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ERIC Number: EJ820298
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Nov
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 13
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Use of the Mid-Lecture Break in Chemistry Teaching: A Survey and Some Suggestions
Smith, David K.
Journal of Chemical Education, v83 n11 p1621-1624 Nov 2006
This article uses student feedback to explore student attitudes towards the use of lecture breaks. The survey illustrates that undergraduates genuinely value such breaks, finding them educationally useful and enhancing their enjoyment of the lecture experience. By comparing and contrasting the perceived value of different types of lecture breaks, a clear overview of the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches is given. The lecture demonstration is the "gold standard" among lecture breaks in chemical science. However, it is shown that contextualized fascinating-fact lecture breaks can come close to rivalling practical demonstrations for engaging students' interest in a topic. Problem-solving exercises can, in the right setting, have significant education value. This is particularly true if there is a significant degree of interactive engagement. Even the use of a simple lecture pause should not be underrated as a mechanism for allowing students to take a break from difficult material. Using examples from the author's own teaching practice, a number of strategies are suggested for improving lecture breaks. In particular, the development of demonstrations for advanced undergraduate audiences, interactive problem solving, red-green voting systems, and fascinating-fact segments are all highlighted. (Contains 1 table.)
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 - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A