In 1999 and 2000 Chemistry 312: Analytical Chemistry for non-chemistry science majors (taken in the junior or senior year), was revised as a result of the instructor’s involvements in the Center for Excellence in Teacher Preparation project and an NSF equipment grant. Changes included the introduction of a K-12 teaching requirement, more emphasis on co-operative learning and on inquiry-based exercises. These latter two pedagogical practices had more impact on the laboratory activities than on the classroom activities. Students in the laboratory were assigned defined roles in the groups and all groups undertook a three-week research project. Students’ responses to the teaching requirement were (with a few exceptions in a class of over forty) positive, and several students identified themselves as future teachers. Responses to the group work associated with the laboratory and several homework exercises were less uniformly positive, with a significant number of students articulating a concern that their grades were compromised by the presence of weaker students in the groups. The grades awarded, the overall percentages and the exam scores of the students were compared for the years 1998, 1999, and 2000. There was a significant improvement in the overall percentages (and the exam scores) between 1998 and 1999, and between 1998 and 2000. Had the thresholds for the awarding of letter grades not been increased for 2000, there would have been 31 A’s awarded to the 44 students who completed the course.
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"The Impact of a National Science Foundation Collaborative for Excellence in Teacher Preparation on an Undergraduate Chemistry Course for Non-Chemistry Science Majors,"
Journal of Mathematics and Science: Collaborative Explorations: Vol. 4
, Article 9.
Available at: https://scholarscompass.vcu.edu/jmsce_vamsc/vol4/iss1/9