Improving student achievement and satisfaction by adopting a blended learning approach to inorganic chemistry

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Neil A. Williams, Will Bland and Gillian Christie


A blended learning approach to the teaching of a level 2 inorganic chemistry module is presented. Lectures were replaced by study packs, which were supported by formative on-line assessment delivered via Blackboard and a programme of 20 workshops. Learning activities written using the Lockwood format were included in the study pack to facilitate active learning. The formative on-line assessments were designed to provide rapid and helpful feedback to the students in advance of the workshops. The tracking and gradebook facilities in Blackboard allowed staff to monitor student activity and progress. Attendance at the workshops was encouraged by including end-of workshop summative assessments. An analysis of module results revealed an improvement in performance compared to previous years and other core chemistry modules, after introducing blended learning to the level 2 inorganic chemistry module in 2004/5. The improvement was maintained in 2005/6. Module questionnaires revealed a significant improvement in student satisfaction with subject content, delivery and performance feedback on adopting a blended learning approach.