An Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory Technique Course using Scaffolded, Inquiry-Based Laboratories and Project-Based Learning

Chun Chu, Jessica L. Dewey, Weiwei Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To enhance students’ learning and help them understand the whole picture of the field of inorganic chemistry, an inorganic laboratory technique course was designed that uses scaffolded, inquiry-based lab experiments and project-based learning. The scaffolded, inquiry-based laboratories taught in the first 8 weeks of the course helped students better understand the aim of each lab and how to apply each lab technique to a bigger research project. The laboratory experiments also included opportunities for cooperative and collaborative learning through student group work and feedback. To further develop students’ independent research skills, we implemented project-based learning in the second part of the course (last 4 weeks), in which students develop a research proposal based on independent literature research and the laboratory techniques they learned from the course. Pilot data suggest that the course helped improve students’ interest in inorganic chemistry, science self-efficacy, and science identity. Additionally, students reported that both the scaffolded, inquiry-based laboratories and the project-based learning module enhanced their problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3500-3508
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of chemical education
Volume100
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 12 2023

Keywords

  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Problem-Solving Skills
  • Project-Based Learning
  • Scaffolded Lab Experiments
  • Upper-Division Undergraduate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Education

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