The following rating system has been used to provide you with a relative comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of the various laservideodiscs available in chemistry. Each rating has been based solely upon our own personal experiences, and is not meant to be the definitive word in evaluating the usefulness of these discs. Teachers have demonstrated that they are extremely creative people, and we know that any of these discs could be adapted to fit your particular needs. When it comes to making the final decisions about which discs to use, cost and availability become key factors.
Each of the laservideodisc programs have been rated in six categories and assigned a relative value ranging from 1, being the least effective, to 5 being the most effective program. A combined percentage rating is also provided as a means of indicating the comprehensiveness of the program. The following descriptions of each category were used when assigning a rating value:
Basic Concepts: How well does the videodisc present the basic topics and concepts covered in a first year, high school chemistry course? This is a gauge of the breadth of the topics presented.
Advanced Topics: To what degree does the videodisc go into depth in covering basic and advanced topics? This would include providing mathematical relationships used in a second-year chemistry course, with sample calculations.
Demonstrated Reactions: Does the videodisc use interesting and unique chemical reactions that illustrate chemical principles in a clear and concise manner? This would include using reactions that involve chemicals/equipment that are not readily available or too dangerous for everyday usage.
Experiments: Are traditional experiments included on the videodisc, along with quantitative data? These could be used for pre- or post-lab discussions or as make up experiments for students who are absent.
Basic Lab Skills: Does the videodisc demonstrate standard laboratory techniques, such as taking measurements with common equipment or safety procedures? These videos could be used to insure that the students know how to perform experiments accurately and safely.
Chemical Explanations: How well does the videodisc explain the chemical principles involved in the demonstrations and experiments used? This would include balanced chemical equations, stoichiometric relationships, charts or graphical displays and practical applications/analogies.
Exocharmic Nature: Exocharmic refers to how well do the presenters captivate their audience and excite their scientific curiosity. It reflects not only the nature of the material presentated, but also the manner in which it is presented.
Ease of Use: This reflects the logical sequence and organization of the slides and movies on the disc, and how easily they can be accessed and played.
Total Cost: Since we all have limited funds available for scientific supplies, cost needs to be a consideration when deciding which discs to purchase.