New Perspectives in Science Education

Edition 13

Accepted Abstracts

Reimagining student laboratories: creating a digitalized chemistry lab

Nicolai ter Horst, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Chemistry Education Department (Germany)

Timm Wilke, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Chemistry Education Department (Germany)


The potential to make students experts in their own learning is often allocated to the use of digital media in learning settings. This means that they can control their own learning process and determine the amount of time and extent of support needed. [1] If digital media succeeds in doing so, it can make an important contribution to the individualisation of teaching and to the much-demanded differentiation in heterogeneous learning groups. In addition, multiple representations provided by digital media can help to better understand contents and increase the motivation of learners. [2]


At the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, a chemical student laboratory is therefore being created, which will serve to test and research the use of digital media within a chemistry (lab) context. This digitalchemlab is a supplement to the already existing classical student laboratory. The aim is to build a platform that uses the potential of digital media for teaching and learning [3] and thus promotes improvement and transformation of current learning settings.


As described above, digital media can be used to create an interesting and highly customised design of the lab day for each student. In a first research project, learners are to select different tasks with optional learning aids along a differentiation matrix [4] and switch flexibly between classic student lab aspects such as experimenting in the lab and digital tasks. For this purpose, a digital learning module is designed and piloted with pupils, students and teachers. Subsequently, learning paths may be identified to obtain information on the use of the learning arrangement. In this way, design criteria for future learning modules can be derived and the offer can be improved further.


In addition, the digitalchemlab will be used for the training of digital competencies of students and (prospective) teachers. It will also be a place where novel learning opportunities for STEM subjects will be exploited via didactic transfer research. In this way, modern research topics are linked with the newest possibilities of digital media and synergies are generated, which is also addressed in the article.


teaching chemistry, student laboratories, digitalisation, innovative learning materials



[1] J. Hattie, „Lernen sichtbar machen“, 2013, 259-268.

[2] Y. J. Dori & I., Sasson, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 2008, 2/45, 219-250.

[3] D. Hillmayr et al., „Digitale Medien im mathematisch-naturwissenschaftlichen Unterricht der Sekundarstufe“, 2017.

[4] J. Menthe & T. Hoffmann in: O., Musenberg & J. Riegert (Hrsg.), Inklusiver Fachunterricht in der Sekundarstufe, 2015, 131-141.


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