OrmaLearn is an educational platform designed to support the teaching and learning of high school Science as a challenging area, beginning with Chemistry. It is a response to resource inadequacy through pedagogically sound ICT integration, based on learner-centred approaches. The following features run through the volumes.
- Practical approach to developing rational and critical thinking skills.
- Provision of immediate feedback and building of learner confidence
- Encouraging creativity through projects and problem solving approach
- Engaging learner-centred activities
- Exemplary use of Question and Answer method
- Planned repetition to enhance retention
- Interlinking of content for conceptual understanding.
It is suitable
- For self-directed and self-paced learning and active course revision
- As an aid to lesson delivery through demonstrations and probing questions
- For training on answering questions, thus preparing the learner better for assessment.
A research section is included to stimulate and guide scientific thinking about research as a tool to facilitate empirically based decisions by teachers and those preparing to undertake research projects as beginners.
To achieve its noble objective of enhancing science education, OrmaLearn offers user-friendly online curriculum support material, Chemistry by Demonstrations, which comes in four volumes. This is an all-in-one compact digital workbook designed to introduce Chemistry in a simple and stimulating way. It creatively applies modern methods of teaching and learning science, ensuring active involvement of the learner through observations, interpretation and synthesis, and question-and-answer techniques.
Probing questions are extensively used to develop critical thinking and systematically lead the leaner to expected conclusions. Answers are provided for all the questions posed in the text, for immediate feedback and to enhance confidence and mastery of content through practice. It may be accurately described as learning by thinking—a most effective way to master content and skills.
As much as possible, attempts are made to link Chemistry to reality and experiences of the learner, and to integrate emerging issues. Electronic affordances including videos, audios, and photographs are carefully used to present real life environment to enable learners appreciate the relevance of Chemistry and familiarize themselves with laboratory chemicals.
The material can facilitate lesson delivery when used with an LCD projector, and it enables the learner to study anytime and anywhere at their convenience. It is specifically aligned with the Kenyan curriculum but generally appropriate as a support material for introductory course in Chemistry.
Student users are advised to equip themselves with writing materials so that they can attempt the questions that follow each demonstration before checking the sample answers. The fourth volume, Chemistry Level 4, is in the pipeline.