110 first year undergraduates studying Biomedical Science and Medical Science (BSc Honours) at De Montfort University accessed VAL system, an OER designed to enable undergraduate students to build a foundation of basic laboratory skills and knowledge before they enter the bioscience laboratory.
The OER were evaluated in two ways. First, they were asked about their perceptions of elements of the service with the responses recorded on a Likert scale.
In addition to expressing support for the service and the impact on their study, it was also found that those students without prior laboratory experience who only used the VAL system performed equally as well as those with experience.
It was interesting to see that although all the students just averaged a pass (40% overall) in the laboratory test, those students with no prior experience who had only used the VAL to obtain any laboratory knowledge performed EQUALLY as well as those with prior laboratory experience, with no signficiant difference in test scores (p>0.05). Both groups claimed to be equally confident in their laboratory skills (p>0.05). Comparing the 2008 group of studnets with no prior experience to those in 2007, there was a significant increase in their perceived confidence levels (2008, mean Likert score 3.65 versus 2007, 3.13, p<0.05).