Students’ perceptions of a project-based Organic Chemistry laboratory environment: a phenomenographic approach
Students can perceive the laboratory environment in a variety of ways that can affect what they take away from the laboratory course. This qualitative study characterizes undergraduate students’ perspectives of a project-based Organic Chemistry laboratory using the theoretical framework of phenomenography. Eighteen participants were interviewed in a semi-structured format to collect their perspectives of the Organic Chemistry lab. Eight qualitatively different ways in which students perceived the lab were uncovered and an outcome space was derived. The findings of this work are intended to inform the design of the undergraduate laboratory curriculum in chemistry that facilitate better student learning. Implications and suggestions for design of laboratory courses based on the results of this work are also presented.