The integration of research and education is an essential component of our university’s teaching philosophy. Recently, we made a curricular revision to facilitate such an approach in the General Chemistry Laboratory, to teach students that investigative approaches are at the core of sciences. The curriculum revision included new interdisciplinary experiments and a research project. Investigative, peer review, and cooperative learning strategies were introduced to enhance student learning and engagement. An environment in which students can analyze results within a laboratory session and reach comprehensive and quantitative conclusions was encouraged.
To assess our results, students completed questionnaires, evaluated their peers and themselves. Instructors evaluated students through written reports, oral presentations, pre- and post test, a practical exam and a final exam. Assessments of the learning outcomes were performed to determine the level of research skills development, the improvement in laboratory techniques, and depth in analysis of concepts. The experimental designs, implementation of results, and comparisons of student performances using traditional approaches are presented.
Díaz-Vázquez, Liz M.; Montes, Barbara Casañas; Echevarría Vargas, Ileabett M.; Hernandez-Cancel, Griselle; Gonzalez, Fernando; Molina, Anna M.; Morales-Cruz, Moraima; Torres-Díaz, Carlos M.; and Griebenow, Kai
"An Investigative, Cooperative Learning Approach for General Chemistry Laboratories,"
International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning:
2, Article 20.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.20429/ijsotl.2012.060220