Computer-Enhanced Project-Based Laboratories for General Chemistry

Grant Details


Chemistry (12)

This proposal is developing project-based laboratories (PBL) for the General Chemistry sequence as a means to foster a more learner-centered environment. Projects presented to students must be solved through experimentation, with individual student teams contributing experimental results to the larger, class pool of results. As the students progress through the two-semester sequence, they are becoming less dependent on instructor directions, more independent in their ability to modify suggested procedures, and are eventually required to have significant input into their own experimental design. Computer-interfaced laboratory equipment is providing continuity, reduced data-collection times, and networking capability necessary to implement this proposal. Specific experiments have been adapted from the education literature and are being implemented in a PBL format. Twenty-four student workstations, four computers, four printers and two networked diode array visible spectrometers are present in the teaching laboratories. Approximately 600 students in General Chemistry are using this equipment during Fall, Spring, and Summer terms, with nearly two-thirds of the General Chemistry laboratory curriculum affected. Given the extent of the proposed change, this process is being phased into the curriculum over a three-year period. It is anticipated that these changes will enhance scientific reasoning skills since the students are actively applying and modifying their laboratory skills to solve problems in which they have an interest.

Effective start/end date05/1/0204/30/05


  • National Science Foundation: $37,721.00


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