Session S72 (Thursday, 9:30am, Thomas 216)

P890: Best of both worlds: Traditional & inquiry-based approaches in the general chemistry laboratory curriculum at University of Nebraska

Eric Malina (University of Nebraska – Lincoln, USA)

Laboratory learning research consistently show that the laboratory environment enhances students’ laboratory skills and techniques, improves students’ attitudes towards science, and increases students’ long-term recall of concepts.  Research also indicate that inquiry-based approaches to learning aid in student understanding of concepts and ability to think scientifically.  The new laboratory curriculum developed and implemented at UNL merges both approaches to optimize learning opportunities for students. Our recent laboratory room renovation gave us the opportunity to design a space that assists inquiry-based learning while also giving the department greater flexibility in changing lab experiments on a regular basis, scheduling lab sections, and managing the labs.  This presentation will summarize the design and assessments of the new laboratory curriculum and its impact on student scientific reasoning skills and attitudes.


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