Teresa Wolfe, Margaret Haak (Oregon State University, USA)
Traditional lecturing provides students little chance to practice critical thinking, problem solving and decision making; elements crucial to scientific thinking. Another missing element is the social context of learning. Humans are not “pure” cognitive systems, such that perceiving and thinking are free from emotion and motivation. A pilot study surveyed students’ perceptions of stress and motivation regarding learning chemistry. The goal was to measure how the constructs self-efficacy, motivation, self-determination, and anxiety were associated with learning chemistry in a large lecture course. Our current study measures differences in these same constructs and potential gains in conceptual understandings of chemistry when active learning strategies are employed. We are devoting one-third of the normal lecture time to in-class group activities. Students work in teams to create concept maps for content and to complete worksheets designed to cultivate problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Results from the CCI and a motivation questionnaire will be presented.