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ERIC Number: EJ1142972
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-May
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0047-231X
Adapting a Student-Centered Chemistry Curriculum to a Large-Enrollment Context: Successes and Challenges
Borda, Emily J.; Boudreaux, Andrew; Fackler-Adams, Ben; Frazey, Paul; Julin, Sara; Pennington, Gregory; Ogle, Jared
Journal of College Science Teaching, v46 n5 p8-13 May 2017
Passive, lecture-based forms of instruction are often ineffective in helping students develop deep conceptual understanding of scientific concepts. Student-centered forms of instruction based in a constructivist framework, where students are guided toward actively constructing their understanding, have been met with greater success. However, implementation of constructivist-based curricula and complementary teaching practices in large introductory college courses is often met with unique challenges. Here we describe and evaluate the scaling of a constructivist-based, student-centered chemistry curriculum from its original implementation in a 24-seat small-enrollment course to a 96-seat large-enrollment course. Postinstruction test scores for the scaled up, student-centered course were intermediate between the large-enrollment traditional course and the small-enrollment student-centered course, suggesting limited success of the scaling. We discuss barriers to scaling and future steps to improve the large-enrollment course. Our goal is to inform similar transformations to student-centered curricula and practices in other large-enrollment courses.
National Science Teachers Association. 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Tel: 800-722-6782; Fax: 703-243-3924; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Washington
Grant or Contract Numbers: DUE0737551