1 The Department of Science, Systems and Models, Roskilde University2 Funktionelle Biomaterialer, Department of Science and Environment, Roskilde University
Laboratory exercises, investigations, and experiments are invariably included in university chemistry teaching. The learning of empirical facts, chemical procedures and methods in chemistry depends heavily on the experience, which may be obtained from such teaching activities . Experimental work in teaching is, however, both expensive and time consuming, and should therefor effectively benefit from the allotted student time, money, and staff time. If the instructions are too ambitious regarding what the students can manage to do and are overloaded with information [2,3] it may result in the students simply following a recipe, which is probably not effective relative to the efforts. The use of pre labs and post labs may be a way to enhance the effectiveness of the work in the laboratory [4,5]. If the purpose is not that the students become perfectly trained on the manipulative side of the procedure (and in university programmes it often isn’t), but rather to give them experience with chemicals and methods, a computer-based laboratory simulation may function as a cheap and fast extension of student lab time. Virtual investigations seem to be a promising kind of tool [6,7,8] for several reasons and this has lead to the development of self-instructing, interactive PC-based learning resources closely related to an actual, running course in introductory inorganic chemistry . Such a development is rather time consuming, but since the first experience was positive  it was considered worthwhile to develop the idea further for that course. This development of further resources to simulate a laboratory investigation will be described.
European Variety in Chemistry Education: Book of Abstracts, 2005, p. 62-64