Turkey just as in the rest of the world. As a result of this, many educators and students tried to adapt to online education quickly. This research study examined 67 pre-service teachers' views on online chemistry laboratory (General Chemistry Laboratory, Analytical Chemistry Laboratory-II, and Organic Chemistry Laboratory-II) learning experiences amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A data collection tool consisting of seven open-ended questions was used. Data sources included responses given to open-ended questions about the online chemistry laboratory learning experiences, the applications used for the chemistry experiments (e.g., simulations, images, and videos), the methods used for assessing online learning, and the system used for the virtual classroom platform. Content analysis was applied to participants’ responses and the inter-rater consistency coefficient was calculated above .90. Participants’ views about online chemistry laboratories amid the COVID-19 pandemic were gathered in five themes: (i) advantages and disadvantages of online chemistry laboratories, (ii) effects of online chemistry laboratories on learning outcomes, (iii) views on technological applications used in online chemistry laboratories, (iv) views on measurement and assessment methods used in online chemistry laboratories, and (v) views of pre-service teachers on the virtual classroom platform used in online chemistry laboratories. The findings of the study highlighted that online laboratory learning has both advantages and disadvantages. Issues such as replaying the records of laboratory courses, incorporating technology use into the experimental process, and saving time and laboratory materials were among the notable positive opinions. In contrast, being unable to learn by doing and develop laboratory-related psychomotor skills and restricted communication were frequently expressed by the participants as negative aspects of online laboratories. The study's findings also included the strengths and weaknesses of the system used for the virtual classroom platform. It is thought that the findings will provide useful information on how to design a positive online laboratory experience such as integrating of hands-on activities as a part of the online laboratories to overcome the lack of “learning by doing” and using videos containing more detailed explanations about the experimental setup.
Pre-service teachers, online learning, online chemistry laboratory, COVID-19 pandemic