Tracey Daugherty, Kereen Monteyne (Northern Kentucky University, USA)
Inquiry-based learning environments have been studied extensively in the past several decades. Research has shown that students retain information longer and are better problem solvers when they learn through strategies that emphasize the development and connection of concepts rather than rote recall. However, there is a lack of research that details the types of skills and the developmental pathway needed for students to succeed in inquiry-based laboratory environments. In this study, we propose a Learning Continuum Framework of cognitive and conceptual skills needed for inquiry learning. A series of activities that specifically target these skills is being developed for the general chemistry laboratory. Two activities set in the context of physical/chemical change and gas laws were implemented during the spring semester. Preliminary results from the pilot study will be discussed.