Monash University, Australia
First Year Chemistry at Monash University is a large, multi-campus cohort, with over 1500 students from a diverse range of backgrounds. All students are tasked with completing the same assessment, and from the perspective of ensuring curriculum alignment across multiple international campuses, a range of online tools have been developed to facilitate consistent delivery across locations. As a practical science, this incorporates not only lecture content, but a practical laboratory curriculum, which includes a culture of good hands-on practice, technique and appropriate occupational health & safety habits. Here were describe a number of online multimedia tools which have been used to homogenise our content and message to the cohort across campuses.
Firstly, each experiment to be performed in the undergraduate laboratory is preceded by a short video, which conveys a summary of the student experiment, demonstrations of any lab techniques, alongside any other tips required for successfully navigating the learning experience. Students are subsequently tasked with a short, online quiz. These tools are equally valuable for the professional development of the many teaching associates which run such class environments in the practical sciences.
Secondly, pre-lecture videos are produced to prepare students for upcoming topics in lectures. While the appropriate texts remain highly recommended reading for students, these videos help focus students on the important topics, introducing new terminology and symbolism, alongside any calculations required for the topic at hand. Each video is tethered to an online quiz so that students can test there preparedness prior to lectures.
Finally, the curriculum is dissected into small subtopics, which are then audio-visually produced for online delivery. The inevitable and subtle differences between campuses and lecturers are successfully negated through a clear explanation of the content, simultaneously conveying the depth of knowledge required for each subtopic.