Course Title: Prepare, standardise and use solutions

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2011

Course Code: ONPS5657C

Course Title: Prepare, standardise and use solutions

School: 155T Vocational Health and Sciences

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5282 - Diploma of Laboratory Technology (Biotechnology)

Course Contact: Amberlee Mitton

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 8053

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

** primary contact:
Kirsten Balding
9925 4283
Office 51.4.01
contact by email is the best option

Brian Long 
Office 51.4.01
contact by email is the best option

Nominal Hours: 100

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

ONPS5658C Perform Chemical Tests

Course Description

This unit of competency covers the ability to prepare, standardise and monitor the quality of solutions.


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

MSL974001A Prepare, standardise and use solutions


1. Prepare solutions

Performance Criteria:

Select appropriate procedure for solution preparation
Select equipment, materials and solvent of specified purity
Measure appropriate quantities of reagents for solution preparation and record data.
Select and assemble specified laboratory equipment and appropriate grade of glassware
Perform specified dilutions
Prepare solutions to achieve homogeneous mix of the specified concentration
Label and store solutions to maintain identity and stability


2. Standardise and use volumetric solutions

Performance Criteria:

Assemble appropriate laboratory equipment
Perform serial dilutions as required
Standardise the solution to the required specified range and precision
Label and store solutions to maintain identity and stability
Use standard volumetric solutions to determine concentration of unknown solutions


3. Calculate and record data

Performance Criteria:

Calculate specified concentrations
Use authorised procedure if data is to be modified
Estimate and document uncertainty of measurement in accordance with enterprise procedures, if required
Record all relevant details according to laboratory procedures and report results
Report concentration with appropriate units


4. Monitor the quality of laboratory solutions

Performance Criteria:

Check solutions for visual deterioration and expiry date
Restandardise or dispose of dated or deteriorated solutions
Record details and label solutions according to laboratory procedures


5. Maintain a safe work environment

Performance Criteria:

Use established safe work practices and personal protective equipment to ensure personal safety and that of other laboratory personnel
Clean up spills using appropriate techniques to protect personnel, work area and environment
Minimise generation of waste and environmental impacts
Ensure the safe collection of laboratory and hazardous waste for subsequent disposal
Store equipment and reagents as required

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

Online quizzes
Online theory presentations, worksheets and activities
whole class discussion
Pair/group discussion
Online quizzes
Laboratory experiments
Record keeping of experiments
Research activities

Teaching Schedule

Chem Solutions: 2011 Program

Week 1: 11-Jul
Theory:Introduction to acids & bases, pH. Measuring pH, titration
Prac: Measuring pH: Indicators
Log Book only

Week 2: 18-Jul
Theory: pH & pOH, Strong & weak acids & bases, pKa
Prac: Analysis of Vinegar by Titration
Week 2 Quiz (Topics in weeks 1&2)
Prac Assessment 1: Titration done in class
Prac Report: (done in class)

Week 3: 25-Jul
Theory: Primary Standards and Standardisation of NaOH
Prac: Pipetting workshop (Eppendorf) (TBC*) Standardisation of NaOH Measuring pH: the pH meter
Prac Assessment 2: Standardisation done in class

Week 4: 1-Aug
Theory: Introduction to Buffers, Predicting pH of buffer solutions
Prac: Buffers I - TAE, 1x TAE by dilution
Week 4 Quiz, (Topics in weeks 3&4), Log Book only

Week 5: 8-Aug
Theory: Buffering capacity, pH compared to pKa, buffer concentration
Prac: Buffers II - Phosphate buffers and the H-H equation
Log Book only

Week 6: 15-Aug
(Prac only)
Prac: Making TE buffer, Making a saturated solution
Week 6 Quiz (Topics in weeks 5&6), Log Book only

Week 7: 22-Aug
Revision (online)
Prac: (if required) Assessment catch up session:
(1) Titration,
(2) Standardisation

Week 8: 29-Aug
Mid Semester exams

Week 9: 5-Sep
(Theory at home): Intermolecular bonding, Water as a solvent,
Serial dilutions - refresher
Week 10: 12-Sep
(Prac only)
Prac: Solvent Properties of Water, Serial dilutions
Prac Assessment: (3) Serial dilutions

Week of 19-Sep: Mid semester Break
Week 11: 26-Sep
(Theory at home): Enzymes
Week 11 Quiz (Enzymes)

Week 12: 3-Oct
(Prac only)
Prac: IDH Enzyme Assay
Prac report: IDH assay

Week 13: 10-Oct
(Theory at home): Oxidation & Reduction (Redox) Reactions
Week 13 Quiz (Redox)

Week 14: 17-Oct
(Prac only)
Prac: Redox: Half cells and Electrochemical Series
Log Book only:Submit logbook by 5pm on Friday of week 14

Week 15: 24-Oct
Revision (at home)
Prac: (if required) Last chance Assessment catch up session
(3) Serial dilutions

Week 16: 31-Oct

Week 17: 8-Nov
Alternative assessment (Supp Exams)

*To be confirmed

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Bettelheim FA, Brown WH, Campbell MK, Farrell SO (2010) General, Organic and Biochemistry  9th Ed. Thomson/Brooks-Cole, Australia 

Lab Manual  - available from Blackboard

Blackboard for this course. Access through MyRMIT.


Other Resources

Lab coat, protective gloves, safety glasses, appropriate footwear & a logbook are required at all practical classes.

A logbook is required for this course to record all experimental details. The logbook must be brought to class each week and signed off by the teacher.
The book needs to be a bound NON-SPIRAL exercise book.

Completion of experimental records in the logbook trains students how to keep good records that can be used as “proof of discovery”. These logbooks form legal documents that can be used to prove discovery for Intellectual Property & patenting purposes & thus form an important part of the course.

Overview of Assessment

Assessments for this course typically consist of:
• Class activities
• Assignments
• Presentations
• Exams

Assessment Tasks

To pass the course you need to achieve:
80% attendance at classes AND
An average pass grade (50%) for all quizzes AND
An average pass grade (50%) for both prac reports AND
An average pass grade (50%) for both exams AND
Competent completion of all the prac assessments AND
Competent weekly record keeping in your logbook

Assessment Tasks

1. Quizzes
Value: 20%
5 quizzes
Weeks 2, 4, 6,
11, 13

2. Prac Report 1
Value: 15%
Week 2 (in class)

3. Theory Exam 1
Value: 25%
Term 3 topics only
Week 8

4. Prac Assessments
Value: "Competent" at all 3 tasks (ungraded)
1. Titration
2. Standardisation
3. Serial dilution
Weeks 2, 3, and 10. Catch up sessions* are available in weeks 7 & 15

5. Prac Report 2
Value: 15%
IDH Enzyme Assay
Week 12

6. Logbook
Value: "competent" (ungraded)
All pracs
Week 14

7. Theory Exam 2
Value: 25%
Term 4 topics only
Week 16

8. 80% attendance at lab classes
(inclass observations)
Value: "competent" - must be at 80% of classes
See schedule

Total:100 %


Prac Reports
Prac report 1 will be done during the class - you will submit your results and calculations as the report (a question sheet will be provided for you to fill out).
Prac Report 2 is due 2 weeks after the day that the practical is performed.

If you miss a write up prac you will only be eligible to write up a different prac if you provide a medical certificate. For this to occur you need to discuss your situation with the teacher as soon as possible. Other reasons for missing a write up prac do not mean that you can write up a different report. Note that you are required to pass the reports on average, so be sure to submit both of them!

Quizzes must be done by the due date. An average pass grade is required for quizzes. If you are ill for most/all of the time that a quiz is available talk to the teacher to get an extension once you have submitted your medical certificate (or other special consideration application). Technical difficulties are not considered a reasonable excuse for not having submitted quizzes. Make sure you know how to submit quizzes effectively, and don’t leave it till the last minute, so network issues won’t affect your assessment. Ask the teacher or helpdesk early in the semester for help if you have difficulty.

Practical Assessments
Note that these assessments are not formal prac exam assessments (so you don’t need to stress!), rather they are a regular practical class with a question sheet to be filled out (which you would do in your logbook anyway). To pass each practical assessment you need to make a good attempt at the procedure and show your results at certain stages to the teachers (more information will be provided near the time of the class).
It is about having a decent go at the experiment, and providing some evidence of your results. Your results will tell us how good your technique is! If things go wrong on the day and it doesn’t work out for you, you will have a chance to discuss with the teacher what went wrong, and how to fix the problem. Hopefully you will have time for another attempt. By doing it this way we are trying to develop a ’problem solving approach’ to when things ’go pear-shaped’ - which can happen in the workplace, rather than having a formal style exam.  The teacher will let you know if you need to do a ’catch up session’ on the task. Please note that the activities (titration, standardisation and serial dilutions) are not very complex, so most people will have no trouble meeting the criteria.
If you miss an assessment task session note that catch up sessions are only available to students if a medical certificate for the original assessment date has been presented to the level 6 office. Note the catch up days are in the revision weeks, so it is to your advantage to attend the original classes if possible to give yourself more time to revise for the exam. Please chat to Kirsten if you have any concerns about these assessments.

Logbooks need to be signed off by a supervisor each week and submitted near the end of semester.

**All assessment tasks must be completed competently to pass the course.**
**80% attendance is required to pass the course.**

Assessment Matrix

Other Information

Nominal Hours:
Lab only or combined lab/theory classes = 11 x  3 = 33 hours
(including practical assessment tasks)
Directed theory & revision (online) =   5 x  3 = 15 hours
(including worksheets and quizzes)
Preparation for theory topics = 12 x 1.5 = 18 hours
(including reading text, reviewing powerpoints)
Preparation for lab classes = 12 x 1 = 12 hours
(read through lab method, answer prelab questions)
Exams = 2 x 1.5 = 3 hours
Self directed study (off campus) = 19 hours
(reading, research, revision etc)

Total: 100 hours

Course Overview: Access Course Overview