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In the study below multimedia e-learning courses were provided and evaluated in biochemistry. As the basis employment scenario the biochemical practical course for third term students of medicine and dentistry was taken, which is suitable by the large number of participants particularly accomplish meaningful statistic investigations. One half of the participants received the theoretical e-courses " lipids basics" and " lipids metabolism", the other half obtained a methods e-course about practical laboratory methods and a digital guidance to the experiments. We tested not only the usage behaviour, the acceptance and the mental state of the users while learning, but also the provable successes in learning in theory and practise. During a time frame of two terms usertracking data from the learning platform, examination and certificate results, questionnaires by students and supervisors as well as the mistakes on 800 Thin layer Chromatography (TLC) plates were evaluated.
In average 80% of the students used the e-courses for the preparation of the practical course, many intensively. Most of the interviewed Persons estimated the quality of the learning courses predominantly as „good “or „rather good“. However more important are the results, which come from “hard” data: The use of the e-courses led to significant improvement in the level of achievement in terms of the assessment marks. Certain influencing factors were excluded, such as diligence or prior biochemical knowledge, by a covariance analysis. Also students that invested little time in preparation and/or had little biochemical prior knowledge, did profit from the e-courses.
Also in the practical course the availablility of the e-course led to improved levels of achievement: groups which had the methods course available to them, made less experimental errors, had less error-induced material wear and needed less assistance from supervisors. Apart from that, the use of the methods course led a little reduction of time, needed for the experiments. Methododological courses cannot replace laboratory practical courses, but they can, as this extensive study indicates, help to improve achievement levels in the classes by allowing more efficient preparation. This leads to saving of time and of expensive material as well as to less effort for staff and general improvement in quality.
Using a modular collection of e-learning material about the different laboratory methods many large practical courses can be improved. This applies not only to biochemistry but also to molecular biology and cell biology and other adjacent fields of activity.