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ERIC Number: EJ1123439
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Dec
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Comparable Educational Benefits in Half the Time: An Alternating Organic Chemistry Laboratory Sequence Targeting Prehealth Students
Young, Sherri C.; Colabroy, Keri L.; Baar, Marsha R.
Journal of Chemical Education, v93 n12 p2004-2011 Dec 2016
The laboratory is a mainstay in STEM education, promoting the development of critical thinking skills, dexterity, and scientific curiosity. The goals in the laboratory for nonchemistry, prehealth majors, though, could be distinguished from those for chemistry majors. In service courses such as organic chemistry, much laboratory time is often spent building discipline-specific technical skills that poorly align with the postgraduate goals of prehealth students. To address the needs of students in Muhlenberg College's organic chemistry course for nonchemistry majors, we developed a time- and resource-saving laboratory sequence that alternates traditional experiments with computer-graded self-guided inquiry activities. This innovative sequence requires approximately half the amount of reagents and fewer staff members, and it offers increased flexibility for students and instructors compared to a traditional (i.e., weekly) lab experience. When this model was offered in 2013-15, student performances on reports, notebooks, quizzes, exams, and the ACS Organic Chemistry Exam remained consistent with grades in prior course iterations even though students spent less time in lab. Student feedback on this model has been positive, and students felt they were better able to focus on individual lab assignments. We present a detailed overview of this model along with direct and indirect assessment data.
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: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A