Using public examination resources as teaching materials for experimental sessions in the HKDSE chemistry curriculum: Effects and outcomes

Cheuk Fai Stephen CHOW, Tsz Leung HUI

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The results showed that Group A, taught with “experimental sessions,” had a remarkable increase in their academic knowledge. There was a 37.5% difference between their pre-and post-tests. Group B, taught with “lectures,” had only a minor increase of 10.8%. The detailed statistical results and the interview findings will be presented at the conference. This project investigated the effects and academic outcomes of using public examination questions as teaching materials for experimental sessions. Three chemistry topics, chemical cells, redox reactions, and electrolysis, were covered in this study. Thirty-four F.5 students (grade 11) were randomly divided into two groups, A and B. Group A had three hours of “experimental sessions” that used public examination questions as teaching materials; Group B had three hours of “lectures” with the same public examination questions used as teaching materials. Pre- and post-tests and post-interviews were conducted. Scientific experiments provide students with “hands-on” experience. They train them in laboratory skills, in logical analysis techniques, and in scientific writing. Moreover, teachers can effectively assess their students’ understanding of scientific concepts if ample experimental sessions are included in the curriculum. However, due to the strong public examination pressure existing in the present Hong Kong education system, many students and teachers regard laboratory practices as a minor element of the learning and teaching process. Only four experimental sessions are required for the Chemistry School-based Assessment in the Hong Kong Diploma for Secondary Education (HKDSE) Combined Science (Chemistry part) Curriculum. Although teachers may offer more than four experiments during the three-year curriculum, most of them prefer to train their students’ in public examination skills rather than in practical skills.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


teaching materials
secondary education
Hong Kong
education system
school grade


Chow, C. F., & Hui, T. L. (2013, July). Using public examination resources as teaching materials for experimental sessions in the HKDSE chemistry curriculum: Effects and outcomes. Paper presented at the 3rd International Conference of East-Asian Association for Science Education, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, China.