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ERIC Number: EJ1125938
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jan
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1756-1108
Reform in a General Chemistry Laboratory: How Do Students Experience Change in the Instructional Approach?
Chopra, I.; O'Connor, J.; Pancho, R.; Chrzanowski, M.; Sandi-Urena, S.
Chemistry Education Research and Practice, v18 n1 p113-126 Jan 2017
This qualitative study investigated the experience of a cohort of students exposed consecutively to two substantially different environments in their General Chemistry Laboratory programme. To this end, the first semester in a traditional expository programme was followed by a semester in a cooperative, problem-based, multi-week format. The focus on the experience of a change in the laboratory format is complementary understanding to that from participants exposed to a single format. This work used a phenomenological approach for the reduction, analysis, and interpretation of data gathered from semi-structured student interviews. Through deep analysis, five researchers distilled an outcome space with three fundamental features: (1) ten vectors of change that served as lens to analyse the phenomenon; (2) participants' ability to accurately characterise and differentiate the two instructional environments; and (3) an overarching descriptor that argues that a transition from mindless behaviour to mindful engagement subsumed the experience of a change in the laboratory environment. This outcome space is independent of participants' instructional style preferences. Findings from this work inform the design of laboratory experiences furthering the potential realisation of experimental education at the same time when they extend understanding of learning in the chemistry laboratory.
Royal Society of Chemistry. Thomas Graham House, Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge, CB4 0WF, UK. Tel: +44-1223 420066; Fax: +44-1223 423623; 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: Florida
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A