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Encouraging independent thought and learning in first year practical classes

Cranwell, P. B., Davis, F. J., Elliott, J. M., McKendrick, J. E., Page, E. M. and Spillman, M. J. (2017) Encouraging independent thought and learning in first year practical classes. New Directions in the Teaching of Physical Sciences, 12 (1). ISSN 2051-3615

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The transition from A-level to degree-level practical classes then to a research project, hence from dependent learner to independent researcher, is a hurdle that all students face when studying for a chemistry degree. This can be daunting so any innovations that aid this transition are of great value. At the University of Reading, the first year practical course has been redesigned to facilitate this transition by embedding independent thought and experimentation across all chemistry disciplines (introductory, organic, inorganic and physical). Examples of experiments that provide opportunities for independent student investigation, along with student perceptions of the experiments of the course, are given. Using this model for practical-class delivery, student engagement, confidence, independence and ultimately preparedness for year 2 were improved.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Chemical Analysis Facility (CAF)
Life Sciences > School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy > Department of Chemistry
ID Code:71792
Publisher:University of Leicester


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