ERIC Number: EJ1040077
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
A General Chemistry Laboratory Course Designed for Student Discussion
Obenland, Carrie A.; Kincaid, Kristi; Hutchinson, John S.
Journal of Chemical Education, v91 n9 p1446-1450 Sep 2014
We report a study of the general chemistry laboratory course at one university over four years. We found that when taught as a traditional laboratory course, lab experiences do not encourage students to deepen their understanding of chemical concepts. Although the lab instructor emphasized that the lab experiences were designed to enhance understanding of chemistry, both survey and interview data show that students instead feel that the lab is primarily useful in learning laboratory procedures. As a result of these studies, the laboratory course was reconfigured to include weekly, separately scheduled times for teaching assistant-moderated student discussion of concepts, analysis of data, and reflection on the laboratory. With the inclusion of required discussion, students did report that the lab was a place for learning chemistry and visualizing the chemical phenomena discussed in class.
Descriptors: Science Instruction, Chemistry, Science Laboratories, College Science, Discussion (Teaching Technique), Teaching Methods, Scientific Concepts, Concept Formation, Student Surveys, Interviews, Science Process Skills, Student Attitudes, College Students
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A