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ERIC Number: EJ1125522
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Mar
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1571-0068
"Named Small but Doing Great": An Investigation of Small-Scale Chemistry Experimentation for Effective Undergraduate Practical Work
Tesfamariam, Gebrekidan Mebrahtu; Lykknes, Annette; Kvittingen, Lise
International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, v15 n3 p393-410 Mar 2017
In theory, practical work is an established part of university-level chemistry courses. However, mainly due to budget constraints, large class size, time constraints and inadequate teacher preparations, practical activities are frequently left out from chemistry classroom instruction in most developing countries. Small-scale chemistry (SSC) experimentation in which one uses miniature chemical equipment can drastically reduce quantities of chemicals used during experimentation, which can help overcome some of the barriers preventing practical work in the chemistry classroom. This study evaluated the effectiveness of using miniature chemical equipment at the undergraduate level in increasing students' understanding of chemistry concepts as well as in improving their attitude towards chemistry practical work. Two comparable groups of first-year students who enrolled for a Practical General Chemistry course participated. A quasi-experimental design was employed in which the experimental group (N = 49) used the SSC approach while the control group (N = 52) followed the traditional approach for over 8 weeks. Data were gathered using chemistry tests, attitude and perception questionnaires and interviews. Findings showed that the SSC approach was as effective as the traditional laboratory approach in improving students' attitude towards practical work, but more effective in enhancing students' understanding of chemistry concepts. More interestingly, SSC was positively accepted by both students and instructors as an effective strategy for teaching first-year undergraduate chemistry practicals. Some shortcomings of the approach were also identified.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A