HomeIAMURE International Journal of Educationvol. 9 no. 1 (2014)

Validation of Small-Scale Chemistry Experiments Developed Using Low-Cost Materials

Georgina A. Diopenes



Traditional laboratory chemistry experiments are often constrained by cost. Alternatively, the researcher developed a General Chemistry Laboratory Module of Small-Scale Experiments that can be performed individually by tertiary freshmen at lesser expense. It includes five experiments aligned with the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study TIMSS’ topics in Chemistry; hence, also offers public secondary schools the prospect of extensive chemistry laboratory capability that can upgrade their performance in the TIMSS’ assessment in science. A non-equivalent pretest-posttest control group design was used to investigate the effects of small-scale and traditional chemistry experiments on achievement, conceptual understanding and level of participation of the experimental and control groups respectively. Validated and reliability-tested multiple-choice tests measured achievement while concept maps with very strong inter-rater reliability assessed conceptual understanding. The experimental group showed greater percent gain in achievement and conceptual understanding, and a strong association between the variables. The independent t-test found no significant difference between experimental and control groups in achievement and conceptual understanding but the level of participation scored through a researcher-made rubric gave a higher average for the experimental group. On the basis of achievement, conceptual understanding, and level of participation, small-scale chemistry experiments were found to be appropriate substitutes for traditional laboratory experiments - pedagogically effective with added values of being environment-friendly and cheap.