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Issue 2, 2007
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Students’ perceptions of when conceptual development occurs during laboratory instruction

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Seventeen first year students experienced the first semester of laboratory instruction of a year-long sequence of general chemistry in a problem-based format, followed by a semester in which the laboratory portion of the course was taught in a traditional manner. At the end of the second semester all the students were administered a questionnaire regarding their perceptions of the different laboratory instructional environments. Fifteen of the seventeen students participated in semi-structured interviews. Analysis of the surveys and interview transcripts showed that seven of the students interviewed believed that the problem-based environment helped them better understand course concepts relative to traditional laboratory instruction, whereas the same number found them to be equally effective. Further analysis of the interview transcripts revealed that different students perceived conceptual development to be occurring at different times during the various types of instruction. For problem-based learning, conceptual development was maximized during the activity while in the laboratory. In the expository environment, however, it was maximized outside of the laboratory, after the experiment had been completed. Both the instructional and research implications of this phenomenon are discussed. [Chem. Educ. Res. Pract., 2007, 8 (2), 140-152]

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Publication details

The article was received on 19 Jun 2006 and accepted on 15 Mar 2007

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B6RP90027E
Citation: Chem. Educ. Res. Pract., 2007,8, 140-152

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    Students’ perceptions of when conceptual development occurs during laboratory instruction

    D. S. Domin, Chem. Educ. Res. Pract., 2007, 8, 140
    DOI: 10.1039/B6RP90027E

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