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An investigation of the effects of a novel teaching approach on students' learning of chemical ideas

Cukurova, M; Bennett, J; (2014) An investigation of the effects of a novel teaching approach on students' learning of chemical ideas. In: Constantinou, CP and Papadouris, N and Hadjigeorgiou, A, (eds.) Proceedings of the ESERA 2013 Conference: Science Education Research For Evidence-based Teaching and Coherence in Learning. European Science Education Research Association: Nicosia, Cyprus. Green open access

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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to provide a preliminary insight into the use of a novel method of discovery instruction at degree level chemistry. The fundamental principle in instruction strategy was to provide minimal guidance to students with the intention of improving their autonomy. To do so, students only received feedback to their questions through online discussion board and they were not provided with any more guidance during the module. The approach used replaced traditional lectures with an intervention consisting of an individual learning package, including an interactive booklet, an online discussion board and a range of other activities designed to increase the level of student autonomy. The topic focus was a first year module on polymer chemistry. The sample involved the whole first year cohort, consisted of 176 undergraduate students. In order to evaluate the students’ level of conceptual understanding, a diagnostic test was developed and administered to the whole sample prior to and after the intervention. Further information on student’s views of the teaching approach was collected using a mixture of open-ended questionnaires, and one-toone or group interviews, involving sub-sample of 24 students after they have completed the module. Preliminary findings suggest that the minimal guidance in teaching chemistry at tertiary level is not an effective instruction approach in terms of improving students’ conceptual understanding of key concepts. However, the majority of students argue that they have improved a variety of skills with the help of the teaching approach.

Type: Proceedings paper
Title: An investigation of the effects of a novel teaching approach on students' learning of chemical ideas
Event: Biennial Conference of the European Union Researchers for Science Education (ESERA 2013), 2-8 September 2013, Nicosia, Cyprus
Location: Nicosia, Cyprus
ISBN-13: 9789963700776
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://www.esera.org/publications/esera-conferenc...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: higher education, chemistry education, minimally guided instruction, conceptual understanding, skill development
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1549409
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