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ERIC Number: EJ1084269
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Dec
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Measuring Meaningful Learning in the Undergraduate Chemistry Laboratory: A National, Cross-Sectional Study
Galloway, Kelli R.; Bretz, Stacey Lowery
Journal of Chemical Education, v92 n12 p2006-2018 Dec 2015
Research on laboratory learning points to the need to better understand what and how students learn in the undergraduate chemistry laboratory. The Meaningful Learning in the Laboratory Instrument (MLLI) was administered to general and organic chemistry students from 15 colleges and universities across the United States in order to measure the students' cognitive and affective expectations and experiences within the context of performing experiments in their chemistry laboratory courses. Data were analyzed using exploratory factor analysis and cluster analysis. The factor analysis revealed unique mental frameworks for how students think about their laboratory experiences. Exploration of the cluster analysis output indicated a four cluster solution for general chemistry students and a three cluster solution for organic chemistry students. The clusters were further analyzed by examining item pre versus post scatterplots to characterize their unique cognitive and affective expectations and experiences for learning. Both courses had a cluster of students with high cognitive and affective expectations that were fulfilled by their laboratory experiences, as well as a cluster of students who had high cognitive expectations but low affective expectations. This cluster's cognitive expectations went unfulfilled, while their negative affective expectations were fulfilled, and their disparate cognitive and affective perceptions created a hindrance for the necessary integration of cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains for meaningful learning.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 0733642