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Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) is a widely disseminated pedagogical reform that employs previously successful undergraduate students, peer leaders, to lead sessions of structured group work in the target class. Numerous studies have evaluated the impact of this reform in various post-secondary chemistry classes. Results from these studies suggest that PLTL may be effective at improving student success in these classes, either through improved performance on common exams or reduced student attrition in the classes. This study seeks to take a broader picture at measuring the impact, by examining the role PLTL plays across a two semester General Chemistry sequence. This includes an analysis of PLTL on students' decision to progress through the two semester sequence, and on PLTL impact on the algorithm-heavy second-semester General Chemistry. The findings suggest that the PLTL implementation is robust in improving student success directly in terms of the target class. However, PLTL had little to no effect on students' decision to continue in the General Chemistry sequence. Additionally, PLTL had little effect on student performance in subsequent courses where the pedagogy returned to lecture-only instruction. The results suggest that PLTL implementation on one course within a sequence would have limited impact, and in order to improve student progress toward graduation, PLTL implementation may have to be curricular wide.
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Chemistry Education Research and Practice
- Information Point