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Conference Papers Year : 2004

A student-designed, remote-controlled experiment in chemistry

Cedric d'Ham
Isabelle Girault


One of the specificity of the experimental sciences courses (i.e. biology, chemistry, physics) is the need for the students to interact with both the domain of real objects and observable things and the domain of ideas. In distance education, ideas are easily transmitted through classic media. The laboratory work, which specifically deals with the objects and the observable things, has been transposed in distance education following two ways: the use of simulations and the use of remote-controlled experiment. Both of these solutions set out difficulties. Simulations are a representation of the real objects, and, in fact, are driven by theories that belong to the domain of ideas. Remote-controlled experiments do represent the domain of real objects, but they often are a transposition of classroom experiments, in which the function of the student is limited: learners have to execute procedures without being aware of the important choices made by the designer of the protocol. This difficulty is enhanced in distance education, by the fact that students don't handle the materials. Our aim is to present a prototype of a remote-controlled experiment, in which the domains of ideas and real objects are closely connected. In this case, theory is used and questioned in order to understand the practical work. The experimental part is not the first step, but appears once the learners have designed the experiment, which will help them to memorize and understand the procedures. In this paper, we will focus on the software that students use to design their experiment.
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hal-00190636 , version 1 (23-11-2007)


  • HAL Id : hal-00190636 , version 1


Cedric d'Ham, Isabelle Girault, Chrystelle Caix-Cécillon. A student-designed, remote-controlled experiment in chemistry. CALIE 04 : International conference on Computer Aided Learning in Engineering Education, 2004, Grenoble, France. pp.255-256. ⟨hal-00190636⟩
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