ChemCAL Prelabs Online

Bob Charlesworth, Marcia Devlin, David McFadyen, Peter Tregloan


The teaching of science in the Australian university system is challenging. Complex key concepts must be developed in the context of increasing class sizes and a diversity of interest and ability in the student body. Student expectations about university study are changing, with signs of what McInnis (2001) terms ‘disengagement’ from university study. There is an expectation that university will fit in with students’ lives, rather than the other way around. With a significant increase in the proportion of students working and in the number of hours of part-time work they undertake (McInnis, James and Hartley, 2001), students are increasingly seeking access to forms of learning they can use off-campus and at times convenient to them. James (2000) has found that students simply expect technologies to be part of their study and learning experience at university.

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