n South African Journal of Higher Education - Science beyond the classrooms and laboratories : an ODL approach

Volume 27, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



Many people believe that the teaching and learning of science are only achievable in the classroom and, in some cases, the laboratory. This notion has forced many school learners and educators to abandon the teaching and learning of science or to do it haphazardly, while complaining that they lack the materials and human resources. This article examines the teaching of saponification reactions in organic chemistry to undergraduates using special open distance learning (ODL) strategies outside the normal classroom and organised laboratory situation. The strategies used were Skype (a special form of video-conferencing technology) and animation. The teaching involved both theory and practice and on evaluation, the learners proved to be as competent as if they had been taught in contact sessions. The study showed that sciences, such as life science, physical science and related disciplines, can be effectively taught and learnt through the ODL approach in schools, and particularly at university level.

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