Reconstruction of undergraduate analytical chemistry laboratory course
Matilainen, R., Koliseva, A., Valto, P., & Välisaari, J. (2017). Reconstruction of undergraduate analytical chemistry laboratory course. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 409 (1), 3-10. doi:10.1007/s00216-016-9953-6
Published inAnalytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016. This is a final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by Springer. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
The Analytical chemistry laboratory course at the Department of Chemistry at the University of Jyväskylä was reconstructed due to problems in the traditional arrangement, structure and contents of the course. The purposes of the reform were: to increase student-centered activity, co-operation and inquiry-based learning; to strengthen the connections to real-life; to develop students’ critical-thinking skills; and to decrease the number of drop-outs during the course. The reconstructed course includes independent laboratory work tasks and a research project. The results of the projects are presented in a course seminar. All of the laboratory experiments are done in groups of 8-10 students under the supervision of the same instructor. The opinions of students and instructors were discovered through a questionnaire and an interview study, respectively. Based on the questionnaire, 96% (year 2014) and 87% (2015) of the students were satisfied with the course as a whole. 76% (2014) and 74% (2015) evaluated that their interest in the subject increased during the laboratory course, and 61% (2014) and 27% (2015) found analyzing their own samples meaningful. When the students were asked to describe their experience with the research project, 82% (2014) and 65% (2015) of their comments were classified as positive. The students cited the research projects motivating, educational, and they enjoyed team work. Negative comments covered mostly the practical implementation of the course. Furthermore the amount of drop-outs during the course decreased from 53% to 6%. In conclusion the new model increased students’ interest in the subject, study motivation and the number of students completing the course. ...