Chemical Education: Supporting Student Laboratory Learning

University of Illinois at Chicago
City, State: 
Chicago, IL
Donald Wink (University of Illinois at Chicago)
08 Jun 2014 - 13 Jun 2014



Sunday: Arrival and evening reception
Full days
Friday: Morning activities; afternoon departure

The workshop focusing on chemical education will enable participants to investigate, plan, and test ideas for new approaches to laboratory instruction, based on principles we have established for faculty development and student laboratory instruction. Participants should emerge from the workshop with an initial plan for writing and implementing innovative laboratory experiences on their campuses. The workshop leaders are co-PI's on the NSF-funded curriculum development program, the "Chemical Professional Laboratory Program" from which the text, Working with Chemistry was developed to incorporate research-based problem and inquiry learning strategies. Experience in that effort forms the basis for this workshop.

The workshop discusses how faculty in a chemistry background can consider different learning strategies and different scientific perspectives in teaching general chemistry. The workshop includes letting participants experience examples of the Working with Chemistry laboratory groups. This sets the tone for the rest of the discussion by providing a hands-on experience with what student-focused learning environment may look like.

Sessions include discussions of the nature of learning in young adults, the importance of connected learning in diverse student groups, and the way that a structured approach to student-designed experiments can support all students in learning general chemistry. The workshop also covers other approaches to connecting students’ lives to the learning of chemistry, to reforming lab instruction, and to considering how the practices of science and science inquiry can be melded with content learning.

Sunday evening: Reception

Monday: Laboratory—Introduction to Inquiry: The Floating Egg and “Three Decades of Pennies.” Presentation and Discussion—Methods of Teaching Inquiry.

 Tuesday: Discussion—Student Meaning Making and Laboratory Work: blending content and practices. Laboratories—A Student-focused Scenario Lab (Determination of Serum Albumin) and examples from the AP Inquiry Chemistry manual.

Wednesday: Laboratory—The “Leaf Lab” and “Buffers and Life.” Discussion—Supporting Student Cooperation; Assessment of Group Work. Working group activity—Determining Critical Content for courses and laboratory..

Thursday: Laboratory: Introducing research in the lower division lab: CASPiE Sensors Module. Discussion—Reference Resources for New Lab Development; Working group activities—Planning a New Laboratory Module.

Friday morning: Working Group Activity: Planning Steps to Implementation Technical resources for the course include the teaching instruments commonly available in a general chemistry setting, including equipment for titrations, thermochemistry, and spectrophotometry.

Online library resources will also enable participants to investigate new experiments they wish to design. Text resources will include copies of the Working with Chemistry Laboratory and Instructors Manual. Depending on the interest of the participants, they will also receive a copy of a major reference text in an area that uses chemistry in its operation.


image: Rionda, flickr