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ERIC Number: EJ1090607
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Feb
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Investigating Affective Experiences in the Undergraduate Chemistry Laboratory: Students' Perceptions of Control and Responsibility
Galloway, Kelli R.; Malakpa, Zoebedeh; Bretz, Stacey Lowery
Journal of Chemical Education, v93 n2 p227-238 Feb 2016
Meaningful learning requires the integration of cognitive and affective learning with the psychomotor, i.e., hands-on learning. The undergraduate chemistry laboratory is an ideal place for meaningful learning to occur. However, accurately characterizing students' affective experiences in the chemistry laboratory can be a very difficult task. While attitudinal surveys offer some insights, an inherent limitation of such fixed-response surveys may prevent students from expressing how their laboratory experiences shape their affective learning. Conducting interviews, however, affords researchers the opportunity to hear students describe learning in their own words. One challenge with interviews is that students may not possess the vocabulary to precisely describe their experiences. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to conduct interviews that encouraged and enabled students to verbalize their feelings about learning in the undergraduate chemistry laboratory. Interviews were conducted with 13 students who were enrolled in either a general chemistry or an organic chemistry laboratory course using a novel interview protocol to elicit descriptions of the students' experiences: a list of affective chemistry laboratory experiences. Findings include that the list of words was able to elicit a wide range of students' descriptions of their affective experiences and that these experiences influence cognitive and psychomotor learning in the undergraduate chemistry laboratory. In particular, the students' descriptions of their affective experiences in the laboratory were grounded in perceptions of control of their learning and the responsibility they felt they had. The implications of this research include identifying experiences that ought to be attended to through changes in pedagogy and curriculum in order for students to experience meaningful learning in their undergraduate chemistry laboratory courses.
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