KU Newsletter june2021 A history of leadership

Department of Chemistry Conducts Online Laboratory Experiment Education

Konkuk University Department of Chemistry at College of Sciences presented a new plan for online laboratory experiment education with at-home experiment facing the era of COVID-19 pandemic.

Although Konkuk University conducts limited face-to-face classes for some laboratory experiment courses, it is realistically challenging for students living in rural areas to come to Seoul every week for those classes.

As universities around the globe remain closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a growing interest in at-home experiments that students can conduct by themselves at home. University of Southern California submitted the regarding content in the Journal of Chemical Education with the thesis title, ‘Experimenting with At-Home General Chemistry Laboratories During the COVID-19 Pandemic’.

Department of Chemistry at Konkuk University planned on at-home experiment programs as basic education for students living in rural areas considering that the students have not conducted any laboratory experiment class since their admission, which may cause troubles in the future regarding the curriculums and etc.

For ‘Analytical Chemistry Experiment’, an experiment course for sophomore, the department mails out basic experiment equipment kit (Image 1) for at-home experiments and attempted experiment classes via online meetings. The experiment equipment kits mostly consist of plastic instead of chemical reagent due to safety issues.

Professor Sungjung Kwon said, “We felt concern that the new students did not get a chance to conduct class experiments while it is essential for the academic characteristics of the Department of Chemistry,” adding, “It is expected that students will be able to understand the experiment better in future online classes by dealing with the at-home equipment though the process of it was relatively simple.”

Students who conducted at-home experiments said, “Although we only conducted basic-level experiments, such as how to use the equipment and solution methods, and excluded chemical reagent due to the safety issue, we believe that the opportunity to actually use the equipment that has only been seen in the video will be very helpful in understanding the future video lectures or conducting real chemical experiments.”

Konkuk University College of Sciences stated that it will present a new paradigm for online laboratory experiment education that can be used for cyber universities after the pandemic with the development of more safe and educational experiment kits.