Construction of an instructional design model for undergraduate chemistry laboratory design: a Delphi approach
The purpose of this study was to construct an instructional systems design model for chemistry teaching laboratories at the undergraduate level to accurately depict the current practices of design experts. This required identifying the variables considered during design, prioritizing and ordering these variables, and constructing a model. Experts were identified by multiple publications in the Journal of Chemical Education on undergraduate laboratories. Twelve of these individuals participated in three rounds of Delphi surveys. An initial literature review was used to construct the first survey, which established the variables of design. The second and third surveys were constructed based on the answers from the previous survey and literature review. The second survey determined the priority and order of the variables, and the third survey allowed the participating experts to evaluate the preliminary design model. The results were validated by interviewing three additional experts who had not participated in the surveys. The first round survey produced 47 variable themes identified by the experts as being important to chemistry laboratory design. Of these, 46 variable themes were determined to be important based on their responses to the second-round survey. Second-round survey results were used to determine the order in which participants consider the themes, allowing for construction of a preliminary design model. In the third round, participants found the model to be accurate, organized appropriately, easy to understand, and useful. Interviews supported these results. The final design model included five main phases with individual considerations or steps. These five phases were named planning, development, implementation, revision, and evaluation. The first four phases form a cyclic process, and they are supported by the continuous evaluation phase. The strengths of the model developed in this study include the participation of experts within the field, the ability of the model to start discussions regarding design, and the high level of agreement on the final model. This model could be refined and evaluated to determine its efficacy in assisting novice or expert designers in creating and improving experiments that support learning. The method used in this study could be used for model development in other fields.