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ERIC Number: EJ814870
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 13
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Promoting Student Learning through Group Problem Solving in General Chemistry Recitations
Mahalingam, Madhu; Schaefer, Fred; Morlino, Elisabeth
Journal of Chemical Education, v85 n11 p1577-1581 Nov 2008
We describe the implementation and effects of group problem solving in recitation sections associated with the general chemistry course at a small private science university. Recitation sections of approximately 45 students are used to supplement large (approximately 180 students) lecture sections. The primary goal of recitation is working in small groups to solve problems in an environment that is designed to foster collaboration and discussion among group members. Students are placed in groups of mixed-ability based on SAT mathematics scores. The model of using heterogeneous groups was adopted as weaker students benefit by posing questions to students with stronger skills and stronger students benefit from verbalizing their ideas. Student response to the implementation has been positive. Exam averages have improved since the introduction of the group work. We show that it is possible to improve student learning through implementation of structured group work in a large general chemistry course with minimal changes in faculty hours and facility space. (Contains 1 figure and 3 tables.)
Division of Chemical Education of the American Chemical Society. Subscription Department, P.O. Box 1267, Bellmawr, NJ 08099-1267. Tel: 800-691-9846; Tel: 856-931-5825; Fax: 856-931-4115; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A